Healthy avocado chicken salad makes a great lunch or light dinner entrée. The creamy dressing is made with Greek yogurt, avocado, and lemon juice.

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: There’s no mayonnaise in this healthy chicken salad but it’s still super creamy because the dressing is made with avocados.

How long it takes: 20 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: small food processor or immersion blender, mixing bowl
Servings: 4

Multigrain bread sandwich with avocado chicken salad and leaf lettuce.
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This avocado chicken salad is healthy, easy to make, and most importantly, delicious. The easy dressing is made from a heart-healthy avocado, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice. Don’t you just love the color of that dressing?

For some reason, I keep thinking of the familiar Dr. Seuss story, What Was I Scared Of? about the pale green pants (with no one inside them!). This salad is the exact same color. My grandpa used to love reading that story to us – it totally cracked him up every time. Check it out sometime!

Serve avocado chicken salad on hearty whole grain bread or in a wrap, with leaf lettuce and pickled red onions. A bowl of creamy tomato soup or a side of crispy air fryer French fries goes great with a chicken salad sandwich. We also like to serve the chicken salad on a bed of crisp salad greens, or just on its own, too, with a side of crisp crackers and fresh fruit.

About This Avocado Chicken Salad

There’s no mayo in this dressing. Yet it’s amazingly creamy. You’ll be blown away by it, and you can feel good eating it, too. One generous serving of this salad (about one cup) provides 27 grams of protein but only has 304 calories. A typical chicken salad made with mayonnaise has about twice the calories!

It’s easy to make. Avocado chicken salad isn’t more difficult to make than a salad made with a mayonnaise-based dressing but it does require a small food processor or immersion blender to get the avocado dressing really smooth and creamy.

mini food processor on white background.

Mini Food Processor

I love this 2 cup Ninja food processor. It doesn’t take much room in my pantry and it’s easy to use. It’s perfect for making a quick batch of chimichurri!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Cooked Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: Looking for an easy way to cook chicken? Try Instant Pot chicken breasts, poached chicken, or roasted bone-in chicken breasts. Rotisserie chicken is good, too. Make sure the chicken is cold before adding it to the salad.
  • Avocados: Check out the FAQ section for how to determine if an avocado is ripe.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt: I like to use full-fat Greek yogurt which, by the way, makes this recipe keto-friendly. Full-fat yogurt has a creamier mouth-feel and tastes better. However, if you prefer, 2% or nonfat Greek yogurt works well too.
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a bright note to the dressing and also helps keep the avocado from browning. Freshly squeezed is a must! If you don’t have a lemon, no worries! A splash of vinegar does a great job adding the same brightness that lemon brings.
  • Celery: Finely diced celery is crunchy and flavorful.
  • Red Onion: If you want to tone down the strong flavor of onion, soak the diced onion in ice water while you prep the rest of the salad. Drain it really well and pat dry before adding it.
  • Fresh Parsley: Chopped parsley is colorful and adds a nice herby flavor.
  • Kosher Salt and Coarsely Ground Black Pepper: Season your salad to taste. Don’t skimp on the salt or your salad will taste bland.
Overhead view of ingredients including cooked chicken and avocados.

How To Make Avocado Chicken Salad

Make the dressing. Begin by dicing the avocados right into the bowl of the food processor or a small bowl if you’re using an immersion blender.

Unblended dressing in food processor.

Add the Greek yogurt and lemon juice and process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Smooth, light green dressing in food processor.

Prep the chicken and remaining ingredients. Decide whether you prefer the chicken diced or shredded. Either way is just fine. Chop the celery, onions, and fresh parsley.

Combine with the dressing. In a medium sized bowl, combine the chilled chicken, celery, onions, parsley, salt, pepper, and the dressing.

Unmixed chicken salad in clear glass bowl.

Mix until all the ingredients are covered with the lovely green dressing. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Mixed chicken salad in a glass mixing bowl.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. At this point, you may either cover the salad and put it in the refrigerator or eat it right away.

How To Cut An Avocado

If you’re a little uncertain about how to cut these green gems, check out this short video. It’s only 46 seconds long and will show you how to remove the pit, peel, and slice an avocado. Did you know an avocado is actually a fruit and is sometimes called an “alligator pear”?
Avocado chicken salad in a bowl, surrounded by bread, avocados, onion.

FAQs

How do you know when an avocado is ripe?

Check the color: A ripe avocado is dark green or nearly black. The outer skin should feel bumpy.
Press it lightly with your fingertip. The avocado should be slightly softened but not mushy feeling.
Look at the stem end. There’s usually a nub that can easily be removed with your fingernail. If the flesh underneath it appears bright green, the avocado is perfectly ripened. If it appears brown, the avocado is probably overripe.

Change It Up

You’ll love this recipe because there are so many ways to make it your own, depending on what you like and/or what you have in your fridge. Try one of these variations (see recipe card for suggested measurements!) or create a brand new one of your own.

  • Guacamole chicken salad with lime juice, cumin, chopped cilantro and jalapeño pepper.
  • Chicken salad with fruit with fresh tarragon, apple, sliced grapes, and golden raisins or dried cranberries.
  • Garden chicken salad with dill, cucumbers, green peppers, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Looking for a vegetarian salad? If you’re interested in a sandwich filling that isn’t made with meat, try my chickpea salad sandwich. The chickpea salad is great on lettuce, too.
Double stack of avocado chicken salad sandwiches on wheat bread.

Make-Ahead Ideas

Cook the chicken ahead. It’s a really good idea to cook the chicken ahead of time because it needs to be chilled before adding it to the salad. Cooked chicken will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to a month. Thaw it overnight in the fridge before using.

Storage Tips

Refrigerate: This chicken salad keeps well for at least two days in the refrigerator. Cover it with plastic wrap or put it in an airtight container. Stir well before serving.

Pack and go lunch: Chicken salad makes a great lunch! Store it in serving sized containers in the refrigerator. Grab one on your way out the door.

Does avocado turn the dressing brown?

You may wonder if the dressing will discolor since avocados tend to brown once they are cut. We found that the salad retained its lovely green color with no discoloration at all. The lemon juice and Greek yogurt are acidic which prevents the browning that usually occurs.

Four recipe images, text reads "meal plan #7."

Free Meal Plans

Interested in weekly meal plans that include this recipe? Take a look at my Meal Plan #7 or Meal Plan #23. You’ll find a wholesome recipe for each weekday plus a categorized grocery list. Let me do the planning for you this week! We add a new meal plan weekly.

More Chicken Salad Recipes

Recipe

Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe – creamy and healthy!

4.88 from 8 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Healthy avocado chicken salad makes a great lunch or light dinner entrée. The creamy dressing is made with Greek yogurt, avocado, and lemon juice.
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Ingredients 

  • 3 cups shredded or cubed cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, chilled (2 medium sized breasts)
  • 2 ripe avocados (medium sized), peeled and cubed
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (use full-fat, 2% or nonfat)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup finely diced celery
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (more to taste)
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)

Instructions 

  • Combine avocado, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice in bowl of small food processor (or in a small bowl if you want to use a handheld/immersion blender). Blend until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, mix dressing with chicken, onions, celery, parsley, salt and pepper. Top with toasted almonds, if using.
  • Enjoy on bread, on a wrap, or on greens for a salad.

Notes

  • Nutrition information is for chicken salad only and does not include almonds or serving suggestions. It is calculated using full-fat Greek yogurt in the dressing.
  • Avocado chicken salad keeps well in the fridge for up to two days. Stir before eating.
Variations
  • Guacamole chicken salad: Omit lemon juice, parsley, and celery. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, chopped cilantro and ¼ cup finely chopped jalapeño pepper. Omit almonds.
  • Chicken salad with fruit: Omit parsley; substitute chopped fresh tarragon. Add 1 chopped apple, ½ cup sliced grapes, and ¼ cup golden raisins or dried cranberries. Omit onion if desired.
  • Garden chicken salad: Add 1 teaspoon dried dill (or 1 tablespoon fresh dill) to recipe, along with chopped cucumbers, green peppers, and cherry tomatoes. Omit almonds.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 304kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 590mg, Potassium: 985mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 407IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.88 from 8 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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21 Comments

  1. Traci Gertz says:

    5 stars
    Well I made this and was unsure if my husband would like it but he loved it! Excellent recipe! The toasted slivered almonds are a must!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m so glad you liked it – it’s one of my favorites too! Thank you for leaving a review!

  2. Crosby says:

    5 stars
    This is literally one of my favorite meals I have EVER had, which says a lot! Love the combination! Super easy to put together as well.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Oh I’m so glad to hear it! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review – it really means a lot to me!

  3. Gabriela Medina says:

    5 stars
    My hubby and I are changing to healthy eating and this is for sure going to be a favorite in his lunchbox ty going to surprise him from taking a turkey sandwich

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I hope you love it! Best of luck on your healthy eating journey!

  4. Tia says:

    5 stars
    The BEST chicken salad recipe EVER!! We loved this recipe. I have never found a chicken salad recipe that my husband would eat and he LOVED this!!! Such a great recipe!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Oh I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you!

  5. Meladi says:

    I just made this, and added in dried cranberries and diced apples. This is absolutely delicious! I love avocado, but I’m lacking in culinary creativity, so I’d always mash it up and eat it with turkey on wheat bread. Tasty, but boring after a while. This recipe is amazing, and now I’m scouring the internet for more avocado creations.

    1. Rachel says:

      Sounds great! It sounds like you aren’t lacking in culinary creativity at all!

  6. patsy says:

    I love finding new additions to chicken salad… the same old way gets boring, but your suggestions and dressing look like something I could really dig my teeth into! yum!