Chicken salad has always been one of my favorite foods! Do you love it as much I do? I used to love Waldorf chicken salad with grapes, onions, and walnuts on a crescent roll for lunch. Yum yum! The good news is that we can still enjoy chicken salad, even if we’re living a more healthy lifestyle and/or are following the Paleo diet (as I do-mostly). It just requires a few simple switches. Even though I don’t eat crescent rolls or regular mayonnaise anymore, I am still able to enjoy this favorite meal of mine. My Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad recipe not only tastes yummy but is more nutritious.
It is simple to make. You can switch out the veggies, fruit, nuts, and seasoning to make it fit your flavor preference. AND the great thing is, you make it once and can eat off of it for lunch all week.
How to Make Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad:
Put a whole chicken in a stock pot and cover it with water (about 4 quarts). Turn the burner onto Medium-High heat.
To make your chicken salad even more nutritious, I highly recommend getting your chicken (and the rest of your meat, for that matter) from Butcher Box. I’ve been ordering and loving their meat for several months now. Their chicken is organic, pasture-raised (they eat what they are naturally supposed to eat), and free of hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs.
Add a teaspoon each of sea salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to the water and chicken.
I like to get the most bang for my buck and not let anything go to waste. So I add a few more things to the water and make chicken bone broth at the same time.
This is optional – but you can also add a yellow onion quartered, 1-2 carrots chopped, 1-2 stalks of celery chopped, 1 teaspoon ground sage, 1 sprig rosemary, 1-3 bay leaves, and 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar. The vinegar helps draw the beneficial collagen out of the bones.
After the chicken is done boiling and I take the meat off the bones, I transfer the broth and the bones to a crock pot. I turn the crock pot on low and let it cook for about 24 hours. (I’ll post a more detailed recipe for homemade bone broth soon!). It’s so yummy and great for the gut, skin, hair, and nails.
Back to the actual chicken salad recipe…
Allow the water to come to a rolling boil (It will take about 15 minutes to start boiling.) Then let it boil for about 45 minutes (it could be more or less, depending on the size of your chicken), or until the chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees. Then turn the burner off.
Place the chicken on a cutting board. Let it sit to cool down until it is cool enough to handle.
Once it has cooled down, start removing the meat from the bones. You can use a knife to cut off the majority of the meat, and then use your hands to get the rest off the bone. Place all the chicken meat in a large bowl.
Use two forks to shred the meat into bite-size pieces.
Now it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients to make it into chicken salad.
Add to the chicken 3/4 cup mayonnaise and stir together.
This is what usually makes chicken salad not-so-healthy. Regular mayonnaise is made of ingredients like soybean oil, eggs, sugar, vinegar, and preservatives. Soybean oil is highly processed, made from GMO soybeans, has a high Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio, and can cause inflammation. The food we eat should have close to a 1:1 balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids. Too much Omega 6 fatty acids in our diet can be very harmful.
So this step is important! Use mayonnaise made from healthy oils, like avocado and olive oil. I sometimes make my own mayonnaise using Diane Sanfilippo’s recipe in her very informative/recipe book Practical Paleo. Or else I buy Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo from Thrive Market (Use this link to try it out and get a free gift, up to a $24 value, in your first order!). Primal Kitchen’s mayo is the best healthy mayo I’ve tried (including homemade mayo). It’s made healthier by using avocado oil instead of soybean oil, no sugar, and no preservatives other than sea salt.
Then add the rest of the ingredients – 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 Cup chopped walnuts (or whatever kind of nuts you have on hand and want to use), 1/2 red onion chopped, 1 Cup red grapes sliced in half,1 celery stalk chopped (not pictured), and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. You can also add in some chopped green apple.
Stir until combined well.
Enjoy your chicken salad!
Scoop some onto greens and drizzle with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make the Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad into an actual salad, or make it into a lettuce wrap atop green leaf lettuce. Or you can just eat it out of the bowl…
My little ones gives it a thumbs-up. If they approve, I know it’s good!
What are your favorite things to add to chicken salad? Let me know if you make this Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad and what you think!
Paleo Chicken Salad
- 1 Whole Chicken
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Sea salt separated
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Black pepper separated
- 2 teaspoons Garlic powder separated
- 1 teaspoon Onion powder
- 3/4 Cup Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo
- 1/2 Cup Chopped walnuts
- 1/2 Red onion chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
- 1/2 Lemon juiced
- 1 Cup Red Grapes sliced in half
- Put the chicken in a stockpot, and cover it with water. Place on a burner and turn on Medium-high. Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp onion powder.
- Allow the water to come to a rolling boil. Boil for about 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees.
- Place the chicken on a cutting board and allow it to cool down until it is is cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones and place the chicken meat in a large bowl. Use two forks to shred the meat into bite-size pieces.
- Add to the chicken the mayo, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, thyme, 1 tsp garlic powder, walnuts, red onion, grapes, celery, and lemon juice. Stir until combined well.
- Scoop onto a green leaf lettuce leaf to make a wrap, top onto a salad, or eat it by itself. Enjoy!