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!  It just requires a few simple swaps!  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:

Step 1:

Put a whole chicken in a stock pot and cover it with water (about 4 quarts).  Turn the burner onto Medium-High heat.

boiling chicken for healthy Waldorf chicken salad

To make your chicken salad even more nutritious, I 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.

salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder for healthy Waldorf chicken salad

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.

boiling chicken with vegetables for healthy Waldorf chicken salad

After the chicken finishes 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.

Step 2:

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.

Step 3:

Place the chicken on a cutting board.  Let it sit to cool down until it is cool enough to handle.

cooked chicken on cutting board for healthy Waldorf chicken salad

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.

shredding chicken for healthy Waldorf chicken salad

Step 4:

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, which 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 mayo using egg yolks and olive oil.  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 using avocado oil instead of soybean oil, no sugar, and no preservatives other than sea salt.

ingredients to make healthy Waldorf chicken salad

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.

stirring healthy Waldorf chicken salad

Step 5:

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.  Make it into a lettuce wrap atop green leaf lettuce.  Or  just eat it out of the bowl!

healthy Waldorf chicken salad in a bowl

My little ones gives it a thumbs-up.  If they approve, I know it’s good!

thumbs up to healthy Waldorf chicken salad

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!

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Paleo Chicken Salad

Brittany Davis
A delicious chicken salad recipe made with simple, real ingredients!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr
Course Salad
Cuisine American


  • 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!
Keyword chicken, healthy, paleo, salad

healthy Waldorf chicken salad

Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad (Paleo)Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad (Paleo)Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad (Paleo)
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