If you often find yourself in a hurry and without too much time at disposal for a proper lunch or dinner, chicken salad sandwiches are an option you can hardly go wrong with if you’re a chicken fan. The possibilities are almost endless, and you can find more info here on what you need and how to make them.
One of the great things about chicken salad sandwiches is that, depending on the ingredients and quantities used, they are nutritious and easy to make. They are ideal for a quick lunch and even dinner, picnics, and other gatherings.
Moreover, you can create your own chicken salad recipe as long as you follow the basic rules of nutrition so that they can be healthy and delicious at the same time.
A few words on healthy chicken salad ingredients
Although we have included mayonnaise in the recipes below, you can always look for a healthier substitute, such as plain Greek yogurt or hummus. For a flavorful outcome, if you don’t use mayonnaise, you can combine the yogurt with fresh dill, parsley, cilantro, and basil, and you will get a delicious yet healthy chicken salad sandwich.
Many people wonder how healthy a chicken salad is if mayonnaise is included. They are right to do so since a traditional chicken salad that can also be used for sandwiches can be high in calories, fat, and salt.
These levels differ based on how much of each ingredient you use, and the good part is that you can customize the recipes below or others you find on the internet to get it closer to your nutritional goals. Usually, a traditional chicken salad contains somewhere around 300 calories, 700 milligrams of sodium, and 25 grams fat per half a cup serving.
What’s great is that with a few healthy choices, you can lower these levels and still have a delicious and nutritious meal. If you don’t want to eliminate the mayonnaise, you can cut the quantity in half and add more yogurt. By doing so, you will still get a creamy salad but reduced calories and saturated fats. You can also opt for avocado oil mayo or even add mustard for extra flavor.
If you’re on a diet or have certain medical conditions, it is always best to ask your nutritionist about the ingredients you can have or should avoid. However, if you haven’t made such sandwiches before or you’re simply looking for new recipes and inspiration, here are a few options that will help you get a healthy lunch in little time.
- Classic chicken salad sandwich
Although classic can mean many things, and you can find even modern approaches to classic chicken salad sandwiches, there are a few basic ways to make such sandwiches. The first recipe of the ones we’ve picked might take a bit longer than others, yet, if everything is carried out as instructed, the results shouldn’t disappoint.
What you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked and then chopped chicken
- 3 tablespoons of finely-chopped yellow or red onions
- 1 hard-boiled, chopped egg
- Up to ½ cup of mayonnaise or mayonnaise substitute
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste (usually 1/8 teaspoon)
- 8 slices bread
- Dill pickle relish (1 tablespoon or so)
- Lettuce and 1/4 finely-chopped cup celery
How much of these ingredients you use depends on your preferences. The quantities mentioned above are the starting point, yet if you like to add more lettuce or even new ingredients, feel free to create your own recipe and add the flavor you want. Just keep in mind the calories and nutritional value of each of them.
How to make it
The way you cook the chicken is entirely up to you. Two common ways to get it ready for your sandwiches include baking and poaching. If you choose the former, use a foil to line the baking pan and then add the boneless chicken. Use salt and pepper to season it lightly.
The chicken should be done in 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven temperature you set. Use a food thermometer to check the chicken’s temperature. You should bake it until it reaches 165℉ on this type of thermometer.
In case you want to poach it, you can do so in a sauté pan and even add some aromatic vegetables and herbs. The water you add should cover the chicken entirely. It should be 1 inch or so above the chicken.
Go for a high-heat setting to bring it to a boil, then lower the heat, and cook the chicken at a simmer for 8 to 15 minutes. Cover the pan while doing so. The chicken should be done at 165℉.
Now that the chicken is ready, gather all the ingredients we’ve mentioned above and mix all of them in a bowl. Adjust the ingredient quantities according to your preferences. If it feels like the salad is not moist enough, you can add more yogurt. Once it tastes the way you like it, simply serve it on bread. Add lettuce or other leafy greens you prefer.
- Chicken salad sandwich with almonds and grapes
If you’re into trying all sorts of ingredient combinations even when it comes to chicken salad sandwiches, this recipe might be right up your alley. What makes it stand out is the use of almonds and grapes, a choice of ingredients that you might not find too often. The quantities mentioned below should help you make six sandwiches.
What you’ll need:
- 3 cups of baked/poached/rotisserie chicken (make sure you shred it)
- 2 chopped stalk celery
- 1 cup halved red grapes
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ cup mayonnaise or mayonnaise substitute
- lemon juice (1 teaspoon or so)
- greek yogurt (around ¼)
- Salt, garlic powder, and pepper to taste
- 6 croissants
How to make it
Get the chicken ready if you prefer to poach or boil it at home. In case you opt for rotisserie chicken, pull it off the bones and shred it. Use a bowl to mix the chicken, grapes, celery, and almonds. Sliced toasted almonds are a great option, but that depends on your preferences.
Use a separate bowl to make the dressing. When it comes to chicken salads in general, the dressing plays a major role as far as the outcome is regarded. Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and yogurt until the dressing is smooth. Add salt, garlic powder, and black pepper until you reach the taste you like.
In case you’re not that much into yogurt or don’t have some on hand, you can use sour cream instead. Once the dressing is done, add it to the chicken mixture and stir until you get the texture you want.
Wash the lettuce and place it on the bottom half of the croissants after you’ve cut them. Add the chicken and dressing mixture on top and place the other half of the croissant. As we’ve said before, you can play with the ingredients and replace them with what you prefer.
If you’re not that much into almonds, you can always try walnuts or pecans, or you can omit them altogether in case you have an allergy. You can also use cucumbers instead of celery. The options come in plenty, so you can customize the recipe based on your likes and what you have at disposal.
Ingredient options and serving suggestions
As you can see, getting a chicken salad sandwich is nothing complicated, and it usually takes no more than half an hour or so. If you have certain dietary restrictions or medical conditions, you can always adjust the ingredient quantities or even replace them with healthier ones.
For example, as far as the veggies used are regarded, you can get as creative you want or follow your nutritionist’s advice. Bell pepper and green onions can also add flavor to your chicken salad sandwich while keeping it healthy.
Fresh fruits are not uncommon when it comes to chicken salad sandwiches. Diced apples and grapes will contour the sandwich’s flavor in unexpected yet delicious ways. Other tasty options include dried fruits, such as cherries and cranberries, but they contain high levels of sugar.
You can even replace croissants with tortillas and add a bit of mashed avocado before you serve it. Regardless of the ingredients you choose to use, if you do care about how healthy the food you have is, it is always best to ask for your nutritionist’s advice or use an app that can help you know how many calories, fats, and salt your custom-made sandwich contains.