For many people, mayonnaise is a key ingredient in chicken salad!
The creamy condiment gives the salad a richness and flavor that can be hard to replicate.
But what if you’re trying to reduce your fat intake?
Or do you want to make a vegan version of the dish?
What are the best substitutes for mayo in chicken salad? To retain a similar flavor and texture, you could use mashed avocado, Greek yogurt, crème fraîche, hummus, or tahini. If these aren’t an option for you, try using applesauce or plain yogurt with a bit of mustard or fresh herbs. Vegan alternatives include tofu or mashed white beans.
How can you ensure your chicken salad still tastes delicious without opting for mayo?
We take a look at the 10 best substitutes for mayo in chicken salad – from creamy to more savory options – so you can still enjoy this classic dish guilt-free!
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Why Add Mayo to Chicken Salad?
Mayonnaise is a popular ingredient in chicken salad because it acts as a binder that holds all the ingredients together.
It also adds moisture and creaminess to the dish, making it more flavorful and enjoyable to eat.
The fat in mayonnaise also helps to balance out the lean protein in the chicken, creating a more satisfying and filling meal.
Additionally, mayonnaise is a versatile ingredient that can be easily flavored with other ingredients like herbs, spices, and citrus, allowing for a wide range of flavor variations in chicken salad.
Overall, mayonnaise is a key ingredient in chicken salad that helps to create a delicious and satisfying dish.
The 10 Best Substitutes for Mayo in Chicken Salad
Mayo is often a key ingredient in chicken salad, but its high fat content can make it unhealthy. Luckily, there are several alternatives to mayo which still provide a creamy texture and delicious flavor.
Here are ten of the best substitutes for mayo in chicken salad:
1 – Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is an excellent replacement for mayonnaise, as it’s low in calories and fat while being high in protein.
Greek yogurt also adds a pleasant tartness to the mix that complements other ingredients well.
To use it in your chicken salad, simply replace the mayo with an equal amount of Greek yogurt; this will give your dish a creamier consistency without sacrificing flavor.
For added richness and tanginess, you can always season your Greek yogurt with herbs or spices.
2 – Avocado
Avocado is another great substitute for mayonnaise due to its creamy texture and healthy fats. It has a milder taste than Greek yogurt, so it won’t overpower the other ingredients in your salad.
To use avocado instead of mayo, mash up one or two ripe avocados with some lemon juice until they reach a spreadable consistency.
Then mix into your chicken salad as desired; the creaminess will give extra body to the meal while providing health benefits too!
3 – Hummus
Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dip made from mashed chickpeas, olive oil, garlic cloves, and tahini (sesame seed paste).
It’s rich in fiber and protein while having zero cholesterol; this makes it perfect for creating healthier versions of classic dishes like chicken salads.
Simply mix together hummus and diced pieces of cooked chicken to add a savory depth of flavor without all the extra fat from mayonnaise.
Plus, it gives off a tantalizing aroma that’ll have everyone coming back for more!
4 – Mustard
Mustard comes from ground mustard seeds blended with vinegar or wine; depending on what type you use, this condiment can be sweet or spicy.
As such, mustard works well when paired with savory foods like chicken salad since its bold flavor helps elevate the taste significantly without adding extra calories or fat.
To replace mayo with mustard, mix together equal parts of yellow mustard and plain yogurt until combined; then adjust seasoning as desired before stirring into your dish.
This simple switch not only provides an intense flavor but also offers numerous health benefits!
5 – Pesto
Pesto is an Italian sauce typically composed of crushed garlic cloves blended with basil leaves and Parmesan cheese plus pine nuts or walnuts if desired.
This fragrant concoction pairs wonderfully with many different dishes including chicken salad thanks to its herbaceous scent and zesty notes.
To enjoy pesto as an alternative to mayonnaise in your recipes, simply combine one part pesto with two parts plain yogurt before stirring into your dish; you get all the flavorful complexity of pesto without any additional fat from using mayonnaise!
6 – Ranch Dressing
Ranch dressing is a beloved condiment cherished for its creamy texture and signature tanginess. This medley of herbs and spices can add an inviting layer of flavor to salads and sandwiches alike.
To use ranch dressing as a substitute for mayo in chicken salad, combine desired ingredients like diced celery and onions with cooked chicken before adding your preferred amount of ranch dressing.
The zesty taste of the dressing not only enhances the flavor but also creates a moist consistency similar to traditional chicken salad recipes.
7 – Tahini
Tahini, a nutty paste made from crushed sesame seeds, is an ancient Middle Eastern ingredient with numerous culinary applications. Its appeal lies in its versatility; it’s equally suited for sweet and savory dishes.
As an alternative to mayo in chicken salad, tahini oozes with umami goodness while providing a satisfyingly creamy texture and mouthwatering aroma.
To use it as a substitute, simply whisk together desired amounts of lemon juice, garlic powder, honey, and tahini before adding it to your bowl of diced chicken breast and veggies for an authentic yet healthier version of traditional chicken salad.
8 – Sour Cream
Sour cream has become widely popular due to its distinct sour taste and fluffy texture.
Its tangy notes pair wonderfully with salty chips or fresh fruits but can also bring harmony into savory dishes like tacos or pasta sauces.
For those looking for healthier options than mayonnaise in their chicken salad recipes, sour cream adds creaminess with fewer calories than traditional mayo while also offering some probiotics benefits too!
Simply mix diced cooked chicken breast with diced veggies such as celery and onions before adding equal parts sour cream until desired consistency is reached.
9 – Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese offers a healthy take on the classic combination of cheese curds suspended in liquid whey; however, this variety offers additional vitamins and minerals due to its low-fat composition compared to many other cheeses.
Its surprisingly high protein content makes cottage cheese an excellent addition to any diet planning regimen too!
When used as an alternative to mayonnaise in your favorite chicken salad recipe, cottage cheese adds luscious creaminess without overpowering the delicate flavors found throughout the dish; nutritious yet delicious!
10 – Olive Oil
Olive oil has been embraced since antiquity by cultures across Europe for its rich flavor profile and heart-healthy benefits associated with monounsaturated fatty acids found within its milky yellow hue.
Additionally, olive oil boasts antioxidants that encourage brain health making it ideal for those wishing to improve overall wellness by consuming more healthy fats instead of using non-organic processed oils such as vegetable or canola oil when preparing meals at home!
To use olive oil as an alternative to mayonnaise in your homemade chicken salads mix equal parts extra virgin olive oil along with freshly squeezed lemon juice before dousing over your prepared ingredients; simple yet delicious!
In conclusion, there are many alternatives to mayonnaise that can be used in chicken salad recipes, each offering their own unique flavor and health benefits.
From Greek yogurt and avocado to hummus and tahini, these substitutes provide a creamy texture and delicious taste without the added fat content of mayonnaise.
Other options include mustard, pesto, ranch dressing, sour cream, cottage cheese, and olive oil.
By using these alternatives, you can still enjoy a delicious and satisfying chicken salad while keeping your diet healthy and guilt-free.
The 10 Best Substitutes for Mayo in Chicken Salad
- Greek Yogurt
- Ranch Dressing
- Sour Cream
- Cottage Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.