Enjoy this hearty low carb chicken salad with avocado herb dressing that is easy to prepare with a little bit of fun. Add some plump raspberries, peppery radishes and buttery macadamia nuts for a delicious recipe!
- Why You’ll Love This Salad
- Low Carb Vs Keto
- Is Eating Chicken Salad Healthy?
- Can I Eat Salad on a Low-Carb Diet?
- Recipe Overview
- Variations and Substitutions
- How to Make Avocado Salad Dressing
- How to Assemble the Salad
- More Low Carb Recipes with Chicken
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Love This Salad
If you’re looking for a low carb recipe with chicken, this is the one to try!
You’ll love this chicken salad because it ticks many boxes for different reasons.
For those following a low carb lifestyle or a strict keto diet, this low carb chicken salad is for you! It is filled with delicious ingredients that are high in fat and low in carbs. This is also great if you want just a healthy and hearty salad.
This low carb recipe is also suitable for those who don’t eat mayonnaise. Be it because it’s high in fat or because you hate the taste, smell and texture; this no mayo chicken salad is the perfect go-to!
Just like regular potato salads, we always seem to douse them in mayonnaise, and after some time, that’s all you can taste!
The last reason you may love this low carb chicken salad is that it’s also Christmas themed. With the bright reds from the fresh raspberries to the creamy greens of the avocado salad dressing, it would make the perfect addition to your holiday feast!
Low Carb Vs Keto
The common denominator of both the low carb diet and the keto diet is that you are embarking on a lifestyle restricting the amount of carbohydrates you consume.
Over the years, there have been many variations of a low carb diet, including the Atkins diet, Low Carb, High Fat (LCHF) diet, the Bulletproof Diet, and the Dubrow Diet. The most popular low carb diet at present is the keto diet.
So, what exactly is the difference?
According to Healthline.com, a low carb diet is a diet whereby you are permitted 10%-30% of calories from carbs, translating to about 50-150g of crabs if you’re consuming 2,000 calories per day. This would mean that you would be increasing your intake of protein, vegetables and healthy fats.
A low carb diet is less rigid and has much more room for one to increase and decrease the intake of calories from carbs each day. However, it’s simply not sustainable for the average person to count exact calories consistently, so loosely understanding the right balance of foods is enough for some.
The keto diet requires much more discipline and Everyday Health explains it well. You can only consume less than 50g of carbs in a day with a moderate intake of proteins and a high intake of healthy fats.
The reason this is required is because you are inducing your body to go into ketosis. This means that your body produces ketones from fat in your liver and uses fat as its primary fuel source instead of carbs.
Is Eating Chicken Salad Healthy?
This depends entirely on how the chicken salad is prepared and how much of it you eat.
Steamed chicken breast with no skin is by far the best way to enjoy a healthy chicken salad. With no oils or fats, the chicken will have less cholesterol and saturated fats. It is, of course, also better if you only consume chicken that is hormone free and even better if they are organic.
Dousing your chicken salad in mayonnaise if you’re not following a low carb or keto diet is highly fattening. Just one spoonful of mayo is about 90-95 calories, and that’s before you’ve even eaten anything else in the salad.
So for a delicious no mayo chicken salad, this one might just be for you or you can try Rotisserie Chicken Salad.
Another popular dressing we tend to add to chicken salad recipes is store bought ranch dressings which can be high in calories. In addition, they are high in saturated fat, sodium and processed sugars.
So if you stick to lean chicken prepared healthily like steaming or baking and add some fresh ingredients that also include raw greens, you’re on the right track.
Can I Eat Salad on a Low-Carb Diet?
Yes, you can, but again it’s about what you’re putting into your salad recipes that will make the difference.
Non starchy vegetables are great for a low carb diet as they are low in carbs and calories. You should also look at consuming high fibre vegetables that your body tends not to digest and, therefore, is not absorbed as carbs do.
Some low carb vegetables you can add to your salad recipes: artichoke, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, cucumber, green beans, eggplant, kale, lettuce, olives, radish, peppers, spinach, swiss chard and zucchini.
Other ingredients you can include nuts, seeds, berries (perfect if you’re crazy for some fresh fruit), plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs and lean protein.
Flavour/Texture: A meaty salad accompanied by the freshness of raw baby spinach leaves, peppery sliced radishes, the crunch of the macadamia nuts mixed through with the delicate softness of the raspberries.
The avocado salad dressing, along with some Greek yogurt, is naturally creamy that helps to bind all the salad ingredients together perfectly.
Ease: There’s not much to this salad. You’re marinating the chicken thighs quickly and then popping them in the oven. The avocado salad dressing just goes into the food processor to ensure everything is smoothly pureed.
Time: While the chicken is baking away in the oven, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients. If you’d like the chicken to be warm when eating, then time it well if you’re serving other dishes simultaneously.
These are the ingredients you need for this low carb keto chicken salad.
Chicken thighs: Ensure there is no skin, is hormone free and boneless. If possible, get organic chicken.
Baby spinach leaves: Ensure they are fresh and bright green. Avoid limp spinach leaves and ones that are starting to turn a bit yellow or brown.
Red radishes: You can get varying sizes for this low carb chicken salad.
Raspberries: Calories in raspberries are low, and they are also high in fibre and are heart-healthy fruits.
Even though you are on a low carb diet or a keto diet, you do sometimes crave some fresh fruit. The amount of raspberries used in this low carb chicken salad is well within your limits for the day.
Macadamia nuts: This creamy and crunchy nut gives this low carb chicken thigh recipe a real lift.
Greek yogurt: Get plain Greek yogurt that is not flavoured or filled with sugar.
Avocado: Great way to use up any leftover avocado if you have any. You want it to be on the riper side, so it is nice and smooth after putting it through the food processor.
Variations and Substitutions
Chicken thigh substitute: You can use chicken breast for this recipe if you want it to be super lean. For those who just like the recipe, any cut will work well. If you have leftover rotisserie chicken, shred it up and use it.
Cooking method alternative: You can certainly steam the chicken instead of baking it. I wouldn’t worry about the garlic powder in that case.
Baby spinach replacement: Any fresh, raw green leaves will work well with this recipe.
Raspberry substitute: Any berries or even a mix of berries will work.
Macadamia nut alternative: Pistachios, almonds or cashews can be used to substitute the macadamia nuts.
Step by step instructions on how to make this Low Carb Chicken Salad.
Preheat the oven at 180°C or 350°F.
Coat chicken thighs with 1 tbsp olive oil, ¼ tsp garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken in a baking dish and put in the oven for 30 minutes. Once cooled, slice them.
Cut 2 radishes into 6-8 wedges each and thinly slice the other 2 radishes.
Chop parsley leaves to yield 2 tbsp.
How to Make Avocado Salad Dressing
This gluten free dressing for the salad is super creamy, fresh and healthy.
Discard the avocado skin and stone.
Chop parsley leaves to yield ½ cup.
In a food processor, add avocado, parsley, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, water and salt.
Blitz until well combined.
How to Assemble the Salad
Place dollops of avocado salad dressing on the perimeter of the platter. Using the back of a teaspoon, join the dollops to create a ring.
Place dollops of Greek yogurt on top of the avocado salad dressing. Using the teaspoon, create swirls so that the white blends into the green.
Place a big dollop of creamy avocado dressing and Greek yogurt in the centre of the platter and do the same with the swirls.
Place baby spinach leaves on top. But don’t cover the dressing on the perimeter.
In this order, evenly scatter the radishes, raspberries, sliced chicken thighs and macadamia nuts.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley leaves as garnish.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
More Low Carb Recipes with Chicken
If you’re after more low carb main recipes with chicken, try out these amazing recipes:.
Filipino chicken adobo is a delicious glazed chicken meal and can be ready in under 30 minutes. Or if you’re after a great curry, you can’t go past a keto butter chicken while a chicken piccata recipe without the flour and parmesan cheese will do the trick.
Frequently Asked Questions
Avocados are considered to be one of the best superfoods for anyone following a ketogenic diet. This fruit is considered unusual as it is high in fat, which means it contains a higher number of calories than other vegetables and fruit.
The average amount of calories of a whole avocado comes in at 300 kcal, and when compared to the same amount of other vegetables such as broccoli, they only come in around 40 kcal.
However, the fat found in avocados is considered to be good fats as they are mainly unsaturated. They are low in carbs, have almost no sodium or cholesterol, and most importantly, are full of nutrients.
As your body goes into ketosis, it will look for fat to burn, and avocados help with that process perfectly.
1 cup (123 g) of fresh raspberries has about 15 g of carbs. For those following a low carb or keto lifestyle, raspberries are one of the healthiest fruit to consume. It has about 7 g of net carbs as it has 8 g of fiber.
One of the most popular nuts to consume on a ketogenic diet is macadamia nuts. Hence it is a no brainer to include it in this keto chicken salad recipe.
The reason they are so popular in a keto diet is because they are high in healthy monounsaturated fats but low in carbs. This high source of energy makes for an excellent way to curb those hunger pangs throughout the day.
The quick answer to this question is yes but with a big caveat. Not all yogurt is created equal, and the fact is, most of the different flavoured yogurt you find in supermarkets are filled with nothing but sugar.
If you wish to incorporate yogurt into your ketogenic diet, as we have in this keto chicken salad recipe, select unflavoured, plain Greek yogurt.
Unlike other yogurts, Greek yogurt is strained 3 times which means it gets rid of most of the whey (liquid), which is why it’s so much thicker than regular yogurt. As a result of this process, it is higher in protein and has lower carbs.
This keto-friendly and low carb chicken salad recipe with avocado salad dressing is not only a delicious accompaniment for any dinner, but it’s also great to pack up for work lunch the next day or if you want a meal on its own.
This no mayo chicken salad is also a gluten free salad recipe. Great for anyone that is looking for dietary specific chicken salad recipes.
The lovely red and green colours also lend themselves for well themed Christmas side dishes you can serve up on the big day. So for whatever reason you wish to make this low carb chicken salad, enjoy all its lovely flavours!
Low Carb Chicken Salad, No Mayo
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- Preheat the oven at 180°C or 350°F.
- Coat chicken thighs with 1 tbsp olive oil, ¼ tsp garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken in a baking dish and put in the oven for 30 minutes. Once cooled, slice them.
- Cut 2 radishes into 6-8 wedges each and 2 thinly slice the other 2 radishes.
- Chop parsley leaves to yield 2 tbsp.
- Discard the avocado skin and stone.
- Chop parsley leaves to yield ½ cup.
- In a food processor, add avocado, parsley, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, water and salt.
- Blitz until well combined.
- Place dollops of avocado salad dressing on the perimeter of the platter. Using the back of a teaspoon, join the dollops to create a ring.
- Place dollops of Greek yogurt on top of the avocado salad dressing. Using the teaspoon, create swirls so that the white blends into the green.
- Place a big dollop of creamy avocado dressing and Greek yogurt in the centre of the platter and do the same with the swirls.
- Place baby spinach leaves on top. But don’t cover the dressing on the perimeter.
- In this order, evenly scatter the radishes, raspberries, sliced chicken thighs and macadamia nuts.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley leaves as garnish.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- You can use chicken breast for this recipe; however, it may be too lean for a keto diet. For those who just like the recipe, any cut will work well. If you have leftover rotisserie chicken, shred it up and use it.
- If you don’t wish to bake the chicken, you can certainly steam it. I wouldn’t worry about the garlic powder in that case.
- Any fresh, raw green leaves will work well with this recipe.
- Any berries or even a mix of berries will work.
- Pistachios, almonds or cashews can be used to substitute the macadamia nuts.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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