Craisin Almond Chicken Salad

I have a weird relationship with mayonnaise. The thought of mayo almost always makes me gag. It's so white, plain, and...well...fattening. If I'm ever ordering a sandwich, I always, always make sure it doesn't come with mayo on it. I'll have mustard or hummus, please and thank you. Or if I ever do find a glob of mayo on my otherwise delicious sandwich, you better believe I'm taking a napkin to that bun and soaking up every little bit of it. I think my negative feelings towards mayo started when I learned how to read a nutrition label. As soon as I discovered that little label on the side of food, I quickly eliminated a lot of ingredients and products from my diet without even thinking twice. Darn you sneaky label with almost always disappointing information.

Despite my hesitations with mayo and the nutrition labels that accompany the jar it is sold in, I can't imagine cooking without it. Mayo a key binder in so many salads that I love, love, love; this chicken salad recipe being one of my favorites.

Thanks to my culinary genius roommate who just whipped up this recipe one day, I am now a huge fan of adding craisins and almonds to my chicken salad. Talk about a flavor and texture boost. The sweet and chewy craisins provide a burst of flavor and color to an otherwise rather bland dish. The slivered almonds that garnish the top of this salad assist the celery and add more crunch and pizazz to this dish. While I think the craisin/almond combo is a hands down winner, you could try adding other dried fruits and nuts to your favorite chicken salad recipe.

So while I might turn my nose up at putting mayo on my sandwich, you better believe I still have some in my refrigerator to make this amazing recipe!

Craisin Almond Chicken Salad
(4-5 servings)

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/3-1/2 cup low fat mayo
1/3 cup craisins
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice
optional: 1 tsp minced garlic
optional: 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Fill a large pot with water. Bring the water to a boil. Add chicken breasts to water and allow to boil until fully cooked and no longer pink in the middle. Chicken tenders take about 5-7 minutes to fully cook, while chicken breasts take about 8-10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool slightly before shredding. (I simply shred the chicken using two forks.)

Add the shredded chicken and all ingredients except the slivered almonds to a mixing bowl. Stir ingredients together until well mixed. Add more mayo if you want a creamier salad.

Cover and chill the salad until ready to serve. Before serving, garnish the chicken salad with a few more craisins and slivered almonds.

Print this recipe!

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 5
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 191.3
Total Fat: 5.6 g
Cholesterol: 65.0 mg
Sodium: 254.9 mg
Total Carbs: 10.1 g
Fiber: 0.7 g
Sugars: 6.8 g
Protein: 25.1 g

-Simple list of ingredients
-Easy and quick to make
-Minimal clean-up
-Great for lunch or a light dinner
-Can easily be doubled to serve a larger crowd

-High in protein without many other nutritional benefits



  1. Elaine, this recipe rocks. I usually don't like chicken salad, but it's typically because chicken salad is too full of mayo and has raisins. Not anymore! Thanks for sharing!

    1. That's exactly what I was trying to avoid-an overload of mayo. No thank you! I found that this salad is moist enough without feeling like you are eating mayo with a side of chicken. And the craisins are such a good substitute for raisins. :)

  2. YUMMY! I love crasins and almonds in my chicken salad!


    1. So my roommate isn't the first one with this idea?! Whoever came up with it first is genius. It's such a delicious combination of ingredients and flavors.

  3. Elaine, mayo makes me gag too! I used to work in a restaurant and they would lug mayonnaise "tubs" around. IT was so gross. Ahh! But anyway. I love chicken salad regardless :)

    1. Ew ew ew. I seriously can't handle mayo in large (and by large, I mean anything bigger than a 1/2 cup) quantities. But thank goodness for it making this chicken salad so delish. :)

  4. The smell of Mayo grosses me out and the way it just giggles together in one big clump..ew. I love the way it tastes though! haha

    1. Haha glad I'm not the only hater. As long as I don't have to look to it and it's mixed into something, I'm good; otherwise, do not get mayo anywhere near me!

  5. Mayo and I get along just fine, this recipe looks delicious!

    1. Then you'll definitely love this recipe, Aimee! :)

  6. Love the flavors in this salad. I like subbing NF Greek yogurt for half the mayo -- actually improves the flavor of the salad.

    1. I love that idea, Judy! I'm definitely going to try adding plain greek yogurt next time. Thanks!

  7. My husband has the same gag problem with mayo! But I am a big fan so I know I will be just fine with this salad. You have me convinced to try craisins in my next chicken salad instead of my normal grapes :-)

    1. I'm obsessed with adding craisins to my chicken salad. I still add raisins, grapes, and other mix-ins, but craisins are a new favorite ingredient!

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