This Healthy Mexican Chicken Salad combines rotisserie chicken, fresh veggies - jicama, fresh chiles, scallions, bell pepper - with an easy avocado lime crema. Serve it as a salad with fresh greens and tiny tomatoes, in a wrap or a sandwich. Think "outside the box" a bit, and serve it on a crisp corn tortilla tostada style!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Mexican Chicken Salad Without Mayo
I don't hate mayonnaise, but I use it sparingly because of the fat and calories. Sometimes, the mayonnaise is a necessary "evil," like in this ají verde, but not always. My first instinct as a healthy blogger (and eater) is always to try to reduce fats and calories without sacrificing flavor.
Greek yogurt often makes an appearance in my recipes (like this Mexican street corn) as a stand in for mayo. It is important to consider whether or not the recipe really needs some fat. I use olive oil mayonnaise, and quite often the fat is an important part of the dish. However, this is not always the case.
When I started working on this recipe for Mexican chicken salad, I remembered a chicken salad with plain Greek yogurt and grapes that I make occasionally with my grown kids and their families. It does not suffer from the lack of fat. I knew I wanted a creamy avocado base, and I had an epiphany. Why not use my avocado lime crema as the base?
I knew I wanted to use time-saving rotisserie chicken and Mexican vegetables, starting with jicama. Neither my husband or I care for celery (except cooked in mirepoix), and we both love the crunch of jicama. Every good chicken salad recipe needs textural contrast, and especially the crunch! I round out the veggies with bell pepper, scallions, and fresh chile peppers.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- chicken - Rotisserie chicken is perfect for this healthy chicken salad recipe. It's a great time saver! If you're into meal prep, it's a perfect way to use the chicken breast you've grilled up for the week's lunches. Perhaps you have some leftover grilled or roasted chicken? That'll work too. I prefer lean chicken breast for this chicken salad, but you can use thigh meat if you prefer.
- avocado lime crema - The binder on this mayonnaise-free chicken salad is my avocado lime crema with Greek yogurt. I have reduced the ingredient quantities, and the recipe is included in the recipe card below.
- jicama - About half of a small jicama. A small dice is preferable. On photo day, I got in a hurry, and the dice is bigger than I prefer.
- fresh chile pepper - On photo day, I used Fresno chile. I love its sweet heat. It's like a spicy bell pepper. Red or green jalapeños, serranos, Hatch green chile are all fine. If you don't want any heat, add a little more bell pepper.
- bell pepper - I always choose a red or orange bell pepper because I love the color they provide. The choice is yours.
- scallions - I like the milder flavor of scallions, but shallot, red, or sweet onion are fine as well.
- greens - If you're making a sandwich, a wrap, or a salad, you may want to include greens like the purple leaf lettuce in the photo above.
- Make the avocado crema by combining all crema ingredients in a small food processor, and pulsing until smooth.
- Prep all remaining ingredients.
- Thoroughly combine all chicken salad ingredients in a bowl. Serve immediately, or refrigerate it.
I love flexible recipes. So often, flexibility with a recipe saves an unnecessary trip to the market. Here are a few ideas:
- Swap out the fresh chile for a little bit of hot sauce or pickled jalapeño juice. Taste and adjust for heat level!
- Jicama is pretty widely available in the US, but if you can't find it (or don't like it!), substitute another crunchy vegetable like radishes or celery.
- Try tuna instead of chicken if you love tuna (like I do).
💭 Top Tip
Disclaimer: I may receive compensation (at no cost to you) if you purchase through links on this post. It helps offset the costs of running this blog.
Use a food chopper to make quick work of the jicama and bell pepper. Jicama is pretty hard, but if you cut slices about ¼-3/8" thick, it goes through just fine.
How long will the chicken salad keep leftover?
Keep refrigerated, and it will be good the next day. After that, the veggies lose their freshness.
🥪 How to Use Mexican Chicken Salad
- with greens in a sandwich or wrap
- on greens with halved tiny tomatoes
- on a crisp tortilla tostada-style
Spring is in full-swing in McAllen, and I'm working on light, healthy dishes that don't heat up my kitchen. If you have ideas you'd like me to cover, or questions for a specific kitchen skill or ingredient, let me know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you enjoy this Mexican chicken salad, and love tuna, be sure to check out my healthy Mexican tuna salad.
Healthy Mexican Chicken Salad
Avocado Lime Crema
- 1 avocado - skin and pit removed
- 1 small shallot - cut in a few pieces
- 1 juicy lime
- ⅓ cup cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lowfat buttermilk +/- - adjust as needed
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper - to taste
Mexican Chicken Salad
- 16 ounces cooked chicken - see Ingredients in post; cut in chunks
- ⅓ cup jicama - small dice
- 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper - small dice
- 4 scallions - chopped
- 1 chile pepper (Fresno, red jalapeño, serrano, etc.) - minced
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper - to taste
- Combine all avocado crema ingredients in a small food processor, and pulsing until smooth.
- Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve immediately as desired, or refrigerate.
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
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