Most chicken salads available in grocery stores are made with chicken breast meat, chopped onions, celery, carrots, and a binder such as mayonnaise, cottage cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, or sour cream.
Depending on how much chicken breast meat, veggies, and mayonnaise are used, some chicken salad recipes may contain only a few grams of fat and a few additional calories. On the other hand, others may also have honey or maple syrup as a binder and/or add additional ingredients, such as jalapeno peppers. This variation can increase the number of calories in the meal. It can also result in the loss of some of the nutrient and fiber content of the chicken salad.
Is Chicken Salad Healthy?
Chicken salad is a dish that uses chopped or shredded chicken as the main ingredient and comes together with a binder. These binders include mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt, or a vinegar-based dressing. Many people undoubtedly consider it delicious, but because it sometimes uses higher-calorie ingredients, you might wonder if chicken salad is good for you.
So, what’s the truth?
Chicken salad can be unhealthy for several reasons. The first issue is that a lot of chicken salad doesn’t contain chicken. However, these salads can be made with chicken meat substitutes, chicken skin, or other meat substitutes. These ingredients, typically high in fat and calories, aren’t necessary when making chicken salad. Still, they are in a lot of chicken salad varieties.
Martha’s Stewart Chicken Salad Recipe
Martha Stewart’s chicken salad recipe consists of two parts. One is a binder (usually mixed with mayonnaise and sour cream), which holds the other ingredients together. The other part is made from leftover, chopped chicken. While this is a healthier version than some others, it doesn’t include any fresh veggies, only a little olive oil. That salad dressing is a creamy mix that may contain butter or margarine. It’s higher in calories and fat.
Fortunately, Martha Stewart’s chicken salad isn’t the only way to make a chicken salad. You can use just the binder to make the chicken salad and swap out the other ingredients for a healthier protein, fat, and fiber-rich salad.
Chicken Salad Nutritional Facts
Chicken salad is a versatile dish that people enjoy, but it’s crucial to pick the right ingredients and keep portions in check. Carrie DeBlasio, MS at NPR, says that salads are often high in fat. The chicken salad can be balanced by eating other high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods such as tomatoes, onions, and herbs. Also, one study found that eating just half a cup of tomato soup — as opposed to the entire cup — may be effective in lowering blood pressure.
Chicken salad is a good choice because of its protein. Chicken meat provides the same amount of protein like tofu or cottage cheese. It is also a versatile item that is used to create soups, sandwiches, and main meals.
Chicken Salad Recipe
- 2½ cups cooked chicken
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 4 chives diced
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dill fresh
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix.
- Season with salt and pepper.
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