This creamy, shredded chicken salad is the perfect go-to chicken salad recipe… and it’s keto! Made in the style of beloved shredded chicken salads like Chicken Salad Chick or Costco’s rotisserie chicken salad, it’s quick and easy to make and perfect for meal prep all week. 0g net carbs!
If you’d like a sweeter chicken salad that’s still low carb, check out our recipe for Chicken Salad with Grapes!
What Makes This Keto Chicken Salad Recipe So Good
- This keto chicken salad is SO easy to make! If you want to make it even easier then you can start with cooked chicken, like a whole rotisserie chicken from Costco. Just make sure you remove the skin! Bonus: if you use a whole chicken then you can turn around and use the bones for collagen-rich Instant Pot Bone Broth That Gels.
- It’s got perfect keto macros! 1g total carbs, 0g net carbs, 31g of fat, 37g of protein… it’s a keto dream!
- If you end up with leftovers, refrigerate them in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. Since it keeps well and there’s no reheating needed, it’s a great option for meal preps and make-ahead meals!
Key Ingredients for Keto Chicken Salad
Chicken – Chicken breasts are my go-to for chicken salad, but you can mix in chicken thigh meat, too! Chicken thighs are fattier, which is perfect if you’re following a keto way of eating. Not sure how to shred your cooked chicken? You’re in luck! I wrote about FIVE different methods for shredding chicken in my post on The Best Shredded Chicken. Check it out!
Mayonnaise – I always recommend using full-fat mayo (same with sour cream and cream cheese, though they’re not needed in this recipe) since lighter versions are more processed. They usually include sweeteners to make up for the flavor lost as a result of removing some of the fat content, which is not ideal if you’re keto.
Keto Chicken Salad Flavor Variations
- For extra fat and protein, mix in chopped hardboiled eggs and cooked, chopped bacon! I like to top off a scoop of this variation with a little ranch dressing.
- Like your chicken salad a little spicy? Mix in buffalo sauce (as little or as much as you like) for a buffalo keto chicken salad.
- Finely chopped jalapeños are a great mix-in with a little kick! They give the chicken salad a nice, juicy crunch, too.
- On that note, if you’re a fan of pickles, you might like finely chopped pickles or keto-friendly sweet or dill relish in your keto chicken salad.
- For a Thanksgiving-season take on chicken salad, skip the celery and mix in fresh cranberries (yup – they’re keto-friendly!) and finely chopped walnuts or sliced, roasted almonds. You could even make your own dried cranberries with keto sweetener to use in your chicken salad.
- When you’re following a keto way of eating, the hard part with most dips and salads like this is finding a keto-friendly vessel to use. For this keto chicken salad, I like to serve it in lettuce cups, or with keto bacon chips, keto cheese chips, or keto almond flour crackers. You could also use celery stalks, or honestly, you could even enjoy it all on its own!
- I really recommend letting the chicken salad chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. It’s not a requirement or anything, but you’ll get much better flavors if you give everything time to mingle.
- If you’re serving keto chicken salad at a potluck or cookout, you want to be mindful of food safety recommendations! This recipe uses chicken and mayonnaise, so it should only sit out for 2 hours max at room temperature. If you’re serving it outside and the temp is over 90° Fahrenheit, it can only sit out for 1 hour max.
- Careful not to overcook your chicken! Remove it from the broth when it reaches 160° Fahrenheit, and let it rest 5 minutes before shredding it. It’ll cook a little more during that rest time, and should reach a food safe internal temperature of at least 165°F.
Other Keto Recipes You’ll Love
- Keto Banana Bread
- Keto Lemon Bars
- Everything Bagel Chicken with Scallion Cream Cheese Sauce (Keto)
- Keto Sushi Rolls with Smoked Salmon
- Keto Sloppy Joes
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Keto Chicken Salad
- Wide skillet or pot with lid
- Utensil or appliance of choice to shred chicken (see Notes)
- Large bowl
- Large spoon or silicone spatula
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 2 ¼ pounds cooked chicken, see Notes
- 1 32-ounce carton chicken broth or stock
- 1 ¼ cups mayonnaise plus more to taste
- 1 ¼ cups finely diced celery
- ¼ cup minced onion optional
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons salt to taste
To Cook the Chicken
- Note: if using 2 ¼ pounds (36 ounces) cooked chicken with the skin removed, skip this section. Shred chicken using preferred method (see Notes) and proceed with "To Make the Keto Chicken Salad" section.
- Place chicken breasts in wide skillet. Cover with chicken broth or stock.
- Bring liquid to boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken breasts are cooked through. Internal meat thermometer inserted into center of chicken breast should read 160° Fahrenheit.
- Remove chicken from skillet. Reserve broth. Let chicken rest approximately 5 minutes. It should reach 165° Fahrenheit internally within that time.
- Shred chicken using preferred method. See Notes.
To Make the Keto Chicken Salad
- Place shredded chicken, mayonnaise, celery, onion, ground black pepper, and salt in large bowl. Stir to combine.
- Add chicken broth to shredded chicken mixture in 1-tablespoon increments, stirring until desired texture and consistency is achieved. (I use 4-6 tablespoons of broth.) Taste and add more mayonnaise, if desired.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- If using cooked chicken (like rotisserie chicken) just make sure to remove the skin first!
- Onion: Technically onions aren’t considered keto, but we only use a small amount in this recipe. They’re totally optional, though, so feel free to leave them out! Skipping them will save you 1-2 carbs overall.
- To Shred the Chicken: Use your choice of method! See our post on the best shredded chicken for details on each.
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