Blackened Chicken Salad

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Blackened Chicken Salad is a delicious twist on a traditional chicken salad made with chicken salad, carrots, green onions, and a homemade spicy yogurt dressing to bring it all together.


This healthy Blackened Chicken Salad will quickly become your go-to salad to stuff in sandwiches and lettuce wraps. It's creamy, spicy, and has a hint of sweetness and is a lunchtime staple along with this buffalo chicken salad and cranberry almond chicken salad.

Classic chicken salad will always have a place in my heart but sometimes it's fun to mix things up. This Blackened Chicken Salad does just that.

Using a homemade cajun seasoning made with ingredients you have at home in your spice cabinet, you can take the creamy salad in a completely different direction. Paired with crunchy carrots and green onions, it's such a yummy twist on chicken salad and tastes amazing tucked into sandwich bread or wrapped up in lettuce.

Blackened Chicken Salad in lettuce wraps on a marble background.

For anyone wondering, this is also a copycat of the Whole Foods Blackened Chicken Salad. It's one of my favorite things from their deli case but at $13.99 pound, it's much more economical to make it at home. To make things quick and easy, I usually start with leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken.

Then for the dressing, I like to use a combination of Greek yogurt and sour cream. Using sour cream adds a richness I love and I almost always use sour cream in my chicken and tuna salad recipes. To that, I add lemon juice for brightness and a touch of honey for sweetness. It balances out the spices. 

Now let's talk about the spices. I like to make mine from scratch so I have control over the proportions in the blackening seasoning, but a store-bought Cajun or blackening season would work just as well.

For my blackening seasoning, I like to use paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne. If cayenne is too spicy for you, you could use chili powder instead. It has a milder flavor and is less spicy. 

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More Chicken Salad Ideas

Looking for more creative recipes for chicken salad? This quick and nutritious meal is great for lunch, dinner, and a high-protein snack. More Chicken Salad Recipes

Low carb? If you want a low carb or keto version of this salad, you can make a few easy changes. Leave out the honey to start. Then replace the yogurt with either full-fat yogurt or mayo. Do the same for the sour cream, opting for full-fat sour cream. Then use half the amount of carrots and add some celery for crunch.

Vegetarian? Instead of the chicken, you can use a vegetarian chicken product like this one or just use chickpeas. To keep a salad like consistency, mash about half of the chickpeas gently with a fork before mixing them into the salad.

Healthy Spicy Chicken Salad in butter lettuce on white background.

Ways to Serve this Blackened Chicken Salad

  • Sandwich: There is a reason chicken salad sandwiches have stayed popular for years. With this spicy chicken salad, I like to use sourdough bread that's slightly toasted and add lettuce or sprouts.  
  • Salad: Served on a big bed of greens with plenty of fresh veggies. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and apples for a really delicious combination.
  • Low Carb Wrap: For a low carb sandwich option, use a low carb wrap or tortilla. My favorite options are Flatout Light Wraps, Ole Tortillas, and La Tortilla Factory Tortillas
  • Crackers and raw veggies: Sometimes I like to have this salad as a snack or a snack style lunch. Paired with some crunchy crackers and sliced raw veggies, it's a perfect appetizer, snack, or lunch.
  • Tomato cups: For a fun presentation, you can carefully hollow out tomatoes and serve this chicken salad inside the hollowed out tomatoes. It's also a lower carb way to enjoy it.
  • Cucumber boats: Similar to the tomatoes, you can also scoop out the inside of a cucumber using a spoon and fill it with the tuna salad. It adds a nice crunch to the dish and is a really fun way to serve it.
The Recipe
Blackened chicken salad served in lettuce wraps.

Blackened Chicken Salad

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  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 4 tbsp. nonfat plain yogurt (or low fat mayonnaise)
  • 4 tbsp. low fat sour cream
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup green onions, minced
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more)
  • Salt to taste

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Mix together the yogurt, sour cream, lemon, honey, and all the spices.


Add the chicken, carrots, and green onions. Taste and season with salt, pepper, or cayenne.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 174
Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 64mg
Sodium 74mg
Total Carbohydrate 7g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 3g
Protein 19g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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On Blackened Chicken Salad
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August 26, 2020 - 12:43
Add a Rating:
Hi. We love the whole foods version as well and that’s what has prompted me to search for a recipe.

I just made this. My chicken ended up really mushing up rather than staying in chunks, so I’m not sure how much this affects the outcome. Other than leaving out the honey, I followed the recipe. It still seemed to be missing something and it was not very creamy.

It still tasted great, though!! We just scarfed it down.

I ended up adding a little white vinegar and added a bit more spice, and a bit if mustard (the ingredients list on the whole foods package lists mustard and vinegar.

Any suggestions on why it wasn’t very creamy? Or what to do without making it too much higher in calories?
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Amanda Counts
June 27, 2018 - 15:43
Add a Rating:
Second time making this. We love it! I always make tostadas made out of mozzarella cheese to serve with it.
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Linda Harris
May 15, 2018 - 06:38
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This is a great recipe and it is better the next day for left overs.
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May 15, 2018 - 11:08
Thanks Linda! Couldn't agree more about the leftovers - everything is even more flavorful the next day.
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