Say hello to the best Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps—a lighter and flavor-packed version of a classic. Full of chicken breast, celery, cranberries, Greek yogurt, and Dijon mustard, these wraps make a quick and easy choice for a healthy lunch or dinner.
Prepare to be amazed at just how simple these Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps are to make. Seriously! All you have to do is throw your ingredients into a bowl and mix for a super quick and delicious way of spicing things up in the lunch department.
Made with chicken, celery, cranberries for a touch of sweetness, nonfat Greek yogurt, reduced-fat mayo, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice to brighten things up, these healthy chicken wraps are jam-packed with ingredients you can feel good about. Not only that, but they’re super kid-friendly. And by that, I mean that your kids are gonna love them.
Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps have quickly become one of my go-to recipes for on-the-go lunches and quick, easy dinners. Ready in under 15 minutes if you prep your chicken ahead of time (or use rotisserie chicken for convenience!), these simple chicken salad lettuce wraps are guaranteed to become instant hits. Make them with all of your favorite chicken salad recipes including this classic version, curried chicken salad, or avocado chicken salad.
What You’ll Need for Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
Chicken salad is one of those dishes that I can whip up using ingredients that are already lying around my kitchen, which means they’re great when you’re in a bind. All you need for Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps are a few key ingredients:
- Cooked chicken breast: To make chicken salad, the chicken must already be cooked. Therefore, this is a terrific dish for using up leftovers! I’ll admit that I am one of those people who always have a batch of cooked chicken on hand. For something easier, you could always opt for rotisserie chicken or canned chicken.
- Celery: Chopped celery gives chicken salad that delicious crunch. Go ahead and use as little or as much as you’d like here.
- Dried cranberries: While not everyone likes cranberries in their chicken salad, I can’t imagine mine without them! Cranberries have a delightful sweetness that balances the savory and tangy flavors perfectly.
- Nonfat Greek yogurt: To lighten up this chicken salad recipe, I replaced the majority of the mayonnaise with nonfat Greek yogurt. Doing so ensures that this dish has that same great creaminess, but with considerably less fats and calories.
- Mayonnaise: Because this is a lightened-up version, I opted for reduced-fat mayo. However, feel free to use any kind you prefer. You could also swap in sour cream or some extra Greek yogurt.
- Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard has a sharp, tangy flavor that takes this chicken salad recipe from good to great. Seriously, it’s my secret weapon. It adds so much depth to the flavor profile! Whole grain mustard and
Lettuce Wrap Variations
These healthy lettuce wraps never get boring because there are endless ways to switch them up. Feel free to use your imagination here, but these are some of my favorite variations of chicken salad lettuce wraps:
- Pesto chicken salad. Pesto wraps simply add a touch of pesto to the Greek yogurt and add —you guessed it— pesto chicken salad! I also like adding cherry tomatoes and a pinch of shredded mozzarella cheese to give these wraps a little extra oomph.
- Greek chicken salad. Think Greek salad in wrap form. Greek chicken salad wraps swap the Greek yogurt for tzatziki, along with chopped cucumbers, kalamata olives, and cherry tomatoes. Bonus points if you top it all off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and some feta cheese.
- Buffalo chicken salad. To make buffalo chicken salad wraps, combine the Greek yogurt with a bit of homemade ranch dressing and some wing sauce. Then, add your chopped celery and top it all off with crumbled blue cheese.
- Cran-apple chicken salad. This version is super similar to the original recipe, yet it calls for the addition of fresh chopped apples. Use whichever type of apple you like best! Red Delicious, Pink Lady, and Gala apples all work great.
How to Make the Best Chicken Salad
Looking to make the best-ever chicken salad? Here are a few tricks for elevating regular old chicken salad into your new favorite healthy lunch recipe:
- Poach your chicken. Probably the worst thing that could happen when it comes to chicken salad is a mouthful of dry chicken. Therefore, I recommend poaching your chicken for an easy cooking method! This means to cover your chicken breasts with water and let them simmer on the stovetop, just as you would an egg! The result is ultra-juicy, tender chicken that tastes phenomenal in chicken salad.
- Add texture. Because chicken salad has a softer consistency, it’s important to add a good bit of crunch. This is easily achieved by adding chopped celery, pickles, cranberries, grapes, or even crumbled bacon to the mix.
- Fresh is best. Always opt for fresh ingredients when you can. Not only will this ensure you have the right texture, but the result will taste significantly more vibrant.
Chicken Salad Topping Ideas
There are tons of unique and flavorful ways to take this dish to the next level. Here are some of my go-to topping ideas to get you started:
- Hot sauce or salsa. For my lovers of all things spicy, adding a drizzle of hot sauce or a dollop of this creamy chipotle sauce will surely suit your fancy.
- Fresh herbs. Fresh herbs like dill or basil are a terrific way to elevate this dish’s flavor profile, and they make for a photo-worthy finish.
- Lemon or lime juice. Chicken salad is incredibly refreshing and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice makes it that much more.
- Fresh veggies. Diced tomatoes, sliced olives, fresh peppers—almost any fresh veggie will taste great atop these Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps. Go with your favorites and they’re sure to satisfy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about chicken salad lettuce wraps:
First things first, I recommend storing the chicken salad separately from the lettuce. To properly store chicken salad, seal it up in an airtight container or storage bag, then refrigerate for up to 3-5 days. If you need to store your leftovers for longer, they will freeze for up to 3 months. Your lettuce should stay fresh for up to a week when stored in an airtight container or bag.
For the best lettuce wraps, you want to use a sturdy kind of lettuce that has some crunch to it. Each leaf should be deep enough to hold the filling, and hardy enough that it doesn’t wilt under pressure. I’ve found that Romaine hearts, Bibb, and Boston lettuce all work great!
There are tons of dishes that go well with this dish, depending on how you choose to serve them! In the summertime, I love serving these lettuce wraps with fresh fruit or sweet potato fries, and in the winter they taste great alongside a cozy bowl of soup.
Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
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* 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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