This Keto chicken salad recipe has all the flavor of a deli chicken salad but without the carbs. It is actually a low carb copycat of the Willow Tree chicken salad recipe. Willow Tree is a favorite chicken salad in delis around our area, but it has too much sugar in it for someone on a ketogenic diet.
I am very happy with the result. The chicken salad is great whether you are on a low carb diet plan or not. It is a great recipe for those doing meal prep. It stores easily and is very versatile to take to work or school.
Keto Chicken Salad
Finding a keto-friendly chicken salad in a deli can be challenging. Most have added sugar. So far, the Whole Foods basic white meat chicken salad is the only one I have found locally.
I do like a slight sweetness to my chicken salad and am very fussy about texture. Running into a piece of gristle turns me right off. So, I decided to make my own, with zero net carbs.
How Many Carbs in Chicken Salad?
As I have mentioned above this recipe is for a no carb chicken salad, but the numbers for store bought chicken salad can be surprising… and not in a good way if you are on a low carb or keto diet.
When I looked up deli chicken salads, I found most fell in the 2-6 carbs per serving range (more if fruit or nuts were added). While this may not seem like a lot, it does add up. I would rather use the carbs on veggies myself.
Willow Tree Chicken Salad Recipe (Low Carb Keto Copycat)
Honestly, it has been awhile since I actually had Willow Tree due to the sugar. This is pretty close in flavor to the original though.
I kept the recipe simple, just chicken breasts and minced celery in a simply seasoned dressing. The sweetness in my version comes from a natural zero calorie sweetener (stevia + erythritol) rather than sugar. I grabbed an organic rotisserie chicken to provide the white meat for the keto chicken salad.
As an added bonus, the bones can be used to make my Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth recipe.
How to Make Keto Chicken Salad
Here is a visual walk through of the preparation of the low carb chicken salad. Full printable recipe can be found below.
First, you will need to chop up the roast chicken breasts and mince the celery stalks.
I like to mix the stevia sweetener into my apple cider vinegar to help dissolve it a little before it gets added to the rest of the dressing.
Mix salt free seasoning in with mayonnaise. Check your mayonnaise label to ensure it has no carbs in it.
Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Add the vinegar and sweetener.
Whisk the no carb dressing well.
Toss in the chopped chicken and celery.
Mix it up well and the salad is ready to enjoy.
How to Serve the Keto Chicken Salad
I often just put a small scoop in a little bowl along with a few chunks of sharp cheese and some pickles as a snack.
Of course, it is also perfect rolled up in a lettuce leaf.
When I have ripe avocados on hand, I like to serve a scoop of the chicken salad in a half of one for lunch too.
For another zero carb keto-friendly salad try my Egg Salad with Dill.
A low carb chicken salad recipe appropriate for the keto diet plan. A very tasty carb free recipe based on the deli favorite.
- 3 cups rotisserie chicken white meat ,chopped (roughly breasts from one chicken)
- 1/2 cup celery chopped
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp natural zero calorie sweetener stevia, monkfruit, erythritol (2 packets if you buy the individual servings)
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise (make sure it is zero carbs)
- 1/2 tsp Salt-free seasoning , Mrs. Dash original or equivalent
- sea salt and pepper to taste
Chop the chicken breasts and celery, if you haven't already.
Pour the sweetener into the apple cider vinegar to dissolve.
Add the salt free seasoning to the mayonnaise in a large bowl.
Season with sea salt and pepper as well.
Add the sweetened vinegar.
Whisk the chicken salad dressing well.
Add the chopped chicken and the celery to the bowl with dressing.
Mix the Keto chicken salad well. Serve and enjoy.
Notes: Feel free to add some chopped nuts to your chicken salad. While not carb free, they are still reasonable and a healthy addition to the salad. Skip the dried cranberries though.
Here are some more low carb recipes you may like: