Chicken salad has always been one of my favorite foods!  Do you love it as much I do?  I used to love Waldorf chicken salad with grapes, onions, and walnuts on a crescent roll for lunch.  Yum yum!  The good news is that we can still enjoy chicken salad, even if we’re living a more healthy lifestyle and/or are following the Paleo diet!  It just requires a few simple swaps!  Even though I don’t eat crescent rolls or regular mayonnaise anymore, I am still able to enjoy this favorite meal of mine.  My Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad recipe not only tastes yummy but is more nutritious.

It is simple to make.  You can switch out the veggies, fruit, nuts, and seasoning to make it fit your flavor preference.  AND the great thing is, you make it once and can eat off of it for lunch all week.

How to Make Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad:

Step 1:

Put a whole chicken in a stock pot and cover it with water – about 2 inches above the chicken.  Turn the heat to High and allow the water to come to a boil. .

boiling chicken for healthy Waldorf chicken salad

To make your chicken salad even more nutritious, I recommend getting your chicken (and the rest of your meat, for that matter) from Butcher Box.  I’ve been ordering and loving their meat for several months now.  Their chicken is organic, pasture-raised (they eat what they are naturally supposed to eat), and free of hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs.

Add a teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon onion powder and 1 teaspoon garlic powder to the water.

salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder for healthy Waldorf chicken salad

I like to get the most bang for my buck and not let anything go to waste.  So I add a few more things to the water and make chicken bone broth at the same time.

This is optional – but you can also add a yellow onion quartered, 1-2 carrots chopped, 1-2 stalks of celery chopped, 1 teaspoon ground sage, 1 sprig rosemary, 1-3 bay leaves, and 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar.  The vinegar helps draw the beneficial collagen out of the bones.

boiling chicken with vegetables for healthy Waldorf chicken salad

After the chicken finishes boiling and I take the meat off the bones, I transfer the broth and the bones to a crock pot.  I turn the crock pot on low and let it cook for about 24 hours.  It’s so yummy and great for the gut, skin, hair, and nails.

Step 2:

Back to the actual chicken salad recipe…

Allow the water to come to a rolling boil (It will take about 15 minutes to start boiling.)  Then turn the heat down to Medium and let it boil for about 45 minutes (it could be more or less, depending on the size of your chicken).  The chicken needs to reach a temperature of 165 degrees.

Step 3:

Place the chicken in a baking and let it sit to cool down – until it is cool enough to handle.

cooked chicken on cutting board for healthy Waldorf chicken salad

Once it has cooled down, start removing the meat from the bones.  You can use a knife to cut off the majority of the meat, and then use your hands to get the rest off the bone.  Place all the chicken meat in a large bowl.

Use two forks to shred the meat into bite-size pieces.

shredding chicken for healthy Waldorf chicken salad

Step 4:

Now it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients to make it into this delicious healthy Waldorf chicken salad!

Add to the chicken ½ cup mayonnaise and stir together.

This is what usually makes chicken salad not-so-healthy.  Regular mayonnaise is made of ingredients like soybean oil, sugar, and preservatives.  Soybean oil is highly processed and is made from GMO soybeans.  It also has a high Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio, which is a recipe for inflammation.  The food we eat should have close to a 1:1 balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids.  Too much Omega 6 fatty acids in our diet can be very harmful.

So this step is important!  Use mayonnaise made from healthy oils, like avocado oil or olive oil.  I sometimes make my own mayo using egg yolks and olive oil.  Or else I buy  Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo from Thrive Market (Use this link to try it out and get a free gift, up to a $24 value, in your first order!). Primal Kitchen’s mayo is the best healthy mayo I’ve tried (including homemade mayo).  It’s made healthier using avocado oil instead of soybean oil, no sugar, and no preservatives other than sea salt.

ingredients to make healthy Waldorf chicken salad

Then add the rest of the ingredients – 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 Cup chopped walnuts (or whatever kind of nuts you have on hand and want to use), 1/4 red onion chopped, 1/2 Cup red grapes sliced in half, 2 celery stalks chopped (not pictured), and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice.  You can also add in some chopped green apple.

Stir until combined well.

stirring healthy Waldorf chicken salad

Step 5:

That’s it.  Enjoy your chicken salad!

Scoop some onto greens and drizzle with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make the Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad into an actual salad.  Make it a wrap using a green leaf lettuce leaf, corn tortilla, or cassava wrap.   Add some to a piece of sourdough bread and eat as a sandwich.  Or  just eat it out of the bowl!

healthy Waldorf chicken salad in a bowl

My little ones gives it a thumbs-up.  If they approve, I know it’s good!

thumbs up to healthy Waldorf chicken salad

What are your favorite things to add to your chicken salad?  Let me know if you make this Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad and what you think!

Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad

A delicious chicken salad recipe made with simple, real ingredients!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, healthy, paleo, salad
Servings: 5
Author: Brittany Davis


  • 1 Whole chicken
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder divided
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 Cup Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 Cup walnuts chopped
  • 1/4 red onion chopped
  • 1/2 Cup red grapes sliced in half
  • 2 stalks celery sliced lengthwise and then chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice


  • Put the chicken in a stockpot, and cover it with water.  Add 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp onion powder.
  • Allow the water to come to a rolling boil.  Then turn the heat down to Medium. Boil for 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Remove the chicken and place it in a baking dish. Allow it to cool down until it's cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones and add it to a large bowl. Use two forks to shred the meat into bite-size pieces.
  • Add to the chicken the mayo, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, the thyme, walnuts, red onion, red grapes, celery, and lemon juice. Stir until combined well.
  • Scoop onto a green leaf lettuce leaf, corn tortilla, or cassava wrap, top onto a salad, add it to a piece of sourdough toast, or eat it by itself.  Enjoy!

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