Your favorite make-ahead dinner just got a little leaner! Chicken salad celery sticks have all the delicious flavor of chicken salad sandwiches, but now on celery instead of bread. A fresh, high-protein meal for the whole family.
Chicken salad sandwiches are one of those comfort foods I love. And they’re amazing because you can make them ahead! A friend brought us some chicken salad fixin’s right after I had my daughter and I loved being able to make myself a sandwich whenever I got hungry (which was often). They were just what I needed!
Though I love them, I don’t often make chicken salad sandwiches myself. Partly because I don’t think of it, and partly because of all that mayo and white bread that I don’t want to eat regularly.
A fresh and healthful take on chicken salad
But chicken salad doesn’t have to be unhealthy! By replacing half the mayo with Greek yogurt, you’re getting protein on top of protein AND reducing fat. It’s still creamy and delicious! I also recommend using olive oil mayo for healthier fats.
The biggest breakthrough with this recipe is replacing the bun with celery! Rather than putting celery IN the chicken salad, we put chicken salad ON the celery! You can do this with any chicken salad recipe you already know and love.
While I love me some soft buns, I also really loved the crunch and freshness of eating chicken salad on celery. This is a great make ahead or picnic food because there are no buns to worry about getting soggy. You can even sort of just dip the celery into the chicken salad if you don’t want to top them ahead of time.
Plus, celery has some pretty great health benefits, including packing in lots of fiber and helping with fluid balance. Celery is a veggie that I always “stalk” up on on each of my grocery trips!
How to make chicken salad celery sticks
Start with two cups of cooked and shredded or diced chicken. I cooked some chicken breasts in my instant pot ahead of time, but you can also use rotisserie chicken or whatever method you like.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup mayo, 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, 3 tablespoons sliced green onions, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cracked pepper. I used red wine vinegar, but you could use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice instead.
Now throw the chicken into the sauce and mix well. Cover and allow to chill in the fridge until ready to use. Also wash and chop celery sticks into 3-4 inch pieces. You’ll need one bunch of celery but may not use all of it, depending on how much you load your celery sticks.
Optional add-ins: I didn’t add grapes or apples to my chicken salad because I wanted to keep it simple, but you can always throw in a handful of cut grapes or small diced apple. You can also throw in a bit of fresh dill for an extra pop of flavor.
When you’re ready to eat, simply spoon a bit of chicken salad onto celery sticks and then top each with some slivered almonds. Enjoy!