These Mayo Free Chicken Salad Sliders make for a quick lunch, appetizer, or easy dinner! Made with wholesome gluten free ingredients, this chicken salad recipe is flavorful, tangy, and protein packed! Easy to prep and cook in the crock pot or to use up leftover chicken! The perfect classic summer dish!
Keeping the Summer Cool with a Crock Pot
Popular in the colder months, crock pots are commonly used to make chili, soups, and stews. However, I find that they’re often forgotten about when the weather gets warm. Don’t get me wrong, like anyone else, I love firing up the grill for a good Moroccan Cauliflower Chickpea Burger or my Adobo Chicken Burgers. However, I don’t always have the time to heat up the grill, prepare the ingredients, cook them, and clean up afterward. I mean, PHEW! I’m tired just thinking about it.
So, what am I to do when life gets the best of me, and I’m just too beat to think about spending more time in the kitchen? That’s where the crockpot comes to the rescue all year long! This chicken salad sandwich recipe has saved my butt more than a few times. When I know my schedule is going to be crazy, I just toss the chicken in the crock pot the night before, and the next day these sandwiches come together in minutes!
Make this nourishing dish!
Even better, they’re seriously delicious. I’ve served them countless times for everything from a quick weeknight dinner to a big cookout, and they’re always a hit. Like all my recipes, they’re made to suit all your dietary needs without sacrificing flavor. I’ve even added gut-friendly probiotics with cabbage and yogurt for a meal that will leave you feeling good.
You don’t need me to keep going on about how amazing this recipe is, though. You can tell me yourself! Keep reading to find the best tips and tricks to create the perfect slow cooker chicken salad sandwich, and let’s get cooking!
Cooking Slow and Low for Extra Moist Shredded Chicken Salad!
The key to making this chicken salad is truly in the shredded chicken. Truthfully, I find most chicken salad recipes to be bland and boring. However, using this crockpot shredded chicken adds tons of flavor without any extra work on your part.
To make it, mix the dried spices together in a small bowl, and coat the chicken with ¼ cup of olive oil.
Place the chicken in the crockpot, arrange lemon slices all around it, and pour broth on top making sure to just cover the chicken. Let it cook on high 3-4 hours or low for 6 hours until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the chicken has cooked, remove the skin and tear the meat from the bones. Place it in a large bowl, and shred it into pieces using 2 forks or your hands once cool enough to handle.
To finish, all you have to do is add the chicken to the rest of the ingredients, mix them all together, and enjoy your healthy chicken salad without mayo!
Benefits of Slow Cooker Chicken
Slow cooking chicken whole or breasts, is one of the best ways to ensure a juicy bite every time. Cooking the chicken in a sealed chamber will keep the moisture and nutrients sealed in. Nothing is worse than a piece of hard, dried chicken. Not only that, but slow cooking chicken can aid in digestion due to the partial breakdown of the meat during cooking.
No time to cook? No Problem! Precooked chicken of any kind will do! Just be sure to shred the precooked chicken with forks or hands before making the salad.
Ingredients & Their Nutritional Benefits
For this chicken salad, we haven’t strayed far from traditional recipes making just a few tweaks to make this classic recipe easy to enjoy for everyone! Keep reading to find out what you’ll need to make the best-ever healthy chicken salad and how each ingredient can help improve your gut health and digestive system.
Shredded Chicken (organic) – Chicken is a great, budget-friendly source of complete protein, vitamin B12, Choline, and more. Including chicken in your diet can help build muscle, strong bones, prevent heart conditions, and improve your brain function.
Chicken Broth – Broth made from chicken bones has too many health benefits to list. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. It can help support healthy digestion, fight inflammation, prevent joint pain, and improve your quality of sleep just to name a few.
Cultured Quality Yogurt – *Look for yogurt that is made from grassfed cows and without antibiotics or growth hormones.* Yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics which help feed the good bacteria in your gut and promote healthy digestion. It also adds a good dose of protein and a delicious tangy flavor to this no mayo chicken salad.
Need a dairy free option?! Feel free to use coconut milk yogurt or cashew milk yogurt with added probiotics!
Onion – Chopped onion adds a nice crunch and a punch of flavor, but they also pack tons of nutrients and antioxidants into each bite. They contain anthocyanins that help fight heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Lemon Juice – Full of Vitamin C, using lemon juice is a great way to boost your immunity.
Balsamic Vinegar – Balsamic vinegar contains probiotics to regulate digestion. Thanks to its abundance of antioxidants and anti-glycemic impact, it also helps lower blood sugar and improve skin health.
Cabbage Slaw – The star of the show, cabbage is a prebiotic vegetable meaning that the fiber found helps provide fuel for the good bacteria in our large intestines. Not to mention it’s packed with vitamins and nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, polyphenols, and more.
Chicken Salad Add-Ins for Even More Texture and Flavor
To keep things simple, I used fairly minimal ingredients for these chicken salad sandwiches. However, don’t let that stop you from having a little fun in the kitchen! While this recipe is great on its own, it can definitely be altered to fit your needs and preferences. For instance, if you’re looking to add a bit more crunch, try tossing in a couple handfuls of nuts such as walnuts or pecans.
Or, if you’re looking to add a hint of sweetness to this recipe, toss in chopped apples, dried raisins, cranberries, or even grapes! Just be sure the pieces aren’t too big or they will overpower the rest of the flavors.
Meal Prep & Storage
This healthy chicken salad recipe is the easiest meal prep ever! Once the chicken has been cooked and combined with the rest of the ingredients, it will stay fresh in the refrigerator between 3-5 days. Just be sure to give it a good stir before serving. Or, given that this recipe is made without mayo, you can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
So, there ya have it. The best chicken salad recipe without mayo that is full of flavor and added nutrients. If you make this, I would love to know how you made it your own. Let me know in the comments below!
Alternative Serving Suggestions
Sure, this recipe is for chicken sliders, but why limit yourself to boring old buns? Instead, try serving this with recipes like Grain Free Naan, Homemade Nut and Seed Paleo Bread, lettuce wraps, or MultiSeed Homemade Healthy Crackers. No matter what you choose, it’s guaranteed to be delicious!
Looking for more? Take a look at these great salads:
- Curried Chicken Salad with Spicy Mango Chutney
- Lighten Up No Mayo Chicken Salad Bowl
- Mexican Avocado Egg Salad Wraps
These Mayo Free Chicken Salad Sliders make for a quick lunch, appetizer, or easy dinner! Made with wholesome gluten free ingredients, this chicken salad recipe is flavorful, tangy, and protein packed!
For the Shredded Whole Chicken:
- 3–1/2 to 4 pound young whole chicken (thawed) – innards removed from cavity and skin pat dry *See notes for alternative
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon mixed dried herbs (ex. italian blend – oregano, basil, rosemary)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of smoked paprika or regular paprika (1/8 tsp)
- 8 ounces vegetable or chicken broth
- Lemon slices to place around the chicken
For the Chicken Salad:
- 2–1/2 to 3 cups of shredded cooked chicken (from crock pot), skin removed
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt or greek yogurt (dairy free plain yogurt may be substituted)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon honey mustard
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and/or balsamic vinegar
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons broth from the crockpot, optional
- 5 Gluten free rolls for serving
- 1 cup chopped red cabbage or slaw
For the Crock Pot:
Mix the spices together in a small bowl, set aside. Coat chicken with 1/4 cup olive oil then rub seasoning evenly over chicken.
Place cut lemon slices inside the chicken cavity and the bottom of the crock pot. Place the chicken into the crock pot. Pour the broth on top.
Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 6 hours. Chicken is done when it has an internal temperature of 165F.
Optional – For crispy skin/texture, remove the whole chicken from slow cooker (once cooked). Place chicken on broiling sheet/pan and place under preheated broiler for 2-4 minutes, watching closely as to not burn the chicken. Remove from oven.
Once chicken has cooled, remove skin and remove meat from the bone. Place in a large bowl then use your hands or use 2 forks to shred.
To Make the Chicken Salad:
- Combine 2 1/2 to 3 cups of the shredded chicken with salad ingredients into a large bowl and mix until well combined.
- Slice and toast the gluten free rolls. Add chopped cabbage on the bottom of each half. Spoon 2 tbsp to 3 tbsp chicken salad on top followed by other half of roll.
Precooked chicken of any kind (grilled, baked, roasted) may be substituted for crockpot whole chicken and method. Just be sure to shred it!
Chicken salad can be prepped ahead of time, up to 2 days. Store salad in airtight container until ready to use.
- Category: main dish
- Method: slow cooker
- Cuisine: american
- Serving Size: 1 slider
Keywords: chicken, gluten free, slow cooker, crockpot, chicken sandwich, slider, chicken salad