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
Mayo Free Crock Pot Chicken Sliders
- Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
- Yield: 4–5 sandwiches 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
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:
- 3–½ to 4 pound young whole chicken (thawed) – innards removed from cavity and skin pat dry *See notes for alternative
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon mixed dried herbs (ex. italian blend – oregano, basil, rosemary)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of smoked paprika or regular paprika (⅛ tsp)
- 8 ounces vegetable or chicken broth
- Lemon slices to place around the chicken
For the Chicken Salad:
- 2–½ to 3 cups of shredded cooked chicken (from crock pot), skin removed
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ⅓ cup plain yogurt or greek yogurt (dairy free plain yogurt may be substituted)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ 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 ¼ 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 ½ 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 tablespoon to 3 tablespoon 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.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Mixing Salad & Chill: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Category: main dish
- Method: slow cooker
- Cuisine: american
- Serving Size: 1 slider
- Calories: 321
- Sugar: 7.1 g
- Sodium: 717.9 mg
- Fat: 4.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 43.7 g
- Fiber: 5.1 g
- Protein: 24.8 g
- Cholesterol: 55.2 mg
Keywords: chicken, gluten free, slow cooker, crockpot, chicken sandwich, slider, chicken salad
I also use my slow cooker year round! It is great for recipes just like this, easy and delicious. My family gives it the thumbs up!
This was a really huge hit at my house! Such a delicious sandwich recipe!
Awesome! Thanks for sharing Toni!
Thank you for reminding me how much I love my crock pot! This was so easy to make and delicious!
So glad! Thanks for feedback Colleen
Would you share a link for the gluten free rolls in the pictures for this recipe? They look amazing!
sure thing! We used Udis French Rolls http://amzn.to/2sUk1KJ
Are you buying organic fryers? What are your thoughts on meat organic vs non for meals like this from a nutritional and long-term health perspective?
I try to buy grassfed beef and chicken when I can. I think 5280 meat is awesome for this! But to save money, buying a whole chicken or parts of a cow or pork at farmers market can be more budget friendly. Nutritional stand point, I think organic is better but you gotta do whatcha can when you can, right?
Mmmmm I must admit that I love mayo, but THESE?! These look like the real winner!! I usually default to chicken soup in the crock pot. Or vietnamese noodle soup (pho) 🙂
okay i need that recipe! YUM!
I LOVE chicken salads!
it’s gotta be a southern thing, right?
The last two weeks kicked my butt royally!! I feel you friend, and hope this week is better for you! I have been obsessed with chicken in the crock for salads and stuff. this is a yum twist and I shall add it to my list 🙂
I survived this week with the help of my Hubby. He fed me every night and patted my back when I could no longer sit up. The man is a godsend. I shall have to show him how to use the crockpot.
does your husband mind if i come over? I need support. LOL!
shashi @ Runninsrilankan
Your site looks fine to me BTW – and homemade creme fraiche!?!?! I had no clue that was the secret ingredient! Crock pot came to my rescue too this week – makes one winner of a chicken dinner eh?!
Have a wonderful weekend Lindsay
Jody - Fit at 58
FRiggin A!! Lost the whole theme! It all looks good to me – that is how talented you are!!!!! So sorry!!!!!
I am easy as you know. I add to chicken what I do to my tuna fish, meatloaf on the blog today – LAZY ME! I add the low sodium salsa, hot &sweet mustard, spices, some power greens if I want… bam – I’m done!
OR I take the chicken white meat only from TJ’s, add their low sodium salsa over it, mix it up, heat it in the microwave a little & eat – I am so boring!!!!
YOURS LOOKS FANTASTIC! & love in the rolls!!!!
hat sounds FAB to me!
whoops, meant to say that ALL SOUNDS FAB! I like your style
Love, love, love this! I love to buy the whole organic chickens at Costco, but I’m getting tired of a traditional oven-roasted bird. This looks like the PERFECT answer! I’m also a huge chicken salad fan (mayo or otherwise), so I’m going to run off and print this recipe so that I can remember to make it soon!
And I’m so sorry that you’ve had a rough week. We’ve all been there! TGIF!!
oh you gotta love costco! life saver as well!
Alysia at slim sanity
I love chicken salad! I’ve been. Craving a lot of it lately for sandwiches, since I can’t eat lunch meat. Gotta find the substitutions!
oh i bet you do! what are you craving these days?
Crockpot recipes ARE life savers! I cannot believe it took me so long to get on board. We use it weekly now. Can’t wait to get home and try this – I love chicken salad.
I know, right? Let’s see what else we can make in it. I bet you have tons of ideas!
Sam @ PancakeWarriors
There is something in the air this week. I’ve been on edge all week feeling like I’m about to fall apart at any minute, this isn’t normal for me at all! I hope you have lots of luck restoring everything, so sorry things are falling apart, but yay for a simple, easy meal 🙂
yes, this week was brutal! LOL! yay for simple indeed
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
O man, these bites are awesome! Way to use the slow cooker!
This looks amazing!! I LOVE my slow cooker — would use it every day if possible so I can’t wait to try this!!
Taylor @ LiftingRevolution.com
Crockpots are the best! Unless you run out of liners and it takes 5 days to soak. Then they’re a pain in the ass. lol. But I would risk the soaking chance on making this! delicious. Hopefully next week is amazing and lighter!
rAchel @ Athletic avocado
No words can describe how much I love crock pot chicken, it’s so tender and delicious! I’m not a mayo fan either so I love your add-in of yogurt instead. These sliders look bomb!
Yum yum! This is definitely going on the weekly menu!!Hope you have a great weekend and a much better week next week ❤
Sorry to hear about your week! That was me last week, for sure. I’ve totally never thought to use the crockpot to make chicken for chicken salad. I definitely don’t utilize my crockpot enough!
Susie @ SuzLyfe
Love the yogurt base. I think it even adds more to the recipe than mayo, because the tang is just so vibrant and fresh (LIKE YOU AND ME). Love this! Pinning!
Erin @ The Almond Eater
I’m not sure if you know this but I’m obsessed with chicken salad. This sounds absolutely delicious and healthy too! YAY yogurt as the base.
maybe miguel will eat vs mcdonalds. haha kidding.. kinda
Love this crockpot recipe. Wishing you a restful weekend ahead, dear Lindsay! Hang in there!
thanks so much liz! xxoo
michele @ paleorunningmomma
I can’t believe you made this from a whole frozen chicken! We are big chicken salad lovers over here but I’d never have thought to attempt it in a slow cooker – incredible.
Megan @ skinny fitalicious
This week kicked my butt too! School was a lot of work and interviewing at gyms. So many changes. You know me and my crockpot are BFFs! This may be happening this weekend I have no time!
um yes, let’s call it a week and take a vacation.. maybe?
taylor @ food faith fitness
This is the best looking reliable crockpot chicken recipe I have ever seen! It seriously looks amazing and dreamy and everything you did with it is just perfection! Love your photos as well 🙂
you are too good to me! <3