Whether you're in search of alternatives for mayonnaise in chicken salad because you're trying to cut calories and fat or you simply want to add some excitement to an ordinary recipe, your refrigerator likely holds an acceptable candidate. Mayonnaise alternatives can change the flavor and texture of chicken salad, giving you or your guests a brand new dish.
Use low-fat or nonfat yogurt instead of mayonnaise to lower the fat content in your chicken salad and add a tart flavor. Creamy, thick Greek yogurt adds a velvety texture to chicken salad -- try the full-fat variety if you're not worried about fat content for a decadent dish that is best served as an appetizer with crackers or small pieces of bread. Whisk a splash of olive oil or lemon juice into the chicken salad along with the Greek yogurt if the mixture is too thick.
Use low-fat or nonfat sour cream as an alternative for mayonnaise if you'd like a low-fat chicken salad with a distinctively sharp taste. Whisk a small amount of milk into the sour cream before you stir it into the chicken salad to tone down the tart flavor and make it easier to mix.
Stir a premade or homemade vegetable dip into your chicken salad for a mayonnaise substitute that can also replace other seasonings in your recipe. Stir the dip into the chopped or shredded chicken and taste it before you add any other seasonings listed in the chicken salad recipe. For a quick homemade vegetable dip, mix 1 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1/4 cup finely diced onion, 2 tbsp. finely chopped chives, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 tsp. lemon juice and 1 tsp. lemon zest; add salt and pepper to taste.
Whipped Cream Cheese
Use whipped cream cheese in place of mayonnaise for a rich, creamy chicken salad. Place 8 oz. cream cheese in a medium mixer bowl and beat until the cream cheese softens and increases slightly in volume, about four minutes. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, with the mixer running until the whipped cream cheese is thin enough to stir into your chicken salad.
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- "The Seattle Times"; Yogurt Can Replace Mayo, Sour Cream, But Use With Care; Sharon Maasdam; Jan. 15, 2003
- "Party Dips!"; Sally Sampson; 2004
Anika Torrance joined the "Mobile Press-Register" in 1997 as an advertising assistant and quickly moved into the newsroom, where she was a staff writer and copy editor for almost 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's degree with a double major in journalism and history from the University of Southern Mississippi, and completed a Master's degree in English at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.