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Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Sandwiches With Lemon And Herbs


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Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Sandwiches have tons of flavor thanks to fresh thyme and a simple lemon vinaigrette.

Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Lemon and Herbs

Chicken Salad without Mayonaise

Earlier this month, I went to a happy hour with some friends. It was at a place that I always assumed was a typical dive bar, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they actually had a really nice menu.

One was a lemon-thyme chicken salad served with pita wedges. Since I don’t like mayonnaise, chicken salad isn’t something that I think about very often. But this version was mayo-free, and it sounded absolutely delightful.

I couldn’t wait to get home and make my own mayo-free chicken salad.

I’m so excited with how this recipe came out! It’s absolutely delicious and it only takes about 10 minutes to throw together.

It’s perfect as an easy dinner, but would also be a great addition to your picnic basket or tucked into your lunchbox.

Ingredients for making chicken salad with lemon and herbs

Ingredients needed to make this easy chicken salad:

To make this chicken salad recipe, you’ll need:

  • Rotisserie Chicken. To keep things nice and simple, I bought a rotisserie chicken to make this salad. Roast chicken is nice and juicy, so I knew it would make a great base. You could also use chicken breasts poached in chicken broth (or beer!) for this recipe, but I’d stay away from grilled chicken, which is drier.
  • Celery. Thinly slices salary is great for a little crunch! If you’re celery came with the leave still attached, throw those in too — they have a ton of flavor!
  • Fresh Herbs. Parsley and Thyme give this chicken salad so much flavor and keep things feeling light and fresh.

You’ll also make my favorite lemon vinaigrette. It uses:

  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Shallot
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Olive Oil

A small jam jar of homemade lemon vinairgette on a wooden surface, with the ingredients in the background.

And can we talk about croissants for a minute? I can’t remember when the last time I had one was, and wow have I been missing out. I definitely need more croissants in my life.

While I was trying to figure out what to serve this chicken salad on, I found these croissants in the bulk bakery case at my local grocery store. They were small – about the size of my palm – and curved into a complete circle.

Sliced crosswise, they made the perfect pillowy rolls for my chicken salad sandwiches, and their buttery flavor was a really nice contrast against the tart lemon dressing.

If you want something less indulgent, this mayo-free chicken salad would also be great on pita or on a soft bun like a hamburger roll.

A black pottery bowl filled with mayo-free chicken salad

Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts optional
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 celery ribs thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ shallot minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 small croissants for serving


  • Set a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted. Remove from heat.
  • Add the chicken, celery, thyme, parsley, and toasted pine nuts to a mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, shallot, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the chicken; mix to combine. Eat immediately or refrigerate until chilled.
  • Serve the chicken salad on croissants.
Love this recipe?Mention @TheBusyFoodieLauren or tag #busyfoodie!
By on September 26th, 2021

Hi, I'm Lauren!

I love to cook -- but even more importantly, I really like to eat! I have a demanding day job that keeps me busy, so time is precious. I'm a culinary school graduate and five-time cookbook author who's all about finding ways to make delicious, restaurant-quality meals at home on a tight schedule. Read more...

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