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

These sandwiches are my contribution to this month’s edition of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. Our menu this month features all dishes that include our favorite herbs!

We’ve got a great mix from a cocktail to desserts; all recipes showing just how versatile these garden favorites can be! Hosting this month is Laura from Mother Would Know.

Earlier this month I went to a happy hour hosted by The Skimm (if you don’t already get their morning news summary, what are you waiting for?) 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.

I had a seared scallop appetizer and a craft beer, but there were two other items on the menu that really intrigued me.

The first was a roast carrot plate. I’ve never seen anything like that on a restaurant menu before, but I’m definitely into it.

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

Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Lemon and Herbs

The theme for this month’s Progressive Eats was fresh herbs, and I couldn’t wait to get home and make my own mayo-free chicken salad to share with the group.

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.

Also, 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.

Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

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.

If you’re limiting your carbs, you could also eat it in lettuce or endive cups, on top of a green salad, or straight out of the bowl.

How to make mayo-free chicken salad sandwiches

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.

I added thinly sliced celery for a little crunch, inclusing the celery leaves for extra flavor, along with parsley and fresh thyme (my absolute favorite herb).

Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Lemon and Herbs
Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Lemon and Herbs

I was worried that my chicken salad would be dry without something like mayo or yogurt, but this simple lemon dressing adds plenty of moisture.

The dressing is based on my favorite lemon-poppy vinaigrette, and the tart lemon and tangy mustard adds a ton of brightness and summery flavor to the chicken salad.

If you love this chicken salad recipe, be sure to check out my other mayo-free twists on classic recipes:

Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Lemon and Herbs

Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Lemon and Herbs

Chicken salad made without mayonnaise is a great summertime lunch or light dinner. Filled with tender chunks of chicken, crisp vegetables, and a tangy lemon and herb dressing, this chicken salad is sure to become a new favorite.
4.09 from 194 votes
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Course: Low Carb
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken salad recipe, chicken salad without mayonnaise, mayo-free chicken salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 232kcal


  • 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 pita bread, or lettuce cups, 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, with pita bread, or in lettuce cups.



I like using a rotisserie chicken for this recipe, which keeps things nice and easy. If you prefer cooking your own chicken, substitute two boneless chicken breasts poached in chicken broth.
If your celery still has the leaves attached, chop those and add them to the salad. They have a beautiful, mild flavor that really enhances the salad.
Nutrition Facts
Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Lemon and Herbs
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 232 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 53mg18%
Sodium 327mg14%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 14g28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @HealthyDelish or tag #HealthyDelish!

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

Summer Herbs Every Which Way


Lemon Rosemary Shrub Cocktail from Mother Would Know


Rosemary Potato Chips with Herb Aioli from The Red Head Baker

Main Course

Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Lemon and Herbs from Healthy Delicious

Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce (Gluten-Free) from The Heritage Cook

Side Dishes

Mexican Chopped Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Mexican Green Goddess Pasta Salad from Pastry Chef Online


Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies from Creative Culinary


Hi, I'm Lauren!

I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie. Read more...


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26 thoughts on “Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Lemon and Herbs”

  1. Callie’s idea of using relish sounds good. I like Lauren’s first photo of the sandwich: it looks like it’s threatening “If you don’t eat me, I’ll eat you.”

  2. I made this last night for me n the wife and Man-Oh-MAN this was aMAZing!!! Paired with baked baby red potatoes and steamed veggies…two thumbs up!!!!

  3. I made this twice. Since I don’t like celery I left it out but used relish instead. My husband and I enjoyed this recipe and will be making it again.

  4. Is there another nut or seed that wouldn’t pair well in this? I have pretty much every one under the sun except for pine nuts haha.


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