Chicken Salad is iconic. Nothing beats it on a hot summer day. It’s fresh, cold, paired with carbs AND you don’t even have to turn on your oven. A total win. BUT if you’re counting macros, traditional chicken salad might be hard to “make fit” every day because of its high-fat content. Of course, it’s all about balance, and since I love to make big batches of chicken salad to eat all week long, I knew I needed to find a way to replicate classic chicken salad with a little less fat while still being full of flavor. And this Almost Classic Cottage Cheese Chicken Salad is just that.

Chicken Salad

I originally made this one for my cookbook ONE, and I also shared it with those in the Madeline Moves Tighter Together challenge. And it seems to have been a total hit. So if you haven’t made it yet (or it’s been a long time), I think it’s time to try! 

What You’ll Need to Make Almost Classic Cottage Cheese Chicken Salad: 

Having a big bowl of chicken salad to pull out and eat all week long is a total game-changer when it comes to counting your macros. I love how easy this salad is to make, and that it doesn’t require any cooking. Just some chopping and mixing–the BEST! 

Chicken Salad

Of course, to keep this recipe light and fresh, I use a lot of chopped veggies and aromatics. When I shared this recipe on Instagram for the first time, a few people told me it was a little strong on the onions. So I scaled it back a little for this recipe…but I still don’t know what they were talking about. 😉  

To make this chicken salad you’ll need…

  • Cooked and Shredded Chicken or Rotisserie Chicken
  • Celery
  • Red Onion
  • Grapes
  • Mini Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Green Onions 
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Non-fat Greek Yogurt
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Lemon 

With these ingredients combined, you have an almost award-winning chicken salad recipe. It’s SO good. 

Quick note, if you’re using rotisserie chicken from Costco, you’ll want to season it up a little before using it in your recipe. I love to buy the big bags of rotisserie chicken to use in soups or casseroles when time is short, but it does need a little sprucing up to make it taste good IMO. 

First, I sort through and pick out any gross chicken pieces and chop up the remaining chicken. Then I heat up a pan (for maybe a minute), and I add the chicken to the pan to season it with salt, pepper, and maybe a little garlic powder. You don’t want to leave it on the skillet for too long though, or it will give it that recooked poultry flavor. You want a quick, hot sear that brings it back to life and takes away any weird store-bought rotisserie texture. IYKYK. 

How to Make Almost Classic Cottage Cheese Chicken Salad: 

Chicken Salad

To make this recipe, you simply have to chop your vegetables and combine all the ingredients in one bowl. It’s super straightforward and easy to do. 

For chopping and cutting, I usually just prefer a sharp knife (like these Nakano knives) and a good cutting board. But for this salad, you could also use an alligator chopper to make cutting quick and uniform. Also, it makes your veggies the perfect size for chip dipping! 

I LOVE my alligator chopper, and I use it all the time. It’s really great for picos especially. If you don’t have an alligator chopper already, here’s the one I love. 

And people always ask if it’s hard to clean, and maybe it’s gross, but I just give it a good rinse in hot water and bang the pieces against the side of the sink to clear out any leftover veggies. 👍

Serving Suggestions: 

When it comes to eating this chicken salad, there are no wrong answers. Pair it with your favorite carb, and it’s sure to be a hit. 

I like mine served on toasted bread or wrapped in a pita. It might be controversial, but sandwiches are EVERYTHING. It’s pretty hard not to like something tucked in a warm and toasty carb. 

If you need a lower-carb option, you can always wrap your chicken salad in lettuce. You can also serve it over a bed of greens. Whatever works for you! 

And of course, you can also whip up some Cut Da Carb chips for dipping!  They’re pretty easy to make, and I LOVE them, especially with cottage cheese. 

Watch this reel here for a quick tutorial on how to make the wraps into yummy chips for dipping. 

If you use code LILLIE10 it will save you a little off the top of a 24-pack or larger. 

Is Almost Classic Cottage Cheese Chicken Salad Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free? 

As long as your rotisserie chicken or chicken of choice is gluten-free, then this recipe is naturally gluten-free. 

Unfortunately, it isn’t dairy-free. To make it dairy-free, you’d have to make a few swaps. You can check out my dairy-free alternative favorites here. And while I don’t have any dairy-free chicken salad recipes, I do have several dairy-free recipes on the blog like this Easy Dairy Free Cava Bowl. Enjoy! 

Love This Recipe? Try These! 

If you love the idea of having a salad made up in the fridge and ready to go all week long for noshing, then I have some great recipes for you to try! If you’re on my monthly dinner meal plan subscription, then these salads are great to whip to enjoy as lunches to mix things up. 

Here’s are few of my favorites: 

I also love having a nice large serving bowl like this one here, for all of my big salads. It’s not a big deal, but it makes my lunch feel a little bit more special. AND it’s great for entertaining. 

For more recipes like these ones, make sure to join my email list here! 

Almost Classic Cottage Cheese Chicken Salad 

Almost Classic Cottage Cheese Chicken Salad

I hope you enjoy this chicken salad as much as my family and I do. It’s the perfect lunch for a spring or summer day. And it’s AMAZING to keep in the fridge for random noshing or lunch or whenever you need it. 

I have a lot of recipes like this on the blog, in my cookbooks, and of course, on my monthly meal subscription app. No matter how you get my recipes, they’re all loaded into MyFitnessPal, Lose It, and Macros First for you for easy tracking! 

Come hang out with me over on Instagram for more macro-friendly eats, snacks, and more! 

Almost Classic Cottage Cheese Chicken Salad

Easy and Quick Chicken Salad that you can prep ahead for an easy lunch!
Course chicken, dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 143 kcal


  • 7 oz. cooked and shredded or rotisserie chicken breast 200 g
  • 1 cup celery chopped small (112 g)
  • 2/3 cup red onion diced (75 g)
  • 1 cup grapes quartered (147 g, may sub apples)
  • 3 mini sweet bell peppers chopped (35 g; red, orange, or yellow peppers are best)
  • 2 green onions chopped (15 g)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese 119 g
  • 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt 60 g
  • 2 tsp. grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed 1 Tbsp. or 15 g juice


  • Combine everything well in a bowl.
  • Serve on toasted bread or wrapped in a pita. For a lower-carb option, wrap your chicken salad in lettuce or serve over a bed of greens.


Yields approximately: 800 grams total
MFP: “Lillie Eats and Tells Almost Classic Cottage Cheese Chicken Salad”


Serving: 200gCalories: 143kcalCarbohydrates: 12.1gProtein: 17.9gFat: 2.4gFiber: 1.2g
Keywords chicken, chicken salad, salad

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Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

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About the Author

Hello. My name is Lillie. I’m not a registered dietitian, or a macro coach, or a public figure or culinary genius. I’m a mommy of four who FOUND macro-counting and fell in love with this balanced approach to food...

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