A low-carb cranberry walnut chicken salad made with California walnuts. You'll love this paleo-friendly chicken salad without mayonnaise.
I've been considering moving to a low carb paleo diet. It's a lot stricter than the standard low carb high fat diet.
To move to a paleo diet, I'd have to give up dairy. That would be the biggest hurdle for me. I love ice cream and cheese way too much.
The other thing that would have to change is the sweeteners I use. To be paleo, food can't be processed. That means I'd pretty much have to give up all low carb sweeteners except for dried stevia leaves.
I think I could give up the sweets and get used to using a green sweetener. But, I'd need to find a good substitute for cheese. There are some recipes that make a cheese substitute from nuts like walnuts. I do love nuts so I'll have to experiment with it.
Speaking of nuts, I made this Paleo friendly cranberry walnut chicken salad with California Walnuts. Instead of mayonnaise, I used avocados to hold the salad together. I also used unsweetened cranberries as I prefer to eat dried cranberries without sweetener.
I slow cooked four chicken breasts to use in this recipe. Slow cooking makes the meat very tender and juicy. The meat was seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and then cooked on low in the crock pot with a little bit of water. Once the meat cooled, I diced it up after removing the skin and bones.
If you want to speed things up, you can bake the chicken. Just follow these instructions for how to cook chicken breast in the oven so it's always tender and juicy.
California walnuts are a good source of plant-based omega-3 fat (alpha-linolenic acid or ALA). And, they are the only nut to provide a significant source of the essential nutrient.
Walnuts are also a good source of protein and fiber. Each ounce of walnuts has about 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. So, you can feel good about eating them as part of a healthy diet. I also think they taste great.
You'll get a good dose of nutrition from this paleo-friendly low carb cranberry walnut chicken salad. And, it's made with whole food ingredients.
The mashed avocados are a perfect substitute for mayonnaise in the salad. And, using them adds another delicious fat into the mix.
I enjoyed eating this keto chicken salad served on lettuce wraps. It's also something that can be used on top of a garden salad.
The cranberries add a nice touch of color. I like to eat unsweetened dried cranberries. You can also make your own sweetened dried cranberries using stevia. I have a recipe for homemade sweetened dried cranberries here.
If you'd like some other great recipes using walnuts, you can find a terrific collection on the California Walnuts website. You'll find plenty of dairy-free, gluten-free, and kid-friendly recipes there!
Low Carb Paleo Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad
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Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad without Mayonnaise
- 4 cooked chicken breast halves
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- ½ cup sugar free dried cranberries or use homemade
- ½ cup California walnuts chopped
- 2 avocados
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Dice up cooked chicken breast.
- Mix together chicken, celery, cranberries, and walnuts in a large bowl.
- In separate small bowl, mash avocados with lemon juice.
- Stir avocado mixture into chicken mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Low Carb Sweeteners | Keto Sweetener Conversion Chart
Array ( [serving_size] => 154 [calories] => 282 [carbohydrates] => 6.6 [protein] => 26.8 [fat] => 17.1 [saturated_fat] => 2.4 [cholesterol] => 64 [sodium] => 240 [fiber] => 4.5 [sugar] => 1 )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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I live alone and so I would be making this entirely for myself- does it keep well in the fridge for meal planning?
You can use the slider at the top of the recipe to reduce the number of servings. It should last a good week in the refrigerator.
Great recipe 🙂 I am finding that I take a little of both Paleo and LCHF and use what works for me and forget the rest... Life to short to restrict.
Keep up the great recipes hun, thanks for sharing..
Thanks Cindy! Somewhere between Paleo and LCHF is a great spot to be.
this looks and sounds delicious. Thanks.
The cranberry walnut chicken salad looks so tasty! I can't wait to try it! Thanks!
Enjoy! I think it's much healthier than the kind made with mayo.
Those lettuce wraps looks great. Gotta try.
Hope you like them Angela!
This sounds great! I picked up some unsweetened dried cranberries at a farmer's market. Can't wait to try it.
Great that you were able to find the unsweetened kind! I always have trouble finding them so I buy them online.
I love the cranberry walnut combo! This looks fantastic.
What a great combination of flavors!
Chicken, avocado and walnuts - what a great combination! Also, eating out of a lettuce leaf is always fun. This sounds like a new go-to lunch to me.
Kim | Low Carb Maven
I sometimes go back and forth between a low carb /keto and paleo/ keto diet. It's much easier to cook for the family if dairy and especially cheese is on the menu. I wish you luck on your decision.
That's how it is in my house. My youngest only eats the cheese on many dishes.
This looks fabulous! I've never thought of using avocados in place of mayonnaise. Sounds amazing!
It was very good!
Hey I thought on da low carb diet u can have mayo
I also have Graves Disease and I know the struggle. I have to eat gluten free, low carb and low fat. I have learned to keep in mind that no matter what gets removed from my diet, it's what I do with what remains that matters. Good luck!
Hi Sue! It has always been a struggle. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been any better if I opted not to have the radiation treatment done. It's tough when your thyroid doesn't function any more. I do agree that it's what we do eat that matters. Low carb has allowed me to enjoy eating without worry.