Why You Should Consider Using Regular Yogurt In Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is a classic and versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own, in a sandwich, or as a filling for lettuce wraps. While mayonnaise is the traditional base for chicken salad, there is a plethora of creamy sauces we can use instead. Among the endless possibilities, there are a few substitutes that make the most sense in terms of texture, flavor, and appearance: Sour cream, Japanese Kewpie mayo, and yogurt. Although yogurt is associated with sweeter treats like breakfast parfaits, it can be a healthy and flavorful substitute for mayonnaise in your chicken salad.

Regular yogurt has a smooth and creamy texture, while Greek yogurt is thicker and more dense. This difference in texture is due to the fact that Greek yogurt is strained to remove some of the liquid whey, resulting in a thicker consistency (via Greatist). Sure, adding yogurt to a savory dish may sound odd at first, but plain yogurt without added sugar can be a great base for any sauce or creamy dish.

Nutritious and Light

If you're not a big fan of the slight vinegary flavor of most mayonnaise, yogurt is a nutritious and delicious alternative in chicken salad. Regular plain yogurt has a creaminess and tanginess that can add dimension to the dish, giving it a different flavor profile than its mayonnaise-based counterpart. As an added bonus, the high protein content of yogurt will keep you feeling full and satisfied, per Healthline. Plus, using yogurt instead of mayonnaise can help to cut down on dietary cholesterol while adding more vitamins, making your chicken salad healthier overall, according to Souper Sage.

Before you substitute mayonnaise for yogurt, it's important to consider the temperature of the chicken and the amount of yogurt you add. Food Republic advises against using yogurt in a hot dish since yogurt tends to curdle while mayonnaise is more heat-resistant. Like any chicken salad recipe, use canned chicken or shredded chicken from last night's dinner so that your yogurt mixture doesn't break and produce a grainy, unappetizing appearance. Regular yogurt also tends to be more watery (due to liquid whey content) than mayonnaise or Greek yogurt, which is why you should add less of it or even consider mixing it with mayonnaise. The result is a tasty and satisfying dish that's bursting with a rich, tart flavor and packed with protein. So the next time you're in the mood for chicken salad, consider using regular yogurt as the base instead of mayonnaise — your taste buds may thank you.