Loaded Chicken or Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch “Mayo”
The homemade Ranch dressing gives a tangy taste to your chicken (or tuna) salad in this recipe. Serve the chicken salad as a sandwich, on a salad, or just eat with crackers. This will become your new go-to recipe!
- 2 to 3 cups shredded chicken (I use a roast chicken and a mix of white and dark meat) or 4 cans of white albacore tuna, drained
- 2 green onions, both the light and dark green parts, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 small carrot peeled and grated or shredded (sometimes I steam the carrot shreds, about 1 to 2 minutes, for more flavor)
- 2 large stalks of celery, peeled (this is the best way to add it to salads, no strings), thick white end cut off, split vertically three or four times, finely diced
- 1 very small red onion or one-quarter of a large red onion, diced (or 1 large shallot, diced)
- 1 to 3 avocados, depending on how many sandwiches, each half slightly mashed
- Garlic Greek Yogurt Ranch Mayo (recipe follows). the amount depending on how 'wet' you like your chicken salad
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, if needed.
- GREEK YOGURT GARLIC RANCH 'MAYO'
- 2/3 cup Greek Yogurt (Use all mayonnaise instead of yogurt, if desired)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (if using all mayonnaise, just 2)
- 1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh dill weed
- 1 garlic clove chopped and smashed into a paste with a pinch of kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup buttermilk (more or less, taste as you drizzle it in and stir, or 2 teaspoons buttermilk powder**) You can omit all the buttermilk, if you like. It's great without it too, since yogurt is already tangy. If using all mayo, you need to use it.
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 35mins
Adapted from parsleysagesweet.com
Make the Salad
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in as much of the Greek Yogurt ranch mayo as you desire.
The Secret - Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I refrigerate it overnight) before serving to allow the flavors of the chicken salad and yogurt ranch to really blend or shall I say 'sing'? Because it really does sing! You'd be amazed at the difference it makes, not unlike beef stew eaten the day after it's cooked. Season it with extra salt and pepper after letting it chill, if need be.
Serve as sandwiches, slightly mashing an avocado on top or spreading the avocado on one or both slices of bread, then layering boston or butter lettuce and tomato, if desired, or roll into whole wheat flour tortilla wraps or flatbread. Keep it low-carb and gluten-free by serving as is on a salad plate or spooned into a ripe avocado half.
Make The Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch:
Place Greek yogurt in a strainer lined with cheesecloth (or a paper towel) over a bowl. Cover the strainer and allow excess liquid to drain for about 1 to 2 hours. You'll be replacing the liquid with buttermilk to make it 'ranch'. (While it's draining, start roasting the peppers and prepping the rest of the vegetables for the salad).
If you're using all mayonnaise, obviously you can skip the above step.
In a medium bowl, stir together strained Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, parsley, chives, dill, garlic paste,, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir in buttermilk. Add more or less buttermilk for desired taste and consistency. I like it thick, like, well..mayo. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Wrap and refrigerate for several hours before adding it to salad, if you have the time. Even more flavor!
*Double or add another half of the Garlic Ranch recipe for more 'mayo'
** You can usually find buttermilk powder in the baking or dried milk aisle in supermarkets. If not, you can order it online.
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