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Healthy Easy Tuna OR Chicken Salad Recipe with Ranch Dressing and Sour Cream

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

Pictured: Chicken salad.

Pictured: Chicken salad.

Let the world know what you thought about this recipe!

I have always loved both tuna and chicken salad. However, it took me a number of years to develop a recipe of my own that I really liked. This is largely because I never liked using mayonnaise as a base for either salad, and it took me a while to come up with a good alternative. Now I have a simple base recipe that I can use with both tuna and chicken. This may not be the healthiest recipe, but I don't think that Ranch and sour cream are much worse than mayo. If you'd like to cut down on the calories, consider using a light or low-fat version of Ranch and/or sour cream. Enjoy!

Chopping green peppers for chicken salad.

Chopping green peppers for chicken salad.

Cook Time

Prep timeReady inYields

15 min

15 min

Serves 2 people

Do you prefer cucumber over green pepper or are interested in switching up the recipe a little? Give it a try! Alternatively, if you're serving a group of people with varying tastes, keep the vegetables in the salad simple and serve one or two extra vegetables on the side.

Tip: One of the easiest ways to make shredded chicken is in a slow cooker. Grease a slow cooker pan and add one or two chicken breasts. Cook them on low heat for six to six and a half hours or until they shred easily with a fork.

Ingredients

  • two 5 oz cans tuna, drained OR
  • one chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • two generous tablespoons Ranch dressing
  • three generous tablespoons sour cream
  • two green onions, chopped
  • half of a sweet pepper (any color), chopped
  • three or four cherry tomatoes, chopped (optional)
  • small handful of dried cranberries (optional)
  • small handful of cashews (optional)
Shredded chicken with celery, pepper, and green onion, ready to be mixed with Ranch dressing and sour cream.

Shredded chicken with celery, pepper, and green onion, ready to be mixed with Ranch dressing and sour cream.

How can you eat chicken or tuna salad?

Just a Few Ideas

all by itself

served on a bed of lettuce or fresh spinach leaves

in a cold sandwich

in a hot sandwich, such as a tuna melt

in a wrap

alongside plain pasta or macaroni and cheese

  • Tuna. My general rule is that I use one 5 oz. can of tuna for each person, which will leave a little left over. Tuna salad makes a great leftover. Are you serving more people? Simply add more cans accordingly and adjust the remaining ingredients as needed.
  • Chicken. If I have time, I like to make the chicken ahead of time on the stove or stick it in the slow cooker in the morning. Preparing the chicken ahead of time makes for a simple lunch or dinner prep. If you like to plan way ahead with your meals, you can prepare and freeze chicken to use at a later date.

How to Chop Vegetables

Instructions

  1. Wash and chop the pepper and green onions. If you're adding cucumber and/or tomato, wash and chop them at this time as well.
  2. Combine the vegetables with the tuna or chicken.
  3. Add the Ranch dressing and sour cream. Mix everything together thoroughly.
  4. If desired, add a handful of dried cranberries and/or cashews on top before serving. Are you serving the salad in a sandwich or wrap? You may prefer to mix them in at the last minute before preparing the final dish.
Tuna salad, ready to eat.

Tuna salad, ready to eat.

One of my favorite foods to serve with tuna or chicken salad is macaroni and cheese. Sometimes I choose to serve additional veggies alongside tuna or chicken salad instead of mixing them all into the salad.

One of my favorite foods to serve with tuna or chicken salad is macaroni and cheese. Sometimes I choose to serve additional veggies alongside tuna or chicken salad instead of mixing them all into the salad.

More Recipes From the Author

High-Protein Bodybuilding Tuna Salad

Healthy Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe

Are you interested in more salad recipes? Check this out!

Comments

Abby Slutsky from LAFAYETTE HL on July 02, 2020:

Thanks for sharing. I like the idea of trying a base other than mayo. It sounds very good. I like the way you linked your recipes. (I have to learn how to do that.) I have only been a hub member a few weeks and am just getting started. Your pictures make everything look delish.

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on June 27, 2015:

Hi Random - I love both tuna and chicken salad, and this recipe appeals to me. I have some organic mayo that is so delicious, better than the usual mayo. However the light Ranch and sour cream would also be a good combination. I like to use avocado with it also. Thanks for sharing this tasty recipe. Sharing. Blessings Audrey

Claudia Mitchell on June 27, 2015:

How did I miss this one? Yummy and I love both. Now I'm hungry!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 04, 2013:

That's great, Vicki! You'll have to let me know if you try it.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on April 04, 2013:

I love mayo, but I think using Ranch dressing and sour cream would make for a great flavor. Love this recipe! Many votes and pinning!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 04, 2013:

Tom, I don't claim to have put together the most healthy recipe by any means. It is still delicious none the less!

Thanks, boundarybathrooms!

Thomas Mulrooney from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on April 04, 2013:

Sounds yummy, thanks!

Tom Schumacher from Huntington Beach, CA on April 03, 2013:

Haha, it looks healthy but we know better! ; ) Regardless, I look forward to trying your yummy recipe for chicken salad. Voted up.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 03, 2013:

Thanks, Kathryn! Enjoy!

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on April 03, 2013:

This looks very tasty. I love tuna salad, and this looks like a great combination of ingredients. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 03, 2013:

Cyndi, I hope that your husband enjoys it! I'm not big on seafood either, but I love tuna salad.

That's awesome, pinto2011! Enjoy. :)

That's great, Audrey! You'll have to let me know how it goes.

Audrey Howitt from California on April 03, 2013:

Oh yum!!! I love tuna salad---all kinds of tuna salad--so I will have to give this a try

Subhas from New Delhi, India on April 03, 2013:

Its sounds so yummy that I am going to try it tonight.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on April 03, 2013:

I think my husband would REALLY like this recipe. I'm not big on seafood, but the man loves this stuff - and anything with ranch or even mayo, he's all over it. Hehe. Lovely photos!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 16, 2012:

Thanks Emily! I'm glad that I'm not the only one.

emilybee on March 16, 2012:

This is awesome. I too don't like mayo in chicken salad.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 11, 2011:

Thanks so much for following up with me! That's awesome!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on July 11, 2011:

...well, it is now tomorrow and I just finished your recipy for tuna salad - it was so darn good. Thank you, thank you. :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 10, 2011:

Thank you so much! Let me know what you think of it!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on July 10, 2011:

This recipe sound soooooooo good. Can't wait to try it for the first time. I know what I am having for lunch tomorrow :) Rated up, useful and awesome. Thanks

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 07, 2011:

Thanks so much everyone! I'm glad that this is useful!

Memories for Life Scrapbooks on July 07, 2011:

I love that this is made from items I usually have on hand...yummy!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 07, 2011:

I love tuna and I love this recipes. It sound delicious. I'll show this to my mom as usual. Rated up. Cheers...

Prasetio

Re on July 07, 2011:

Mouth watering ... thanks for sharing, and I like this "hub" idea too!

Deb on July 06, 2011:

nuts sounds like a good addition! yum/yum! {:-D

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 06, 2011:

Nice idea!

yogiwan from Reno, NV on July 06, 2011:

I like the ranch variation with sour cream. One thing I add to spice it up a bit is a good dose of Chalupa hot sauce - not too hot but adds a little kick.

Yogiwan

Your Smart Kitchen

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 06, 2011:

Thanks! Mayo works just fine. I simply prefer the taste of Ranch and sour cream.

marellen on July 06, 2011:

Sounds good but I have always used mayo....I just cut down on the amount I use when making tuna or egg salad sandwichs....Adding the ranch sounds like a good alternative though. thanks for sharing..