This smoked chicken salad recipe combines Traeger smoked chicken breast with lower fat mayo, Greek yogurt, and center cut bacon to make a healthier protein option that’s perfect for summer.
How to Make Smoked Chicken Breast on a Traeger Grill
I seasoned the chicken with Traeger chicken rub and smoked it for about 2 hours at 250ºF on the Traeger Pro 575 grill with Signature pellets, brushing the chicken with a mixture of one tablespoon of both butter and lemon juice after an hour.
You can use any rub or seasoning blend for your chicken.
For example, my Traeger smoked Mexican chicken would be great for a Tex-Mex style smoked chicken salad. You could substitute poblano or jalapeño peppers, oregano, Mexican crema, and lime juice for their standard counterparts here.
And the blackened seasoning from our air fryer blackened chicken tenders would work great for a creole chicken salad with bell peppers, creole mustard, parsley, and a little cajun seasoning.
An 8 ounce chicken breast will reach an internal temperature of 165ºF after 90-120 minutes on the Traeger grill. Adjust the cook time up or down for smaller or larger chicken breasts.
A leave-in, wireless food thermometer like the Meater pictured above is great for accuracy. You can set notifications for specific temperatures.
What about grilled chicken breast on a Traeger grill?
If you’d like to speed the cook up, you could always use grilled chicken instead of smoked. Our Traeger grilled chicken breast recipe cooks for 25-30 minutes at 500ºF. The same seasonings mentioned above will work fine for grilled chicken as well.
Smoked Chicken Salad Ingredients
There are so many types of chicken salad components out there. I kept things fairly standard with some lower fat substitutions and a few minor tweaks to fit my flavor preferences. Feel free to play around with ingredients to fit your preferences as well.
Here’s everything you’ll need, along with a few substitution notes:
- light mayo and fat free Greek yogurt – You can play around with the ratio here to further reduce the fat and adjust the “mayo” flavor intensity.
- lemon juice, hot sauce, and dijon mustard – You’re looking for tangy acidity to balance out the fat and saltiness. Think: lime juice, Worcestershire, vinegars, etc.
- celery and scallions – Other vegetables and herbs should work fine here.
- bacon – This adds texture and saltiness. Roasted or raw nuts would work, and mushrooms can also add meatiness.
You may have noticed the lack of fruit. If you’re a fan of diced apples or halved grapes then by all means, add them to your smoked chicken salad. I think the sweetness would work really well with this recipe.
Chicken Salad Upgrade for Garlic Lovers
You can easily make a big upgrade to your chicken salad by smoking garlic alongside the chicken. When making our Traeger smoked potato salad, we found garlic was perfectly roasted (wrapped in foil with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper) after 60-90 minutes at 300ºF. At 250ºF, the garlic will probably take about 2 hours.
Ways to Serve Chicken Salad
You can’t go wrong with the classic croissant, crusty bread with fresh lettuce and tomato, or with crackers. Dill pickles and potato chips or crunchy baked chips are also great pairings.
To stick with the healthier theme, go with something like a mixed greens salad or maybe low fat crescent rolls or low carb bread and cracker options.
Be sure to let us know how you end up serving your smoked chicken salad, any successful substitutions you make, or what you think about the recipe in a recipe review. We always appreciate those!
For the Smoked Chicken
- 2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 1/4 cup Traeger Chicken Rub
- 1 Tablespoon Butter, melted
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
For the Chicken Salad
- 6 slices Center Cut Bacon, cooked and chopped
- 3/4 cup (170g) Fat Free Greek Yogurt
- 3/4 cup (180g) Light Mayo
- 1/2 cup (50g) Diced Celery
- 2 Scallions, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Season the chicken breast with the dry rub and cover at room temperature while preheating the Traeger for 10-15 minutes at 250ºF.
- Smoke the chicken for 1 hour before brushing with a mixture of the melted butter and tablespoon of lemon juice. Continue cooking for 30-45 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- While the chicken rests, cook and chop the bacon and mix together with the remaining ingredients. Finely chop the cooked chicken and add to the mixture, stirring everything together. Salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 6 oz (about 1 cup)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 220Total Fat: 9gCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 30g