Light Italian Chicken Salad with Roasted Garlic

Light Italian chicken salad recipe has a roasted garlic dressing you’ll make over and over. Serve it in radicchio cups for a low carb / paleo lunch (without the Parmesan cheese) or even as an appetizer! Only 195 calories per serving.

Light Italian Chicken Salad Recipe with Roasted Garlic Dressing in Radicchio Cups! Low Carb and only 195 calories!

There’s a recipe in my cookbook for the best egg salad in the world, where I finally figured out how to do use Greek yogurt properly. Before that, I just cursed my mother. I was a mayo girl. I had tried for years to swap yogurt for mayo, but the tang was always too detectable. I even tried sour cream, before nearly calling it quits.


Light Italian Chicken Salad Recipe with Roasted Garlic Dressing in Radicchio Cups! Low Carb and only 195 calories!

Then, I got it.

Growing up, when my mom made me chicken salad or egg salad, it was chicken and mayo, eggs and mayo, with celery, salt, and pepper. Mayo was the main flavor. So when I went about lightening, years later, I couldn’t very well swap in nonfat yogurt and expect it’d be this seamless process. I had some work to do.

It occurred to me that if I made yogurt simply the creamy binder, and added a whole lot of other bold flavors, I wouldn’t even taste it in the end.

Light Italian Chicken Salad Recipe with Roasted Garlic Dressing in Radicchio Cups! Low Carb and only 195 calories!

Enter roasted garlic.


First, I made the garlic. The next part is very important, so pay attention: resist the urge to eat all of it. OK, next step. Blend plain nonfat Green yogurt with that unholy amount of roasted garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and mix it with the chicken. Stir in chopped fresh basil, roasted red peppers, and just a handful of Parmesan cheese and serve it in radicchio cups for a light but ultra-satisfying meal. Chicken salad, Italian-style!

If you’re even the slightest bit intimidated by roasting garlic, don’t be! Grab a head of garlic, cut 1/4″ off the top just to expose all of the cloves, drizzle with the tiniest amount of olive oil, wrap the whole thing in foil, and bake at 400 for 35 to 40 minutes, until you can slip a fork through the cloves easily. If you like garlic, this is the warmest, sweetest, and most fragrant it’ll ever be. It’s far less sharp than if you ate it raw, so don’t be worried about how much I called for in the recipe either. Or do be worried? Who knows.

Enjoy, friends!

Light Italian Chicken Salad Recipe with Roasted Garlic Dressing in Radicchio Cups! Low Carb and only 195 calories!


Light Italian Chicken Salad with Roasted Garlic

Makes: 4 Servings

Serving Size: 2 radicchio cups with about 1 cup chicken salad

Calories per serving: 195

Fat per serving: 6g


  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces cooked shredded or chopped chicken breast (about 4 cups)
  • ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 6 roasted red peppers, chopped (about ¾ of a jar, packed in water)
  • ⅔ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 8 leaves radicchio
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel off as much of the papery skin from the garlic head without separating the cloves. Placing the head on its side, cut ¼- to ½-inch off the top of the garlic to expose all of the cloves. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the top, wrap the head tightly in aluminum foil, and bake on a sheet pan or in a muffin tin for 40 minutes. It will be done when it’s a deep golden color and you can easily insert a fork into the cloves. Let the garlic cool slightly.
  2. Squeeze the soft cloves into the bowl of a food processor and add the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper (just over ¼ teaspoon each). Pulse to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken and roasted garlic dressing. Stir in the roasted red peppers, and basil. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. Divide the chicken salad among the radicchio cups and top each with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. The chicken salad will keep, covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

Nutrition Information & Notes:

Nutrition Information: Calories 195, Fat 6g, Carb 10g, Fiber 1g, Sugars 4g, Protein 26g



17 thoughts on “Light Italian Chicken Salad with Roasted Garlic

  1. Amanda June

    i made this today with a few tweaks based on what i had on hand/available and also blended most of the basil right in with the dressing. amazing. my husband & i love pesto and it’s like a garlic pesto aioli! i have a feeling this will be added to my regular rotation ;)

  2. Gabbie

    This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it. I also grew up a big fan of mayo based salads, and I’m always looking for a lighter option. Another way to mask the flavor of the yogurt is to add a bit of spicy brown mayo to offset the tangy flavor. I also like to add relish or salad cubes to add some sweetness.

  3. Diane

    I have had a hard time getting my family to eat dressings and sauces with greek yogurt and lemon. The roasted garlic definitely smooths it out. We ate this tonight and no one asked about the yogurt. I think it would of been even better if I had time to chill it a few hours but I was short on time. We are having a heat wave in CA so I roasted the garlic and poached the chicken in foil packets on the BBQ. Thanks for great idea.

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