Creamy Tarragon Chicken Salad

Creamy Tarragon Chicken Salad

12 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, August/September 2006

Reduced-fat sour cream and mayo make a sumptuous, creamy dressing for a considerably lightened take on chicken salad. Oven-poaching the chicken in broth intensifies its flavor and keeps it moist and succulent. Combined with sweet grapes and aromatic tarragon, this is an elegant version of chicken salad that's wonderful on a bed of mixed greens or a sandwich with nutty whole-grain bread.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ⅔ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • ½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ cups diced celery
  • 1½ cups halved red seedless grapes


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Arrange chicken in a glass baking dish large enough to hold it in a single layer. Pour broth around the chicken. Bake the chicken until no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 170°F, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board until cool enough to handle, then cut into cubes. (Discard broth or save for another use.)
  3. Meanwhile, spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly golden and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Stir sour cream, mayonnaise, tarragon, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add celery, grapes, the chicken and walnuts; stir to coat. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Bake the chicken (Steps 1-2) and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Cover and refrigerate the salad for up to 1 day; add the nuts just before serving.
  • Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Per serving: 241 calories; 11 g fat(3 g sat); 1 g fiber; 11 g carbohydrates; 25 g protein; 20 mcg folate; 74 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 252 IU vitamin A; 2 mg vitamin C; 56 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 425 mg sodium; 385 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: ½ fruit, 3 lean meat, 2 fat

Reviews 12

April 11, 2013
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By: buckmasterbing
This is absolutely gorgeous Wonderfully light and fresh tasting, have made over & over again, I would recommend to.anyone
September 04, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Fantastic :) I made this chicken salad without adding grapes. Served on croissants--what a slice of heaven :) Pros: Creamy, flavorful, juicy chicken Cons: Takes a bit of prep
June 26, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Excellent Recipe I made this recipe to eat for lunch at work because I was spending way too much money eating out. This chicken salad tastes just as good if not better than what I get at fancy sandwich shops and it looks pretty too. It tastes much better when it is refrigerated overnight. The flavor from the tarragon is not as strong the next day Pros: Easy to prepare, tastes good,
May 11, 2011
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By: slumomx2
Too Much Tarragon! Over all this is a good recipe. However, I agree that the tarragon was a little too strong, and I love tarragon. I used fresh and usually you need to add more of the fresh than the dried, but not in this recipe. I also used dried cranberries, because I wanted to make it a day ahead and thought the fresh grapes might not keep. That worked very well.
September 12, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I made this dish because it sounded good, then I found out it was good for me too!! I didn't tell my husband it was low cal, and he can't stop raving about it!
September 25, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This was fantastic! I used non-fat sour cream instead of the reduced fat, fresh tarragon instead of dried, green grapes instead of red (I only had green) and chopped almonds instead of walnuts cause I didn't have any and I had ran across an almost identical recipe that used them instead as well. I also grilled the chicked, soaking it in the chicken broth for a few minutes on each side before cooking it and I added some onion for some extra flavor. Delicious! Will definitely be making it again! Jennifer, smithtown, NY
September 25, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I won't make this again. I didn't like the tarragon/grape/walnut combination and the chicken was bland. If I made it again I would use breast and thigh chicken meat and sub out the tarragon for something lighter, like cilantro or even just parsley. Melissa, quakertown, PA
September 25, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
Fantastic recipe, but using only one cup of chicken broth can make the breast tops dry--and tender, moist chicken is key to this recipe. Either brine the breasts for an hour before cooking or feel free to use a lot more broth and poach. I do the latter until the breasts are nearly covered, and then I'll turn the breasts sometimes, too, depending on how they're looking. I substitue or mix pecans in as well, and make a few extra to use as garnish on the top. They're nice and crunchy that way! Jim Stark, Milwaukee, WI
September 25, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
Excellent recipe! Try to make all the ingredients close to the same size (chicken, celery and walnuts). I did not chop the walnuts, used walnut pieces instead. I loved the flavor. My husband had no idea it was a lower fat recipe. It is easy to double or triple for a large group of people. This is a keeper! Lauren, Middleboro, MA
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