Creamy, crunchy, and fresh, our version of this classic has less than half the calories and salt. By Sidney Fry, MS, RD

Often seen lurking on the "lighter fare" side of restaurant menus, your standard chicken salad consists of lean chicken breast bathed with a fatty, salty, mayo-based dressing. You might as well go for the everything-fried platter: With a typical wallop of mayo, this "salad can contain nearly 750 calories and 1,160mg sodium per cup.

Our Test Kitchen began the makeover by perfecting an easy poaching method for chicken breasts to lock in moisture (see end of this article). Creamy, fat-free Greek yogurt and light mayo combine for a tangy, slimmer dressing—and we dress, not drown, the meat. You can actually taste the chicken. Crispy celery and dried cranberries add texture and tartness. A surprising hit of bold smoked almonds is the crowning, crunchy touch.

748 calories per cup
8.1g saturated fat
1,161mg sodium
Dry, leftover chicken
Dressed in heavy mayonnaise madness
Salty, nutty overload

339 calories per cup
1.9g saturated fat
525mg sodium
Perfectly poached chicken
Dressed in light mayo and fat-free Greek yogurt
Smoked-almond satisfaction