What Youll Need Yo Make Classic Chicken Salad
As mentioned above, I use poached chicken for this recipe its easy. If youd prefer to use roasted chicken, youll need 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange the chicken breasts skin-side up on the prepared baking sheet, and coat them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until done, and then let cool.
How To Cook Perfect Chicken Breasts For Salads And Sandwiches
Quick and easy instructions for cooking perfectly juicy and tender chicken breasts for salads and sandwiches.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts are a great cut of meat. Theyre lean, healthy, versatile, but they can be surprisingly tricky to cook.
If youve ever struggled with cooking chicken breasts on the stove, maybe your chicken always comes out dry or the outside burns before the inside is cooked through, friend, this is the recipe for you.
Cooking the perfect chicken breasts on the stove is actually really, really simple.
You just need the right tools and the right method, and your chicken will come out juicy, moist, and perfectly cooked every single time.
What You Need For Ultimate Chicken Salad Recipe
Simple and fresh, this chicken salad will come together quickly. Cook your chicken ahead of time or purchase an already cooked chicken to save on time. This chicken salad will become a favorite to make! The total amounts of ingredients is located in the recipe card.
- Cooked Chicken: chopped or shredded chicken is best.
- Grapes: I used red grapes, they are a bit sweeter than green. Slice in half or cut into cubes.
- Pecans: You can purchase chopped pecans for this salad.
- Green onions: I like to finely chop the green onions for a bit of a kick in each bite.
- Celery: Finely diced using a knife or a shredder.
- Mayonnaise: Do not use salad dressing, it will alter the taste.
- Juice from ½ lemon: Yes, you can use bottled.
- Dijon Mustard: Adds the perfect amount of zippy flavor to this chicken salad.
- Salt and pepper: Add to taste!
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Serving Recommendations For Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- Chicken salad sandwich: With sprouted whole grain/wheat bread like Ezekiel.
- Over salad greens: Lettuce, spinach or kale leaves, or add a scoop to spinach salad recipe or lettuce salad.
- Low carb: On Swiss chard leaves or any lettuce. Kind of like chicken lettuce wraps or try it will grilled romaine!
- Whole grains: Serve with cooked quinoa or brown rice or in a whole grain tortilla.
- Cold pasta salads: As part of a picnic spread with healthy pasta salad or tomato pasta salad.
- With a vegetable platter: Fresh raw veggie such as carrots, peppers, snap peas, cucumber with veggie dip or hummus or hot veggies such as zucchini sticks and roasted asparagus.
- Cold beverage: Refreshing on a hot summer day when washed down with healthy iced tea or healthy iced coffee.
Limited Only By Your Imagination
Once the chicken breasts are cooked and cooled, the real fun begins. If you’re still skeptical about the unfortunate stereotype of flavorless chicken breasts, remember, chicken salad is a vessel that allows the other ingredients to shine. Now is the chance to go crazy with whatever flavors your heart desires, using the versatile chicken breast as the perfect base .
One popular variation on the classic chicken salad recipe combines sweet and savory elements: apples, pecans, celery, and spices. Try piling this on a light and airy croissant for a real treat. If you’re looking to branch out from the popular mayonnaise binder, consider avocado one version of chicken salad based on the fatty fruit also includes walnuts, Greek yogurt, and dried cranberries. Eat this one straight from the bowl or wrap it in some crunchy lettuce. The possibilities are truly endless, and each one can be a delicious, satisfying, and nutritious meal if you know how to use the chicken just right.
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How To Poach Chicken
I love to use poached chicken in this recipe as its easy, healthy, and flavorful. It also means you dont have to turn your oven on if its a hot sunny day outside. A definite bonus.
If done correctly, poaching can yield one of the most tender pieces of chicken youve ever had. To nail this every time, follow the simple steps below.
Can you use baked chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken? Of course. While I prefer poached chicken, almost any chicken works in this recipe. Just make sure you have about four cups of diced or shredded chicken.
Keep The Dressing Simple
There are plenty of different ways to make the dressing for chicken salad use Greek yogurt or Miracle Whip, add vinegar or mustard, try it with herbs and spicesbut Im keeping this recipe super simple.
For this dressing, mix a good quality mayonnaise with fresh lemon juice and kosher salt with freshly ground black pepper. Thats it.
If you are a fan of Miracle Whip, add 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar to the mayo to sweeten things up.
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How To Make Chicken Salad
Prepare a classic chicken salad in 15 minutes with only a few simple ingredients.
For this chicken salad sandwich recipe, any bread will do, thick slices of a baguette or buns/rolls hold up well. This is naturally low carb and its great over a tossed salad as well.
Homemade Chicken Salad Ingredients
Go to the fridge right now, and you likely have everything you need to make a batch:
- Chicken I normally use canned chicken breast, but you can also use shredded, poached chicken rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken
- Mayonnaise our preference is Dukes mayonnaise. You can use the full-fat variety or a low-fat version.
- Pickle Relish make sure to use sweet pickle relish, which usually contains finely diced pieces of sweet pickles and red peppers in a sweet brine
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The Best Chicken Salad
This Chicken Salad is truly divine. At first glance you might balk at the grapes, but trust me, they make the salad exquisite. The sweet crunch of the grapes combines beautifully with the chicken and richness of the mayo. The celery and pecans create nice crunch to the chicken salad that elevates it to the next level.
I love using this for picnics and special lunches. It is so easy to make but it is so fancy at the same time. Chicken Salad comes together in a flash so you can have this on the table in no time. And you will love how it is so versatile as well, serve it as a wrap, on a croissant, on some rye bread, or in a lettuce bowl. However you serve it, just make it! You are going to love it, it is so divine!
What Makes This Chicken Salad Special
The “secret sauce,” so to speak, of this chicken salad, is the tablespoon of plum preserves my mom adds to the mayo-based dressing. You could use any berry jelly or jam, but as we always have a lot of plum jam on hand , that’s what mom reaches for first.
Mom balances out the sweetness from the dab of jam with a bit of lemon juice.
The result? Wonderful!
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Why You Will Love This Grilled Chicken Salad
- Packed with flavor: This Mexican chopped chicken salad is out of this world delciious. It is packed with juicy chicken and veggies.
- Healthy: with the added grilled chicken and the homemade avocado dressing, this salad is healthy and nutritious.
- Easy and meal-prep friendly: Dont be intimated when it comes to making salad. This grilled chicken salad is easy to make ane great for those who meal prep. Simply store the dressing on the side.
Why This Chicken Salad Healthy Works
- Authentic taste: By still using a touch of mayo, you retain classic chicken salad taste.
- Fresh ingredients: Herbs such as parsley or dill add loads of flavor you would be missing if you used dried.
- Easy: By using leftover chicken, this salad recipe can be on the table in 15 minutes.
- Healthy: No guilt here as this salad only contains 145c and 11g of fat compared vs. 310c and 25g of fat in the original!
- Budget friendly: I omitted grapes as they tend to be a costly fruit and you can use whatever nuts you have on hand in your pantry!
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Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe
One of the most classic salad recipes and truly delicious, this easy chicken salad recipe is creamy, sweet, and perfect on its own or sandwiched between two slices of bread or nestled into a buttery croissant. This delicious recipe can also be enjoyed as a wrap, in a pita pocket, or in lettuce cups.
Low Fat And Low Calorie Chicken Salad Faqs
How is this chicken salad healthier?
To make low fat and low calorie chicken salad, I cut back mayo in half and add 1/2 cup plain yogurt to make salad creamy, reduce saturated fat and calories. I recommend to use 2% and higher fat content yogurt because non-fat yogurt lacks flavour and is flat. Healthy fats are good for you, in moderation.
Is it healthy to eat chicken salad everyday?
Really, this is somewhat of a loaded question! I would not recommend eating original chicken salad everyday as the fat, calories and sodium content are quite high. Eating healthy chicken salad everyday, might be acceptable, but I still believe in everything in moderation. Its good to mix it up with other easy healthy lunch ideas or healthy dinner ideas.
Can you substitute Greek yogurt for mayo in chicken salad?
You can and we did! We added a touch of mayo to the Greek yogurt to keep the authentic chicken salad taste you can use all Greek yogurt, but you might miss that authentic taste. Sorry, not sorry, that taste is key for me same story in healthy shrimp salad.
Can I used grilled chicken for this salad?
You could use grilled chicken for this salad or you could just make our perfect formula grilled chicken salad with poppy seed dressing actually just put both on your lunch list for this summer!
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Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe
My goal with this healthy chicken salad was to keep it super simple, so we can pull it off any time. Cold and creamy, with celery and red onion, this healthy salad recipe is flavorful, protein packed and tasty.
During our Southern California road trip I had chicken salad for lunch at Legoland. While an 8 oz serving cost US $10 and made my teeth cringe from sodium, it was extremely satisfying in 115 degrees F heat. Of course, I kept thinking we can do better, of course. Same goes for chicken chili, mac and cheese and chicken curry. Homemade versus restaurants always tastes and nourishes better.
Traditional chicken salad with mayo contains 310 calories, 25 grams of fat and 700 milligrams of sodium per 1/2 cup serving. Yikes! iFOODreal chicken salad is only 145 calories, 11 grams of fat and 186 grams of sodium. Thats a huge nutrition difference. Swapping Greek yogurt with just a touch of mayo for all mayo makes this a healthified Greek yogurt chicken salad that has authentic taste while at the same time easy on your waistline!
Also, using homemade chicken vs. store bought rotisserie chicken reduces sodium a lot. We often skip store-bought and make our own Instant Pot whole chicken.
Chicken Salad With Apples And Cranberries
The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
Chopped walnuts or pecans and chunks of apples and cranberries add crunch and texture to this savory-sweet chicken salad. Curry powder and lemon juice form a tangy mayo-based dressing. Make it lighter by skipping the mayo and using only olive oil as a binder. Serve it in ciabatta bread as a sandwich, or on flour or cauliflower tortillas with sesame seeds on top.
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Old Fashioned Chicken Salad Tips And Tricks
I really love how easy it is to customize this old fashioned chicken salad to your own preferences! Here are a few ideas for you to try out with yours.
- If youd like a low-carb variation, try serving this old fashioned chicken salad on a bed of salad leaves with some avocado and tomatoes. Its an easy and delicious alternative to bread or a wrap! The lettuce leaf wrap I mentioned earlier is also a great way to make this a low-carb wrap.
- Take your time with the seasoning and add it bit by bit. Remember, you can always add more but you cant take it out once its there! Add your seasoning little by little and have a taste each time until you get the flavour you love best.
- If you want to add a bit of extra flavor, try adding some mustard to the mayonnaise!
- Add some sweet fruity goodness with a few red grapes quartered or halved.
- For some extra crunch, add some chopped-up toasted pecans to finish.
- Use rotisserie chicken for the BEST flavor and a super easy cheat!
Chicken Salad With Walnuts And Grapes
Grapes, walnuts, and chicken come together in a creamy mayo-sour cream dressing. Toss this tasty salad in 20 minutes and serve it on bread, lettuce leaves, or with mixed greens with slices of avocado. It makes a great last-minute lunch if you have leftover chicken or turkey. Add radicchio for a pungent crunch, or use crushed roasted seaweed for a salty and crunchy texture.
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When You Need Lunch In A Hurry Whip Up A Batch Of This Easy Chicken Salad Recipe It Uses Just Three Simple Ingredients But Its A Big Hit On Sandwiches Or Atop A Bed Of Lettuce You Can Make It Using Leftover Chicken Rotisserie Chicken Or Canned Chicken Whatever You Have On Hand This Plain Canned Chicken Salad Recipe Is Made Without Celery And Without Eggs Just Chicken Mayonnaise And Pickle Relish
Sometimes the best recipes are the simplest ones. My mama has been making this canned chicken salad recipe with sweet relish for years, and it never disappoints.
Her easy chicken salad recipe uses only three ingredients.
For a delicious lunch, place a scoop of this easy homemade chicken salad and a scoop of southern style pimento cheese on top of a bed of lettuce. Its also good paired with potato vegetable salad. For dessert, serve up some mandarin orange salad, aka Orange Fluff.
If youre looking for a good basic recipe chicken salad without eggs, chicken salad without celery, chicken salad without grapes no need to look any further. Ditto if youre looking for a delicious canned chicken salad recipe.
This recipe might not be fancy, but its good every time.
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It makes a mighty good sandwich .
And its also good scooped atop a bed of lettuce.
We all have different skills in the kitchen, and many times readers have questions about how to prepare a recipe, which kitchen tools they should use and whether certain ingredient can be substituted. I try to answers those questions and provide as information as possible, including cooking tips and tricks, variations and substitutions, kitchen shortcuts, serving suggestions and what to do with leftovers.
If you want to get the recipe right away, scroll to the end of the page for a printable version.
How To Serve Chicken Salad
Theres plenty of ways to serve chicken salad to delight every eater:
- Serve in croissants or on toasted thick cuts of whole wheat bread
- Mound chicken salad on top of fresh greens or cooked rotini pasta for an easy ladies-who-lunch salad
- Nestle a scoop of chicken salad in avocado halves
- Scoop out the center of a large tomato or cooked artichoke and stuff with chicken salad
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Can Salad Be Frozen
We dont recommend freezing the chicken salad. But what we do recommend is freezing the cooked chicken. If you have leftover cooked chicken, simply chop up the chicken and put in a freezer back.
Then it is easy to pull out the frozen chicken and let it thaw to follow the steps to make chicken salad. Learn more on our Can You Freeze Chicken Salad? post.