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.
Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe
Summer is the perfect time for grilling. Many nights we have leftover grilled chicken. Don’t hesitate to use the grilled chicken breasts you have in the fridge to make this recipe.
Just shred as you would other cooked chicken breasts and enjoy the smokey grill flavors added to your creamy chicken salad.
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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How To Serve It
Sometimes I find myself eating this chicken salad by the spoonful straight out of the bowl because its that good. But to turn it into a meal, heres a few ideas.
- Sandwich: Stuff it between sandwich bread with layers of lettuce, spinach, or tomato slices.
- Wrap: Turn it into a wrap with homemade cassava flour tortillas.
- Lettuce Wrap: For a lighter, low-carb option, use large romaine or butter leaf lettuce to wrap it.
- Extra Green Salad: Pour a spoonful on top of a bed of greens such as spinach.
- Dip: Serve it with flax seed crackers or chips.
What To Include In A Chicken Salad Sandwich
You can’t go wrong with the classic combo of lettuce and/or tomato, but whatever else you like in a sandwich will work too. Cucumber, sliced avocado, a slice of cheese, sprouts… etc. And try buns, wraps/tortillas, or even bagels instead of bread to change it up a bit. Or go low-carb and make lettuce wraps or fill half an avocado with it.
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Other Ways To Serve Chicken Salad
I love filling fresh breads with chicken salad to make sandwiches. Served with lettuce, onion, and tomato on toasted bread is perfect, but you can take out the bread and wrap it in lettuce, or serve a scoop on top of a bed of lettuce too for the perfect chicken salad sandwich recipe. My kids love to make chicken salad with grapes to add a refreshing sweetness.
Another great way to serve chicken salad is to scoop out a tomato or halve an avocado and fill them up. Celery and cucumbers are other ways to replace the bread and enjoy the deliciousness of chicken salad.
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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How To Serve Classic Chicken Salad
When making sandwiches I suggest choosing a sturdy sliced bread like sourdough or a whole grain sandwich bread. Load up your sandwiches with the toppings you love lettuce, tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion and my life is not complete without a couple of bread and butter pickles.
Or skip the bread altogether and mound this Chicken Salad on leafy greens with lots of fresh veggies for a wholesome meal.
More About This Recipe
- Perfect for picnics, ideal at celebrations and just-right for any quick-fix meal, this chicken salad sandwich recipe is a balanced combination of hearty meat, crunchy celery and onion and creamy mayonnaise. If you have leftover cooked chicken from another meal, turn it into easy chicken salad. And if Thanksgiving dinner has given you more turkey than you can handle, swap it in this recipe for chicken salad to make an easy day-after meal. One commenter remarked that she omits the celery and adds in chopped apple instead. Another swaps the celery out for a tablespoon minced jalapeño peppers to add a spicy twist. Avoiding bread? This would be just as tasty served in lettuce wraps instead. Easy chicken salad is just the beginning. Dont miss out on Betty Crocker’s best sandwich and wrap recipes for more ideas.
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Can I Use Something Other Than Grapes To Add To My Chicken Salad
Yes. I prefer grapes, but this is definitely your salad, so pick something you like best. You can get creative and change up the nuts as well. Some variations I like are: apples, mandarin oranges, pineapple, dried cranberries, and dried figs. Walnuts and pecans are also excellent nuts for chicken salad.
Tips For Perfect Chicken Salad:
- Be sure to let chicken chill first before adding to the dressing otherwise it will warm the dressing and it just wont be the same.
- Add in a fruit if desired. Its good with diced grapes or apples . Sweeten the dressing with a hint of honey to pair with it.
- Add in a nuts for more crunch. Pecans, walnuts or sliced almonds are good choices.
- Use fresh herbs for added flavor. I like to use parsley but this is also delicious with 2 tsp chopped fresh dill.
- For the creamiest chicken salad use full fat mayonnaise.
- If using a rotisserie chicken buy a large chicken or 2 small to have enough chicken breast meat.
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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.
Chicken Salad With Herb Mayonnaise
This herby chicken salad uses roasted chicken breasts, but rotisserie chicken works well, too. Parsley, dill, chives, oregano, and lemon juice give the salad a lively flavor. Serve in lettuce cups, or in sandwich bread with sliced tomato and lettuce. Add deep-fried sweet potato chips to the plate for a delicious lunch.
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Crunchy Middle Eastern Chicken Salad
The Spruce Eats / Anita Schecter
Give your chicken salad a Middle Eastern spin with this impressive recipe. Greek yogurt tahini serves as the dressing, and it’s easy to make with just a few ingredients. That’s mixed with shredded chicken, carrots, almonds, cilantro, and za’atar seasoning, which you can whip up, too. Try this salad on naan bread with baby spinach.
What Kind Of Chicken Should I Use To Make Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is typically made using leftover chicken, canned chicken, or shredded rotisserie chicken. You can use either dark meat, white meat, or a combination. If you dont have any pre-cooked chicken on hand, you can also cook chicken just for making chicken salad. Simply boil 2 chicken breasts in either water or chicken broth for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and shred chicken with a fork.
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Expert Tips And Tricks For The Perfect Chicken Salad
- Use any chicken If you dont have rotisserie chicken, you can utilize leftover chicken from the grill or cooked chicken breasts. It shouldnt be breaded or saucy though as that will interfere with the flavor.
- You can use another type of onion This Southern chicken salad recipe calls for green onions but dont worry if you dont have them. Red onions would also do nicely, though white ones might overpower the flavor.
- Make sure everything is bite-size You dont want your chicken, celery, or onions to be more than a mouthful!
- For the health conscious you can substitute the regular mayonnaise with light mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt.
How To Make Chicken Salad :
Start by prepping everything. Add the dressing ingredients to a medium-sized prep bowl. Mix it all together so you’ve got a smooth dressing. Add the remaining ingredients and mix/toss until everything is well coated. Give it a taste and add extra salt & pepper if needed. You can also take this opportunity to tweak it to your tastes . Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
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How To Cook Chickpeas From Scratch
Learn How to Cook Chickpeas from scratch using dried chickpeas so they turn out perfect every time. This is one of those easy chickpea recipes that turns dried garbanzo beans into delicious, tender and flavorful chickpeas that you can add to salads, soup, stews and more.
I love cooking chickpeas! This recipe turns dried chickpeas into creamy tender beans that are perfect to add to your favorite recipes instead of using canned garbanzo beans. The flavor of fresh chickpeas is far superior to canned chickpeas!
Chickpeas have a delicious nutty and buttery flavor and creamy texture that can be added to so many recipes. I personally go through a lot of chickpeas, and Im constantly experimenting with new chickpea recipes. Theyre nutritious, delicious and they make a great addition to your daily wellness program. Make a batch and store them in mason jars in your fridge so you can easily toss them into salads or stir them in soups and stews.
What Kind Of Chicken Is Best For Making Chicken Salad
- Rotisserie Chicken. I typically do this with a rotisserie chicken.
- Homemade chicken. You can make your own “rotisserie” chicken by following my instructions for Fast and Easy Chicken in the Instant Pot.
- Canned Chicken. You can also use canned chicken for this salad.
- Chicken Thighs and Chicken Breast. I like to use a mix of dark and white meat, but you can use whatever you prefer.
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How To Store This Easy Chicken Salad Recipe
Speaking of making food in advance, this easy chicken salad recipe stores very well. That means its an excellent option for making ahead. In fact, the flavors develop even more as its refrigerated!
You can store it for at least a week , so its a great thing to make in bulk on the weekends for a full week of low carb chicken salad goodness. Just store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator.
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.
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Cajun Chicken Salad With Pecans
For a really flavorful hero sandwich, try this Cajun chicken salad with pecans. Celery, green onions, chopped pecans, fresh parsley, and some Cajun seasoning are mixed with a creamy and spicy mayo-Tabasco-cayenne dressing. For tree nut allergies, use pepitas or sunflower seeds instead. For extra flavor, add cooked crispy bacon or cubed cured ham.
How Do You Prepare Chicken For Chicken Salad
Cook the chicken. To cook the chicken for cranberry chicken salad, I usually top the chicken breasts with olive oil and salt & pepper and cover the pan with foil. Then I bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes. You can also boil the chicken until its fully cooked.
Chop the salad ingredients. Slice the celery. Chop the green onion and the chicken. Toast the pine nuts .
Mix the chicken salad. Combine the chopped ingredients in a mixing bowl with the chicken. Add the rest of the salad ingredients, and stir to combine. Before serving, adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, as needed.
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Is Chicken Caesar Salad Healthy
Well, it all depends on your definition of healthy. My point of reference is Canadas Food Guide. To me a healthy meal consists of half a plate of vegetables, a quarter plate whole grains and a quarter plate of quality protein. The less processed the food, the lower in sugar, salt and saturated fat the better.
Does this chicken Caesar salad meet those criteria? It meets a lot of them, but you could definitely make it better by considering your ingredients carefully. For example:
- use oil instead of butter when making croutons
- use salt free seasonings or reduce how much you use
- use less Parmesan cheese or consider replacing with Nutritional Yeast
- use whole grain instead of white bread for croutons
- replace some of the mayo in the dressing recipe with more greek yogurt
- add more vegetables
- mix in some spinach or kale with the romaine lettuce
- simply use a little less dressing or thin it out with a little more milk or even water
Compared to most restaurant or commercial chicken Caesar salads, this homemade version stands up pretty well.
Tips For Cooking Garbanzo Beans
Heres a few tips when cooking garbanzo beans
- Inspect: Sort through the beans and remove any small stones and debris put in a strainer and rinse under cold water.
- Soaking: Dried chickpeas are covered in water then theyre left to soak overnight.
- Simmering: The chickpeas are simmered on the stovetop for about 2 hours (if you leave the lid on = creamier beans and no lid on = more firm beans. Simmer the chickpeas a little longer if you like them creamier, especially if youre planning on making hummus with them.
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Faqs And Tips For Making The Best Chicken Salad Recipe
Can you freeze chicken salad with mayo?
No. I wouldnt recommend freezing chicken salad with mayo. The mayonnaise doesnt freeze well and the texture wont be appetizing when its thawed.
How long will homemade chicken salad last?
Homemade chicken salad will last for 3 5 days in the refrigerator, depending on the freshness of the ingredients used.
Can you eat chicken salad left out overnight?
You should not leave chicken salad out overnight. Both chicken and mayonnaise need to be kept at food safe temperatures. If you leave chicken salad out overnight, please do not consume it. I recommend throwing it away.
Can I eat cold chicken salad?
Yes. Chicken salad with mayonnaise dressing is meant to be eaten cold. Keep it in the fridge until youre ready to serve and dont leave it out on the counter for too long .
How To Make Healthy Chicken Salad
- Cook chicken breasts if you dont have leftovers already from meal prepping air fryer chicken or Instant Pot chicken. If you love dark meat, you can make baked chicken thighs or Instant Pot chicken thighs.
- Toast nuts in a small skillet on low-medium heat just until fragrant and brown-ish. You will smell them. Cool and chop.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl: Toasted pecans, chicken, celery, onion, parsley, yogurt, mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir gently to mix and adjust salt to taste, if necessary.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours as this salad tastes best cold. Just like avocado egg salad, potato salad or pasta salad.
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How Can I Make Chicken Salad Healthier
Many people ask, Is chicken salad healthy? Chicken salad can definitely fit into your healthy-eating planwith a few tasty tweaks. Use lean, white breast meat to start. To cut back on the fat and calories from mayonnaise, incorporate mashed avocado, plain Greek yogurt or vegan mayonnaise When choosing your crunchy ingredients, opt for fresh, chopped veggies like onions, green bell peppers or carrots. Finally, serve your chicken salad in a lettuce wedge or over a mixed greens salad for more nutrients without the extra carbs.