Whats The Best Chicken For Chicken Salad
My personal favorite chicken for chicken salad is pulled rotisserie chicken. Its juicy, tender, and really knocks it out of the park in the flavor department.
Stores like Costco and Walmart actually sell containers of pulled rotisserie chicken in the store, making it easy to use if you dont want to shred your own.
My next favorite chicken option is to just roast whole breasts and shred them by hand. That is the method I used for my chicken and chard tortilla soup.
If you dont have the time or energy to shred by hand canned and drained chicken breast is always a great option.
How To Cook Moist Chicken Breasts For Salads And Sandwiches
1. Start with completely defrosted chicken breasts. Never try to cook half-frozen breasts on the stove.
They wont cook evenly all the way through, and thats how you end up with raw insides and over-cooked outsides. Plus, if your meat is still frozen, its going to make the next step nearly impossible
2. Pound your chicken breasts to an even thickness. This is the secret to tender, moist chicken breasts! Meat that is all the same thickness is all going to cook at the same rate, so you arent going to get parts that are over-cooked and dried out.
Place your chicken breast smooth-side up between two layers of plastic wrap or in a large disposable plastic bag and go to town. Start with the thickest part of the meat and strike it, working outward until the breast is the same thickness all over.
3. Marinate or season your chicken breast before it goes on the heat. If youre marinating, nows the time for it. If the chicken is not being marinated, at the very least, salt and pepper that thing before putting it on the heat.
Even better, get creative and sprinkle on some of your favorite spices. Is it going in a Mexican salad? Use some taco seasoning. An Italian sandwich? A little basil and oregano would be perfection.
If at any time your chicken starts to brown too much, turn down the heat a bit and let it cook at a lower temperature.
How To Make The Best Chicken Salad Ever
One day I was making Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip and the recipe called for pre-made chicken salad from the deli. When I arrived at the grocery store to pick some up the price was a LOT higher than I was expecting to pay.
Dont get me wrong, I love the convenience of pre-made, but since it is literally made up of leftover chicken and pantry staples I have a really hard time paying that much for it. So I didnt.
This recipe for the Best Chicken Salad Ever came from a friend who answered the call when I put a plea out on Facebook for a good chicken salad recipe. She often used leftover rotisserie chicken when she made it but since I didnt have any leftover chicken I thought I would try to make it with canned chicken from Costco. And it was amazing. Simple and so good. And a new favorite recipe was born.
To make the BEST chicken salad ever start with shredding or chopping three cups of cooked chicken.
If you are using the Costco canned chicken , drain, put into a bowl and shred with a fork.
Add 1/4 cup of chopped red onion and stir.
Add celery, lemon juice, sour cream, mayonnaise, salt and pepper and stir to combine well.
Chill until ready to use. Thats all there is to it!
As mentioned previously you can use this to make Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip or you can just make some pretty fantastic little sandwiches. You can also serve it with crackers, on a salad or just eat it with a fork. It is THAT good without the crazy price tag at the grocery store deli. Enjoy!
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My Favorite Recipes Using Poached Chicken:
Poaching chicken is easy and creates very tender chicken. The chicken is amazingly tender and takes on the flavors added to the poaching broth.
I most often use chicken broth but adding a splash of white wine is amazing too! You can add any herbs to the liquid and they can vary based on your recipe!
- The BEST Buffalo Chicken Dip: Creamy, cheesy and super crazy good! Add garlic, onions, celery, bay leaf and some parsley and thyme to your poached chicken.
- Easy Broccoli Rice Casserole: Chicken, rice, broccoli and cheese baked until golden and bubbly. Add ins into your poached chicken can include: garlic, onions, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, poultry seasoning and peppercorns.
- Cobb Pasta Salad: Chicken, bacon, avocado, tomatoes and cheese all of the best flavors in one bite! If poaching chicken for this recipe I love to add extra garlic, rosemary and lots of parsley!
- Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad Wrap: Creamy chicken salad in an avocado dressing! Just like my Buttermilk Ranch Dressing & Dip, I love to add fresh parsley, dill and basil along with the onions and garlic!
We keep this chicken in the fridge up to 3 days. If you want to keep it longer than that, slice or shred the poached chicken breasts and place them into a sealed container and add any remaining broth. Freeze up to 3 months.
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad
Sadly, mayonnaise doesnt freeze well and thats the base for the dressing in this recipe. If youd like ready to go chicken salad, Id suggest finely chopping the chicken and seasonings .
Freeze the diced chicken in single serving portions. When youd like a salad, just combine the chicken and seasonings with mayonnaise and any extra add ins.
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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.
How Long Will It Last
As long as it is kept covered, pineapple chicken salad with grapes will last about a week in the fridge. It might need to be drained a little bit as the grapes will start to lose their plumpness. But all you have to do is refresh the flavors by adding some fresh, toasted pecans and some salt and pepper.
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Make Chicken Salad Again And Again With These Kitchenware Essentials
Stir together gently
Until everything is thoroughly coated.
Now, if youre feeling particularly naughty and saucy and feisty, please sprinkle in some homemade OR, in my case, STOREBOUGHT bacon bits. Again, dont overdo itjust a little bacon flavor will do.
Now, I have fried up thick, peppered bacon, chopped it fine, and sprinkled it in the chicken salad before, and it was almost too delicious for me to bear. So try that sometimebut enter at your own risk.
Now, taste it, salt it, pepper it, add more dillwhatever you need to do to make it perfect. Just remember to fold/stir gently throughout this process.
And when youre finished, do this! Because Martha might be watching.
Now, just allow the chicken salad to chill several hours or even overnightlong enough for the flavors to really meld.
Then, when youre ready, just serve the chicken salad on a bed of lettuceor in hollowed-out heads of cabbage, or hollowed-out bell peppersor put it on English Muffins, top with cheese, and broilor stir in with shell pasta for chicken pasta salad. Yum.
Or! If youre me, you can do this:
Grainy wheat bread.
Toasted. And did you know Id been married nine years before I even owned a toaster? True story.
Baby Spinach. And plenty of it.
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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Chicken And Rice Salad
This lovely chicken and rice salad is an excellent picnic dish because it’s a whole meal in itself. Cooked rice and chicken, mayo, veggies, and olives provide lots of flavors and a rich texture. Use the salad to fill heirloom tomatoes or whole peppers. Serve it on iceberg lettuce leaves, make rice paper roll wraps, cold flour tortilla sandwiches, or stuff some pitas.
How To Make Chicken Salad Better Than Any You Can Buy
Master how to make chicken salad at home and you’ll always be the star of the potluck or picnic. Break up with the store-bought kind once and for allwe’ll show you how to make homemade chicken salad that’s customizable and packed with way more flavor. Whether you devour it as part of a lunch sandwich, a light dinner entrée, or a party recipe, here’s how to make the best chicken salad ever.
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How Long Will This Chicken Salad Keep
You can make this salad a day or two ahead of time if you wait to add the lettuce until right before serving. The salad will keep for several days in the fridge, but the lettuce will lose its crunch and get all wilty, so you may want to leave the lettuce out if you expect to have leftovers.
Do you have a favorite chicken salad recipe? Please let us know about it in the comments.
The Rest Of The Ingredients
Once your chicken is cooled, remove it from the bones and chop it into small pieces. Place in a bowl.
From here, you just need to determine what you want to add. A good chicken salad is a combination of vegetables and fruits, held together with a moisturizer, such as Mayonnaise.
Before we go any further, there is a lot of chopping to do when making chicken salad. To make it quicker and easier, I use an Ulu.
This is a curved blade with a handle. It comes with a bowl, which is a wooden board with a bowl-shaped indention. As far I am concerned, this is the best invention any cook could ask for.
If you have never used one, you should look into one. Some may seem expensive, but it is worth every penny.
Now that you have all that chopping covered, here is a list of ingredients you can add:
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How Long It Keeps How To Serve It Etc
Once dressed, the leafy greens will start to get a bit soggy after around 30 minutes due to the oil in the dressing. So if youre making ahead, keep the dressing separate and cut the avocado just before serving .
If youre transporting half an avocado to work, just drizzle the cut face with lemon juice and tuck it into your salad lunch box, or put it in an airtight container with half an onion .
As for serving it, I think youll find this is substantial enough as it is to have as a main course. But of course, if you want to fill it out, nobodys going to say no to some freshly made crusty bread, right?? Nagi x
Chicken Caesar Salad Recipes
It is a crunchy, colorful, and refreshing constitution of broiler salad, made with grilled broiler, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and zest of lemon and Caesar dressing. Its perfect for lunch or a light dinner.
Did you know that romaine lettuce is a very healthy green? Most people who are on a diet include this in some of their recipes because it is rich in Vitamin C, Calcium, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A. It also has folate, which is beneficial to pregnant women.
Besides, it is easy to create homemade Caesar Salad. You have to constitute garlic cloves, anchovy paste, Dijon Mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, and lemon juice.
Besides, to avoid soggy lettuce in variants like this, ensure that you will only drizzle dressing to what you can eat at the moment. Dont pour in everything to all of your lettuce. This is to ensure that the lettuce will be crisp and fresh the moment you eat it.
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Chicken Salad Recipe: Ingredients And Substitutions
As always, let’s chat about the ingredients in this recipe, as well as possible substitutions.
- Cooked Chicken. I often used leftover grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken to make this recipe. However, I provide directions on how to cook shredded chicken in the recipe card as well!
- Mayonnaise. I suggest using a high-quality mayonnaise for the best flavor. You can easily make this chicken salad recipe paleo, keto, etc. by choosing a mayonnaise variety that complies with those lifestyles .
- Lemon Juice. Both freshly squeezed or bottled lemon juice can be used in this recipe.
- Paprika. I love using smoked paprika for an extra depth of flavor, but any variety works well!
- Celery. Be sure to finely dice the celery for the best overall texture.
- Onion. Red, yellow, sweet, etc. onions all taste great.
- Red Bell Pepper . The bell pepper is optional, the recipe tastes great both with and without it. I like adding the pop of red for color. You can also use green, yellow or orange bell peppers in place of red if desired.
An Easy Sandwich With Fruit & Nuts
- Chicken: Like a classic chicken salad recipe, you can use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken or Crockpot Shredded Chicken for this recipe.
- Pineapple/Grapes: Fruit adds a bit of sweetness and a juicy tang to this recipe. Like in a Waldorf Salad, fruit lightens up a mayonnaise-based dressing.
- Nuts: Pecans add a bit of crunch . They can be replaced with walnuts or almonds if you prefer.
- Dressing: A mayonnaise-based dressing is flavored with a hint of curry powder. The addition of curry is amazing in a chicken salad with grapes!
- Other Delicious Additions: chopped red or green onions, sliced and quartered zucchini, shredded carrots, sliced water chestnuts, sesame seeds
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Does This Work With Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
Yes! This method works well with boneless skinless chicken thighs, but with thighs you dont need to pound them thin first since theyre already pretty thin to begin with.
Just season the thighs with salt and pepper and cook them according to the recipe instructions. Theyll require a significantly shorter cooking time, usually 3 to 6 minutes per side, so keep a close eye on them to make sure theyre not overcooking.
What Goes Into Chicken Salad
The great thing about chicken salad is that it can be changed up based on whats in your fridge! Keep the ratios the same as the recipe below but swap out the add ins and seasonings
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Light And Creamy Chicken Salad Made With Cooked Or Canned Chicken Red Onion Crisp Celery And Just The Right Amount Of Seasoning Best Chicken Salad Ever Is Our Version Of This Family Favorite Recipe
I have been blessed to have had some really fantastic everyday recipes shared with me over the years and this is one of them. This recipe for the Best Chicken Salad Ever is in regular rotation in our house because it is so versatile!
Delicious as a sandwich, in a wrap, and even on its own right out of the bowl, this is less expensive than the deli version and super easy to make. If you havent tried it, you really should. It could become a new favorite in your house too.
What Makes It So Delicious
So many folks have made this salad and asked us in complete sincerity: What makes this chicken salad recipe so darn delicious?
Well, there are several reasons, we believe: Here are some of the main ones:
- Roasting the chicken ensures flavorful, juicy chicken for the salad. In a pinch, you could certainly use a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket.
- The addition of seedless grapes, almonds, and fresh dill are part of what makes this dish so wonderful.
- A mix of mayonnaise, Dijon, and lemon juice adds a freshness that is just so very delicious. It all adds up to the best chicken salad sandwich you can imagine!
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More Easy Lunches Youll Love
- 2cupschickenchopped & cooked, leftover or rotisserie works great!
- 2tablespoonsplain greek yogurt
- ½red pepperfinely diced
- cupwater chestnutschopped, or diced celery
- 2tablespoonsalmondschopped, optional
- Stir together mayonnaise, greek yogurt, scallions, dijon, lemon juice & salt/pepper.
- Toss with remaining ingredients.
Tips For Making Chicken Salad:
- You can replace the mayo with mashed avocado and sour cream for a different version.
- Reduce the calories by using Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise.
- You can cook your own chicken breasts or thighs in the crockpot, then use an electric hand mixer to shred the chicken for this recipe.
- Use canned chicken in a pinch.
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Other Favorite Recipes You May Like
Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip The recipe that started it all! This Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip uses Deli chicken salad to add a delicious twist to a potluck favorite!
Bite Sized Sausage Rolls the BEST bite sized sausage rolls that I have ever tasted. Yum.
Party Pretzel Bites these delicious little bites are addictive and always welcomed at any gathering.
Quick and Easy Bruschetta restaurant quality Bruschetta is hiding in the ingredients in your refrigerator!
Easy Homemade Ranch Dip just seven simple pantry ingredients to create a delicious and easy Homemade Ranch Dip!