Tips For This Recipe:
- Either chill the chicken before you make the salad or chill the chicken salad mixture before serving.
- Try adding different mix-ins to your chicken salad: different kinds of nuts, grapes, apples, dried cranberries, dried cherries, avocado, chopped green onion or red onion.
- Cook your chicken ahead of time so that you can make this recipe quickly. Try my Instant Pot Shredded Chicken or Crockpot Shredded Chicken. Cooked chicken will stay fresh for up to 4 days in the refrigerator, so go by the date when your chicken was cooked to figure out how long you can store your chicken salad in the fridge.
- For a low carb lunch, serve chicken salad in lettuce wraps or on top of a spinach salad.
Best Chicken Salad Recipe
I want to be that person who invented egg salad and chicken salad. I mean, that person deserves a gold medal. Yummy, versatile, classic.
Even though this particular chicken salad has been floating around for ages, I was only introduced to it a few years ago by a friend. I was practically mesmerized by all the ingredients she was mixing together. Dried cranberries, apples, and pecans? It all seemed so oddand yet wonderful. I knew immediately how much I would love it.
Ive been making it this way ever since and everyone I serve it to begs for the recipe.
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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How To Make Quick And Easy Chicken Salad
Letting this sit in the fridge for a bit, helps meld the flavors together. Shoot for at least an hour. In a medium sized bowl combine the chicken, grapes, pecans, green onions, celery, mayonnaise, lemon, and mustard. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with croissants, romaine, or with crackers. This chicken salad is always so fun for everyone to make their own sandwich or add it on top of green lettuce.
Napa Valley Chicken Salad
This flavorful, easy-to-make chicken salad comes together with just a few ingredients, each of which play an integral role in the profile and body of the dish. The dressing is a combination of sharp Dijon mustard and zesty Ranch dressing and complements the sweetness of red grapes, the earthiness of toasted pecans and the crispness of celery. Enjoy this salad on its own or put it on a sandwich with fresh tomatoes and lettuce for a summertime classic youll want every day.
Get the Recipe: Napa Valley Chicken Salad
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Vegetarian Curried Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is so popular that even vegetarians get a craving for it at times. This curried “chicken” salad sandwich is great for meatless Mondays, too. The mock chicken salad is made with cauliflower, cashews, cranberries, onion, and carrot. With the combination of curry powder, ginger, mint, Sriracha, and turmeric, it definitely doesn’t lack flavor, and it’s fantastic on pumpkin bread.
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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My Favorite Chicken Salad
- 4cupscooked,shredded chicken
- 1cupsmall diced celery
- 1cupred grapes,halved or quartered
- ½cupchopped slivered almonds or cashews
- 2-3tablespoonsfinely diced green onions or chives
- 2tablespoonschopped fresh parsley
- 1tablespoonfreshly squeezed lemon juice or red wine vinegar
- 1tablespoondijon mustard
- ½teaspooncoarse,kosher salt
- teaspoonblack pepper,I use coarsely ground
- teaspoondried dill
- Salt and pepper,to taste
Lemon Roasted Chicken Salad Wrap
If youre the kind of person who loves a jam-packed chicken salad, this should be your go-to recipe. Not only is each layer of the dish full of flavor , but each layer is emphasized by the others. The incorporation of sweet cranberries heightens the acidic lemon in the chicken. The crisp celery and water chestnuts parallel the richness of walnuts. Each element creates balance, solidifying each ingredients role in the recipe.
Get the Recipe: Lemon Roasted Chicken Salad Wrap
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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.
How Do You Make Chicken Salad
This salad recipe is so easy to make! It consists of prepping the ingredients and mixing together the dressing.
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How To Make The Best Chicken Salad
Ingredients youll need to make this delicious salad:
Chicken. Youll need four cups of cooked chicken that you shred or chop, depending on the texture that you prefer. You can easily shred the chicken in your stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer if you want. Shredding with two forks also works great.
For the chicken, you can use baked chicken that you cook ahead or make Instant Pot chicken. You can even use rotisserie chicken if you wish.
Celery. Chopped celery adds the perfect amount of crunch and freshness.
Grapes. Halved seedless grapes add a touch of sweetness. I love to use red seedless grapes as they add another bit of color to the salad.
Dried Cranberries. Sweet and yet a little tart, the dried cranberries are a delicious addition as well.
Roasted Pecans. Chopped roasted pecans are a great addition. Omit them if allergic to nuts or if you are serving at an event and do not know if there are nut allergies.
Mayonnaise or Greek Yogurt. You can use all mayo or all Greek Yogurt in your salad or even a little bit of each. Greek Yogurt will help to lighten up the recipe, but it is definitely a matter of preference.
Seasonings. Salt and pepper are the perfect seasonings for it.
Celery leaves. Chopped celery leaves add so much flavor, but if you dont have them just omit.
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.
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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.
Tips And Variations For The Best Chicken Salad
Crunchy, savory, sweet, and a bit creamy chicken salad is the perfect dish.
- Chicken: Use any type of chicken you have on hand. You can use rotisserie, leftover BBQ, roasted, or even broiled chicken. Whatever you use, chop it up or shred it so it is easy to spread, spoon, and eat.
- Grapes: You can use red or green grapes or a combination of both. Green grapes can be a bit tart sometimes and the red grapes add color.
- Nuts: Pecans are a classic but you can substitute them for walnuts, almonds, or cashews. Roast them for a bit of extra flavor.
- Mayonnaise: If you are not a fan of mayo, you can use sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt.
- Different Fruit: Try chopped apples or dried cranberries.
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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.
Pineapple Chicken Salad With Grapes
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Chicken Salad with Grapes is the perfect simple meal and a great twist on a classic Chicken Salad. Its flavorful with lots of texture and color.This easy salad can be made with leftover Oven Baked Chicken Breasts or rotisserie chicken!
Serve this as an easy weeknight meal with a tossed salad or make it ahead of time to enjoy for lunch throughout the week.
In partnership with Nestea
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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.
Lady Marmalade Chicken Salad
The name of the game with this Lady Marmalade Chicken Salad is pungent flavors. Every ingredient in this recipe orange marmalade, shallots, green apple, lime juice, garlic, brown mustard, curry powder, cilantro is working to pack a different punch of flavor, each of which, when married together, works to unify the dish. All of these elements are combined with creamy Greek yogurt and tender chicken for a salad that can be a stand-alone meal, but that is also great when paired with toasted bread or lettuce leaves.
Get the Recipe: Lady Marmalade Chicken Salad
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What To Serve With Chicken Salad Sandwich
There are a few ways to present this amazing chicken salad. Spread it on a flakey croissant, , serve with ritz crackers and a vegetable tray, or serve in lettuce cups for a low carb option. Salty potato chips, in my opinion, are a must, but there are other options that will still make a satisfying meal, whether its lunch or dinner. Serve with a wonderful cup of soup, some fruit, and vegetables with this incredible dip and youve got it made!
Dressings, Sauces, and Dips
Poached Chicken For Salads:
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What Goes In Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is very versatile, a lot of times using what you have on hand. I always used to make mine with chicken, mayo, celery, and some seasonings. But I realized I had been missing out. Try it with the following ingredients, youll be glad you did!
- Chicken: Seasoned baked chicken breast or rotisserie chicken thats completely cooled and chopped.
- Dressing: Mayonnaise, plain Greek yogurt, and mustard.
- Seasonings: Onion powder, kosher salt, and pepper.
- Mix-ins: Dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and diced apple.
- Chicken Salad Sandwich: Simply put the mixture on a croissant or soft dinner rolls with some fresh baby spinach or lettuce, if serving as a sandwich.
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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Fancy Chicken Salad Recipe
We call this Fancy Chicken Salad because of the dressing, grapes, and pecans, but its truly easy. This is a fresher and lightened-up version of classic chicken salad and its perfect for meal prep.
This is the perfect side dish or main course. Its especially easy if you use leftover Roasted Chicken. Watch the video tutorial and see how simple it is.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
We love protein-packed salads like our Chicken Avocado Salad, Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad, and Cobb Salad. This creamy chicken salad is really the best combination of chicken salad and Waldorf salad that will become a go-to for lunch.
How Much To Serve Per Person:
If you are making for serving a large group, at a party or event, youll want to increase the amount that you make. Here is the rule of thumb that I use for how much to prepare per person.
- Sandwiches and wraps = 4 6 ounces per person
- Lettuce cups = 4 6 ounces per person
- Main dish = 8 ounces per person
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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!
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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Ingredients In Chicken Salad
- Use leftovers from last nights dinner or leftover rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken.
- To Make Chicken for chicken salad I like to use either poached chicken or baked chicken breasts or thighs.
- You can use canned chicken in a pinch but of course fresh is best when possible.
- Ensure the chicken is cooled and shred or chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.
- As this is a classic chicken salad recipe, Ive kept the additions to a minimum. Celery for crunch, green onions for flavor.
- This recipe can be made with a variety of nuts, veggies, and fruit for added flavor and texture.
- Chicken salad with grapes, avocado or dried cranberries is a favorite. Pecans or almonds pair well with this recipe.
- Mayonnaise is the base of this recipe and its simply seasoned.
- You can get creative and substitute some of the mayo for ranch dressing or your favorite salad dressing recipe.
- Create an Avocado Chicken Salad by replacing some of the mayonnaise with mashed avocado.