How To Make Chicken Salad
Now that you have beautifully tender chicken breasts, its time to assemble the salad. And theres really only three steps:
- Toast: Lightly toast 1/2 cup of almonds in a pan on the stove. Let them cool completely to room temperature.
- Slice and Dice: First, dice up your chicken breasts into small 1/2-inch pieces. Then quarter the grapes, dice the celery, parsley and tarragon, and slice the green onion.
- Mix: Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix everything together until its well combined. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and youre done!
Chicken salad is best served when its cold. So let the mixture chill in the fridge before serving. This also helps all the flavors meld together for the tastiest salad.
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.
Tips For The Best Chicken Salad Recipe
- Use a high-quality mayonnaise, since this contributes a lot of flavor to the dish. I prefer Duke’s brand.
- Shredded rotisserie chicken adds a lot of great flavor to the salad, and it’s a nice shortcut.
- If you’re making chicken salad sandwiches, lettuce and/or tomato provide a nice, fresh contrast to the creamy salad.
- Add more mayonnaise, to taste, if you like your salad a bit looser.
- If time allows, let the salad sit in the refrigerator overnight so that the flavors can come together. It’s even better the next day!
- Cooking just for two? Cut all of the ingredients in half to prepare a smaller portion. If you’d like to serve a larger crowd, you can easily double or triple all of the ingredients.
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What Else Can I Add To My Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is so flexible. Nuts pair really well with the flavors of this salad, so you can try adding some almonds or chopped pecans. Finely diced celery adds a nice crunch and fresh herbs make the flavor nice and lively . And if you dont have dried cranberries, golden raisins or red grapes also work really well in this recipe.
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 Many Carbs In Chicken Salad
The average chicken salad without added fruit contains 1-3g total carbs and as few as 0g net carbs. However, they can still contain added sugar or even corn syrup in their dressings and those with added fruits will contain even more carbs. Luckily, its easy to make this low carb chicken salad recipe at home that doesnt skimp on flavor!
Whats In This Southern
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Best Chicken Salad Recipe
Your search for the best chicken salad recipe stops here! This simple, flavorful combination of tender meat, bright green onions, herbs, and seasoning in a creamy mayonnaise dressing is quick and delicious. Use the easy chicken salad recipe to make sandwiches, or serve it on top of a bed of lettuce with a side of biscuits, rolls, or potato chips. The make-ahead dish is always a favorite!
What Herbs Go Well With Chicken
HERBS: basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano
SPICES: garlic powder, onion powder, salt
HEAT: paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper
A delicious mixture of these three categories and you have a delicious seasoning blend. Make it your own by using smoked paprika instead of regular, adding different herbs, upping the heat with more cayenne.
You are not limited to using it in chicken recipes, think of how good it tastes on grilled and roasted vegetables!!
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Best Spices For Chicken Breasts Legs & Thighs
1. Cumin powder
One spice that can be used in many foods and in many cuisines.
Cumin powder is one such spice that can be used alone or added with other spices and herbs on a piece of chicken to add an extra touch of flavour.
Simply add a teaspoon and taste the difference.
The greeks add oregano in many of their chicken dishes and there is a reason why.
A simple dressing made with oregano, garlic and some lemon juice is all you need to make a delicious meal in minutes.
3. Tandoori Masala Spice Blend
If you happen to be a lover of Indian food then Tandoori chicken is something you may have not missed trying on the menu. It is one of the most popular Indian spices for chicken.
It is one of those spice blends that spark joy to your soul. Buy a bottle and use it. You wont regret it.
COOKING TIP Add tandoori masala with yoghurt to make your chicken piece tender soft.
What tandoori is to Indian food, Taco is to Mexican.
A mellow blend of spices that is versatile to be used in multiple ways. I firmly believe that tandoori spice blend is one of the good spices to put on chicken.
5. Smoked Paprika
It may not be BBQ season or you may not have time to heat up the grill, but adding smoked paprika to chicken lends a woody, smoky aroma.
Simply rub smoked paprika on chicken and use it in any dish.
COOKING TIP Make sure you buy the smoked paprika and not the regular one. They are two different spices.
Bacon Makes Everything Better
Who can say no to bacon? Bacon in chicken salad? Oh yeah!
Read this post on cooking bacon in the oven. It is easy and hands-free. It may become your new favorite way to cook bacon.
But if you are short on time, grab some bacon bits when you pick up the deli chicken salad. Bacon bits have come a long way over the years. Oscar Meyer makes excellent crumbled bacon bits.
And although bacon is popular, dont overlook these other similar foods:
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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.
Roasted Or Pickled Peppers
Sounds like a nursery rhyme. But what it really is, is a delicious addition to your store-bought salad.
Pickled jalapenos are sour and spicy. Jarred banana peppers and pepperoncini are sweet, spicy, and tangy.
Roasted red peppers are sweet and smoky. See my post on how to roast red peppers. You will want to make your own when you taste how good they are.
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Chicken And Rice Salad
This lovely chicken and rice salad is an excellent picnic dish because its 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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Behind The Recipe: The Best Homemade Chicken Salad
When ordering a chicken salad for lunch, you really never know what will end up on the plate. Every chef seems to prepare chicken salad differently.
You may get a finely shredded version or large cubes of chicken. Your plate could include all sorts of ingredients like red onions, seeds, dried cranberries, nuts, and even fruit, like seedless grapes.
Likewise, many families have a time-honored classic chicken salad recipe that has been handed down for generations.
Digging in, I found any quality chicken salad recipe starts with creamy and bright ingredients. From there, you can make it your own with any variation of ingredients you like best. That being said, I think youll enjoy mine!
Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? Id love it if you would share it on or on your favorite board!
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.
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What Can I Use Besides Mayonnaise
- plain Greek yogurt
- combination of sour cream and mayonnaise
- blue cheese dressing to make it buffalo style
Reseason the chicken salad mixture if needed, then place the finished chicken salad in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors build.
Making it early in the day or a day ahead of time will give you a better-tasting chicken salad.
What Herbs & Spices Go With Chicken
Chicken is pretty versatile in the kitchen. You can do so many things with it! While many spices go well with chicken, these are some of the more common seasonings, and the ones that pair with chicken the best.
Be sure to check out these posts for free printable lists of seasonings that pair well with other meats.
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How Should I Cook The Chicken
Many recipes will tell you to poach the chicken. Which means cooking it in water or stock on the stovetop. So basically youre cooking the chicken in water , and lots of the flavor comes out in the water. And some chicken can get a little rubbery cooking this way.
If Im making soup this is fine. But if Im making chicken for a salad topping or chicken salad Im going to roast the meat. This would be the same if I was cooking a whole chicken or pieces with the bone in and skin on.
First coat the chicken with a little olive oil , season with sea salt and black pepper.
Feel free to use any seasoning you like, to create your own flavor of chicken salad. These are some of the different spices Ive used.
- cajun seasoning
Your favorite fresh herbs can be a nice addition as well.
Add a little water to the bottom of the baking dish and cover the dish with foil. Place the dish in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes or until a thermometer in the thickest part of the breast reads a minimum of 165 degrees.
When the chicken is ready, allow the cooked chicken to cool to room temperature. When the chicken has sufficiently cooled, place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to chill.
Cooking the chicken ahead of time is a good idea. Make it today for lunchtomorrow.
When the chicken has fully cooled in the fridge, you can cut it up into ¼ ½ inch pieces. I like it on the smaller side, but not so small you cant recognize that its chicken.
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Best Spices For Chicken Soup
Those who enjoy chicken will have at least once if not more times made some type of chicken soup.
For your next chicken soup, apart from black pepper add one or a combination of two or three of the spices and herbs listed below to jazz up your chicken soup recipe.
1. Bay Leaves
When frying the chicken pieces for making soup or boiling the broth add a few bay leaves. This will give a subtle woody fragrance to your soup broth.
2. Cayenne Pepper
If you want to add a bit of a spicy kick to your bland chicken soup then cayenne pepper will do the job without overpowering.
Adding cayenne also helps with cold and flu symptoms.
Pepper is not only good for making spice rubs. Try adding it to your soup for a soothing smokiness! You wont regret it.
Rosemary is not only great for fish but also for chicken especially when added to soups.
You can use either fresh or dried rosemary to give any soup a soothing aromatic touch.
It is considered to be a medicinal herb used to improve digestion.
COOKING TIP Be careful when adding rosemary to any dish. It is a strong herb so overdoing can ruin the taste of your dish.
Just like rosemary, thyme is another fragrant herb that can be used both fresh or dried.
Thyme adds a herby aroma to the soup broth. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice to give is a zesty garden-fresh taste.
COOKING TIP Add thyme with other herbs such as oregano for added flavour. Also, remember to use it sparingly.
5. Coriander leaves
Easy Ways To Make Store
Wondering how to make store-bought chicken salad better? Get brilliant suggestions for add-ins and seasonings. Transform bland into exciting.
Are you tired of bland-tasting ready-made food? Just because you dont start from scratch doesnt mean you have to sacrifice taste. If you are wondering how to make store-bought chicken salad taste better, you are in the right place.
How do you make store-bought chicken salad taste better? The best way to make a store-bought chicken salad better is to drizzle in an acid , stir-in items , or sprinkle in a flavorful seasoning mix. Better yet, jazz up the chicken salad by combining two or more flavorful additions.
Want more specifics? Read on to learn the best ingredients to add to jazz up chicken salad. You will love the easy food and spice combinations I share at the end to make creative chicken salad variations.
Now no one will be able to tell you stopped by the deli to pick up dinner.
Check out this post on how long chicken salad lasts and how to tell when it has gone bad. You will like that store-bought deli salad lasts longer than homemade.
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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.
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Tips for Making Chicken Salad
- This recipe calls for almonds but you can use other types of nuts like pecans, walnuts, or cashews.
- Replace the mayo with pureed avocado and sour cream for an avocado chicken salad.
- Cut the calories in this recipe by using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.
- This recipe takes a total time of 5 minutes to throw together, but youll want to refrigerate it for at least an hour to give the flavors a chance to come together.
- Make BBQ chicken salad by adding 2-3 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce in place of some of the mayonnaise.
How to Store Chicken Salad
- Serve: Dont leave it out at room temperature for more than two hours for food safety.
- Store: Chicken salad will last refrigerated for 3-4 days, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap.
- Freeze: It is not recommended that you freeze chicken salad because the mayonnaise will separate when defrosting. You can freeze the cooked chicken, then just defrost it in the refrigerator the day before you want to make the salad, and add the other fresh ingredients the day of.
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About the Author: Sabrina Snyder
Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.
Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.
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