Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (2024)

Of all the summer salads, a classic chicken salad recipe is always a favorite at a picnic, a barbecue, or an office potluck!

Just a few ingredients can be transformed into a cold, creamy salad or filling for a homemade chicken salad sandwich or wrap!

Keep this chicken salad recipe on hand for last-minute sandwiches, or serve it over a bed of lettuce or with a side ofpasta salad and corn on the cob!

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (1)

Ingredients in Chicken Salad

ChickenUse leftover chicken from last night’s dinner or rotisserie chicken. Even leftover grilled chicken works well. Canned chicken can be used, but fresh is preferred.

To prepare chicken for chicken salad: Make baked chicken breast or thighs or poach until tender.

Ensure the chicken is cooled and shred or chop it into bite-sized pieces.

Add-insAs this is a classic chicken salad recipe, I’ve kept the additions to a minimum. Celery for crunch, green onions for flavor.

Add a variety of nuts, veggies, or fruit for added flavor and texture. Try this chicken salad recipe with grapes, avocado, dried cranberries, pecans or almonds.

DressingMayonnaise and simple seasonings are the base of this recipe.

Change the flavor and replace some of the mayo for Greek yogurt, ranch dressing, or your add your favorite salad dressing.

Create an Avocado Chicken Salad by replacing some of the mayonnaise with mashed avocado.

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (2)

How to Make Chicken Salad

Prepare this classic chicken salad recipe in just 15 minutes with only a few simple ingredients.

  1. Chop cooked and cooled chicken and place into a large bowl with celery and onions.
  2. Mix dressing ingredients (according to the recipe below) in a bowl. Toss with chicken.
  3. Serve on rolls, bread or over a bed of lettuce.

This chicken salad sandwich recipe can be served on any bread. We love this on a baguette or rolls. Keep it low carb and serve in romaine lettuce as lettuce wraps or spoon over a tossed salad.

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (3)

Got Leftovers?

Refrigerator: Store chicken salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Give it a stir and refresh the flavor with a fresh herb or an extra dollop of Dijon mustard.

Freezer: Chicken salad doesn’t freeze well. To prep ahead, simply dice the chicken and freeze. When ready to make, combine it with the ingredients below for a quick lunch!

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Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (12)

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Classic Chicken Salad

A classic chicken salad recipe is always a favorite at a picnic, a barbecue, or an office potluck! Just a few ingredients can be transformed into a cold, creamy salad or filling for a homemade chicken salad sandwich or wrap!

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (13)

Prep Time 15 minutes minutes

Total Time 15 minutes minutes

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (14)

Servings 6 servings

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (15)

Author Holly Nilsson

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chicken chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 rib celery chopped
  • 1 green onion diced (or chives or red onion)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill optional

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Serve as a sandwich or over salad.

Video

4.99 from 1986 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 206 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 362mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

© SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (19)
Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (20)
Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (21)
Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (22)

Categories:

Chicken, Recipes, Sandwiches

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What does a chicken salad contain? ›

Classic Chicken Salad Ingredients

Mayonnaise: I use light mayo to reduce the calories, but feel free to use your favorite mayo. Celery: Chop celery for some crunch and veggies. Red Onion: Swap red onion for scallions or chives. Chicken Broth: If the chicken salad is a little dry, stir in two tablespoons of broth.

How to give chicken salad more flavor? ›

Add minced fresh herbs like parsley, chives, basil, or tarragon. Add fresh grapes for juicy little bursts of flavor. Add cooked pasta to stretch the chicken salad into a larger meal. (You'll have to increase the amount of mayonnaise mixture to cover the pasta.)

How good is homemade chicken salad good for? ›

It's tempting to stir up a big batch so that we can enjoy leftovers for a few days. But how long is it safe to keep chicken salad on hand? The short answer is to store chicken salad in a sealed container in the fridge or cooler for no more than four days.

Is chicken salad enough? ›

Still, even though chicken salad is high in protein, one dish alone isn't super impactful for weight loss. Instead, eating an overall healthy diet that is within your daily calorie needs and is rich in lean protein, healthy fats, fiber, and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables is best for weight loss.

Does chicken salad contain onions? ›

Diced chicken is tossed with a creamy dressing and dotted with crisp celery, green onion, and fresh grapes. It's easy, healthy, bright, flavorful, and will make any summer meal a breeze. When I think of chicken salad, I think of summer's own version of comfort food.

Does chicken salad chick use mayonnaise? ›

When our Original Chick, Stacy, set out in search of the perfect chicken salad, she found that the only two key components anyone could agree on were chicken and mayonnaise. From there, she developed recipes to please every palate, everything from the traditional to the savory, fruity, and spicy.

Why does my chicken salad have no taste? ›

Lack of Seasoning: One of the most common reasons for bland chicken salad is insufficient seasoning. Make sure to add enough salt, pepper, and other seasonings like herbs and spices to enhance the flavor. Overcooking the Chicken: Overcooked chicken can become dry and lose its flavor.

What not to do when preparing chicken salad? ›

To ensure that your chicken salad tastes the way that it should, you should avoid using overcooked or dry chicken in your recipe. Unfortunately, as we cook chicken, the moisture of the bird slowly evaporates.

What makes chicken salad go bad? ›

Bad bacteria can grow rapidly in the "Danger Zone," a temperature range between 40°F and 140°F, so always transport and store chicken salad in the refrigerator or a well-chilled cooler or lunchbox.

How many days can you keep homemade chicken salad? ›

Generally, chicken salad will only last three to five days, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). You must store the chicken salad in the fridge to maintain its freshness. As a refresher, the fridge should be set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below per the USDA.

Can I eat chicken salad after 7 days? ›

Refrigerated chicken salad should be eaten within 3 days, assuming the chicken was fresh when the salad was prepared. If the chicken is leftover, you have to count just 3–4 days from the time of cooking.

Is it better to put warm or cold chicken on salad? ›

Cold meat just doesn't smell or taste as flavorful as it does at room temperature or warmer. This is why chilled chicken, even on salads, isn't as delicious as it could be. Warming that chicken before adding it to your salad would return it to its juicy, satisfying best.

What is the best way to eat chicken salad? ›

Three Ways to Enjoy Chicken Salad
  1. Put it in a sandwich: A chicken salad sandwich is a classic dish that you truly can never go wrong with. ...
  2. Eat it on lettuce wraps: Want a lower-carb way to enjoy this chicken salad? ...
  3. Scoop it with crackers: My favorite way to eat this chicken salad is alongside crackers.
Apr 25, 2023

How long should chicken salad sit before eating? ›

7Allow the salad to chill for several hours (or even overnight). Serve on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich or heck, eat it straight out of the bowl with a serving spoon.

Does chicken salad contain eggs? ›

Southern style chicken salad is usually made with eggs, relish, red onion, celery, mustard, mayo and spices.

Is chicken salad meant to be eaten cold? ›

Chicken salad recipes are traditionally served cold, as in chilled. Yes, it can be eaten warm or at room temperature, but the flavors have time to meld together when it's been in the refrigerator for a couple hours.

Why does chicken salad have so many carbs? ›

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.

What is best to eat chicken salad on? ›

Put it in a sandwich: A chicken salad sandwich is a classic dish that you truly can never go wrong with. Simply toast up some sourdough bread, add in a few lettuce leaves, and top this chicken salad on top. It's delicious! Eat it on lettuce wraps: Want a lower-carb way to enjoy this chicken salad?

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