Classic Chicken Salad

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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 easy recipe on hand for last-minute sandwich prep when last-minute invitations come up! Serve this summer with a side of Italian pasta salad and crunchy grilled corn on the cob!

Classic Chicken Salad sandwich on a long roll

Ingredients in Chicken Salad


  • Use leftovers from last night’s 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, I’ve 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 it’s 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.

Classic Chicken Salad ingredients in a bowl, before and after mixing together

How to Make Chicken Salad?

Prepare a classic chicken salad in 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 (per recipe below) in a bowl. Toss with chicken.
  3. Serve on rolls, bread or over a bead of lettuce.

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 it’s great over a tossed salad as well.

Classic Chicken Salad on a long roll with greens and tomatoes

Got Leftovers?

REFRIGERATOR: In an airtight container, the chicken salad will last about a week in the refrigerator. Give it a stir and refresh the flavor with a little salt and pepper (or an extra dollop of Dijon mustard) and serve!

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!

Must-Try Sandwiches

Classic Chicken Salad sandwich on a long roll
4.99 from 739 votes
Review Recipe

Classic Chicken Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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!


  • 2 cups cooked chicken chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 stalk 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

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  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve as a sandwich or over salad.

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.)

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Classic Chicken Salad sandwich with a title
Classic Chicken Salad served over greens and tomatoes with a title
Classic Chicken Salad with a title
About the author


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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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Recipe Rating


  1. I used dried dill as this is what I had. Did not use Dijon. Amazing! This is how I used leftover roast chicken. Love it!5 stars

      1. Can a person add grapes to this salad? I think this a recipe where a person can add or subtract things they like or don’t like..I’ve been look for a super delicious chicken salad recipe that includes grapes. Thanks for posting.

      2. You are right, LuAnn! This recipe is very forgiving to changes. I think grapes would be a delicious addition to it!

  2. This recipe is fabulous!! Tastes just like my mom used to make, no lie. And … luckily for me and my family, one half teaspoon of salt is just perfect! I loved the dill flavor, and used it liberally. Thank you for posting!5 stars

  3. If you follow this recipe, prepare to hear your arteries clog up. Far, far too much salt. And yes, I used seasoned, still way too much. But everything else is good. Excuse me as I need to call my doctor for a heart check.

    1. You can definitely adjust the amount of salt used to fit your preferences. But we are glad you enjoyed this recipe, GM!

  4. This was a solid base recipe with none of the disgusting additions heathens tend to put in this. Perfect starter recipe for a northern or southern palette! Feel free to be liberal with the dill.5 stars

  5. The only changes I made were to dial back a bit on the full amount of seasoned salt and I used less than the full amount of the mayo-mustard mix. I thought it was very tasty and satisfying. Thanks!5 stars

  6. This recipe was super easy to do with leftover chicken. NOTE: If your leftover chicken was already seasoned, wait to add the salt until after you’ve mixed and tasted everything. I didn’t think about that beforehand and mine ended up a bit too salty.5 stars

    1. Great tip, Tabitha! Definitely agree, if your chicken is already seasoned you will want to see how it tastes before adding too much more.

  7. Love making fresh chicken salad.I usually make it around spring and summer months,but now I make it all year around .I substitute the mayonnaise with yogurt ranch dressing.Im going to try your recipe,sounds delicious.5 stars

  8. Love this recipe! The Dijon mustard and YOUR seasoned salt have taken a usually bland salad to a new height. I poach my chicken breast rather than boiling or baking.5 stars