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
5 from 249 votes
Review Recipe

Classic Chicken Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Salad
Cuisine American
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
Keyword chicken salad
Classic Chicken Salad sandwich with a title
Classic Chicken Salad served over greens and tomatoes with a title
Classic Chicken Salad with a title

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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. You can use plain yogurt but it will be less creamy and more tart (or sour) in flavor. I would suggest half Greek yogurt and half mayo if it works for you.

  1. Hi Holly. Happy early Thanksgiving! Reason for me to make a comment on something so easy, I have made chicken salad many times in past, and could never get it right. Because I thought I knew what I was doing was right. Lol. At my age, which I not going to say, but, I am a Senior Citizen. Finally I googled how to make it. Well, I was making it all wrong. I used your re pie, but. Used Leftover roasted chicken from Costco which is I feel is the best anyways using that chicken and your recipe knocked it out of the park I know now what I was doing wrong through all these years I didn’t know so thank you for setting me straight LOL oh and the reason why it taste so bad all the time I was putting hard-boiled eggs and pickles in it it just didn’t do it LOL have a beautiful day or evening thank you again5 stars

  2. Nobody cares about when and where someone else uses it. Just the recipe please instead of burying it in paragraph after paragraph of useless talk

    1. The writing in this post includes information about ingredients, variations, substitutions and storage/leftovers. While you may be experienced in the kitchen, some readers are new to cooking and find the information both useful and helpful.

      There is a “JUMP TO RECIPE” at the top of each page that will take you directly to the recipe and skip past the writing. Hope that helps!

      1. Great comment Holly and way to keep your cool, not sure I could have done that. Stuart needs to get a life it seems. How rude. I plan on making this tomorrow with left over rotisserie chicken, I’ll let you know how it turns out. Like another reader commented, I’ve tried to make this for years and it just never turned out/tasted right. However, I also was using hard boiled egg and pickle, like a tuna fish salad. Sometimes simpler can be better. Now I wish I had croissant rolls but will have to settle for regular rolls or bread.

  3. I learned from this amazing cook when I used to do catering at a country club to add some ketchup at the end of making your chicken salad ! I do the same ingredients as you and I always add teaspoon of ketchup at the end ! It gives it a light pink look and makes it so much better ! Ketchup had sugar and vinegar and makes it perfect ! It doesn’t taste like ketchup I promise you have to try it !!!!!!

  4. Easy and delicious!! I used leftover grilled chicken breasts and shredded them. This is my favorite chicken salad recipe yet!!!5 stars

  5. i would love to get any kind of new and different recipes of any kind. i dont mind trying any new food that dont have mushrooms anchovies or anything nasty like that, but the ones that i dont like i can always pas on to family and friends.

  6. I made this for a luncheon today and it was fabulous! I didn’t have fresh dill so I used a pinch of dried dill. I also made it the night before and added a small handful of quartered grapes just before serving.

  7. Outstanding and simple chicken salad recipe. I’ll never make it another way ever again. Do not skip the dill and don’t skip the Dijon mustard. The flavor combination here is simplistic, classic and outstanding!5 stars

  8. Hi Holly!
    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I made chicken salad earlier and I was so disappointed – something was missing. Upon finding your recipe, I added some dijon mustard. Wow! Yay! Now I just need to wait for lunch…If I can.5 stars

  9. Chicken Salad recipe was easy and fast. Tastes awesome! We use olive oil dressing and a a tablespoon of sweet pickle relish to give it a little sweetness since we don’t use salad dressing (miracle whip) which is the base that I like.

  10. Delicious! I didn’t have seasoned salt so I used 50% Old Bay and 25% each of onion and garlic powders.

    I am serving it on toasted bread with some bacon and tomatoes. If I had lettuce I would add that too.5 stars

  11. I followed just about to a “T”, but also added some chopped natural almonds. This is a great recipe. Delicous!5 stars

  12. Hello! Haven’t tried yet but was wondering if you need to make your own seasoned salt or will Lawyr’s work? thanks!5 stars

  13. Excellen recipe and so easy with all the usual ingredients you would have in the house. I will double the recipe next time because it disappeared in just one meal!5 stars

  14. So easy and delicious! I didn’t have honey Dijon so I just substituted with honey mustard dressing. I also didn’t have celery so I used red peppers. That’s what I love about this recipe, you can make it your own or use what you have on hand for ingredients. Added green grapes and it was the perfect sweet and savory combo. I served it over a bed of lettuce with grape tomatoes and it paired really well, didn’t need extra dressing for flavor! Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  15. I wanted to make chicken salad that tastes just like the kind I got growing up at this market back home in Ohio.

    This may even be better!!

    Sooo yummy, wouldnt change a thing! Thank you!5 stars

  16. Excellent flavor combination! I added parmesan as suggested in another review. Double batch was gobbled up.5 stars

    1. This is so simple and soooo good. I use this recipe often with leftover chicken. I substitute dry dill when I don’t have fresh and typically add red onion, a bell or poblano pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.5 stars

  17. This is the best chicken salad I’ve ever had, I put grapes, cranberries, and a little but of vinegar in to give it flavor and it was great5 stars

  18. Good, basic recipe. Thanks for the add-in suggestions…I threw in some chopped red seedless grapes. Delicious! :)5 stars

  19. Perfect! I served on crackers with a tiny piece of tomato.
    My recipe for chicken salad is chunky so would not work
    atop of crackers for a little appetizer. Thank you will make
    again often.5 stars

    1. Sure you can! Yogurt will have a bit more tang than mayonnaise so if you have mayonnaise you could try half and half too.

  20. This was very good. I added 2 tbsp dill relish, and 1 chopped boiled egg. Served it on toasted bread. It was scrumptious!4 stars

  21. After using the dark meat from a Costco rotisserie chicken in another recipe, I used the chicken breast meat for this recipe. We didn’t have the dill but a little chopped up dill pickle fixed that. My wife and I absolutely loved it! This is definitely a keeper and “go to” chicken salad treat!

    Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  22. Made this for lunch today. It was delicious however just a bit too much season salt. Just added in a bit of sugar.4 stars

  23. I’ve always loved chixken salad, but never could make it myself. This recipe is perfect!! I was actually making this to take to work, but it’s gone. So good!5 stars

  24. I am glad this is keto appropriate. I doubled the recipe and made the recipe adding only shredded parmesan, per another posters suggestion, it was great! I also made a double batch of cloud bread so my daughter and I can enjoy the sandwiches too along with the guys. Thanks for sharing.

  25. People crack me up. I substituted the chicken with fake chicken and left out the salt but I appreciate the base of the recipe to add, substitute, and delete what does/doesn’t work for me. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Cheryl, a serving is about 1/2 cup of the chicken salad mixture and the nutrition information is per serving. Enjoy!

      1. I think you’ve got the nutritional info on protein wrong, teehee… there is no way there is only 1g of protein in a serving darling.

  26. We enjoy the British sampler at Annabelles in Kingsville ON, and their chicken salad also contains sliced seedless red grapes. A very tasty addition for their salad. Not for sandwich filling of course, but great in a lettuce cup at lunch!! Try it!5 stars

  27. So, AGAIN with the mustard? There’s mustard in every salad you make! What’s with that? It doesn’t always enhance a dish, especially when paired w/seafood (which you have also done). I also saw that you added mustard into Pimento Cheese stuffed eggs! Really? Try doling that down south!

        1. We lived in Savannah, & we ladies lunched in Tea Rooms once a week. Mustard in Pimento Cheese was unheard of!

    1. It is very, very easy to omit an ingredient you do not see fit. Also, I don’t know what part of the south you are from but we do LOVE our mustard! Southern potato salad gets its coloring from mustard. Heck we’ve even mixed mustard and barbeque for “Carolina gold” sauce.

    2. Of course. You CAN substitute with BBQ sauce or relish or mayo. There is no LAW saying you have to follow it exactly the same. Its your choice. Being thankful, and or complaining and rude, for a kindness when someone shares something helpful, even a recipe, is also your choice.
      And to Holly! Thanks so much for the recipe, I am going to make and freeze some extra. And in the winter, use it warmed up a little on the stove, in hot sandwiches. Yum! In wraps. In buns. In croissants, and cold on lettuce with tomatoes on the side.How do I enjoy it? Let me count the ways.

    3. Not sure where you live in the South BUT where I am from (South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina) we LOVE mustard!! My husband is a huge fan of typical yellow mustard whereas I love Honey Mustard. Really adds a special tang. Angelina, consider not being so judgmental and use only recommended ingredients that your family enjoys and overlook ones that don’t meet your needs.5 stars

      1. I’m anxious to try this and with mustard! I’ve yet to find a good homemade chicken salad recipe & I love CS so maybe the mustard will be the key?!

  28. Love classic chicken salad. No grapes. No nuts. But I’ll tell you – add a handful of grated Parmesan cheese and it will kick things up a notch!