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!
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.
How to Make Chicken Salad?
Prepare a classic chicken salad in 15 minutes with only a few simple ingredients.
- Chop cooked and cooled chicken and place into a large bowl with celery and onions.
- Mix dressing ingredients (per recipe below) in a bowl. Toss with chicken.
- 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.
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!
- Pineapple Chicken Salad with Grapes – fresh summer favorite
- Best Egg Salad Recipe – All-American classic!
- Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad Wrap – loaded with flavor
- Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad – deliciously fresh & tasty!
- Classic Tuna Salad – ready in 10 minutes!
- Shrimp Salad – fabulous light entreé
Classic Chicken Salad
- 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
- 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 provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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This is amazing! I’m not really into chicken but if I eat it it’s breasts only. I used rotisserie chicken breasts from Amazon Fresh. I will be using this recipe again and again! Thanks so much for posting it!
I made this about a year ago and I have been making it ever since. it’s very easy to make and with just a few ingredients. I omitted the dill and the mustard and I added dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and pepitos. It is delicious. I used a full cup of mayonnaise.
Delicious!! If watching your salt just use half the seasoned salt or no salt !
I’ve made this twice now to rave reviews (from a picky audience). I didn’t vary from the recipe as given, except to put maybe a bit more mayo in. Total success. Super easy.
Oh I do think it made a difference that I poached the chicken in chunks with lemon, onion, garlic, bay leaf peppercorns, etc. Just google that recipe.
Excellent! Whenever I bake chicken breasts for dinner, I make an extra large breast to use for this chicken salad. It’s simple and delicious! Thank you!
I made this today and it was very good. I did add a few more ingredients such as garlic powder and salt and pepper. Also, a little more mayo and Dijon.
Simple and delicious. Also great stand alone meal with some croutons added. I also added a wee bit of lime juice for acidity.
Made It as it was delicious. The flavor just what chicken salad should be. Keeper recipe
I’ve made twice with shredded tofu (16 oz firm, drained, seasoned and pan fried till liquid evaporates and a nice crust is formed)
I used 1c. Greek yogurt because it holds better,
I’ve added 1/2 c grapes and and 1/2 oz Craisins.
For a curried version I added 3/4 T curry powder.
As a whole recipe of 6 servingsit is 2 Weight Watchers points with their new plan as of 11/19/2022. As a single serving it is 0 points on the WW app.
Great served on sandwiches, lettuce wraps and on a salad.
Your version sounds delicious Akane!
I think this recipe means “ribs” for celery instead of full “stalks”. Only put 5 total “ribs” of celery and even that seemed to be a lot of celery. Rather then the celery deal it was very good.
I am from Texas/Texan. Made this classic chicken salad to a gathering with my new Colombian friend in Cartagena Colombia. They love the creamy and crunch to it. Left overs they took it home with them…leaving me nothing.
horrible came out horrendous and I followed every step perfectly I don’t know why this has such a high rating being horrendous
This is a classic Chicken Salad recipe that I’ve used many times. If I don’t have leftover chicken in the fridge I just use a can. As long as you have the basic ingredients correct you can improvise with what you have handy. I like to add a tablespoon of diced jalapenos for a little kick. Super easy and super fast, it’s THE go to recipe for Chicken Salad.
If you followed every step perfectly I’m not sure what you were expecting? This recipe is exactly what Chicken Salad is supposed to look like and taste like.
The fact you can’t put together a simple salad is reflective of you. The high rating is because most people can follow a simple recipe to make a salad so it turned out great for them.
Wonderful recipe. Simple and delicious. I can always count on your site when I need meal inspiration. Thank you!
Thank you, Peggy! So happy you are enjoying our recipes ❤️
I have cooked left over chicken breast in the fridge from five days ago. Can I use that to make the chicken salad or odd the chicken breast too old to use?
Hi Ana, the USDA recommends using cooked chicken within three to four days.
Perfect base to add whatever else you want or eat as is.
We all said this was the best Peggy has made! She added grapes, raisins and red onion chopped. She upped the chopped celery to two stocks. Used Miracle Whip as we prefer.
Like so many SWP recipes, another outstanding meal.
Keep them coming!
I made this chicken salad for a family gathering and mom asked “Where did you get this salad?! And please don’t say you made it!” It was delicious. I’ve made it 4 times in the past 2 months. I prep the chicken in a crockpot with chicken broth and herbs de Provence. Super easy and fabulous recipe.
I’m so happy to hear this recipe was a hit CJ!
Absolutely delicious!! I’m a college student learning to cook for the first time and this was amazing! I added in some bell peppers with it and this was so good (and easy)!
I made this using what I had on hand. Canned chicken then threw in chopped grapes and diced jalapeños. The grapes are the cool to the bite of the pepper. I ate it with Club Crackers. Very good and easy to make for my lunches!!