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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I didn’t have celery on hand, and scaled it down, but did everything else. Simple, quick, and delicious. Very flavorful way to perk up a can of chicken.
Best homemade chicken salad ever! Made exactly as written but you need to let it rest overnight or it will taste too salty. By the next day everything had melded and it no longer tasted overly salty. Also, the first time I made it I thought it was a fluke that it was so good because there aren’t a lot ingredients. Made this a 2nd time and still delicious so not a fluke just a darned good chicken salad recipe.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Perfect and delicous! So I have been wanting to have some chicken salad for a long time, and of course we all know how the price everything at the grocery store has significantly increased. So instead of buying a little container of it at the deli which cost like $6.00, I decided to look up some recipes and found this to be the most simple to make and not with a ton of ingredients. I just made and it turned out so freaking delicious! I bought my chicken from Publix; got the rotisseire chicken and chopped it up as instructed, and followed all the directions and it’s perfect for a 92 degree day in Atlanta. Thank you so much for sharing this receipe, it’s the best!
So happy to hear that, Erin!
Can someone answer the following – What is the measurement for the serving? The recipe states that it serves 6 people, is that a 1/2 cup per serving? I haven’t made it, yet. Just curious.
Hi Tiffany, that is correct. It is ½ cup of chicken salad per serving.
This sounds delicious! I want to make a double batch for my big family… can I used shredded chicken breast, instead of chopped, and can I use dill seasoning and if so, how many teaspoons for a double batch?
Shredded chicken will work just fine, you might need to add a touch more mayonnaise if it doesn’t seem quite creamy enough. If you’d like to add dried dill, I would suggest ½ teaspoon dried dill weed to start, you can add more to your liking.
Good recipe. Definitely not 1/2 tsp of salt.
I made this chicken salad yesterday and it was delicious!! Thank you for sharing it with everyone! I’ll definitely keep this easy recipe!
Had the Dijon mustard today, so added it. Oh my, such a fantastic recipe!!!
The only thing I change is adding a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar for some acidity. (Literally about 1\2 teaspoon) My family is full of very very picky b eaters and they all love this recipe! Thank you so much!
Everyone raved about this chicken salad. It was delicious. Best we’ve ever had. I’ve saved this recipe and will definitely make it again.
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!
Super easy and delicious. Just what i needed. Thanks!
You are welcome, Anthony! Glad you enjoyed it.
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.
You are right, LuAnn! This recipe is very forgiving to changes. I think grapes would be a delicious addition to it!
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!
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.
You can definitely adjust the amount of salt used to fit your preferences. But we are glad you enjoyed this recipe, GM!
Arteries become clogged due to the formation of arterial plaque, which is made up of different materials to include: calcium, fat, cholesterol, cellular waste, and fibrin. Please note that sodium is not listed as one of these ingredients.
Sort of. I think you are thinking of the fat that clogs the arteries but not the other factors.
Excess sodium is a contributor to high blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage the cells of the arteries’ inner lining. When fats from the diet enter the bloodstream, they can collect in the damaged arteries. Eventually, the artery walls become less elastic, limiting blood flow throughout the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“High blood pressure forces the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. This causes the lower left heart chamber (left ventricle) to thicken. A thickened left ventricle increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure and sudden cardiac death.”
Firstly, salt doesn’t clog arteries, though it can raise blood pressure in some.
Secondly, a lot will depend on how salty your chicken is. Rotisserie chicken would have a lot more sodium than if you bought fresh chicken breasts and baked or poached them. And different rotisserie chickens have more sodium than others.
So taste the meat and adjust accordingly.
Added cranberries, almonds, multi-colored sweet peppers. Fabulous1
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.
We love adding dill too, Jose! Glad you enjoyed this recipe.
Love this recipe. I make it and everyone can add their favorites to it making it their new favorite to.
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!
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.
Great tip, Tabitha! Definitely agree, if your chicken is already seasoned you will want to see how it tastes before adding too much more.
Changes I made are I cook & shred my chicken the day before & mix it with diced green onions. Then I add chopped apples, drained pineapple tidbits & shredded cheese.
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.
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.