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 1276 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 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.


4.99 from 1276 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.

Course Salad
Cuisine American

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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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Recipe Rating


  1. So good! I did everything exactly as directed and it was awesome! Then I added in some of those salad topper honey roasted pecans… YUM!!!! Then I added a few grapes… Amazing!!! I only di it because I had them on hand and they needed to move along. this is so versatile, but the main instructions prior to my additions (for my tastebuds) were perfect! Everyone absolutely loved it! Thank you!5 stars

  2. I always buy the pulled rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and use it in this recipe. Everyone who tries it, LOVES it! We make big batches every week for lunches and hardly ever get tired of it. Definitely five-star worthy.5 stars

  3. Too salty. Season salt had too much garlic and salt. Should have ommited it. Made it exactly as directed, but will change seasoning amounts for our taste next time. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Made this for dinner tonight and it was soo good! I made it exactly the way you wrote it-and wow perfection! Thank you so much for the recipe!5 stars

    1. If using prepared mustard you can use 1 teaspoon, if using dry mustard I would suggest about ¼ teaspoon to start, you can add more to taste as you’d like.

  5. This was so good, it tasted restaurant quality!

    I changed some things to what I had on hand, but no doubt this was made possible with Your recipe as I had never made it before.

    I made this 3 hours ahead of time and chilled in the refrigerator.

    I substituted canned white meat chicken, yellow mustard, onion powder, Dill powder, and I also chopped in pickles.

    I toasted sandwich bread slices. I laid down lettuce, then scooped this on top, put a few whole pickles (we’re pickle obsessed in this household), then put the other toasted bread slice.

    My brother and mom thought it tasted Amazing!5 stars

  6. Very, very good! The first time I used green onions, and the second time red onions. I love bothering but my favorite is the green onions. I made both on the fourth of July and at a luncheon! Major hit with EVERYONE who tasted!. I don’t need the bread, I like it from the bowl onto a serving plate. Thank you!!5 stars

  7. I was hungry for chicken salad but only had canned chicken. It works! This will be my go-to chicken salad recipe from now on. So easy and very good!5 stars

  8. This has become my go to summer salad! It Is light, refreshing and easy to make. I made it for my daughter-in-law and her mom for lunch, then served it as an appetizer for a neighborhood get together. I cut way back on the salt and served it with Almond Sea Salt crackers or a French Baguette. I did add some chopped snap peas and slivered almonds for some crunch. It is always a hit.

  9. I don’t really enjoy chicken breast that much, needed a way to use it without wasting it.

    Found your recipe. Made as per directions….yum!

    Next time, I didn’t have enough celery, added radish instead.
    I didn’t have dill, so I added curry powder.

    Really love this recipe, thank you!

      1. I’m eating Keto right now… could I use chicken thighs instead of breast meat?

      2. Hi Stephanie, we just need 2 cups of cooked chopped chicken for this recipe, so you can use chicken thighs if you prefer :)

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! There’s a “jump to recipe” button at the top of each page if you don’t need the extra tips and info.

  10. Added red grapes. Was excellent warm weather dinner salad and will definitely make again followed rest of recipe as written5 stars

  11. Didn’t djon so substituted yellow mustard and used the fresh dill. Absolutely amazing. Will definitely make again. Thank you5 stars

    1. Hi Linda, the serving portion is ½ cup. When you select the 1x, 2x, or 3x next to the recipe it gives you the updated ingredients to make the recipe as is, double it, or triple the recipe (so 6 servings, 12 servings, and 18 servings). Hope that helps!