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 chicken salad recipe on hand for last-minute sandwiches, or serve it over a bed of lettuce or with a side of pasta salad and corn on the cob!

A classic chicken salad on a roll with tomatoes and lettuce next to cucumbers.

Ingredients in Chicken Salad

  • ChickenUse leftover chicken from last night’s dinner or rotisserie chicken. Even leftover grilled chicken works well. Canned chicken can be used, but fresh is preferred.
  • Add-insAs this is a classic chicken salad recipe, I’ve kept the additions to a minimum. Celery for crunch, green onions for flavor.
  • DressingMayonnaise and simple seasonings are all that is needed for the dressing in this recipe.

Change the flavor by adding dill or other fresh herbs. and replace some of the mayo for Greek yogurt, ranch dressing, or your add your favorite salad dressing.

How To Prepare Chicken for Chicken Salad

I most often use rotisserie chicken as it’s already cooked and just needs to be shredded or chopped.

You can also bake chicken breasts or thighs. Once cooked, cool the chicken and shred or chop it into bite-sized pieces. Leftover chicken from almost any recipe can be used in chicken salad.

Ingredients for a classic chicken salad recipe in a bowl

How to Make Chicken Salad

Prepare this classic chicken salad recipe in just 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 (according to the recipe below) in a bowl. Toss with chicken.
  3. Serve on rolls, bread or over a bed of lettuce.

This chicken salad sandwich recipe can be served on any bread. We love this on a baguette or rolls. Keep it low carb and serve in romaine lettuce as lettuce wraps or spoon over a tossed salad.

Storing Leftovers

Refrigerator: Store chicken salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Give it a stir and refresh the flavor with fresh herbs or an extra dollop of Dijon mustard.

Freezer: Prepared chicken salad doesn’t freeze well. To prep ahead, dice the chicken and freeze. When ready to make, combine thawed chicken with the remaining ingredients below for a quick lunch!

More Favorite Sandwiches

This chicken salad recipe is a favorite lunch or light dinner. Here are more easy sandwiches that top our list!

A classic chicken salad on a roll with tomatoes and lettuce next to cucumbers.
4.99 from 2126 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

Equipment

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Ingredients  

  • 2 cups cooked chicken chopped or shredded
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 rib celery finely diced chopped
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced (or chives or finely diced red onion)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill optional

Instructions 

  • Add all ingredients to a medium bowl. Mix well to combine.
  • Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
  • Serve as a sandwich or over salad.

Video

4.99 from 2126 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
Chicken Salad Sandwich with a title
cold and creamy Chicken Salad with writing
Chicken Salad Sandwich with cucumber and writing
ingredients to make a Chicken Salad , and some on a sandwich 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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Comments

  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!