Easy Chicken Salad


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Chicken Salad is a simple and easy go-to lunch around here! A classic chicken salad recipe combines tender chicken with the perfect blend of flavors and add ins.  It’s great served on a bed of lettuce, in a sandwich or rolled up in a tortilla for a delicious meal on the go!

This easy recipe makes the perfect sandwich to serve along side a bowl of Chicken Wild Rice Soup or to pile high in 30 Minute Dinner Rolls!

A wood bowl filled with the best Chicken Salad recipe

How to Make Chicken Salad

This is a simple classic chicken salad recipe.  I add mayonnaise, seasonings, celery (or water chestnuts), green onions and almonds. Water chestnuts add a delicious crunch!  I always add a little greek yogurt not only to lighten it up, but it just adds a delicious tangy flavor!

If you’d like, layer up extra toppings like cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes… and build the perfect sandwich with your favorite toppings!

Chicken salad with tomatoes on a bed of lettuce

What Goes into Chicken Salad?

The great thing about chicken salad is that it can be changed up based on what’s in your fridge!  Keep the ratios the same as the recipe below but swap out the add ins and seasonings…

  1. Sliced Grapes, 1/4 cup raisins & 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  2. Dill, chopped pickles & a slice of cheddar cheese
  3. 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder, diced ham & shredded swiss cheese
  4. Cranberries, diced celery and 1/2 cup shredded apple (great on spinach!)

How to Cook Chicken for Chicken Salad

This easy chicken salad can use pretty much any kind of chicken!  While I often use rotisserie chicken, roast chicken or poached chicken breasts are great options too!

If you have leftovers, they are often seasoned which adds great flavor!

Chicken salad in a small bowl.

How Long Does Chicken Salad Last?

We keep our chicken salad in the refrigerator for 3-5 days (as long as the chicken is fresh the day you make it). Remember to refrigerate any unused portions quickly.

Can you Freeze Chicken Salad?

Sadly, mayonnaise doesn’t freeze well and that’s the base for the dressing in this recipe. If you’d like ready to go chicken salad, I’d suggest finely chopping the chicken and seasonings (water chestnuts freeze well too).

Freeze the diced chicken in single serving portions. When you’d like a salad, just combine the chicken and seasonings with mayonnaise and any extra add ins.

More Easy Lunches You’ll Love

4.8 from 5 votes
Review Recipe

Easy Chicken Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
This easy classic chicken salad recipe is perfect on a bed of lettuce or as a sandwich or wrap!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken leftover or rotisserie work great!
  • 2 scallions finely diced
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 red pepper finely diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped water chestnuts or diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds optional
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

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Instructions

  1. Stir together mayonnaise, greek yogurt, scallions, dijon, lemon juice & salt/pepper.
  2. Toss with remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve on bread, in a wrap or on a bed of lettuce!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 187, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 198mg, Potassium: 187mg, Carbohydrates: 5g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 11g, Vitamin A: 620%, Vitamin C: 21.5%, Calcium: 19%, Iron: 0.8%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword chicken salad

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The Best Chicken Salad in a wooden bowl.

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About the author

Holly

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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. This was really great and much better than just mayo, celery and chicken, like I usually make. I started with my moist leftover beer can chicken. I think it’s a great idea to cut up the chicken and the celery in really small pieces which it looks like was done in the recipe. The scallions (or green onions as I used) just fall apart. I didn’t have red pepper but it gave me the idea of adding a little red pepper flakes for a kick. I also didn’t have plain greek yogurt but considered using the vanilla yogurt I had on hand but decided against it. But that could have been good because I like sweet things. I really liked the water chestnut idea if I didn’t have fresh celery. I had some sliced almonds that have been around a while so I put those in a pan on the stove and nothing else until they turned brown so they crunched up a bit. It made the kitchen smell great and that was another great addition to the salad. My husband thought it was awesome and kids said it was “really good”. YAY! I also chilled it for an hour or so which I think helps blend all the ingredients. I only give 5 stars for very few things but this was a very high 4 star and I will for sure make this again. I’m glad I found this web site. Thank you!

    1. I am thrilled that you were able to make this recipe work with your leftovers and what you had on hand! And your family loved it too? You have made my day! So glad you stopped by!

  2. I have not made the chicken salad yet using your recipe, but I think the “capitalized” comment was ridiculous and totally uncalled for. I find the reviews interesting and I take what I want from each one. I enjoy your postings. Keep it up.

  3. Holly I made your chicken salad with a few substitutions because of what I have on hand. It’s snowing here so I am nesting! I have hamburger rolls rising on the counter almost ready for the oven, a chicken stew in the fridge from the rest of the chicken I pressure cooked, and your lovely chicken salad. I didn’t have any peppers other than jalapenos so I seeded one and used that in place of the red pepper. I also didn’t have any almonds but I love to put chopped walnuts in my chicken or tuna salad so that’s what I had and used. Finished it all off with salt and white pepper to taste. Thanks!

  4. 1/2 Red pepper….half what?? Guess I’ll just adjust it to taste since that’s what most chicken salad recipes are anyway! It looks great and I can’t wait to try it/tweak it for my tastes. Thanks for the starting point! I was kinda lost past “Chicken and Mayo” other than that I know I want eggs in it, I like halved grapes in mine, and walnuts…wonder if water chestnuts are better than walnuts but I completely agree with liking that little bit of crunch.

  5. YOU MODERATE COMMENTS? THAT’S A FASCIST THING TO DO. YOU DON’T WANT PEOPLE EXPRESSING THEIR GOD GIVEN RIGHT OF FREE SPEECH? HOW FAR DO YOU TAKE IT. YOU UNDOUBTEDLY WON’T POST THIS COMMENT. SINCE I DISLIKE THE RECIPE YOU PROBABLY WONT POST MY LAST COMMENT. I GUESS I’LL WAIT AND SEE. YOU MAY BE ABLE TO SILENCE ME TODAY, BUT YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO SILENCE ME FOREVER.

    1. Wow, why so hostile over a comment on a recipe? And why must you be so rude just because you don’t like it?! You don’t have to be rude just because you don’t like the way someone does something. This isn’t exactly my flavor either, but hey to each their own!

  6. This chicken salad made me feel like i was taking all the things that make chicken salad good, and replacing them with a bunch of hippie ingredients because hippies use whatever weird shtuff they can find, due to them not having jobs and smelling like patchouli oil all the time. So, yeah, any chicken salad that is even potentially the “Best” chicken salad DOES NOT INCLUDE the following; 1. water chestnuts, 2. Yogurt, and 3. Dijon mustard. These are facts. Best, when concerning food is always taste, not health. I guarantee you this, the best food, whatever it is, is NOT healthy. If you ate the best pasta every day it would be just as bad as eating the best Hamburger or Pizza, or whatever. Once you put yogurt in your chicken salad you are heading down a slippery slope of lacking taste and bland fibery puffcorn cakes. In conclusion, THIS IS BY FAR NOT THE BEST CHICKEN SALAD.

    1. I suppose that’s a matter of opinion and you’re certainly welcome to yours. :) I love this salad and consider it the best.

      While I’m not a hippie, I love crunch so I add celery and when I don’t have celery, water chestnuts are a great option. Yogurt is certainly optional but adds a tang we love, I most certainly don’t add it for the health benefit alongside a bunch of mayo. :)

      1. Hi Holly,

        I found this post looking for a chicken salad recipe.
        Since, I’m south African, we don’t really do chicken salad, so was intrigued by what it actually is.

        I might give this one a try since it has a lot of ingredients we love.

        I must say, you put your heart on a page and the response to your post was quite rude and obnoxious. If you don’t like it, fine, but insulting the poster, completely out of line.
        You handled it with grace, very commendable!
        Thanks for the post, will let you know how it turns out when I eventually make it!

    2. Slightly uncalled for Mamma. Continue to make your ckn salad the way you like and post your recipe on your own website and let others review. Hopefully you will read kind words and it will boost your day with happy sunshine :-)