Lunch time can be a tricky time. You want something healthy, simple and delicious that can fill you up without weighing you down because whether you’re running errands, working from home or in an office, you need good fuel to keep you going. Salads like this one are an excellent option because you can customize them to your own personal tastes, it’s healthy and it’s super easy to make.
This is also the perfect picnic food! Serve it on slices of bread or on slider buns for a cute mini version.
Why you’ll love this chicken salad recipe:
It’s super easy to make with just a few delicious ingredients and is ready in minutes.
It’s a great make-ahead option for lunches and meal planning.
It’s fresh, creamy and totally customizable.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN INGREDIENTS IN CHICKEN SALAD?
Chicken Salad can be easily customized, but typically consists of the following ingredients:
Shredded chicken breasts – Use one of my easy methods to always have shredded chicken on hand – Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, Stovetop. Or pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery for the ultimate easy shredded chicken!
A crunchy element – Every good salad needs a combination of crunchy and soft. I like to add celery and nuts for a great crunch in my chicken salad.
A dressing – To hold the chicken salad together, you’ll need a creamy dressing of mayo, sour cream or Greek yogurt. I use mayo in this recipe because I like the flavor and element of creaminess it adds, but you could cut the calories by adding Greek yogurt instead.
Something tangy – like dijon mustard or vinegar is necessary to balance the creaminess of the mayo.
Something sweet – You can sweeten it up with cranberries or grapes. I chose to go a more savory route for this chicken salad recipe but adding a sweet element would be a great option.
Seasonings – I add fresh herbs like dill, parsley or thyme. Of course salt and pepper is a must and you can always add a little garlic, onion powder or paprika to liven things up.
HOW TO MAKE CLASSIC CHICKEN SALAD
Start with the salad dressing. Combine mayo, dijon mustard, lemon juice, fresh parsley and dill, garlic powder and paprika in a large bowl.
Add shredded chicken, diced celery and sliced onions and stir it up until everything is combined and coated well. Add more mayo if you want a creamier salad.
Serve it up!
6 WAYS TO SERVE CHICKEN SALAD
This Chicken Salad recipe is so versatile! Here are six different ways to serve it:
Toast slices of bread and spread chicken salad on one slice. Top with lettuce and tomato and the other slice of bread. Secure with toothpicks. Pickles are a great addition to chicken salad sandwiches as well. A croissant is also a great vessel for this sandwich.
Spread on a flour tortilla and roll up as a wrap or slice into pinwheels.
For a low carb lunch, gently separate a head of butter, romaine or iceberg lettuce into cups and spoon scoops of salad into them.
Toss a garden salad with lettuce, tomatoes and other raw veggies and add a couple scoops of salad.
Spread on your favorite crackers. I’m partial to the basics, like Triscuits or Ritz.
Scoop into pita bread halves.
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVERS
Place leftover chicken salad in an airtight container and seal. Salad will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator if properly stored. If salad seems dry, add a little more mayo before eating. Freezing chicken salad is not recommended.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.