This Classic Chicken Salad recipe is a family favorite. With a tangy, creamy dressing and tasty add-ins, it’s always in the clean plate club!
Why We Love Chicken Salad
- Chicken salad is one of those crazy easy recipes to make. It’s basically chopped-up chicken in a mayo dressing. Nothing fancy, just a seriously delicious sandwich.
- This is a great recipe for budding cooks or college students. No cooking required!
- You can totally customize your chicken salad the way you like it. Want to throw in some bell peppers? Do it. Don’t like celery? Leave it out.
- This may be the best chicken salad I’ve had. It’s so good I’m happy eating with a spoon right from the bowl.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make the Best Chicken Salad Recipe
CHICKEN: We’re using a whole rotisserie chicken from the store. Remove the skin and take the meat off the bones. Then you can shred or chop the meat, your call.
DRESSING: The dressing is really simple. All you need is mayo, Dijon mustard (or yellow if that’s what you have on hand), lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
ADD-INS: For some texture and flavor we’re going to add some thinly sliced celery, toasted almond slices, and green onion.
SANDWICH STUFF: You can make your sandwich with whichever toppings you like. I’m going with buns, lettuce, and sliced tomatoes.
How to Make Chicken SaladJump to Recipe
STEP 1 Add the chicken, mayo, almonds, celery, lemon juice, Dijon, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and green onions to a large mixing bowl. Stir everything together until it’s evenly combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for 1 hour.
STEP 2 Grab some buns, lettuce, and tomato. Put some lettuce on the bottom bun, top with some chicken salad, then add a slice or two of tomato and the top bun, and boom. You’ve got yourself a chicken salad sandwich.
Tips & Tricks
- You don’t HAVE to chill this chin salad. It’s ready to eat as soon as you’re done mixing. But the flavors will get better if you can let it hang out for a little while so everything can marry together.
- You can use 2 large cooked chicken breasts instead of a rotisserie chicken. This recipe is a great way to use up leftover chicken from dinner the night before. Grilled chicken also adds some great flavor to this chicken salad recipe.
- If you don’t like nuts in your chicken salad, leave ’em out. They add some nice crunch and flavor (especially when toasted) but they’re optional.
- If you want to boost the flavor or the dressing, paprika and onion powder are great add-in options. Start with 1/4 teaspoon each and adjust from there.
Chicken Salad FAQ
Do you put eggs in chicken salad?
You can. Southern style chicken salad is usually made with dressing, chicken, onion, celery, relish or chopped pickles, and eggs.
That being said it really depends on if you like the combination or not. You can totally add some chopped hard-boiled eggs to this chicken salad recipe (even a little bit in a small bowl to the side) and see if it’s for you.
Why is my chicken salad bland?
This issue usually starts with the chicken. If you’re using a rotisserie chicken from the store, it’ll have lots of flavor built-in. If you’re cooking chicken breasts at home, be sure to season them with salt and pepper (and maybe even some Italian seasoning). Adding white and dark meat to your chicken salad is another way to add great flavor.
Be sure to check the seasoning on your salad and adjust with salt and pepper to your taste. Adding a little acid (like lemon juice or a little pickle juice or even some chopped pickles if you like them) will really punch up the flavor.
How does Bobby Flay make chicken salad?
To make Bobby Flay’s chicken salad you’ll need mayo, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, red onion, celery, salt & pepper, cooked chicken, and chopped herbs (like dill, parsley, cilantro, or tarragon)
The big difference between his recipe and mine is the addition of red onion (instead of green onion) and fresh herbs. I like a little garlic powder in my chicken salad for additional flavor. The little tweaks are what personalize this classic recipe to your tastes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with some paprika, onion powder, different herbs, or sandwich toppings.
Other Chicken Recipes You May like
- Bacon Avocado Chicken Wraps
- Easy Seasoned Chicken Tacos
- Chicken Cobb Salad
- No Roll Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Dorito Chicken Casserole
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Classic Chicken Salad Recipe
- 4 buns
- 8 leaves lettuce
- 2 tomatoes sliced
- Remove the skin from the rotisserie chicken. Pull all the meat off the chicken and shred or chop it into small pieces.
- Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. (Chilling is optional, but will give you the best flavor.)
- Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato slices, or with whatever toppings you like on your chicken salad sandwich.
- This recipe makes 2 really full sandwiches or 4 thinner sandwiches.
- You can substitute 2 large chicken breasts that have been cooked for the rotisserie chicken. You need about 3 cups of chicken total.
- To toast the almonds: Spread them out on a pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 5 to 8 minutes. You can also microwave them in 30-second intervals for 2 to 2 ½ minutes. Toasting the almonds gives them more flavor.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.