How to Make Chicken Salad

Christine Albury

Learn how to make chicken salad! It’s easy and delicious!

Did you grow up eating chicken salad? It’s a staple in the American south, where the first known recipe for it was published in 1847.

This editor from up north never tried chicken salad until adulthood. I’d seen it on menus over the years, but it always sounded unappealing.

Lighter Chicken Salad Photo

Then, a lunch stand opened in the lobby of the office building where I worked. Each day, I’d see people ordering croissant sandwiches of chicken salad studded with red grapes.

They looked really good. So, I had to see what the fuss was about.

I ordered my first chicken salad sandwich on a croissant and became hooked! It was savory, sweet, tangy, crunchy, creamy and delicious!

Why didn’t anyone tell me what I’d been missing?!!
So today, I’m passing along important information on how to make chicken salad. It’s easier than you think!

Lighter Chicken Salad Picture

Options for Cooked Chicken to Use for Chicken Salad

  • Shred leftover chicken, discarding the skin.
  • Buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it without the skin.
  • Use grilled chicken breasts
  • Use canned and drained chicken.
  • Cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker, Instant Pot or on your stove in some broth. Then shred it with two forks (our use your stand mixer and the paddle attachment)!
Lighter Chicken Salad Image

How to Make Chicken Salad

Take shredded or chopped chicken and mix it with mayonnaise, salt and pepper. For a lighter option, substitute Greek yogurt for the mayo.

Next, stir in some chopped celery and red onions for flavor and crunch. For sweetness, add dried cranberries or halved seedless grapes.

You could stop there, or maybe add hard-boiled eggs or pickle relish. You could even include chopped nuts such as pecans, walnuts or almonds.

The possibilities are almost endless. You may want to check out Paula Deen’s chicken salad.

Lighter Chicken Salad Pic

How Long Does Chicken Salad Last?

Store chicken salad in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Don’t leave it out at room temperature for more than two hours.

How to Serve Chicken Salad

You can serve chicken salad over lettuce, on bread in a sandwich, or you could make Paleo Chicken Salad served on lettuce wraps. Or how about Gluten-Free Chicken Salad Zucchini Boats?

For an appetizer option, you could serve Chicken Salad Crostini.

What to Serve with Chicken Salad

Chicken salad goes great with…wait for it…other salads. Think fruit salad, spinach salad or a green bean salad. Just avoid other mayonnaise-based dishes that might compete with your chicken salad.


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Christine Albury

About Christine

I'm a mom of 5 and love making healthy baby food with wholesome, natural ingredients. In 2005 I started the Homemade Baby Food Recipes website, sharing recipes for everything from simple fruit purees to gourmet curries for the baby food connoisseur! You'll also find plenty of tried and tested tips to help encourage even the most reluctant diner to enjoy a wide range of nutritious new foods. If you enjoy cooking, then you will LOVE learning to become head chef for a very special little customer!