Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is a classic dish that has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world. It is a delicious combination of cooked chicken, mayonnaise, vegetables, and spices that can be served in a variety of ways. This dish is loved for its simplicity, versatility, and refreshing taste.

The history of chicken salad can be traced back to the mid-1800s when it was first introduced in America. The earliest versions of this dish were made by mixing chopped chicken with mayonnaise and celery. Over time, various ingredients have been added, such as grapes, nuts, or apples, to make it even more flavorful.

Chicken salad has become a favorite among many, including those who are health conscious, as it is a great source of protein and vegetables. It is also perfect for those who are following a low-carb or gluten-free diet. This dish is perfect for a quick and easy meal or a Sunday brunch.

Here is why you might love this recipe:

1. It is easy to prepare and quick to make, perfect for busy weeknights or last-minute gatherings.
2. It is a healthy and light option that is packed with protein and veggies, making it a great choice for lunch or dinner.
3. The combination of flavors and textures is simply delicious and satisfying, from the tender chicken to the crunchy celery and sweet cranberries.

Chicken Salad Recipe

Get ready to taste the most delicious chicken salad recipe which is easy to make and healthy too! Loaded with protein, it'll keep you full throughout the day. Try it now and relish every bite. Your taste buds will thank you!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Meal Prep
Cuisine American, International
Servings4 servings
Calories (per serving)483.63 kcal




  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked shredded chicken, mayonnaise, and Dijon mustard. Mix well.
  • Add in the chopped celery, red onion, chopped apple, and dried cranberries. Mix again.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • If using, add in the chopped nuts and mix again.
  • Serve the chicken salad on top of lettuce leaves and garnish with sliced avocado if desired.


1) Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for maximum flavor and nutrition. Choose organic produce and free-range chicken if possible.
2) Cook the chicken to the right temperature and texture. Grilled or roasted chicken is a great option for salad.
3) Add crunch and texture with ingredients like toasted nuts, sunflower seeds, or crispy bacon.
4) Incorporate a variety of colorful vegetables, such as diced tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and bell peppers, for flavor and nutrition.
5) Use a homemade dressing made with high-quality oils, vinegar, and herbs or spices for maximum taste.
6) Consider using yogurt or avocado as a healthy and delicious alternative to mayonnaise.
7) Chill the salad before serving to allow flavors to meld and to create a refreshing, crisp texture.
8) Use fresh herbs, such as cilantro, parsley or basil, to add depth of flavor and visual appeal.
9) Consider adding a sweet or savory element to the salad, such as dried cranberries, sliced grapes, or crumbled feta cheese.
10) Serve the chicken salad with some crusty bread or crackers to create a complete meal.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 483.63kcalCarbohydrates: 15.64gProtein: 21.33gFat: 38.56gSaturated Fat: 6.18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 18.32gMonounsaturated Fat: 12.27gTrans Fat: 0.05gCholesterol: 65.19mgSodium: 360.21mgPotassium: 637.69mgFiber: 5.57gSugar: 8.22gVitamin A: 2145.86IUVitamin B1: 0.16mgVitamin B2: 0.24mgVitamin B3: 6.87mgVitamin B5: 1.63mgVitamin B6: 0.54mgVitamin B12: 0.24µgVitamin C: 8.69mgVitamin D: 0.06µgVitamin E: 2.34mgVitamin K: 121.26µgCalcium: 53.84mgCopper: 0.29mgFolate: 101.48µgIron: 2.3mgManganese: 0.51mgMagnesium: 53.63mgPhosphorus: 224.02mgSelenium: 20.44µgZinc: 1.85mgNet Carbohydrates: 10.06g
Read more nutritional information values.

Data source: USDA

Keyword chicken meal prep salad, easy chicken salad recipe
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Ingredients Explained

Ingredient Description Alternatives
Cooked chicken (2 cups) Shredded cooked chicken Shredded cooked turkey
Mayonnaise (1/2 cup) Adds creaminess and tanginess to the salad Greek yogurt, sour cream, aioli
Dijon mustard (1 tbsp) Provides a slight kick of heat and adds depth of flavor Grainy mustard, honey mustard
Celery (1/4 cup) Adds a crunchy texture and mild flavor Bell peppers, cucumber
Red onion (1/4 cup) Adds a slightly sweet and sharp taste to the salad Scallions, shallots, white onion
Apple (1/4 cup) Adds sweetness and texture to the salad Pear, grapes, dried apricots
Dried cranberries Adds a chewy texture and sweet-tart flavor to the salad Raisins, currants, chopped dates
Salt and pepper Seasoning to taste
Chopped walnuts/pecans Adds crunch and nuttiness to the salad Sunflower seeds, sliced almonds
Sliced avocado Creaminess and richness, can be used as a garnish or mixed into the salad dressing Guacamole, hummus
Lettuce leaves Can be used as a bed for serving the salad or as an ingredient in the salad Spinach, mixed greens, arugula

The chicken salad recipe can be a healthy meal option, depending on the ingredients used. Here are some potential health benefits associated with the common ingredients in chicken salad:

1. Chicken: Chicken is a good source of protein, which is essential for healthy muscle and tissue growth. It also contains a range of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B6, phosphorus, and selenium. Research suggests that eating chicken can help to boost cognitive function, improve bone health, and support healthy immune function.

2. Celery: Celery is low in calories but high in fiber, which can help to promote feelings of fullness and reduce the risk of overeating. It also contains a range of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can support cardiovascular health and may help to reduce the risk of chronic disease.

3. Greens: Adding greens like spinach or arugula can increase the nutrient density of the chicken salad. Greens are high in vitamins A, C, K, and folate, as well as a range of minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium. They are also rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect against cellular damage and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

4. Avocado: Avocado is a source of healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated fats, which can support heart health and help to lower cholesterol levels. It also contains a range of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, potassium, and folate. Research suggests that eating avocado can help to improve overall diet quality and increase feelings of satiety.

5. Nuts or seeds: Adding nuts or seeds, such as almonds or sunflower seeds, can boost the protein and healthy fat content of the chicken salad. Nuts and seeds are also high in vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc. Research suggests that eating nuts and seeds can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and promote healthy brain function.


– USDA. (2021). National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
– Asif, M. (2016). The role of fruits, vegetables, and spices in diabetes. International journal of nutrition, pharmacology, neurological diseases, 6(1), 1-9.
– EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA). (2011). Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to various food(s)/food constituent(s) and protection of cells from premature aging, antioxidant activity, antioxidant content and oxidative damage (ID 1102, 1159, 1484, 1485, 1568, 1628, 1834, 1835, 1840, 1903, 1913, 1914, 1931, 1936, 1974, 2010, 2044, 2469, 2470, 2471, 2472, 2494, 2495, 2496, 2497, 2498, 2499, 2500, 2501, 2502, 2503, 2551, 2552, 2553, 2554, 2555 and 2556) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal, 9(4), 2038.
– Wang, L., Bordi, P. L., Fleming, J. A., Hill, A. M., Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2015). Effect of a moderate fat diet with and without avocados on lipoprotein particle number, size and subclasses in overweight and obese adults: a randomized, controlled trial. Journal of the American Heart Association, 4:e001355.

Storage Tips

Here are the typical storage and defrosting instructions for Chicken Salad Recipe:

– In the fridge: Chicken salad can last for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
– In the freezer: Chicken salad is not recommended for freezing because the mayonnaise can separate and the texture can become unpleasant.

– If you’ve stored the chicken salad in the fridge, simply take it out and let it sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before serving.
– If you’ve accidentally frozen the chicken salad, it is not recommended to defrost it as it will likely result in a compromised texture and flavor. Instead, consider using the frozen chicken salad as a flavorful addition to dishes like casseroles, omelets, or stir-fries.

Budgeting Tips

Here are some tips on how to save money with this recipe:

1. Buy chicken in bulk when it’s on sale, cook it, and shred it yourself instead of buying pre-cooked chicken. This can save you money in the long run.

2. Use a store brand mayonnaise and Dijon mustard instead of buying name brand. You’ll still get the same taste, but without the extra cost.

3. Buy celery, red onions, apples, and dried cranberries when they’re in season to save money on produce. You can also buy frozen cranberries instead of dried if they’re more affordable.

4. Skip the nuts if they’re too expensive or use a cheaper nut option like peanuts or almonds. The recipe will still be delicious without them.

5. Serve the chicken salad on top of a bed of lettuce instead of using avocado slices. This will give you the same crunch and texture without the extra cost.

By following these tips, you can create a delicious and budget-friendly meal.

Time Saving TIps

1. Have pre-cooked and shredded chicken on hand. Use rotisserie chicken, canned chicken, or cook the chicken ahead of time and store in the fridge or freezer.
2. Use pre-cut vegetables such as bagged lettuce, shredded carrots, and sliced cucumbers.
3. Use store-bought mayo or dressing instead of making your own.
4. Substitute fresh herbs with dried herbs or herb blends to save time.
5. Use a food processor or blender to quickly chop ingredients like onions, garlic, and herbs.
6. Skip additional ingredients like nuts, fruit, or cheese to save chopping and prep time.
7. Consider serving the chicken salad on pre-made croissants or bread for a quick sandwich option.

Recipe Variations

1. Classic Chicken Salad: This variation is the traditional favorite, made with chopped cooked chicken, diced celery, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper. Some people add chopped onion, sliced grapes, or nuts for extra flavor and texture.

2. Waldorf Chicken Salad: This is a fancier version of chicken salad and includes chopped apples, toasted walnuts, mayonnaise, and a touch of honey. It’s typically served on a bed of lettuce or on a croissant.

3. Greek Chicken Salad: This version of chicken salad is made with chopped cooked chicken, diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil. It’s a refreshing and light option for summer.

4. Curry Chicken Salad: This variation is made with diced cooked chicken, curry powder, mayonnaise, diced apple, raisins, and chopped almonds. It has a slightly sweet and spicy flavor that’s perfect for sandwiches or as a topping for salads.

5. Tex-Mex Chicken Salad: This variation is a fusion of Mexican and American flavors and includes diced chicken, black beans, corn, chopped tomatoes, and shredded cheese, all tossed in a tangy lime dressing.

6. Buffalo Chicken Salad: This version is made with shredded cooked chicken tossed in buffalo sauce, diced celery, blue cheese crumbles, and ranch dressing. It’s a spicy and indulgent version of the classic chicken salad.

What To Serve With

There are many options for sides to serve with chicken salad to make a delicious and balanced meal. Here are some ideas:

1. Fruit Salad: A light and refreshing option, a fruit salad with fresh berries, melon, pineapple, and grapes complements the chicken salad well.

2. Green Salad: A simple side of mixed greens with vinaigrette dressing is a classic choice. You can also add sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado to add more flavor and nutrition.

3. Grilled Vegetables: Grilled vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and asparagus are a great addition to chicken salad, providing a bit of smoky flavor and a boost of vitamins and minerals.

4. Sandwiches: You can also serve chicken salad as a sandwich with crusty bread, lettuce, and sliced tomatoes.

5. Chips and Dip: Another simple option is to serve chicken salad with a side of chips and dip, such as guacamole or salsa.

Overall, the best side for chicken salad depends on your preference and the occasion. With these options, you can easily create a balanced and delicious meal.


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