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Easy chicken salad recipes are a staple at my house every which way — herby keto chicken salad, spicy buffalo chicken salad, and Mediterranean chicken salad, I love them all. But sometimes I just want a classic chicken salad… and this is the best chicken salad recipe for that! It’s the perfect balance of savory chicken, sweet grapes, crunchy celery and pecans, and creamy dressing that brings it all together.
Chicken Salad Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains what goes in chicken salad, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Cooked Chicken – I use Instant Pot shredded chicken most often for this recipe. If you don’t have time to make it, take a shortcut by using ready-made rotisserie chicken from the store, or shred any leftover baked chicken breasts or poached chicken you have on hand. To easily shred chicken, use a stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer with beaters for 5-10 seconds.
- Red Grapes – Making chicken salad with grapes add nice sweetness to contrast the savory flavors. Cut them in half or leave them whole. You could also use green or black grapes, or try using cubed apples, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries (I make sugar-free dried cranberries), or raisins for a sweet and tangy twist.
- Celery – The crunchy texture complements the creaminess of the salad perfectly. Chop it finely. If you’re not a fan, diced pickles would also work well.
- Fresh Dill – I just used chopped fresh dill for a super simple chicken salad recipe, but you could add other fresh herbs, such as parsley or thyme.
- Green Onions – I like the color and flavor of green onions here. You can use white or red onions for a more pungent flavor, yellow onion for a sweeter flavor, or shallots.
- Pecans – For more crunch, but you can omit them if you like. You can also try other nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, or cashews, or use sunflower seeds for a nut-free option.
- Mayonnaise – Use your favorite store bought mayo, or make 5-minute homemade mayo. I think mayo makes the best recipe for chicken salad, but if you like a more tangy dressing, plain Greek yogurt makes an easy substitute, or you can replace half of the mayo with sour cream.
- Dijon Mustard – Feel free to use yellow mustard instead.
- Lemon Juice – Adds tang to the dressing. Fresh is always best, but bottled lemon juice works just fine.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
How To Make Chicken Salad
- Combine the chicken salad ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, grapes, celery, dill, green onions, and pecans.
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Mix together. Fold or stir until the dressing is evenly dispersed.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
How Long Is Chicken Salad Good For?
You can keep chicken salad in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad?
No, freezing chicken salad recipes is not recommended, because the mayo-based dressing will weep and separate after thawing and the texture of the grapes will be different. However, if you’re okay with subpar textures, it’s safe to freeze chicken salad for up to 3 months.
What To Serve With Chicken Salad
Don’t tell anyone, but I like to enjoy this creamy salad right out of the bowl! 🤫 If you want a more complete meal, though, try these ideas:
- Chicken Salad Sandwich – For a quick and easy sandwich, you can slather it between two slices of your favorite bread. I love it on 90 second bread for a fast lunch!
- Crackers – Not feeling a sandwich? Enjoy it as a spread with crackers instead. I enjoy it on buttery almond flour crackers and crunchy flax seed crackers.
- Stuffed Veggies – Scoop chicken salad inside avocado halves, cucumber subs, or bell peppers (like my bell pepper sandwich recipe).
- Lettuce Wraps – Serve it in iceberg, romaine (pictured above), bibb, or any other kind of lettuce leaves that are big enough to wrap.
More Chicken Salad Recipes
If you love the convenience of this easy chicken salad recipe but want more variety in flavor, these dishes are for you:
The Best Chicken Salad Recipe
Best Chicken Salad Recipe (10 Minutes!)
Make the best chicken salad recipe in just 10 minutes, with simple ingredients like chicken, grapes, celery, dill, pecans & creamy dressing.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, grapes, celery, pecans, dill, and green onions.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the salad. Mix well until uniform.
Serve right away or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Serving size: 1/2 cup
Nutrition info does not include optional pecans.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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