Best-Ever Chicken Salad

Best-Ever Chicken Salad is really the perfect go-to chicken salad for sandwiches or on top of a green salad.

You could easily add crumbled bacon, or raisins, or cashews, or even mix in a little curry powder to the mayo.  Of course, homemade mayo puts this salad over the top.  But again, a good quality store-bought mayonnaise works perfectly well, too.  After cooking the chicken, the salad comes together in only about 15 minutes!

best-ever chicken salad recipe

BEST-EVER CHICKEN SALAD IS EASY TO PREPARE

EXPERT TIP: Cook the chicken up to 3 days before assembling and serving. You can also make the homemade mayonnaise several days in advance, too!

Although chilling the salad after it’s mixed is recommended, we think to let the salad return to room temperature is great for taste when serving.

Watch us show you how easy it is to make this truly incredible recipe!

OTHER “BEST-EVER” SALADS TO TRY

WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE SO GOOD?

Roasting the chicken ensures flavorful, juicy chicken for the salad. In a pinch, you could certainly use a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket.

The addition of seedless grapes, almonds, and fresh dill are part of what makes this chicken salad so wonderful.

A mix of mayonnaise, Dijon and lemon juice adds a freshness that is just so very delicious.  It all adds up to the best chicken salad you can imagine!

HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE RECIPE ISN’T HARD TO MAKE

If you really are in the mood to make this truly the BEST-EVER chicken salad…make your mayonnaise from scratch

There’s nothing better than homemade classic mayonnaise (click for recipe).

Of course, good-quality store-bought mayonnaise will work just fine, but we absolutely LOVE making it from scratch! One thing to keep in mind, though, homemade mayo has raw egg in it, which could be an issue with the very young, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system.

An immersion blender in a jar of homemade mayonnaise.

It’s all about using fresh ingredients.

Fresh dill and parsley add a layer of flavor that we think puts this salad over the top.

If you can’t get fresh, dried will work, just use half the amount that you would be using if fresh.

Best-Ever Chicken Salad

And it’s even better after it sits in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight!

I mean, just look how delicious this looks!

Wait until you taste it!! You and those around you will love it!

best-ever chicken salad recipe

How about a close up of all this deliciousness?

You can almost taste how good this is just by looking at it.

There is a reason this is hands down the most popular recipe on How To Feed a Loon!

best-ever chicken salad recipe

Best-Ever Chicken Salad FAQs

  • How far advance can it be made? We recommend serving soon after the salad is assembled. However, you can prepare the chicken and the dressing up to several days in advance. We will say the salad is even tastier after it sits in the refrigerator for a few hours. We just suggest bringing the salad back to room temp before serving. But that’s just a suggestion!
  • Is a rotisserie chicken okay to use? Absolutely! We feel pretty strongly that the roasted chicken pieces yield an even tastier salad, but a good-quality rotisserie chicken will work, too. Just please don’t use canned chicken. Please.
  • What other ingredients could I include? The sky is practically the limit: We love dried cranberries, sliced apples, cashews or peanuts, even capers! Fresh oregano, rosemary and/or thyme is great, too!
  • Can the salad be frozen? Yes! Freeze for up to 1 month in an air-tight container. Let thaw completely and return to room temperature. You may need to make a small batch of the dressing just to stir in before serving after it’s been frozen, but that’s not 100% necessary.

Now, ready to impress?  Go and make this Best-Ever Chicken Salad!

And when you make it, take a picture and post to Instagram and tag @howtofeedaloon and #howtofeedaloon

chicken salad recipe

Best-Ever Chicken Salad

This Best-Ever Chicken Salad is really wonderful.  Perfect for incredible chicken salad sandwiches (croissants are great!), or ton top of a lovely bed of green.  Either way, you're just going to love this Best-Ever Chicken Salad!    Using our Homemade Mayo recipe makes it even better!
4.94 from 161 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken salad, easy chicken salad, homemade mayonnaise, Roasted Chicken
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 368kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs chicken parts (bone-in, skin-on thighs and breasts work well) (You'll need about 4 cups)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup seedless grapes, halved (red and green varieties are great)
  • 1 cup almonds, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt (start with 1/2 teaspoon, then add more, to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F
  • Rub the olive oil all over the chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until internal temp reaches 165°F using an instant-read thermometer.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let cool.  Remove the skin then pull the meat from the bones and roughly chop.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, grapes, almonds, celery, scallions, dll, & parsley.
  • In a small-medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon, mustard, salt and pepper. 
  • Add the mayo/mustard mixture to the chicken mixture and gently stir until well mixed.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  
  • Serve on a bed of greens with sliced tomatoes and avocado.  Or, serve on bread with green leaf lettuce.  Add more toppings to your taste!

Video

Notes

You can prepare the chicken up to two days in advance.  The dressing can be made 1 or 2 days in advance.  Assemble all ingredients day of serving.  We feel for best flavor, place assemble salad in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or overnight), and then set out one hour before serving.
The salad is best served fresh, but can be frozen.  Simply let thaw and then come to room temp.  To freshen the salad up, make a small batch of the dressing and stir in before serving.
We love serving this salad in croissants, although its so delicious, it's delicious (and beautiful) over a bed of lettuce. 

Nutrition

Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 392mg | Potassium: 4mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

 

504 Comments

  • Made this for dinner tonight, but I won’t be able to eat it because I’ve already consumed half of it! Very good recipe. Made white bread today, so it should make nice sandwiches.

  • Hi Kris,
    I decided to try this recipe for a very special lunch that I was making for my sisters who I haven’t seen for many months due to the pandemic and I have to tell you that it was beyond fantastic!
    I slow boiled my chicken in chicken broth for about 90 minutes and it was full of flavor and fall apart tender.
    Followed the rest of the recipe and it all came together beautifully. I served on croissant rolls with my homemade potato salad and a colorful pasta salad as side dishes.
    We had such a great time together and an absolutely wonderful lunch thanks to you and your recipe, of which I added to my favorites and passed on to my sisters 🙂
    Thank you much!

  • Can you use skinless, boneless chicken breast? Thinking of making this but we don’t buy bone in skin on chicken breast.

    • Hi Many! Sure! You can go with skinless/boneless. You’ll need to adjust the baking time. We’d recommend brushing a little olive oil all over the breasts, season them with salt and pepper, and then bake in a preheated oven at 400°F for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until internal temp reaches 165°F. Hope this helps and let us know if you make the chicken salad and what you think!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • I made a balsamic marinade for my chicken and cooked in my instant pot and then followed the recipe from there. Only thing I left out was the almonds, only because I forgot to get them!

    Hands down, the best chicken salad I have ever made. Thank you for sharing!

    • Hi Samantha! YUM!! Balsamic marinade for the chicken sounds heavenly!! We are soooo glad you had such great success with the chicken salad and we appreciate so very much you letting us know and for the GREAT review! Means the world to us! Please stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Second recipe in and loving every bite! Fresh dill is an amazing addition! Plating my chicken salad inside of a beautiful tomato! You two are the best! Tomorrow onto General Tso’s chicken. I am hooked. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and home!
    Patience

    • Hi Patience! So sorry for the delayed response here! Thank you so much and we are so thrilled you loved the chicken salad. And plating in a fresh tomato sounds so GREAT!! We are so glad you found us and we found YOU!! Let us know how General T turns out!! And please stay in touch!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

    • Sorry for the delayed response, Marjo? Sure you can? We have to say that roasted chicken, or even chicken from a rotisserie chicken will produce a fresher, taste. But the flavors here are so good, that in a pinch, you could go with canned chicken. But we recommend roasted chicken or rotisserie :)!! Let us know how it turns out and what you think! Best, Kris & Wesley

    • Hi Kathy!!! Love them on Hawaiian rolls! So glad you had such success with the chicken salad. Thank you SO MUCH for letting us know and for the great review! We truly appreciate that very, very much!! Stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Amazing. Love you both. I think you guys are not only great Chefs, are great entertainers. Love love love. P.s. made the chicken salad and is “the best chicken salad”ever.

    • Hi Claudia! You have no idea how much your comment makes us so happy!! THANK YOU!!! We send lots and lots of love back to you, too! And we are so thrilled you liked the chicken salad and thank you SO SO MUCH for the wonderful comment and for the great review!! xoxoxo Kris & Wesley

  • My neighbor made this last night and brought it over. Absolutely AMAZING.I have never had anything so fresh and tempting to the tastebuds. Thanks Kris. Added it to my grandkids cookbook I’m making with family recipes.

    • Hi Becky! Sorry for the delayed response! That is so AWESOME to hear!! We are thrilled your neighbor made this and brought it to you. That’s a GREAT neighbor!! We are honored to have made it into your book of family recipes. That truly fills our hearts with joy. Thank you so much for letting us know and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us! Please stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • How many people does this feed? I saw it says 10 but the amount of grapes doesn’t seem like enough compared to the amount of chicken

    • Hi Mary, sorry for the delayed response. It makes a pretty big batch. If you’d like to increase the grapes, go for it!! We think the ratio of ingredients is good, but that is what is so wonderful about this recipe, it’s very adaptable to preference and taste. Let us know if you make it and what you think!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • This is one of the best chicken salads I’ve made an everyone wanted a second wrap. I dishes it out on a large leaf lettuce an put the chicken salad on top of that then wrapped it up in a tortilla wrap. Everyone wanted seconds. So thanks for the recipe it was a hit.

    • Thank you SO MUCH, Susan!!! We are so so so thrilled you had such success with our chicken salad and your presentation sounds absolutely amazing. Congrats on hitting it out of the park. And thank you so much for letting us know and for the GREAT review!! Stay in touch, and all the best…Kris & Wesley

  • Wow. This chicken salad is even better than my favorite from a local restaurant. Was hesitant w the grapes but they work well. Seasonings are perfect. Thx for the great recipe!

    • Hi Christine!! Yes!!! We are so thrilled you loved the chicken salad!!! Thank you so much for letting us know and for the GREAT review!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • You were right it’s the best Chicken Salad Ever! I will be making this a lot….the homemade mayo didn’t turn out so well for me. I couldn’t get it thick and it never turned white. What’s in the recipe that is going to make it thicker and what will make it turn white when you have 2 egg yokes and hot sauce? My mayo looked like rust.
    Thank you for this delicious recipe.

    • Hi Lissa! WE are so thrilled you had such great success with the chicken salad and sorry to hear about the mayo! It does take a little practice to get it just right. We find that safflower oil and just under a cup works well. The hot sauce adds a little flavor but does run the risk of coloring the mayo in the end. Thank you so much for the great review for the chicken salad and for letting us know! We truly appreciate that so so much! All the best, Kris & Wesley

      • Update success!
        I don’t know if it was the Safflower oil you suggested or that I went out and got an immersion blender but the mayo recipe came together quickly and so tasty.
        Thank you.

      • YES!!!!! I think both the safflower oil and the immersion blender would make all the difference…that, and you having a few practice rounds under youe belt! Congrats!! And as always, thanks for letting us (and everyone) know! We appreciate that so much!! Kris & Wesley

    • Thank you, Susannah! We made a chicken salad lover out of you!! LOL!! So glad you liked it and thank you so much for letting us know and for the awesome review! Means everything to us!! Stay in touch! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • I am not a huge chicken salad fan. But I had some chicken on hand and I thought I would try this recipe. OMG!!! This is really the BEST chicken salad recipe ever. Better than I expected. The flavor is complex and wonderful! THANK YOU!!!

    • Hey Jane!! Woo hoo!! We made a chicken salad believer out of you! LOL! We’re so glad you loved the recipe, and, of course, thank you so very much for letting us know and for the wonderful review! We appreciate that more than you could know! All the very best, Kris & Wesley

  • This is by far the best chicken salad I have made and I’m not a real chicken fan so that says a lot. The only thing I trades out was toasted pine nuts for the sliced almonds as I didn’t have any almonds. It was a hit with the other two in the family and have had requests to make it for lunch again. Thank you for this easy and very tasty recipe.

    • Hi Jean!! That is just absolutely fantastic to hear! Toasted pine nuts are great!! So glad you had success with the recipe and thank you SO MUCH for letting us know and for the GREAT review!! That means the world to us! Stay in touch! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • This sounds great and I will definitely try it. I have a southern recipe that does not use the mustard but does use a quarter cup if Major Grey’s Chutney. I never use that much and I add a few shakes of allspice. A local restaurant mixes the salad with brown rice and it’s very good.

  • You’re right Kris & Wesley – This is the best ever chicken salad. I made it for lunch today for hubby and me, and so look forward to trying the others. Thank you for sharing.

  • Loved it. Picky kid won’t touch dill, mustard or celery, so we left them out. Husband won’t touch mayo either, so I substituted with greek yogurt. Was a winner!

  • This chicken salad is what dreams are made of. Used the meat from a whole chicken I made in the pressure cooker. Made the salad exactly as written yesterday afternoon, had it on wheat toast for lunch today. It is out of this world DELICIOUS! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    • Amy!!! Woo hoo!!! That is so fantastic to hear!! Great trick to cook the whole chicken in your pressure cooker!! So so so glad you enjoyed the chicken salad and thank you SO MUCH for letting us know and for the GREAT review!!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

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