This really is the perfect go-to 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!
How To Make Chicken Salad
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 It So Delicious?
So many folks have made this salad and asked us in complete sincerity: “What makes this chicken salad recipe so darn delicious?”
Well, there are several reasons, we believe: Here are some of the main ones:
- 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 dish 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 sandwich you can imagine!
Homemade Mayonnaise Adds More Freshness
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.
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.
And it’s even better after it sits in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight! This chicken salad sandwich recipe is really about as good as they come!
I mean, just look how delicious this looks!
Wait until you taste it!! You and those around you will love it!
If you are looking for an easy chicken salad recipe that tastes like something you’d get at an amazing restaurant, you need to look no further!
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 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.
Ready to make the best lunch dish in town? Go for it!
And when you make it, take a picture and post to Instagram and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and #HowToFeedaLoon
Best-Ever Chicken Salad
- 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 grapes seedless, halved (red and green varieties are great)
- 1 cup almonds thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery finely diced
- 3 scallions thinly sliced (white and green parts)
- 2 tbsp dill fresh, chopped
- 1 tbsp parsley fresh, 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
- Preheat 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, dill, & 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!
I have been making this recipe for about two years. It is a staple in our home and is so amazing! I always make it as written but sometimes add apple as well. I have even started growing my own dill because I make this so often!
The tuna salad is also wonderful! Thank you!
Hi Kim! Awesome! We are so so thrilled you are enjoying the chicken salad and the addition of apple is wonderful! And homegrown dill? YES!!!!! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the wonderful review. That just means so much to us! Please stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley
Very, very good!
Thank you, Sarah! We appreciate that and so glad you enjoyed the chicken salad! And thanks for the great review! We truly appreciate that so much! xoxo Kris & Wesley
This really is THE BEST chicken salad. It’s been on repeat at our house for a long time. I’ve served it fancy, and served it simple. I’ve served it to family, and served it to guests. It’s always delicious and always gets rave reviews. Thank you for a great recipe that has a permanent place in our family recipe box! I kinda hate to tell you this, but no matter how much I try to give credit where credit is due, my kids still persist in calling this Mom’s Chicken Salad. Misplaced praise but high praise indeed!
Debra! You have no idea how much you just made our day! We are THRILLED you are loving our chicken salad recipe and, trust us…it fills our hearts with joy that you are getting high praise every time you make it! It’s not misplaced praise! You made it with love and that’s all that matters. Mom’s Chicken Salad is nothing short of perfection! That’s what makes us love doing what we do. Keep on being a rock star and keep us posted as you go! xoxo Kris & Wesley
Can you freeze this chicken salad? It is amazing. Thank you in advance.
Hi Carrie! So sorry for the delayed response. Yes! You can freeze this chicken salad. So so glad you are loving it! Let us know how everything turns out! Best, Kris & Wesley
This really is the best ever!! Everything works together so well in this recipe! The dill is such a fresh and delicious addition that I did not expect to love so much! Thanks for this great recipe!
Hi Leslie! Woo hoo! So so glad you enjoyed the chicken salad! That’s one of our all-time favorites! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the GREAT review. That means the world to us! All the best, Kris & Wesley
What is the serving size of the recipe based on? Trying to determine if I should double, triple, etc. For the shower I’m hosting.
Hi Jess! So sorry for the delayed response! It really depends on how you plan on serving the chicken salad. One batch (as written) could easily make 6 to 8 sandwiches. We love to serve them on croissants. We have had other home cooks who have doubled or tripled the recipe when serving for a gathering. If you take a look at the bowl filled with the salad in the blog post, that’s from making one batch. Hopefully that will give you and idea on how much you’ll need to make. Leftovers are great, too, if you have extra. Keep us posted and we hope you have a beautiful shower!!!! Have FUN!!!
Hey! I added a tablespoon of pureed sweet onion to it-loved even more.
Thanks for sharing the recipe-it really rocks! Can’t wait to share it with friends!
Hi Mike! Puréed sweet onion sounds wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing and for the nice review! We appreciate that so much! All the best, Kris & Wesley
It’s not preferential thinking when they called this chicken salad the best ever—it really is! Served on a croissant, over butter lettuce, or on Ritz crackers, there’s no bad way to eat it. I prepared the chicken myself (as the recipe called for) and their homemade mayonnaise: chef’s kids! Thank you so much for the recipe!
Which do you use, real mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?
We actually use Miracle Whip! It is an AMAZING recipe!!!
Miracle Whip is great, too! And thank you, Julie! We agree…you really can’t go wrong with this recipe!! xoxo
Hi Gina! So sorry for the delayed response! We love making our own, but also use Hellmann’s or Dukes.
Cannot even describe how amazing this salad is. Suffice it to say that since I’ve found it a month ago, I make a batch weekly. YUM!!! Can’t wait to try your other recipes
Kelly!! That makes us so so happy! We are thrilled you are loving our chicken salad recipe and we are so excited for you to try other recipes! And THANK YOU for sharing and for the wonderful review! That means so much to us! Stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley
The best I ever tasted!
Yay! That makes us very very happy!!
By far the most delightful and delicious salad. Roasted the chicken. Did not have dill, but it was still amazing. I added dried cranberries. Served with leaf lettuce, tomatoes, and kaiser rolls.
I am so looking forward to making this for a wedding brunch. Any suggestions on how to make this in large batches (100 invited guests)?
Hi Monica! So very sorry for the delayed response! Wow! 100 guests! That’s amazing! Obviously, it will depend on how you’re serving it. Prepare sandwiches, or let folks make their own. If you 4x the recipe, you should have more than enough to feed 100 people. I’d start with the chicken first. Roast them and shred and then keep in the fridge until ready to assemble. The prepared chicken salad will keep just fine in a fridge for 24 hours, no problem. Good luck and please let us know how it all turns out. And have FUN!!!! Kris & Wesley
Fabulous recipe. The only change I made was using grainy mustard instead of Dijon; personal choice. Thanks so much!
It’s our all time favorite chicken salad recipe!