Best-Ever Chicken Salad

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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!

best-ever chicken salad recipe

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.

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!  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!

best-ever chicken salad recipe

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 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.

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

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!
4.92 from 225 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: 273kcal

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 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

Instructions

  • 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!

Video

Notes

You can prepare the chicken for 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 the 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 it's so delicious (and beautiful) over a bed of lettuce. 

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

 

668 Comments

  • 5 stars
    This is by far the best chicken salad ever! The ingredient blend together And I feel it is best left in frig overnight before serving!

    • Hi Gloria! Woo hoo! You have no idea how happy this makes us! We are THRILLED you are loving the chicken salad recipe, and we agree, it just gets better overnight! Thank you so much for sharing and for the GREAT review. That truly means so much to us! Please stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! I’ve tried many different chicken salad recipes and this is definitely the best!

  • 5 stars
    I substituted Greek Yogurt for the mayonnaise and accidentally bought vanilla instead of plain—but using vanilla makes it soooo good. So now I always use vanilla whenever I make this! The sauce by itself tastes amazing, and then adding the chicken dilutes the vanilla flavor. And I use sunflower seeds and/or chia seeds for “crunch” instead of almonds. And I substituted the stalk part of Bok Choy for celery ribs since that is what I had. Thanks for a great recipe and so nutritious!

  • 5 stars
    Made this for my daughter’s bridal shower and it was a hit!! Absolutely delicious! We love this recipe and will be making it our go to chicken salad recipe!

    • Hi Sherry! This makes us so so happy! We are thrilled you had success with our chicken salad and we are honored that you made it for such a special occasion. Please tell your daughter we said ‘congratulations’ and are glad we could help out even in a small way! Happy Times! Thanks for sharing and for the wonderful review! That means the world to us!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • This has now been my go-to chicken salad for a couple of years! The dill….. Oh my goodness. I leave out celery and use pecans instead of almonds. Thank you for sharing this, it’s the best!

  • 5 stars
    So good! I tried making the chicken thighs in the crockpot on low for 6 hours and it worked out very well! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes 🙂

  • 5 stars
    Thank you, both, for a recipe that wins every time I make it for family and friends. And this week I’m making your Instant Pot braciole!

    • Woo hoo, Dave! That makes us so happy! We are thrilled you are loving the chicken salad recipe and thank you so much for letting us know! We truly appreciate that! And let us know how the IP braciole turns out! It is one of our all-time favorites. That sauce is amazing over mashed potatoes or pasta!! YUM!!

      • 5 stars
        Hey guys! Just your loyal reviewer here. I made this chicken salad again for the millionth time. This time I had no Dijon mustard and I found a bottle of honey Dijon mustard hiding on the shelf so used it. I also like the combo of dill weed with celery seed. So I made those changes……over the top delish! You MUST try it. You guys are taking my culinary skills to new levels and I’m forever grateful. And I’m still absolutely loving your membership site still. Keep up the great work guys. On to the coleslaw and new chocolate cake recipe next! What a great Labor Day weekend feast with my favorite guys.

  • 5 stars
    Brilliant recipe! Best chicken salad I’ve ever had and by the looks on faces, it was for everybody. The only thing I did different was to make 1.5 times, doubled the grapes and cut the lemon juice to 1/2 a lemon since my husband isn’t a huge lemon fan. I can’t wait to try your tuna salad – capers! Genius you guys!

    • Hi Jennifer!! So sorry for the delayed response here! We are THRILLED you had such great success with our chicken salad recipe and your modifications sound perfect!! We hope you love the tuna salad…it’s really yummy! Let us know if you make it and what you think of it!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Well rats. I didn’t realize that I hadn’t reviewed this recipe when I first tried it during our “Loon Thanksgiving Day”. First, what the heck is wrong with Carmen? Ugh….some people are just miserable souls. I have made this recipe a gazillion times. Always my go to chicken salad recipe. I was hooked at dill. My favorite EVER. To me, dill goes with everything and a lot of it. I have made this with good ole mayo as well as your homemade mayo. I’ve used chicken breast, rotisserie chicken and (DO NOT READ THIS) canned chicken breast in a hurry. Actually all of them were really good. The crunch of the grapes with the almonds combined with yummy dill is just out of this world. It’s great on any type of bread, lettuce or just plain straight out of the bowl. It reminds me of my favorite chicken salad with grapes that I used to get at a local deli but theirs had no dill! Once I saw your recipe I had to give it a try and I haven’t been back to that deli. As you can tell by the numbers of reviews that you get along that all of us who love you guys as well as your membership site, don’t fret a hater who has no idea nor respect by what these reviews mean to you. You will always have many great reviews to boost your ratings. Keep on cooking guys and making me laugh.

    • Diane!!! We LIVE for everything here!! We are so so thrilled you are loving our beloved chicken salad recipe (it’s our favorite) and we appreciate your amazing words and review!! You are the absolute best!!!! Much love, Kris & Wesley

    • That is so wonderful to hear! We are thrilled you and the family loved the chicken salad. And THANK YOU so much for letting us know and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us!!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    This is delicious!!! I was preparing for a luncheon with friends. Because of a change in the weather, I wanted to go with something cool and fresh instead of hot. I thought chicken salad on croissants would be perfect. I found this recipe and it is soooo good. I didn’t have parsley or dill on hand, so I added a little Mrs. Dash. Yummy!!! Will definitely make again! Thank you!

    • Hi Cheryl!! Woo hoo!! So so thrilled you enjoyed the chicken salad! And sounds like you prepared it perfectly!! Thank you so much for letting us know and for the AWESOME review! That means the world to us!!! Stay in touch! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I haven’t tried this yet but watching you make it, I could almost taste it. I know I won’t be disappointed. I’ve already shared it with a few chicken salad lovin’ friends. Same with your chicken gyro recipe. Muwaah!!!
    P.S. You have such a great chemistry. May face hurt from grinning ear to ear while watching you two cooking together and enjoying each other’s adorableness.

    • Hi Emily! We are so so happy you are excited to try our chicken salad recipe. That recipe is our most popular and we just love it so much. Please let us know if you make the salad and what you think! And thank you so much for your kind words! That means the world to us!! Happy New Year!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

    • Yay!! We think it served between a warm toasted croissant is the BEST!!! We are so so thrilled you are loving our chicken salad recipe. That makes our hearts happy. And thank you for letting us know and for the fabulous review. That means the world to us!!

  • 5 stars
    I was hesitant about the grapes but it was delicious. I even contemplated putting more grapes after tasting because I enjoyed the sweetness it gave the chicken salad.

    • Hi Mickey! It’s amazing how the grapes work so wonderfully, right? We are glad you gave them a shot and enjoyed it so much. And thank you SO MUCH for letting us know and for the GREAT review. That honestly means so much to us!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • This recipe is FIRE!!! The absolute best chicken salad I have ever had the privilege to make. Thank you for the video as well!! You were right – the fresh ingredients were the best. Not only did my husband love it, but my Dad too lol!! Oh thank you and have a wonderful holiday season!!

  • 5 stars
    This is my absolute favorite chicken salad! It’s our go to when asked to bring a lunch dish. The recipe is always requested after we share it with friends!
    Thanks for sharing it!

    • Hi Madison!! You have made us SO HAPPY!! We are thrilled you’ve had such great success with the recipe and thank you SO MUCH for letting us know and for the great review. That honestly means so much to us!!! Stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

    • Well, Carmen, we’ve had over half-million people share this recipe because they loved it so much. Sometimes an unexpected ingredient elevates a dish. But you wouldn’t know about this because you didn’t try it. And still, you gave us 1 star. You may not know this, but when you give a blogger’s recipe a bad rating, it sends a bad signal to Google and other search engines and lowers our visibility. Of course, it’s your right to rate the recipe however you see fit, but since you hadn’t even tried the recipe, it’s kind of harsh. We (and most bloggers) offer our content for free and rely on search volume so we can earn money from ads to keep doing what we do, make a living, and invest in our business of providing good recipe content.

      • 5 stars
        Well, I am sure you know how wonderful the majority thinks of you and your delicious recipes..you are appreciated as is the hard work that goes into all that you do. Dont like grapes or almonds? Leave them out!! ❤‍♀️

      • I think Carmen is probably more of a blue box mac and cheese kinda gal. This recipe is AMAZING!!!

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