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!
4.93 from 241 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


  • 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!



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. 


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!



    • Sasha!! Woo hoo! We are so happy you are loving our chicken salad recipe!!! Thank you so much for sharing and for the GREAT review! That so much to us!!! Stay in touch! Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe I’ve made it tons of times! I’ve adapted it a bit even thought the original is knock your socks off good! I like to make the dressing with plain Greek yogurt and love the extra tang it gives it!!

    • Hi Cassie! We are so so happy you are enjoying our chicken salad recipe and the Greek yogurt is a GREAT modification! Thanks for sharing and for the WONDERFUL review! That means the world to us! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    This is absolutely the best chicken salad ever! It is always a hit with family and friends! Thank you for sharing this and all your recipes!

    • Hi Tina! You just made our day! We are THRILLED you made our chicken salad and LOVED it! We are so happy you are enjoying our recipes! Thanks for sharing and for the GREAT review! Stay in touch and stay tuned…so much more fun and food on the way! Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Best chicken salad ever! I even started making homemade mayo for it, but I’m having a problem I wonder if you can help with. I have a Bamix immersion blender, and the first couple of times I used it, it was super easy and the mayo turned out great. But lately, it has been breaking, and I’m not sure what I’m doing different (and wrong). Do you have any insight about this?

    • Hi Melanie! Sorry for the delayed response!!! That is weird that it started breaking on you after you had success at first. We find that if you slowly lift the blender up and down (not too fast at all), it tends to stay in tack and forms a nice, thick mayo. Did you change any brands of the ingredients. It really is one of those things that the slightest variation (even humidity) can cause a problem. Keep at it! You’ll master mayo again, no doubt! And keep us posted! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    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

    • 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

  • 5 stars
    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

    • 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

  • 5 stars
    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!!!

  • 4 stars
    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!

  • 5 stars
    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!

  • 5 stars
    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

  • 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

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