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!
4.92 from 110 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!

 

360 Comments

  • Thanks I added a little curry spice to the mayo. Served it on mini croissants for a wedding shower and everyone loved it. Thank you

    • Hi Zay! That’s so great to hear and the dash of curry spice sounds wonderful. We LOVE curried chicken salad!! Thanks for letting us know! We appreciate that very much! (maybe next time we’ll get a 5 star rating! LOL). All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Followed the recipe almost exactly as it’s posted, and it was delicious! I added slightly more lemon juice and some hot Hungarian paprika – wow! Could you please post a nutritional breakdown for this recipe? This has become one of my main post-workout meals and I’d like to be able to accurately log this information. Thank you!

    • Hi Stephen!! Lemon juice is such an important part of the flavor profile, so adding a little more is a great idea! And wow, we best Hungarian paprika is fantastic, too!! We will get the full nutritional breakdown by tomorrow. We are currently updating all recipes to include that, so it’s a bit of a process, but we’ll make sure it’s done by end of week. Thanks so much for letting us know and we are thrilled you liked the recipe! Stay in touch, friend! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • My friends and I made this today. She added a couple tablespoons soft cream cheese and used cashews for the nuts. Very good.

    • Hi Ruth! That is so fantastic to hear! And we like the idea of adding some soft cream cheese. We’ll have to give that a try, too. And yes yes yes to cashews!! Thanks so much for letting us know and we’re so glad you and your friend enjoyed the recipe. Please stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • I have made this delicious chicken salad several times. My guests always ask for the recipe. This is the only chicken salad I will make from now on. Love this recipe!

  • YUM! Never have visited your site and I WILL BE BACK!!! I had leftover rotisserie last night and chicken Caesar salad is good but I am a wierdo and don’t like eating the same dinner twice in a row, so chicken salad. Went through a half dozen recipes before yours and it was a grand slam. I love the scallions in place of onions for a milder flavor with the grapes and the Dijon is unique to this recipe as far as my research went. I’ve already started a list of other recipes of yours I am going to make. Next up-slow cooker ribs this weekend!

    • Heather!!!! That is SO AWESOME to hear!! We are thrilled you loved our chicken salad recipe! We love it so much, too!! And thank you so much for taking the time to let us know and the great review!! And you will LOVE the slow-cooker ribs, we’re pretty sure of that! Do let us know!! Stay in touch and all the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Just made this today. I had leftover bone in chicken thighs I had roasted in the oven and I bought a rotisserie chicken for the chicken breasts and the mixture is so flavorful. I used a little sweet pickle juice to add some sweetness and this recipe is so good! Love a recipe that can accommodate personal preference without taking away from the recipe!

    • Hi Beverly, it really depends on how much chicken you end up with before you mix everything together…but you’ll end up with about 8 cups of chicken salad if you follow the recipe as written. Hope this helps!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • This is my ALL TIME FAVORITE Chicken Salad recipe! Thanks so much for sharing!

    I’m going to make this for my daughters first birthday and was wondering if I could make it ahead of time? If so, how early can I make ahead? Any tips to making it super tasty for a crowd? Thanks again!!

    • Hi Heather!! Thank you so so much!! AWESOME!!! What we do is cook the chicken ahead of time and cube it up to a day or two in advance. Make the dressing (with the dill) a day in advance. And then a few hours before serving, mix the dressing together with the chicken, grapes, almonds and parsley. Refrigerate until about an hour before you serve, then just give it a good stir, and you’re good to go! Hope this helps and let us know how it turns out!! all the best, Kris & Wesley

    • I love love this recipie…I love seeing your new recipes pop up in my email…can u tell me if anybody has used the dried dill…and parsley?? I Have the freeze-dried in both.I was thinking about making it this weekend…And didnt want to go bk to store. But if it is not as good….I will. Thanks again for your delicious and always entertaining videos!!! I definitely see why you love that sweet Loon!!

      • Hi Victoria!! You just made our day, our weekend…heck…our month! So so sweet. You can absolutely go with dried, just cut the amount in half. But…I gotta tell you, if the market is not to far away, or too crowded…I’d get the fresh…especially the dill. I really think it’s one of the key ingredients that makes this chicken salad so yummy. But…it would still be delish with dried, too. Let us know how it turns out. And thank you gain. Your words truly mean the world to us!! Have a wonderful weekend!! Kris & Wesley

  • This is so good. Love the grapes and the scallions.
    I couldn’t find fresh dill, so I settled for dry. I used only a teaspoon, the dill flavor still came through nicely. But how much would you recommend?

    • Hi Jessie!! That’s so awesome to hear! And 1 tsp of dried dill should be perfect. Next time you have some fresh dill on hand, give that a shot. Dried is absolutely good, but we think fresh is even better! And thank you so much for letting us know and we’re so happy you had success with the chicken salad! Please stay in touch and let us know of any comments, question, or just general thoughts about anything food related!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

    • That’s about the best news we’ve heard in quite awhile!!! We are so so glad you like the chicken salad!!! And thank you so much for letting us know!!!!! Stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Quick question what temperature do you roast your chicken breasts on your video you say 400 degrees but the recipe says 350?

      • Omg!! This recipe is amazing!! I was raised a non-mayo eater, you guys have turned me lol! This is not a mayo sandwich. The balance of mayonnaise and ingredients suggested was perfect. We used croissants as the bread as you had suggested…amazing!! I was skeptical about the grapes and I am pleased to admit that I was wrong, amazing combination! My Dad was even raving about the sandwich lol!! Thank you so much, you guys are awesome!!

  • Hi Kris & Wesley,
    First thing I will say is AMAZING!!! I made this for my twins’ 3rd birthday party last weekend and everyone loved it! I made some modifications to suit our taste, using chicken that I had smoked, added a little more mayo, substituted pecans for almonds, added a little honey, and served with crackers. I actually just made another double batch last night, because my wife raved about it so much. This will be a regular in our house going forward! Thank you!!

    • Hey Dusty!! That is so awesome! And by awesome…we mean Happy Birthday to your twins!!! And we couldn’t be happier that you had such success with our chicken salad recipe, and your modifications sound fantastic! Smoked chicken and a little honey? Yes indeed!!! And thank you for taking the time to let us know. That really means the world to us, and it’s always good to keep the spouses happy, right? Thanks again and y’all stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • THIS IS AHHHHMAZING. SO delicous!!! I like to use half greek yogurt for a reduced fat option. I’d love to try it with your homemade mayo-maybe next time! I’m currently devouring what didn’t fit in the tupperware :)!!!!

    • Kayla!! That is so awesome to hear!! Homemade mayo is wonderful!!! And half free yogurt is perfect, too. Thank you for letting us know and please stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

    • Hi Joan, you could go with 1 tbsp of dried dill and 1 tsp of dried parsley and be in good shape. Let us know how it turns out and what you think! Best, Kris & Wesley

      • You guys really are a lot of fun! I was wondering what store bought Mayo you would recommend.
        Could I add the Dijon mustard and onion power to the store bought to enhance the flavor? I’m so worried about the raw eggs in the homemade mayo causing some stomach sensitivity
        to one of our guests. However my husband and I have made the homemade mayo and love it!

      • Perfect on a Hot Summer Night. Thankyou for Sharing. Hubby even ate it and this Man likes Nothing good for him..lol
        I chose to eat mine on a lettuce wrap and it was wonderful for all the carb minded folks.
        Again Thank you!

      • Hi Lolli! That sounds fantastic!! So glad you (and the hubby) enjoyed our chicken salad recipe!!! And THANK YOU SO MUCH for letting us know. That means the world to us!! Please stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley P.S. Lettuce wraps are the best!

      • My kids ate the grapes before I had a chance to make this, so I’m going to use peaches we’ll see!

      • That’s hilarious! Well, we feel pretty certain peaches would be a nice addition. Let us know how it turns out!! (at least the kids are snacking healthy!).

  • Ooh… This was soo goood.

    After Monday morning Mass, the attendees enjoy breakfast together prepared by whoever signed up for that day. Today was my turn and I brought chicken salad on croissant sandwiches and some fresh fruits. They loved the sandwich! I did have several left because it was very cold today. Many of the regulars did not come. (Their ages range between 75 to 90 years.) However, those who came asked for more because they were going to eat them for lunch; another was going to take a few to those who were not present today. I followed the recipe except for adding 1/2 cup more of the almonds.

    It was a joy to watch the ladies enjoy their breakfast and you made that possible because you shared your recipe. Thank you!

    I love watching both of you. Wesley is such a character and he makes me laugh.

    • Hi Hanna!! Thank you so much for letting us know! This makes us happier than anything else. How wonderful of you to prepare lunch for these lovely ladies! Sounds like you handled it all perfectly! You are clearly a beautiful person yourself! Thank you for taking the time to let us know your experience. That truly means the world to us! And thanks for watching…stay tuned…lots more on the way!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Very good, however I made it slightly different, instead of a full cup of mayo I did half mayo and half Greek Yogurt. And I just bought a Rotisserie chicken from Safeway for like $8. I deboned about 10oz of meat and made 4 sammies out of them! Still have over 15oz of the Rotisserie in the freezer for another meal! We had it with a side of carrots/artichoke dip and split an apple. Near the end, I was too full to eat my other sammy, but my girlfriend ate all of hers and is regretful because she wants it again today.. Thank y’all!

  • This really is the best chicken salad! I served it at a party. Everyone commented on how good it was and wanted the recipe. Thank you for making me look like a great hostess!

    • That is such fabulous news to hear!! So glad you and your guests enjoyed it!! That makes us so happy to hear. And thank you so very much for letting us know. We really, really appreciate it! Stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • I have made this recipe before (loved it) and have shared it with many people (who also loved it). I hope tonight will be the same. I’ve recently moved in with my 85 year young father who needs a little bit of extra help these days. He hates chicken. It goes back to the early 50s when he lived in a boardinghouse in Washington D.C. and the landlord served chicken for dinner every night — with the pin feathers still on. So – I get it. I understand. But this chicken salad is so damn good that I have high hopes—- if only it wasn’t chicken. Hmmm – we live right in the middle of rattlesnake country – which everyone says tastes like chicken… Wish me luck!

    • Hi Sue!! I hope your father liked the chicken salad!! It is kind of a challenge to do chicken salad, without chicken!! Ha!! I bet you made it perfectly, though, and I bet he loved it…at least that you made him dinner!! I’m not sure how Rattlesnake Salad would be…but who knows! Maybe delicious!! Stay in touch!! Best, Kris & Wesley

    • Hi Sherri!! Oh, absolutely!! We LOVE dried cranberries. They would work perfectly in this chicken salad. We actually do call for them in our Best-Ever Tuna Salad. Let us know when you make the dish and what you think!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Kris and Wesley,

    I made your chicken salad tonight and OMG!! It was soooooo good! Our grandchildren gobbled it up! It really made a lot too. I think the children loved it even more because of the grapes. Thank you so much for sharing it with the world. I consider it a gift!

    Thanks again!

    • Angela!! That is so wonderful to hear!! Getting a note like this is a GIFT to us! It means so much, and we could not be happier that you and your wonderful grandkids gobbled it up! Big win!! And thank you so very much for letting us know, means a lot to us. Please stay in touch! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • This is seriously the best ever chicken salad! I brought it to work and everyone loved it. They all demanded the recipe, and I even converted a previous chicken salad hater with this recipe. I did alter it slightly by adding extra dill and leaving out the almonds. I also used a whole chicken instead of just the breasts. Sooo Good!

    • Hi Kayla! That is so awesome to hear! It’s great to make everyone at work super impressed, right? And your changes sound just right (we’re huge fresh dill lovers, too, so we always up the dill content, too!). And THANK YOU so much for taking the time to let us know. That truly means the world to us. Please stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley.

    • You guys are so funny! I could watch you all day! I’m so excited to try this recipe! My husband and I are raising our four grandchildren and we are constantly looking for alternative recipes for chicken. This looks fabulous!

      • Hi Angela!! Thank you so much, that means the world to us!! And wow! You’ve got your hands full raising four grandchildren, but somehow, we think you and your husband don’t mind it at all. We absolutely love this chicken salad and really hope you and your family do too! Do let us know what you think and please stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Alright, I was snobby! I made a bath of chicken salad to take for a friends going away party. We ate most of it later that evening, so made a double batch. My friend who was moving looked at me and frowned. I have known you 10 yrs, and you have never made this! Told her it was a family secret…ok, I lied too. She wanted the recipe, i told her i was not sure if i could share it, family thing you know! So she said who is closer to family to you here? I reached in my pocket and gave it to her, including your site on it. ( you know, the family site!) Next thing i know she was running off copies for everyone! Said it was her family recipe! When it works it works…oh, and welcome to the family…bunches of them!

    • Helen…you have literally made our day, our week, hell! our entire month!! You are so awesome! And we are SOOOOO thrilled that you (and your friend) love our chicken salad. We think it’s the bomb, too!! And you are more than welcome to call it your family recipe…like you said…we’ll just consider ourselves family!! Please stay in touch!! And check out other recipes…lots of other super dishes and tons more to come!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • Hi Kris & Wesley,

    I’m so excited to try this chicken salad! It sounds amazing, and I’m going to make it for a family Christmas get together. While I’m here, I’ll add that I love watching you all and y’all have the best personalities! I have a question though: if using store bought mayonnaise, will it make a difference if I use regular or light?

    Cheers from TN! Gabrielle

  • I’ve made this dozens of times, and I’m convinced it’s the best chicken salad in the world. Thank you for an amazing recipe!

    • Nothing makes us happier than to read a message such as this. Thank you so much, Heather!! We are so thrilled you love this recipe! And thank YOU so much for taking the time to let us know. We truly appreciate it!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

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