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!
4.93 from 127 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!

 

408 Comments

  • DELICIOUS!! Just made this tonight with 2 small rotisserie chickens. Not a big fan of chicken salad and never had almonds or grapes in it before; but I had faith and tried it. So glad I did. Flavors are absolutely wonderful! My husband loved it too! Thanks for making me a convert!

    • Hey Kim! So happy to help lead you to a happy place with chicken salad! LOL!! Keep the faith with us and we’ll try our best to never steer you wrong! And THANK YOU SO MUCH for letting us know and the great review! Stay in touch!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • I love this recipe! I was wondering, Is there an ingredient you would recommend to add a tad more flavor? Spice? Heat? Not much just something to compliment what’s there and give just a little something “extra”.

    • Hi Miriam!

      So very sorry for the delayed response! As Joshua said, a bit of cayenne or red pepper would certainly add a little heat. As would cayenne hot pepper sauce (ie, Tabasco, Franks, Lousiana Hot Sauce). But, another one of our favorite additions is a little curry powder. Find some with some heat, and it is incredible in this dish! It inspired us to create our own Curry Chicken Salad! (click for recipe). And thank you SO MUCH for the great review. We appreciate that so very, very much!

  • Love the recipe. I did tweek it just a bit and added purple onion it really brings out the flavor and I add a little garlic powder . But it’s a family favorite and I always get request . Great dish for luncheons and baby showers .

  • Love, love, love. I strongly encourage anyone if you are thinking of using this recipe…do it!!! It has such a fresh and vibrant taste. I get so excited when I’m having a group of ladies together, it truly is a good “go to” recipe for gatherings especially at lunch time. I usually get asked if I can give them the recipe and I just tell them to look up “how to feed a loon chicken salad” and make sure to watch the video!!! Love those guys!
    Thanks for the recipe that keeps on giving!
    Sonia❤️
    Indiana

    • Thank you so very much, Sonia!! You just made us happier than you could ever imagine! So thrilled you love the chicken salad and thank you so much for sharing the love!!! Please stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • I absolutely LOVE this recipe! I’ve been using it for over two years and it is my go-to chicken salad recipe. The flavor is amazing and I always get loads of compliments on it!

  • This was delicious! I loved the dill! The best chicken salad I’ve had. I’m new to your site. Very impressed with all your recipes. I’m very much looking forward to trying many more! Thanks so much!

    • Hi Tanyia!! Woo hoo!! We are sooooo glad you loved the chicken salad! And we are SO HAPPY you found us!! Please stay in touch and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or other fabulous comments! We appreciate that so very much!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Trying this recipe but I had to stop the video. I just couldn’t. The other guy was making my upset with his interruptions. Anyway, I’ll just read your instructions. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Great recipe! I made this using some leftover chicken that was too dry to eat plain and it still turned out wonderful! I doubled the celery (I like a lot of crunch, personal preference) and added a bit of red onion as well. The dill and almonds definitely add a new layer of YUM. Thanks for another great recipe y’all!

  • I’m going to try this tomorrow on my day off. My question though is about the almonds. I bought one of those salad mixed bags with dried cranberries and honey glazed almonds. Are these almonds not supposed to be sweet? Just sliced? I can always go buy the regular ones but I just want to be clear are they supposed to be salted or just plain sliced roasted almonds? Thanks in advance!

    • Awesome, Luann!! So so so glad you loved the chicken salad! It’s our favorite for sure! And thank you so much for letting us know! Please stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • outstanding chicken salad. easy to make. I did buy a rotesery chicken. the mustard, dill and almonds are the star of the show. could not stop eating, this dish. we put this on fresh buttery crosants, bought at walmart. I also bought roasted almonds, and cut in half. I have many recipies. this one is WOW, dam thats good. thanks Kentucky

  • It really is the best! Made a batch for quick road trip sandwiches and it was delicious. Used a rotisserie chicken and tasted great. Just back to make sure I have everything to make it again.

  • I wish I could give more stars! I don’t typically leave reviews but, this recipe is extraordinary. No single ingredient sticks out. Instead, you find a perfectly balanced texture and the combined layers of flavor are insatiable. Even my children beg for it. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    • Yay!! Thank you, Marisa! So so so thrilled you loved our chicken salad! And HUGE win that the kids liked it, too!! Thank you so much for letting us know! Please stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • I’m not a huge mustard fan (I actually don’t like mustard at all…sadly) can it be substituted? Does the Dijon taste carry through when finished?

  • Out of all the other chicken salad recipes this one is excellent. I looked spent time a lot of time finding the perfect combination of ingredients. Yours won hands down. This will be my 2nd time making your chicken salad recipe. Thank you. Hello to your friend Wesley, he’s silly. I like him.

    • Hi Debra! That is the best news we’ve heard all week! We are so thrilled you loved our chicken salad recipe! And thank you so much for the wonderful review and for letting us know. That means the world to us!! And Wesley sends his silly best wishes! You are right…he is silly…but so loveable! Stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

    • Thank you so much, Robin!! We are so so thrilled that you loved our chicken salad recipe! And thank you for letting us know. That means the world to us! Stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Yes indeed gentlemen the Best Chicken Salad Ever! Making it for my family for the third time and everyone absolutely loves it. Thank you for the great recipe

    • Polly!! You have no idea how happy that makes to hear!! So glad you love this chicken salad as much as we do! And THANK YOU for taking the time to let us know!! That means the world to us!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

    • Thank you, Veronica!! So so so glad you liked it…and kudos for making the homemade mayo! We agree…that takes it to an entire new level!! And thanks so much for letting us know and for the great review. We appreciate that soooo much! Please stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Hi again! I’m going to try the tuna salad today, since I have leftover dill, lemon, celery and even red onion. Cranberries aren’t on my list of favorites but I’m going to make an exception for your recipe. You didn’t steer me wrong on the chicken salad!

    While browsing your website I saw that you were on GGG—I KNEW you looked familiar! What a blast that must have been!!

    Look forward to trying out more of your recipes!

    • Awesome!! We honestly think our tuna salad rivals our chicken salad, but you can be the judge of that! GGG was incredible…and incredibly stressful, but tons of fun! Keep us posted as you check out recipes and let us know what you think or if you have any Qs!! xoxo

    • Hi guys, tried the tuna salad yesterday and used the special “fancy” ingredients—capers and cranberries. I found the wild planet tuna in the organic food section, along with a bag of cranberry and almond salad topping. Everything turned out great, but the 3/4 cup mayonnaise was too much. I’ll cut it down to 1/2 cup next time. Signed up for your FB page and I look forward to more easy but different recipes. It’s nice to have new and better ways to cook old favorites. Egg salad is next!!

      • Would this work with Turkey?
        Or do you have a turkey salad recipe?
        I love this, it is the best chicken salad ever!!
        Thank you, Daphne

      • Hi Daphne!

        This recipe would do great with roasted turkey. Roast chicken and roast turkey are similar in texture, a little different in taste, but the turkey would be great. Good use of leftover turkey! And thank you so much for the great review!! We truly appreciate that! Let us know if you make it with the turkey and what you think!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Sooo yummy! I’ve tried lots of chicken salads similar to this but could never find *the* one.
    I just happened to have the ingredients at home, except for the lemon and fresh dill. It was worth going to the store to get those items because I can’t imagine the salad without them now!! I followed the recipe exactly as written and it was perfect. Thanks for my new favorite recipe!!

    • Hi Paula!! Nothing makes us much happier in life than to read a comment like this! Thank you SO MUCH for the kind words and the great review! And we couldn’t be happier that our chicken salad became you new ‘go to’ chicken salad. It’s pretty awesome, we have to agree! Thanks so very 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

      • That is so awesome to hear!! We are thrilled you love our chicken salad as much as we do. And thank you so much for letting us know, that means a lot to us!! Stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

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