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!
4.94 from 154 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!

 

484 Comments

  • I have made this numerous times —— and left a review or two as well — but I just have to leave another one to tell you THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! This is the most amazing chicken salad! I absolutely love it —and the people I have served it to absolutely love it. I don’t know what it is that makes this salad so special — and I really wish I did —- I guess it’s just the right combination of flavors and textures and colors. Yum

    • Dana!! You can’t imagine how happy that makes us to hear!!!! We are thrilled that you love our chicken salad recipe so much and thank you SO MUCH for letting us know and the great review!! You are AWESOME!!!! All the very best, Kris & Wesley

  • Have been making chicken salad for years…but not this good. The addition of grapes, almonds and mustard just made a world of difference. Cheers.

    • Hi Keith!! That is really awesome!!! So glad you enjoyed our recipe for chicken salad and thank you so much for letting us know and the fantastic review. We appreciate that so so much!!! Stay in touch!! Cheers! Kris & Wesley

  • Hi, this sounds delicious! Should we cook the chicken at 350 or 400? The video is different from the instructions Thanks so much!

    • Hi Geraldine! Sorry about that! Really, either will work, but go with the 350°F. This should take about 50 minutes. But, that also depends on the size of the chicken breast, so always good to check for doneness before using in the recipe. Juices should run clear, and if you have an instant read thermometer, the internal temp should be 165°F. Let us know if you make the salad and what you think of it. Or, let us know if you have any other questions! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. With our situation right now ‘lockdown’ I have to rely on my whats in my pantry. Feeding a family of four is not easy but with your help it makes it very easy for me and the result was really great. Everybody likes it and getting a compliment for everybody while still sitting on the dining table. Again thank you and the home made mayonaise tastes so good too!!!!!

    • Hi Gigie!! That is really so awesome to hear and just fills our hearts with joy. These are challenging times without a doubt. So, being able to help you have a win at the dinner table is just so fantastic. We’re glad the whole family enjoyed the chicken salad! And thank you so very much for letting us know and for the great review. Means the world to us! Stay in touch!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Nice recipe, thanks! I didn’t have any grapes or apples in the house so I used pears and they worked great. Just needed that sweet component. All I had were chicken strips and I had to use dried dill (One of the few herbs I don’t grow) but even with the substitutions it was delicious.

    • Hi Linda! That all sounds great!! Sounds like you made it work wonderfully. And we are so glad you loved the chicken salad. And thank you so much for letting us know and the GREAT review. We appreciate that very, very much!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

      • Hi Kay. Sure, you could if you like. It will change the texture and taste somewhat, especially the cream cheese, but maybe for the better! The recipe is very adaptable. We think it’s pretty awesome as is, but feel free to tweak to your own liking! Let us know how it turns out!

  • Thank you so much for this absolutely incredible recipe. We used rotisserie chicken, added dried cranberries as some others suggested, and ate on croissants, as well as having some for a snack which we spread on water crackers. Ran a little low on almonds for our batch today so chopped some walnuts to add – can’t wait to see how it turns out! I am pregnant and foresee a lot more chicken salad cravings in my future!

    • Hi Katie!! Wow!! All sounds fantastic!! We are so glad you enjoyed the recipe and were able to adapt it with such great success! Congratulations on your pregnancy!! So exciting!! And we are thrilled you’ll be gobbling up plenty of chicken salad!! Thanks for letting us know and thank you so much for the wonderful review!! Stay safe and healthy!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

    • Sorry for the delayed response, Abby! Woo hoo!!!! That is so awesome to hear! Congrats on making the hubby and kiddos happy!!! And thank you so much for letting us know and the wonderful review. We appreciate it very, very much!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • This chicken salad is so very delicious! I saw the recipe a couple weeks ago and at the time didn’t have all of the ingredients-once I had everything I couldn’t wait to try it!
    Look forward to making it again to share with guests, eventually! Thank you:)

    • Hi Jessica! That is so awesome to hear! We’re so happy you enjoyed our chicken salad recipe!! Thank you for letting us know and we truly appreciate the great review! That means the world to us!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Love this recipe so much! I added a bit of cumin and curry, chopped and added salted pecans, and drizzled in 2 tbsp of local honey to add some sweet complexity to the seasonings. We made little lettuce tacos and it was perfect! Thank you for the recipe and tips!

  • A+ Simply delightful! Thank you so much for the great recipe! I did airfryer chicken & homemade buttermilk bread with fresh lettuce leaves! Perfect lunch for the whole family! I’m in love!

    • Hi Rebecca! Wow!! Love that you did air fryer chicken and the homemade buttermilk bread with lettuce sounds heavenly! Thank you SO SO much for letting us know and for the great review. We really do appreciate that so much. Stay in touch!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • Made this recently and it was absolutely delicious! Love the layers of flavor as you bite down as it was a delightful dance on the tongue!

  • Made this over the weekend after roasting skin on bone in chicken breasts that had been marinated in buttermilk salt and pepper overnight. Went exactly by the recipe, and it was absolutely delicious! Thanks for a wonderful recipe, it is a definite keeper!

    • Hi Paula! That’s fantastic to hear! So glad you enjoyed our chicken salad recipe! We really love it, too! And thank you so much for letting us know. We appreciate that very much! Stay in touch! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • Absolutely the best chicken salad I’ve ever made. Going to be a staple in our house from now on. Thank you Kris and Wesley!

  • This is the first time I have written a review. I was on line looking for a good chicken salad recipe and came across yours. OMG! this chicken salad is the best. When the flavors all come together the taste is amazing. I did not make the mayonnaise nor did I have regular mayonnaise so I used Primal Kitchen Mayo made with Avocado Oil. I shared the salad with my best friend and also my family. They loved it.

    Thank you Kirs & Wesley for such a great recipe.

  • This was SO SO SO good! Only wished I would have made MORE! I’m heading to the store today to make another batch. Love watching you two, puts a smile on my face!

  • We made it with leftover chicken from a homemade chicken soup and it still came out great! We substituted a green apple for the grapes and also added dried cranberries.

    • I have always loved chicken salad, have ordered it in many restaurants and have made it myself experimenting with different combinations of ingredients. My search for the perfect chicken salad recipe is over. Hands down this is the BEST chicken salad I have eaten. I used an apple as I had no grapes and it worked well. While I can see making minor substitutions occasionally to just change it up a little, apples vs grapes, maybe cashews in place of almonds, nothing about this recipe needs to be tweaked to make it better. It is fantastic!!

  • I usually don’t leave reviews. But, I feel like I needed to with this recipe. I read some of the comments and saw the good ratings so I had to try it out. OMG this chicken salad is exactly what I wanted it to taste like. It was sooooo good. The only thing I did different was buy mayonaise from the store. I was too lazy to make it LOL!!! It was super easy to follow the directions. Thank you!

    • Tone, you have no idea how happy you just made us!! We are so so so happy that you had such success and loved the chicken salad! And don’t worry a bit about the mayo, we make this constantly, and honestly, only now and then make the mayo from scratch. But, it’s fun to make homemade mayo!! Thanks so much for letting us know and for the GREAT review! We truly appreciate that so much!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

      • This is the first time I have written a review. I was on line looking for a good chicken salad recipe and came across yours. OMG! this chicken salad is the best. When the flavors all come together the taste is amazing. I did not make the mayonnaise nor did I have regular mayonnaise so I used Primal Kitchen Mayo made with Avocado Oil. I shared the salad with my best friend and also my family. They loved it.
        Thank you Kirs & Wesley for such a great recipe.

      • Hi Clarie!! That is absolutely amazing to hear! We are so so happy you and your friends and family enjoyed it so much! And congrats on such success!!! And THANK YOU SO MUCH for letting us know and the GREAT review. That means the world to us. Please stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Wow, what a hit! I am on lockdown taking care of my 83yo Dad. Had some frozen grilled chicken to use (I hate that stuff….but you know…buy what you can find and make due). He always claims he only likes chicken salad with mayo, salt and pepper and never lets me make it any other way. Well, I surprised him for lunch with your recipe just now and I think it changed his life. Lol. I really do think the dill and lemon make it. (Of course, we are all making due with what we have, so I spread cranberry sauce on the bread because I didn’t have grapes.) Well, let’s just say his eyes rolled back in his head. I believe OMG and “this is the bomb” were just the start. Absolutely delicious chicken salad. You even made gross, pre-packaged, frozen chicken taste good. Lol. Thank you so very, very much! Stay well!

    • Wow!! That’s the best thing we’ve heard in a while! We are so so so glad you and your Dad enjoyed the chicken salad so much!! And it sounds like you adapted perfectly! Thank you SO MUCH for letting us know and for the GREAT review! We truly hope and pray you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy!! Stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • I don’t usually rate things online but this was the best chicken salad ever and even my husband loves it and he doesn’t like chicken salad. The dill makes it!

    • Julia!! That makes us so so so happy to hear!! So glad you had success with the chicken salad and THANK YOU SO MUCH for letting us know!! We appreciate that so very much! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Made this delicious chicken salad!!
    Grated my apples skin on washed, celery plenty favorite ingredient ( chopped petite )red grapes seedless ( cut into 4 pieces )but check them had small seeds That may need to be removed. I added two boiled eggs as my mom said eggs make the salad. Just enough Dukes mayo ( favorite mayo) if u like it sweeter Hellman’s if you are like me too lazy to make
    Dressing or actually in a hurry. Hope you enjoy my
    Similar version —hats off to original recipe !!

    • Wonderful recipe as is, however I added some julienned apples, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts instead of the almonds and grapes. You could spread a little whole cranberry sauce to the bread for an amazing sweet-tart-savory sandwich!

  • I added some Cosmic Crisp apple, diced (not peeled). That was a very nice additional flavor. Thanks for this recipe.

  • I loved the fresh taste of this recipe. It was exactly what I was looking for. I made a quarter of this recipe since there is only two of us. I used dried dill because that’s what we had. I used 1/2 tsp but it was a tad too much for my taste, so I’ll just add 1/4 tsp next time. I used walnuts because I love them and I’m not crazy about almonds. I doubled the red grapes because they are delicious. It was a great recipe that I’ll definitely make again.

    • Hi Layla! All sounds wonderful!! So glad you enjoyed the chicken salad and your modifications sound great! And thanks for the great review. We appreciate that so much! Stay in touch! Kris & Wesley

  • I substituted some toasted pecans for the almonds and added a chopped honey crisp apple! Thanks for this delicious recipe!!

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