Best-Ever Chicken Salad

This really 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

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!

Othe “Best-Ever” Salads to Try

What Makes This Chicken Salad Recipe So Delicious?

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!

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 you know how to make chicken salad better than anyone 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!
4.94 from 163 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!

 

511 Comments

  • I love this recipe! I made it a few times but the most recent I added celery seed to complement the celery, and WOW it got even better! Thank you.

  • ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS RECIPE ❤️❤️❤️
    It’s my third time making it today and going to the store to get some rotisserie chicken! I’m going to try to make it with avocados this time
    I absolutely recommend fresh dill it’s soooo good!!

    • Awesome!!!! We are so thrilled you love this chicken salad as much as we do!! Avocados sound heavenly!! Thanks so much for letting us know, Meg, and please stay in touch!! xo Kris & Wesley

      • It turned out heavenly thanks to you guys I ate it for breakfast yesterday with the mini croissants mmmm… My husband kept sneaking it from the container with chips in his hands lol we love your recipe!! Thank you soooooo much!!

      • Yay!!! Meg, that is such GREAT news! So happy you and your husband enjoyed it!! And thank YOU so much for letting us know. Means the world to us. Stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

      • This is a wonderful recipe and my family request it often. It would help for non pro chiefs such as myself if you would give the measurement for the dry dill and parsley, I don’t always have fresh on hand but always have dry spices in my pantry. Thank you for sharing this family favorite recipe.

  • We make slavic chicken noodle soup and save our chicken for our chicken salad. Thought i would find a new recipe, so I tried yours. It was zdumiewający ~! Even though with boiled chicken the texture is different, it worked out and tasted great. Thanks for your video too.

  • Ok, so I broke out of my comfort zone and made this chicken salad. I normally make it the way I make tuna salad and am I glad I stretched my wings! I cook for a small school and the kids all gave this 2 thumbs up! I leery of the dill so I only got one thing and ended up adding dry as well. No nuts due to allergies and the grapes and dried cherries were on the side. Served these in ww pita. Still fabulous! Definitely will make again!

    • I love your recipe for the chicken salad and the homemade mayonnaise. I am making the mayo right now but it won’t get thick! Help! Any suggestions? I am using all of your ingredients including the avocado oil.

      • Hi!
        I had the same trouble with the mayo. Apparently, you have to slowly add the oil as you blend the other ingredients. To fix the thin mayo- put 1 egg yolk in a separate bowl. Slowly start to add thin mayo mixture to the egg yolk while blending or whisking. It should start to thicken around 2 min.

  • This was so delicious – best chicken salad I have ever made!! I used two rotisserie chickens which required a bit more of the mayo mixture. As one of those rare people who don’t like celery, I subbed some baby bok choy ribs to keep the crunch! Can’t wait to try this base with some mango chutney and curry powder. Thanks so much!!

    • Man, oh man, that sounds great! I bet bok choy ribs were great! I’ve added curry before, and it’s divine. Thank you for letting us know and please stay in touch! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • I’ve been searching for a good chicken salad recipe and tho the dill weed scares me, I’m going to give this a shot. I do a slow broast of whole chickens the night before with the usual suspects (onion, carrot, celery, s/p. gallon of water, & bay leaves) as this also becomes a broth for another day. After deboning I let the bones and the cooked veggies continue to cook all day. I create lunch for a small private school so no nuts and the grapes, dried fruit, and possibly even the celery will be served on side as options along with shredded lettuce & tomato slices. It will be served on ww pita. Lots of homemade pickles and veggies accompany. I’ll let you know how this goes.

      • Ok, so I broke out of my comfort zone and made this chicken salad. I normally make it the way I make tuna salad and am I glad I stretched my wings! I cook for a small school and the kids all gave this 2 thumbs up! I leery of the dill so I only got one thing and ended up adding dry as well. No nuts due to allergies and the grapes and dried cherries were on the side. Served these in ww pita. Still fabulous! Definitely will make again!

      • Hi Michele! That is so wonderful to hear! It’s fun to break out of that comfort zone every now and then, especially when you have success. And especially happy to hear that the kids liked it. Sound wonderful in a pita! We’ll definitely have to try that. Thanks so much for letting us know and thanks for the great review!! Please stay in touch. All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • This is the best chicken salad recipe but however the pictures show using fresh dill, not parsley. So I added the fresh dill and I will tell you does make it number one.

    • HI Georgie! Thank you so much! We agree, we think the addition of the fresh dill is one of the reasons this chicken salad is so delicious. The parsley is a nice touch, too. Please stay in touch! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • I give it 10 stars outta 5. I know the math does not add up but who cares!? This is a blessing and I am enjoying it!
    A friend told me if I made it again to bring more to share. It was much enjoyed by my guests, some whom are not easily impressed, so thank you for sharing!

    • You just made our day, week, month!!! We are THRILLED that you had such success with the chicken salad. That is so wonderful to hear, and thank you so much for letting us know!! Please stay in touch!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

    • HI Darcy! Sorry for the delayed response…we’ve been out of town. Yes…this can be frozen once prepared. I would allow to thaw for at least 24 hours in the fridge. Let us know how it turns out. Thanks! Kris & Wesley

  • Definitely a great recipe. I reduced it by half since I had 2 lb of chicken, added a hint of California garlic powder and cashews, not almonds (personal preference).
    I plan to use this recipe again for a get-together.
    Thank you for the recipe, next is the homemade mayo!! 5 Stars for this recipe, God bless you and your skills, amigo!

    • Thank you so much! We are so thrilled you had success with and sounds like you made some delicious modifications to it…which is great! Thanks for letting us know, and do let us know how the mayo turns out! xoxoxo Kris & Wesley

  • OMG! This truly is the BESTEST chicken salad! Thank you! My cooking skills are 3/10 but this recipe is fail proof! I’ve been searching for a good chicken salad recipe for days now and luckily I landed here. My husband (who is the good cook in the house) was kind of doubtful as to what result I will produce but when he tasted it, he just couldn’t get enough of it!
    We are from the Philippines by the way! (Salamat! Or thank you in English)

    • Hi Lalaine!!

      Wow!! That is so fantastic to hear! Sounds like you made the dish perfectly!! Thank you so much for letting us know, and stay tuned…and please stay in touch! Best, Kris & Wesley

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