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May 21, 2024

Chicken Salad Recipe

Is there anything better than classic chicken salad? With crunchy diced celery, and plenty of mustard and mayo, our pitch-perfect easy chicken salad recipe will rock your world.

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homemade chicken salad  sandwich with celery and pecans with arugula
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Our Best Chicken Salad Recipe

Our simple, traditional chicken salad recipe is here to rock your lunch time (and brunch time, and snack time) with its satisfying protein and classic flavor. It’s also almost impossible to mess up. Even if you’ve got slightly dry chicken, all the mayo, mustard and fresh lemon juice will ensure a moist, delicious chicken salad. We’ve included directions for making the best chicken salad sandwich ever, too. If you want to get wild with your chicken salad, try our Curried Chicken Salad Salad, our slightly fancy Chicken Waldorf Salad or Shredded Chicken.

shredded chicken, mayo, dijon, spices, celery, pecans, parsley, lemon zest & lemon juice in prep bowls to make chicken salad

Classic Chicken Salad Ingredients

  • Cooked chicken (store-bought rotisserie chickens work nicely here. Or you can quickly make Poached Chicken.)

  • Mayonnaise

  • Dijon mustard

  • Celery

  • Lemon, both the juice and the zest

  • Pecans, optional (but heartily recommended for additional crunch)

shredded chicken, mayo, dijon, spices, celery, pecans, parsley, lemon zest & lemon juice being mixed in a bowl
chicken salad in a bowl made with mayo, dijon, spices, celery, pecans, parsley, lemon zest & lemon juice
homemade chicken salad being put on top of bread to make sandwiches
chicken salad sandwiches being made with chicken salad on bread topped with arugula

How To Make Chicken Salad

  1. Cook the chicken. We like it Poached, or use a store-bought chicken. That’s ok, too!

  2. Slice and dice the celery and parsley.

  3. Mix up the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, celery, pecans, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice and chicken in a big bowl. A silicone spatula is handy for this.

  4. Dig in! Make a sandwich if you want, we’ve included our favorite way to serve it in the recipe below. Serve it with a nice Fruit Salad on the side.

chicken salad in a bowl made with mayo, dijon, spices, celery, pecans, parsley, lemon zest & lemon juice
homemade chicken salad  sandwich with celery and pecans with arugula

How To Store Chicken Salad + Tips

  • What goes well with chicken salad? A lot of things! Though making a big chicken salad sandwich is classic, we’ve enjoyed it as a hearty, protein-packed snack with crackers, or on a bed of lettuce as a quick lunch.

  • Leftover chicken salad will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge.

  • Love classic chicken sandwiches? Try our Fried Chicken Sandwich or our Chicken Burgers, too!

chicken salad in a bowl made with mayo, dijon, spices, celery, pecans, parsley, lemon zest & lemon juice

Hey, Nice Chicken Salad! Now What?

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Chicken Salad Recipe

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 570

Ingredients

  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped pecans (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1⅓ cups baby arugula
  • 8 slices whole wheat or oatmeal bread

Method

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, celery, pecans, parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

    chicken salad in a bowl made with mayo, dijon, spices, celery, pecans, parsley, lemon zest & lemon juice
  2. Divide the chicken salad between 4 slices of the bread and top each with ⅓ cup of the arugula. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread and serve.

    homemade chicken salad  sandwich with celery and pecans with arugula

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories570
  • Protein32 g
  • Carbohydrates28 g
  • Total Fat31 g
  • Dietary Fiber6 g
  • Cholesterol129 mg
  • sodium734 mg
  • Total Sugars3 g

Chicken Salad Recipe

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Mel

    Thoughts on swapping out the mayo for plain Greek yogurt?

    We would not recommend that in this recipe.

  • Maria

    I made it today! Love it! Much better than the ones I have bought before! Thanks!

    Thanks Maria, we are so glad you love it!!

  • Debbie

    Ohhh yum! I didn’t see the raspberry preserves listed in the ingredients and was surprised by the inclusion of it in assembling the sandwich. I usually add craisins or grapes to my chicken salad for a little sweetness and the jam was a delicious addition to creating that perfect bite.
    This was very good and I will definitely make it again!

    Thanks Debbie, glad you enjoyed it and were pleasantly surprised!

  • Jessica

    Best chicken salad ever! I didn’t have pecans but i can imagine that would make it even better!

    Thanks Jessica, glad you loved it!

  • CLF

    Easy and Delicious

    Thank you, glad you loved it!

  • Jsp

    Great recipe. We mixed the arugula in. It could use dried cherries or cranberries to add sweetness.

    We are so glad you liked it!