Thursday, August 5, 2021

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe

This Classic Chicken Salad Recipe is a must-have for an easy lunch, picnic, potluck, or all of your summer gatherings. 

Made with a beautifully seasoned creamy sauce, juicy shredded chicken, zesty lemon juice, and toasted almonds, it’s bound to be a family favorite.

Starting with a rotisserie chicken saves you time and gives you lots of vibrant flavor. It doesn’t matter if you are in the mood to be lazy or just need a quick meal, rotisserie chicken will always save the day.

Looking for more salads? We have everything from pasta salads to fresh veggie salads, and my famous cheesecake salads.

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe on a plate

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe - Helpful Tips and Tricks

  • No rotisserie chicken? No problem! Swap it for 2 large cooked chicken breasts instead. It will still be tender and delicious.
  • Don’t forget the dark meat. I know it’s tempting to just use white meat, but the leg and thigh are where most of the flavor is. Shred it off the bones and add it in!
  • In a hurry? If you don’t have time to chill the chicken salad, you can eat it right away. The flavor will be more robust if you do have time to put it in the fridge, but it’s not required.
  • Toasting the almonds. To give the almonds an extra crunch and deeper flavor, toast them. Bake for 5-8 minutes at 350 degrees or toss in the microwave for 30 second intervals for a total of 2 - 2 ½ minutes.
  • Slice the celery thin. Keeping the celery small will give you a nice crunch, but it won’t be overwhelming.
  • Add some variety! You can easily swap the dijon mustard for yellow mustard. You can add extra scallions for some added heat, or leave the almonds out completely. Try out new flavors if desired.
chicken salad recipe ingredients

Serving Suggestions
While this recipe is amazing as a chicken salad sandwich, there are plenty of other amazing ways you can serve it.

If you do serve it as a sandwich, it’s great when topped with lettuce and tomatoes.

Put it on a platter with mini bell peppers, crackers, pretzels, or crunchy breadsticks. Eat it like a dip!

Place a dollop of the chicken salad in the center of a large piece of lettuce or tortilla then roll it into a wrap.

It also makes a really tasty topper to a veggie salad!

classic chicken salad recipe in a clear bowl

What You’ll Need For This Classic Chicken Salad Recipe
  • Mixing Bowl - I love this set because they are easy to clean and there are several sizes. 
  • Sharp Knife - Having a good quality kitchen knife is a must, especially when chopping veggies.
chicken salad recipe in a white bowl

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

Do I have to shred the chicken?
While I typically shred it, you can certainly chop it if you prefer. The way you cut the chicken won’t affect the flavor, just the texture.

Can I add additional seasonings?
Sure! Adding more seasonings is a great way to add some extra pizzazz. Paprika, onion powder, and anything else you like will work.

Fresh herbs are a great addition as well. Freshly chopped chives or dill are pretty delicious options.

How do you store leftovers?
It should be kept in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. It will last 3-4 days


classic chicken salad recipe in a white bowl

With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Monte Cristo Finger Sandwiches 

chicken salad sandwich with lettuce and tomato

Yield: 2-4
Author: Donna Elick
Classic Chicken Salad Recipe

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe

This classic chicken salad recipe is a must-have for an easy lunch, picnic, potluck, or all of your summer gatherings.
Prep time: 15 MinInactive time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 15 M


  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds slivers, optional
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallion, optional


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and mix until combined.
  2. Chill for 1 hours for best flavor.

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe Closeup

Originally published August 2021

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