Thursday, August 12, 2021

Lemon Chicken Salad

This lemon chicken salad includes fresh basil and citrus for a unique twist on the classic recipe. Make some today for a quick lunch or easy dinner!

Brighten up your sandwich with a burst of citrus! Italian herbs and seasoning round out the flavor, and every bite has the right amount of crunch from a handful of chopped celery.

If you’re looking for more chicken salad recipes, I have plenty of options that include greens or noodles!

There’s a homemade version of Panera’s popular Green Goddess or a barbecue favorite that makes enough to feed the whole family.

For something more filling, try a bowl of my bacon ranch pasta salad or this refreshing pesto version with chopped tomatoes and mozzarella.

Lemon Chicken Salad on bread on a table

How To Make Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

First, prepare two boneless, skinless breasts however is easiest. Shred the meat once it is cooked, then add to a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

Mix everything with a fork until well combined and enjoy - it’s that simple!

lemon chicken on a plate

Serving Suggestions

There are so many different ways to enjoy the bright flavors in this lemon basil chicken salad!
  • Pile it on your favorite sandwich bread or lettuce wraps.
  • Use it as a dip for crackers or pita chips.
  • Add a scoop to some greens with a drizzle of vinaigrette.

Helpful Tips and Tricks

  • Save some time. I love making a big batch of shredded meat to have on hand for recipes like this one. Even a rotisserie bird from the store would cut down on prep time! 
  • Want extra lemon flavor? Use this easy baked recipe so the meat is infused with citrus as well. 
  • Low-fat alternative: Swap the mayo for plain yogurt and use a Greek variety if you prefer a thicker texture.
  • Add a little spice. A few cranks of a pepper mill or a dash of red chili flakes will kick things up a notch!
  • Tip for easy shredding: Toss the cooked poultry into a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and turn it on low for a few minutes. You can also do this with a hand mixer, but it’s a little more work.
chicken salad ingredients in a bowl

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Mixing Bowl - I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
  • Quality Knives and a big solid Cutting Board make prepping a breeze and are well worth the investment.
  • Citrus Juicer - This gets every last drop out, which makes juicing lemons so much easier.

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

Can I make lemon chicken salad ahead of time?

Absolutely! I recommend preparing it no more than a day in advance if you will be serving it to guests.

Otherwise, it will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator when stored in a sealed container.

You could also cook and shred the meat beforehand so all you need to do is mix it up when you are ready to eat.

chicken salad prepared in a bowl

What else can I add to chicken salad?

Popular mix-ins include green onion, chopped walnuts or pecans, pickles, and even halved grapes!

Veggies like bell peppers, grape tomatoes, cucumber, or avocado would be delicious. Or, get extra creative with different fruits such as apples and dried cranberries.


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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lemon chicken salad on bread

Yield: ???
Author: Donna Elick
Lemon Chicken Salad

Lemon Chicken Salad

This lemon chicken salad includes fresh basil and citrus for a unique twist on the classic recipe. Make some today for a quick lunch or easy dinner!
Prep time: 10 MinTotal time: 10 Min


  • 2 cooked chicken breasts (I used my Baked Lemon Chicken)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Shred the chicken breast with two forks. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  3. Garnish with additional basil, if desired.
  4. Serve alone, as a sandwich, or in lettuce wraps.
  5. ENJOY!

Lemon Chicken Salad Sandwich closeup

Originally published August 2021

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