Chicken salad is a time-honored staple that serves as a tasty and healthy option for lunch or dinner throughout the year. Chicken salad, which can be made with either chopped or shredded chicken, has countless possible variations due to the wide range of possible mix-ins and garnishes.
It’s simple to prepare, can be used in a variety of ways, and is an excellent vehicle for repurposing leftover chicken. This post will present various healthy, filling, and easy to make recipes for chicken salad.
Shredded cooked chicken breast is the foundation of any traditional chicken salad. The chicken filling is made by combining mayonnaise, salt, and pepper with the chicken. Then, incorporate any number of the following:
- Celery – chopped finely for crunch
- Onion – diced small, either green, yellow, or red onion
- Grapes or cranberries – halved for sweetness and texture
- Almonds or walnuts – coarsely chopped
- Dill or tarragon – fresh chopped herbs for flavor
Season to taste after combining the chicken with the remaining ingredients. You may serve the chicken salad over lettuce or in a tomato or avocado half once it has been refrigerated. You may also make delicious chicken salad sandwiches by spreading the mixture over bread, crackers, or croissants.
Make a chicken salad with a curry dressing for a taste of India. To add intense flavor, try using curry powder or garam masala. Tenderized onion and celery can be sautéed and then added to the chicken. Ingredients to think about including are:
- Golden raisins or dried cranberries
- Toasted cashews or almonds
- Shredded carrots for crunch
- Chutney or mango for sweetness
- Cilantro – fresh chopped
Serve the chicken salad on top of lettuce or in a wrap or pita pocket. Grapes, apples, and mango are some of the best fruit choices to complement the curry flavor in the salad.
3. Buffalo Chicken Salad
Add some fire to your salad with some buffalo chicken. Before adding it to the rest of the ingredients, toss the shredded chicken in the buffalo wing sauce. Greek yogurt is a refreshing alternative to the hotter mayonnaise. Then you can add one of the following:
- Celery, carrot, red onion – all great choices
- Cheddar cheese – crumbled or shredded
- Ranch dressing – drizzled over the top or used in lieu of mayo
- Romaine lettuce – chopped
Add spicy sauce or cayenne pepper to taste for added heat. The options for customizing a buffalo chicken salad are practically limitless.
Swap out the apples with chicken for a new take on the classic Waldorf salad. Other than the chicken, essential components are:
- Celery – chopped
- Grapes – halved
- Walnuts – toasted and chopped
- Greek yogurt
- Lemon juice and zest
- Dijon mustard
The crunchy nuts and celery complement the softness of the grapes, and the combination of sweet and tangy is delicious. Grapes come in two colors, green and red. Layer crisp romaine lettuce leaves with Waldorf chicken salad and serve.
You can give your chicken salad a Mexican twist by including ingredients like queso fresco, avocado, corn, beans, and tortilla strips. Think of stuff like:
- Black beans or pinto beans
- Corn – grilled or sautéed
- Tomato – fresh chopped
- Avocado – cubed
- Cilantro – chopped
- Cumin, chili powder, lime juice, cayenne
- Monterey jack or cotija cheese
- Tortilla strips
Blend together some Mexican crema with some lime juice and chopped cilantro for the dressing. Avocado, more cilantro, and tortilla strips make a great garnish for your Mexican chicken salad. Olé!
Also See: 14 Best Chicken Pasta Recipes
6. Italian Chicken Salad
Chicken salad made in the Italian way is light and healthy. Begin by browning some minced garlic and onion, then adding cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives that have been cut in half. Mix in some fresh mozzarella, shredded Parmesan, some basil, and some Italian spice.
Dress the salad with a vinaigrette of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that has a citrusy vinaigrette. Serve the chicken salad on arugula or similar bitter green and top with toasted pine nuts.
Enjoy a taste of the tropics with this chicken salad recipe that was inspired by Hawaiian flavors. Add grilled pineapple and mango, along with green onion and cilantro, to the chicken and mix well.
Mix together orange juice, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and other seasonings for a mango citrus dressing to put on your salad. To add more of a Hawaiian touch to the salad, sprinkle some toasted coconut flakes on top.
Serve this chicken salad topped with fruit over a bed of peppery arugula or watercress. Flavors of both sweetness and saltiness work harmoniously together.
Highlighting lemon and herbs in chicken salad makes it refreshing and light. Dressing should include plenty of fresh dill and chives in addition to the lemon juice and zest. Additions to think about include:
- Cucumber – seeded and chopped
- Radishes – thinly sliced
- Carrots – shredded
- Greek yogurt
- Lemon juice and zest
- Fresh dill and chives
This chicken salad is perfect for a summertime lunch or picnic because to its fresh and zesty ingredients. Use it to top a salad or stuff a croissant and serve it chilled.
Also See: 18 Best Shredded Chicken Recipes
For the simple reason that bacon enhances every dish. Crispy bacon is a must for any chicken salad recipe worth its salt. Then, break it up and add it to the rest of the things you’ll be using with your chicken.
- Green onion – sliced
- Grape tomatoes – halved
- Cheddar cheese – shredded
- Hard boiled egg – chopped
- Ranch dressing and mayo
- Romaine lettuce – chopped
The bacon’s smokiness and saltiness go wonderfully with the chicken salad’s smooth texture. Crumble some additional bacon and sprinkle it on top of this chicken salad.
While chicken salad is delicious on its own, turning it into a sandwich takes it to the next level. There are so many ways to customize your chicken salad sandwich:
Bread – Brioche, croissant, baguette, wheat, rye, sourdough. Choose your favorite.
Toppings – Lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon, cheese, pickles, roasted peppers, pesto, herbs.
Toasting – Lightly toasting the bread adds crunch.
Sides – Pair it with soup, slaw, potato salad, or fresh fruit.
Here are some delicious chicken salad sandwich combinations to inspire your next creation:
- Chicken bacon ranch on croissant
- Curry chicken salad on naan with mango chutney
- Mexican chicken on telera roll with avocado
- Classic chicken on multigrain with lettuce, tomato, Swiss
- Italian chicken on ciabatta with roasted peppers, basil
- Waldorf chicken on raisin walnut bread with lettuce
With so many variations, you could enjoy a different chicken salad sandwich every day of the week!
Chicken salads also go great in wraps and tortillas. Use a wrap made of spinach, tomato, or sun-dried tomato basil to enjoy your chicken salad. You could also use pepper jack cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, and chipotle ranch dressing to make a Southwest chicken salad wrap.
Some other delicious chicken salad wrap combinations include:
- Buffalo chicken in a white wrap with romaine and blue cheese crumbles
- Greek chicken salad wrap with feta, red onion, olives, tomato, tzatziki
- Tandoori chicken in a naan or roti with lettuce, tomato, mango chutney
- Cranberry pecan chicken salad wrap with spinach, goat cheese, balsamic glaze
Wraps are a fun way to experiment with different flavors while making chicken salad. Try new condiments, herbs, cheeses, and spices from around the world.
Also See: 25 Best Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
Chicken Salad for Meal Prep
Preparing chicken salad over the weekend allows for easy grab-and-go lunches during the workweek. Chicken breasts can be cooked in bulk, cooled, and stored in the refrigerator for up to four days before they go bad.
Take the chicken out of the fridge when you’re ready to prepare the salad, and toss it with the other ingredients. Prepare salads in individual servings that are easy to transport.
Some tips for meal prepping chicken salad:
- Store ingredients likechopped veg and dressing seperately
- Sprinkle lettuce on the bottom of containers to prevent sogginess
- Rearrange toppings if eating a few days later – keep lettuce and bread on side
- Use an airtight container and eat within 3-5 days for best quality
- Mix and match combinations – curry, Mexican, Greek, classic
Homemade chicken salad is a tasty option for lunch because it can be made with a variety of ingredients and flavors. The potential outcomes are limitless.
Many different chicken salad recipes are included here. You can put your own spin on chicken salad by changing up the ingredients and how you serve it. Repurpose ingredients, pack a healthy lunch, or use up leftovers. Chicken salad, in a wide variety of preparations, is a satisfying and adaptable dish.