Chicken Salad

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This Chicken Salad is anything but ordinary. It’s filled with diced chicken, crisp celery, grapes, and green onions all tossed in a creamy dressing.

This classic chicken salad makes a wonderful light lunch or dinner. We also love this Cilantro Lime Chicken and Chicken Avocado Tomato Salad for other light fares. And of course No Churn Peach Ice Cream for an easy dessert.

Chicken salad in a lettuce cup.

*Originally published May 2015. Text and photos updated.*

When it comes to chicken salad this is our family’s favorite! I could eat this all year long and it makes a big batch so there are plenty of leftovers.

And since it does make large amount it’s perfect for bridal showers, luncheons, baby showers, or pretty much any gathering. The recipe comes from my aunt and she served it at my bridal shower as sandwiches but it would also be great served in lettuce cups.



  • Chicken: I like to use whatever leftover chicken I may have like leftovers from this Oven Roasted Rotisserie Chicken.
  • Veggies and Fruit: There are so many options here but I like celery, grapes, green onions, and a surprise ingredient….water chestnuts. You can also add in a little bell pepper.
  • The Dressing: It’s a pretty simple dressing and a little decadent but it’s oh so good! I use real mayo and cream cheese. That’s it.
  • And to season it up I like seasoned salt.
Making the creamy dressing then adding in the salad ingredients.

How to cook chicken for chicken salad:

If you don’t have any leftover rotisserie chicken no worries! Here are some other options to try:

  • Poached: Place chicken breasts in a pot of simmering chicken broth. Cover and cook until you reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Baked: Place on a baking sheet and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until you reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Slow Cooker: Place chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add about 1/2 cup of broth and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours or until you reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Canned: While this is not my favorite it will work in a pinch. But I will say I definitely prefer fresh over canned.
Top down of chicken salad in a bowl.


Feel free to make this your own by making a few easy swaps/changes!

  • Add some toasted nuts such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts. I like to sprinkle some sliced almonds on top of lettuce cups for a pretty presentation.
  • Change the fruit: swap out the grapes for diced apples or even dried fruit such as cranberries or apricots.
  • Use red onion instead of green onion.

How to serve Chicken Salad:

  • On croissants
  • Multigrain bread or any bread to your liking
  • Lettuce cups
  • Lettuce wraps
  • On top of a bed of salad greens
  • Pita pockets
  • With your favorite crackers
Top down of salad in a lettuce cup on a black plate garnished with almonds.

Serving Suggestions:

Chicken salad in a lettuce cup.

Chicken Salad

Course: Chicken, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken salad, chicken salad sandwich
This Chicken Salad is anything but ordinary. It's filled with diced chicken, crisp celery, grapes, and green onions all tossed in a creamy dressing.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10 one cup servings (about)
Calories: 204kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
Print Recipe Save Recipe


  • 1 cup (240g) real mayonnaise
  • 1 (8oz)(226g) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon season salt
  • 3 cups (450g) cooked and cubed chicken
  • 3 cups (360g) chopped celery
  • 3 cups (480g) red or green halved seedless grapes
  • 1 (8oz)(227g) can water chestnut, drained and chopped
  • ¾ cup (75g) chopped green onion


  • In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese, and season salt. Add in the remaining ingredients and gently combine.
  • Serve immediately as a salad or sandwich–or make in advance (which I think it tastes even better the next day!)


  1. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1018mg | Potassium: 639mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 580IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg

16 thoughts on “Chicken Salad”

  1. 5 stars
    This was outstanding! I wanted a recipe for chicken salad with cream cheese in it, and this was the one I opted to try — and I’m so glad I did! Truly delicious, and I’ll be making it regularly.

    • Hi Sheila! I am not sure. I haven’t tried freezing it before. If you do try I recommend freezing it without the grapes in it.

  2. I am making Chicken salad for around 50 tomorrow. I am using diced chicken breast and plan to add Greenberg’s onions, pecans, grapes and celery. I love the idea of using cream cheese and mayo. I was wondering if I could mix that up today and season and then assemble salad tomorrow. Also how many cups of mayo & ounces of cream cheese should I mix for 20# chicken breast?

    • Hi Deb! When I weighed 3 cups of chopped chicken it was almost a pound. So, for 20 pounds of chicken you will need about 160 oz. of cream cheese and 20 cups of mayo. Also, i would mix up the chicken salad today because it always tastes better the next day. Let me know how everything turns out!

  3. I love the origin of this recipe! I also never would have thought to add cream cheese to chicken salad, but now that I’m thinking about it, it sounds amazing!


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