Chicken Salad

  • 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:

    5 from 5 votes
    Chicken salad in a lettuce cup.
    Chicken Salad
    Prep Time
    20 mins
    Total Time
    20 mins

    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.

    Course: Chicken, Main Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: chicken salad, chicken salad sandwich
    Servings: 10 one cup servings (about)
    Calories: 204 kcal
    Author: Malinda Linnebur
    • 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
    1. In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese, and season salt. Add in the remaining ingredients and gently combine.

    2. Serve immediately as a salad or sandwich–or make in advance (which I think it tastes even better the next day!)
    Recipe Notes
    1. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
    Nutrition Facts
    Chicken Salad
    Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
    Calories 204 Calories from Fat 63
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 7g11%
    Saturated Fat 1g6%
    Cholesterol 49mg16%
    Sodium 1018mg44%
    Potassium 639mg18%
    Carbohydrates 18g6%
    Fiber 2g8%
    Sugar 14g16%
    Protein 16g32%
    Vitamin A 580IU12%
    Vitamin C 9mg11%
    Calcium 53mg5%
    Iron 1mg6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.
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