Your Go-To Chicken Salad Recipe

There are a million ways to whip up a chicken salad, but we’ve found the definitive version that will end your search forever. You’ll find yourself coming back to this classic chicken salad recipe time and time again. The perfect blend of textures and flavors, it’s no wonder it’s a crowd favorite!

Choosing the Right Chicken

The type of chicken you choose can make or break this recipe. We recommend using boneless, skinless chicken breasts for simplicity and a leaner result. If you’re looking for a more flavorful option, you could also consider using a mix of dark and white meat.

For an extra layer of flavor, consider roasting your chicken in the oven. This method of cooking adds a nice depth of flavor and beautiful caramelization. For a quicker option, you can also boil your chicken in a flavorful broth.

Tip: For maximum flavor, marinate your chicken before cooking. This can be as simple as salt, pepper, and olive oil, or you could use your favorite marinade recipe.

Choosing the Right Add-Ins

The beauty of a chicken salad recipe is its versatility. You can mix and match add-ins to suit your taste or based on what you have on hand. Some traditional add-ins include celery for crunch, red onions for a bit of zing, and dried cranberries for a hint of sweetness.

For a more substantial salad, consider adding chopped apples or grapes. You can also add a variety of nuts for extra crunch. Walnuts, almonds, and pecans are all great choices.

Tip: Always chop your add-ins to a similar size. This ensures a balanced bite and an attractive presentation.

The Perfect Dressing

To bring it all together, you’ll need a killer dressing. A classic base of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard is always a good bet. For a lighter version, you can substitute the mayo with Greek yogurt.

Remember to season your dressing well. Salt and pepper are a must, but don’t be afraid to add other spices. Paprika, garlic powder, or even a pinch of cayenne can take your dressing to the next level.

Tip: If your dressing is too thick, thin it out with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar. This also adds a nice tang to your salad.

With these tips in hand, you’re ready to create the ultimate chicken salad. Whether you’re preparing for a picnic, a potluck, or a simple weeknight dinner, this is the only chicken salad recipe you’ll ever need. Now, let’s get to the fun part – making it!

Ultimate Chicken Salad

Course: LunchCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





The only chicken salad recipe you’ll ever need. Delicious, versatile, and easy to make!


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/2 cup of chopped celery

  • 1/4 cup of chopped red onions

  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries

  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Optional: chopped apples, grapes, nuts

  • Optional: paprika, garlic powder, cayenne


  • Cook your chicken by either roasting in the oven or boiling in a flavorful broth. Once cooked, allow it to cool before chopping into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a large bowl, combine your chopped chicken, celery, onions, cranberries, and any optional add-ins you’re using.
  • In a separate bowl, whip up your dressing by combining mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. If using, add in your optional spices.
  • Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Enjoy your ultimate chicken salad on its own, in a sandwich, or on a bed of greens!


  • You can make this salad ahead of time. In fact, it tastes even better after it’s had some time for the flavors to meld together.
  • If you choose to add apples or grapes, make sure to chop them into small pieces so they blend well with the other ingredients.
  • This salad is versatile. Feel free to play around with the ingredients to suit your taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use leftover chicken for this recipe?
A: Absolutely! This recipe is a great way to use up leftover chicken. Just make sure it’s properly cooled before adding it to your salad.

Q: How long does this salad last in the fridge?
A: This salad will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days. Just make sure to store it in a tightly sealed container.

Q: Can I use a different type of mayo?
A: Yes, you can use any type of mayo you prefer. You can also substitute the mayo with Greek yogurt for a lighter option.

Q: Can this salad be frozen?
A: We do not recommend freezing this salad as the mayo-based dressing can separate when thawed, resulting in a less than ideal texture.

Emma Bates
Emma Bates
Emma is a passionate and innovative food writer and recipe developer with a talent for reinventing classic dishes and a keen eye for emerging food trends. She excels in simplifying complex recipes, making gourmet cooking accessible to home chefs.

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