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Traditional Chicken Salad is a tried and true favorite for almost any kind of gathering. It’s easy to make and tasty by itself, atop lettuce, or served on sandwiches.

Chicken Salad in a croissant sandwich sitting on a cutting board.

We love chicken salad and I love making it for parties and get-togethers–it’s sweet, savory and satisfying. This recipe is always sure to please and goes great with almost any other kind of food: soups, salads, fruit, and hors d’oeuvres. Chicken salad is also flexible. You can choose which mix-ins you like and what kind of flavor you want. You can make it tangier with dill and pickles, or keep the simple, garden flavors of celery and grapes. Serve it up on lettuce or a croissant roll for a fancy touch. You can make it for a luncheon, a shower, a barbecue or for a lighter dinner when something else is just too much.

Can I use something other than grapes to add to my chicken salad?

Yes. I prefer grapes, but this is definitely your salad, so pick something you like best. You can get creative and change up the nuts as well. Some variations I like are: apples, mandarin oranges, pineapple, dried cranberries, and dried figs. Walnuts and pecans are also excellent nuts for chicken salad.

What kind of chicken should I use to make chicken salad?

Chicken salad is typically made using leftover chicken, canned chicken, or shredded rotisserie chicken. You can use either dark meat, white meat, or a combination. If you don’t have any pre-cooked chicken on hand, you can also cook chicken just for making chicken salad. Simply boil 2 chicken breasts (about 12 ounces) in either water or chicken broth (for more flavor) for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and shred chicken with a fork.

Can I use miracle whip instead of mayonnaise?

Yes, you can swap this ingredient out if you prefer the taste of Miracle Whip. I recommend mayonnaise, because it isn’t as strong, so won’t interfere with the other flavors in the salad.

Chicken Salad in an avocado.

If you like this recipe, you may also be interested in these other delicious salads:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Close up of Chicken Salad in a croissant sandwich sitting on a cutting board.
Traditional Chicken Salad is a tried and true favorite for almost any kind of gathering. It’s easy to make and tasty by itself, atop lettuce, or served on sandwiches.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
  • 12 ounces cooked chicken chopped
  • rib of celery minced
  • tablespoons  minced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup halved red grapes
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • teaspoon  lemon juice
  • teaspoons  whole grain mustard
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper
  • Pinch  garlic powder
  • In a large bowl, toss together shredded chicken, celery, onion, grapes, and almonds.
  • Add in mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Stir until well combined.
  • Serve atop lettuce, tomatoes, or avocados or serve on sandwiches.


Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 334mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Course: Lunch, Main Dish, Sandwiches
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Salad
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May 5, 2020 1:00 am

5 stars
OMG Rachael, I just made this chicken salad and did it exactly by your recipe. I only had about 1/2 of almonds. This is undoubted the best chicken salad I have ever eaten. I cannot wait to share with my friends. Only a little bit though. Lol. Thank you again for yet another one of your 5 star recipes. Sincerely, Theresa Lane

James Steele
December 15, 2019 11:48 am

5 stars
Made this and it rocked. The almonds gave a welcome crunchy texture. The sweet grapes went amazingly with the celery. Came together in 5 minutes.

February 14, 2020 2:56 pm

I personally like to put the cooked chicken in the fridge until cold before shredding.
Comes apart easier and not cooking your hands int he process!

October 3, 2020 4:12 pm

You do a fantastic job with your recipes. You speak clearly, slowly and your presentations are nicely done. It is a pleasure to listen to you. Nice expression nice smile and I look forward to the next recipe. Keep up the good work. Thank you.

Lauri Johnson
June 4, 2020 1:58 pm

5 stars
This is how I make my chicken salad too except I don’t add mustard or garlic but I do add a little poultry seasoning to it. And lots of halved grapes. Yum!

Jane Stephen
March 5, 2020 6:21 pm

To get a really moist chicken taste, I boil water, turn off heat, add chicken! This is called poaching! I have always used my secret ingredient TRRAGOn (fresh if possible) one f my daughters owned two restaurants and her chicken salad was the top seller on her luncheon menu! She always made it with green grapes and never used garlic with any f her chicken recipes! Love your recipes!

Julie Dupré
July 17, 2019 5:50 pm

I used Thai garlic paste to give it a little kick instead of mustard. Also put in some tarragon a dash of salt and white pepper and a little honey. Placed it on a few lettuce leaves coated in olive oil, lemon and salt and pepper. I toasted the almonds.

My son actually went out of his way to compliment me on it!!

January 20, 2020 5:53 pm

5 stars
Made this tonight but left out grapes because I didn’t have any. Used celery seed instead of celery again, didn’t have it so substituted the celery seed. Definitely use very little celery seed can really be strong if you use a lot.
I added apple and have cranberries on hand. Wondered if I should mix apple and dried cranberries?
will let sit tonight and used it tomorrow.
Can’t wait. It tasted very good tonight so can’t wait til tomorrow when everything sets together.

Linda Lender
March 4, 2020 2:52 pm
Reply to  Susan

Apples and cranberries are fine together.

January 12, 2020 3:01 pm

5 stars
I will try your recipe sounds yummy.

May 4, 2020 1:25 pm

I would only say mix the dressing in the bowl first then add the rest of the ingredients. Delish though!

Tom Flagg
April 24, 2020 8:27 pm

OH Rachel, we baked the chicken in oven. All worked well.

Tom Flagg
April 24, 2020 8:26 pm

Tried this today for the first time. My wife helped in the prep. IT WAS PERFECT. Thank you Rachel.

Rick Neumann
February 27, 2020 1:04 pm

Hey, I used some chopped bread and butter pickles! superb.

January 10, 2020 1:28 pm

This recipe is great! I added some fresh dill and it gave the overall flavor a little boost. Thanks for sharing.

Indri Damayanti
November 6, 2020 10:40 pm

I have tried this recipe twice for our breakfast in weekend. My family like it so much and it becomes our favorite. Thank you Rachel.

Last edited 16 days ago by Indri Damayanti
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