Creamy and crunchy, yet both sweet and savory...this is the BEST Chicken Salad recipe! Easy to make and packed with flavor. Perfect for a protein filled snack or lunch!
If you're looking for a delicious chicken salad recipe, you're in the right place. I struggle to find one that I actually like. Most recipes I've tried contain WAY too much mayo and I can't determine if there is actually any chicken in the salad. Isn't that the whole purpose? To actually taste the CHICKEN!?
Why this is the BEST Chicken Salad Recipe
This is my mom's recipe and she's been making this since I was a little girl. Only the simplest ingredients are used and the chicken is the STAR of the show. It's the best because it's easy and fast to make, it's healthy, gluten free, as well as extremely versatile. You can serve this for lunch, eat it as a snack, have a low key dinner, serve it at a potluck or take it to a picnic. And it's keto friendly and packed full of protein.
Ingredients for Chicken Salad
I use 6 ingredients for this recipe:
- chicken breast
- red grapes
How To Make Chicken Salad
First, fill a large pot with water and add the raw chicken breasts. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and bring the water to a boil. After the chicken boils for about 25 minutes, drain and set on a plate to cool. After the chicken has cooled, shred it apart with 2 forks or with your fingers. Add to a large mixing bowl.
Next, finely chop the pecans, celery and onion and add to a bowl. Add in the mayo and stir until all ingredients are mixed well. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
All you have to do for this recipe is cook the chicken, chop and mix the ingredients, and then serve. That's all it takes to make this delicious recipe! Creamy, crunchy, sweet and savory all in 1 bowl!
Is Chicken Salad Healthy?
Yes - it is healthy for you, even if you use mayonnaise. Vitamin A, D, E and K are fat soluble and are found in mayo. Believe it or not, mayonnaise is considered a healthy fat. And we all know chicken breasts are packed full of protein, are low in fat and are good for your heart. The pecans used in this recipe are also a healthy fat, help aid in digestion and are a natural anti-inflammatory. Celery, onions, and red grapes are a great source of antioxidants. This recipe is also diabetic, gluten free and keto friendly. You can make it even more low carb by leaving out the red grapes. Super healthy recipe, so eat it up!!
How to Serve Chicken Salad
After you've finished making it, you can eat it at room temperature or put it in the fridge and serve it cold. I like it either way. There are so many ways you can serve chicken salad:
- It's excellent on a bed of lettuce. I love adding this to a bed of mixed greens.
- Want something a little more fancy? Serve it on a croissant.
- This is also my go to snack in the afternoon. I love eating it with crackers. This protein packed snack keeps me full all afternoon long.
- I love eating chicken salad between 2 toasted pieces of bread.
- Looking for a keto friendly meal? Ditch the red grapes and add some avocado.
- Since my recipe calls for mayonnaise, I don't recommend freezing it.
- I boil the chicken breasts for this recipe. I don't recommend using rotisserie or canned chicken because the texture will be completely different.
- Cover and store this in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- If you like minimal mayonnaise, only use ⅓ cup. If you want a bit more, use a ½ cup of mayonnaise. My personal preference is using ½ cup of mayo.
- I once tried using chopped walnuts in my recipe and it was awful. Stick with chopped pecans or almonds.
Ideas for Chicken Salad
This is a super versatile dish and fits into everyone's taste preference!
- Chicken salad with fresh avocado is great on a sandwich.
- You can substitute the red grapes for dried cranberries, fresh mango or apples.
- Pairs perfectly with a bowl of soup, especially my Spiced Butternut Squash Soup.
- Great for make ahead meals and meal planning.
- Serve it on salads, sandwiches, crackers, or a croissant.
- Perfect for a picnic lunch or a potluck. It makes for a beautiful spread.
Regardless how you serve it, this recipe is a guaranteed crowd pleaser!
More Lunch Ideas!
- Avocado Egg Salad
- DIY School Lunches
- Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Salad
- Radicchio Salad with Roast Duck and Orange
If you loved this Chicken Salad recipe, give it a star review! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #recipesworthrepeating and tagging me @recipesworthrepeating.
Best Chicken Salad
- 1 lb chicken breasts
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons yellow onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup red grapes, halved
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Fill a large pot with water. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the water. Add the chicken breasts and boil the chicken breasts for 25 minutes until done. Once done, set aside to cool.
- Finely chop the onions, celery, pecans and place them in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the mayonnaise and halved red grapes to the bowl with the onion, celery and pecans.
- Once the chicken is cooled, finely shred it with your hands or with two forks and add the shredded chicken into the bowl of ingredients.
- Mix well until combined. Add any additional salt or pepper and additional mayo based on your taste preferences.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- If you want a more creamy chicken salad, use ½ cup of mayonnaise instead of ⅓ cup.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in August 2012, but was re-published with updated step-by-step instructions, pictures and tips in April of 2019.
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