This is the BEST chicken salad recipe. It could not be easier or more delicious. With chicken, cranberries, apples, and pecans, it’s wonderful on its own, as a side, or as a sandwich!
I want to be that person who invented egg salad and chicken salad. I mean, that person deserves a gold medal. Yummy, versatile, classic. How do you make yours?
Even though this particular chicken salad has been floating around for ages, I was only introduced to it a few years ago by a friend. I was practically mesmerized by all the ingredients she was mixing together. It all seemed so odd…and yet wonderful. I knew immediately how much I would love it.
I always used to make mine with chicken, mayo, some seasonings, and lettuce. But I realized I had been missing out! I’ve been enjoying it this way regularly ever since.
Chicken Salad Recipe Ingredients
You only need a handful of ingredients to make this recipe.
- Chicken: canned (drained) chunk chicken breast, homemade baked seasoned chopped chicken, or rotisserie chicken.
- Dressing: mayonnaise, plain Greek yogurt, and mustard.
- Seasonings: onion powder, kosher salt, and pepper.
- Mix-ins: dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and diced apple.
- Chicken Salad Sandwich: simply put the mixture on a croissant or soft dinner rolls with some fresh baby spinach or lettuce, if serving as a sandwich.
Chicken Salad Recipe Variations
There are a ton of variations on this recipe, of course.
- You can use canned chicken, baked chicken, or rotisserie chicken.
- Replace the Greek yogurt with sour cream.
- Halved grapes can be added or subbed in for the dried cranberries.
- Try sliced almonds instead of pecans.
- A dash of curry powder gives it a different flavor.
- Toss in a little diced up celery for added crunch.
- Got leftover turkey from Thanksgiving? That would be great in this recipe, too!
I love my ingredient combination that I don’t ever mess with it, but feel free to experiment!
Is Chicken Salad Healthy?
Depending on the ingredients (and how much!), chicken salad can definitely be healthy and a great choice for lunch or dinner. The biggest culprit of making it unhealthy is the mayonnaise and how much you use, since it is high in fats and calories.
How many calories in chicken salad? This particular recipe uses a combination of mayo and plain Greek yogurt and is only 263 calories per serving.
How many carbs in chicken salad? This recipe weighs in at only 9 carbs per serving.
How Long Does Chicken Salad Last?
Chicken salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will keep up to 3 days.
Other classic salad recipes you might like!
Watch It Being Made
How To Make Chicken Salad
The Best Chicken Salad
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup diced Granny Smith apple
- 10 ounces chicken breast (white chunk drained, homemade seasoned and baked, or rotisserie)
- baby spinach leaves , optional
- 4 croissants or soft dinner rolls , optional
- In a medium bowl, mix together the mayo, yogurt, mustard, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Gently fold in the cranberries, pecans, apple, and chicken.
- Eat as is or place on sliced croissants with some baby spinach or lettuce.