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How to Make a Classic Chicken Salad

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There is no doubt that there are many delicious summer salads, but this classic chicken salad recipe is absolutely riveting. It makes a great entrée for picnics, barbecues, or office potlucks! All you need is a few common ingredients, and you can take them and turn them into a cold, creamy salad or filling for a homemade chicken salad wrap or sandwich that will quickly turn into a favorite!

In order to make a classic Chicken Salad that is out of this world, you will need some common ingredients: Chicken, celery, mayonnaise, green onions, and a dash of lemon juice. This will make this salad taste unlike anything you’ve ever had! Also, you have complete freedom to throw in additional ingredients as you like. However, it is certainly perfect the way it is! What is great about this recipe is its versatility, because you can enjoy it as a sandwich or a low-carb and Keto chicken salad by simply eating it in a lettuce wrap or just by itself.

The Classic Chicken Salad Recipe

There are many different variations of chicken salad, even though some people may think everyone should already know how to make it. Ultimately, my goal with this recipe is to keep things simple by using ingredients I already have.

In fact, if I am being honest, one of the best chicken salad recipes I have encountered is from Costco. Costco uses a rotisserie chicken and pairs it with mayonnaise and celery. This version is close but is not quite the same as theirs.  

How is This Chicken Salad Recipe Different?

One of the things that makes this chicken salad recipe so unique is its secret ingredient: the tablespoon of plum preserves my mom tends to put in with the mayo-based dressing. However, feel free to use any berry jelly or jam you prefer. We usually have plenty of plum jam nearby (thanks to several plum trees), so that is what my mom typically uses. To counteract some of the sweetness, she also adds a dash of lemon juice!

How Long Can I Store My Chicken Salad?

You may simply concoct this classic chicken salad 1-2 days ahead of time if you wait and add the lettuce before actually serving it. It will ultimately stay fresh in the refrigerator for several days. However, the lettuce will proceed to wilt and lose its crunch, so it is best to leave the lettuce out until you are ready to serve it if you want to have the freshest leftovers.

What is your favorite chicken salad recipe to date? Drop it down in the comments below!

What Pairs Well with Chicken Salad?

Chicken salad can pair well with fresh bread or a croissant to form a yummy sandwich. It also is great in lettuce wraps or with some fruit. Of course, it is also incredibly delicious all by itself!

What Can I Put in My Chicken Salad?

You can’t hardly go wrong with chicken salad. You can put many things in it to get the flavor profile you prefer, including nuts, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, seasonings, or fresh herbs. While it is great by itself, you can also tweak it for your specific palate.

  • Nuts –You can try a variety of nuts, including cashews, sliced almonds, pecans, or walnuts.
  • Hard-boiled Eggs– You can slice up some hard-boiled eggs before folding them in your recipe.
  • Fruit – There are a lot of fruits you can add to your chicken salad, including sliced grapes, dried cranberries, or diced apples. One of the most common additions is grapes.
  • Seasonings –Try mixing in some onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, or other seasonings.
  • Fresh herbs– Throw in some fresh, chopped parsley or some dill for extra flavor.

How Long Will the Chicken Salad I Make Last in the Refrigerator?

You can store it in your refrigerator for approximately 3-5 days.

Can I Freeze My Chicken Salad?

Keep in mind that recipes that incorporate mayonnaise do not freeze well because during the thawing process the mayonnaise separates. I personally do not recommend freezing this chicken salad recipe.

Tips and Tricks for Making Classic Chicken Salad

  • The mayonnaise in this recipe may be replaced with mashed avocado and sour cream for a different flavor profile.
  • You can cut calories by replacing the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt.
  • For best results, you can go ahead and cook your own chicken breasts or thighs using a crockpot, then proceed to use an electric hand mixer to easily shred the chicken for this classic chicken salad recipe.
  • If pressed for time, consider using canned chicken.

How Do I Store My Leftovers?

Instructions for the Refrigerator: Choose a moisture-free, airtight container. Put the chicken salad in it and keep it up to 7 days. When you are ready to eat it, stir it and add some salt and pepper to taste. You can also put some Dijon mustard if that is more what you prefer. Then, enjoy!

Instructions for the Freezer: Keep in mind that chicken salad does not tend to freeze very well. In order to prep ahead of time, go ahead and dice the chicken before freezing it. When you are ready to make the chicken salad, simply put it in with the other ingredients that are listed below and enjoy!

List of Recipe Ingredients: 

2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded 

4 eggs, boiled and chopped 

½ cup celery, chopped 

½ cup walnuts, chopped 

½ cup dried cranberries 

¾ cup mayonnaise 

1 tablespoon dry minced onion 

Pepper to taste 

Instructions for Preparation for this Recipe:

FIRST STEP:

Use a big bowl to combine and stir the following ingredients: chicken, eggs, walnuts, and celery.

SECOND STEP:

Go ahead and proceed to add the following ingredients: mayonnaise, dry onion, pepper, and cranberries.

THIRD STEP:

Stir until everything is mixed quite well.  

FOURTH STEP:

Go ahead and serve your delicious meal, or simply put it in the refrigerator until it has a nice chill.  

Enjoy!

How to Make a Classic Chicken Salad

How to Make a Classic Chicken Salad

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded 
  • 4 eggs, boiled and chopped 
  • ½ cup celery, chopped 
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped 
  • ½ cup dried cranberries 
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 tablespoon dry minced onion 
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

FIRST STEP:

Use a big bowl to combine and stir the following ingredients: chicken, eggs, walnuts, and celery.

SECOND STEP:

Go ahead and proceed to add the following ingredients: mayonnaise, dry onion, pepper, and cranberries.

THIRD STEP:

Stir until everything is mixed quite well.  

FOURTH STEP:

Go ahead and serve your delicious meal, or simply put it in the refrigerator until it has a nice chill.

Nutrition Information
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 180Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 10gSodium 20mgCarbohydrates 340gProtein 10g

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