How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (2024)

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By Kris Longwell - - Updated

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This really is the perfect go-to salad for sandwiches or on top of a green salad.

You could easily add crumbled bacon, or raisins, or cashews, or even mix in a little curry powder to the mayo. Of course, homemade mayo puts this salad over the top. But again, a good quality store-bought mayonnaise works perfectly well, too. After cooking the chicken, the salad comes together in only about 15 minutes!

How To Make Chicken Salad

EXPERT TIP: Cook the chicken up to 3 days before assembling and serving. You can also make the homemade mayonnaise several days in advance, too!

Although chilling the salad after it’s mixed is recommended, we think to let the salad return to room temperature is great for taste when serving.

Watch us show you how easy it is to make this truly incredible recipe!

Other “Best-Ever” Salads to Try

  • Best-Ever Tuna Salad
  • Classic Pasta Salad
  • Best-Ever Egg Salad
  • Best-Ever Potato Salad

What Makes It So Delicious?

So many folks have made this salad and asked us in complete sincerity: “What makes this chicken salad recipe so darn delicious?”

Well, there are several reasons, we believe: Here are some of the main ones:

  • Roasting the chicken ensures flavorful, juicy chicken for the salad. In a pinch, you could certainly use a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket.
  • The addition of seedless grapes, almonds, and fresh dill are part of what makes this dish so wonderful.
  • A mix of mayonnaise, Dijon, and lemon juice adds a freshness that is just so very delicious. It all adds up to the best chicken salad sandwich you can imagine!

Homemade Mayonnaise Adds More Freshness

If you really are in the mood to make this truly the BEST-EVER chicken salad…make your mayonnaise from scratch.

There’s nothing better than homemade classic mayonnaise (click for recipe).

Of course, good-quality store-bought mayonnaise will work just fine, but we absolutely LOVE making it from scratch! One thing to keep in mind, though, homemade mayo has raw egg in it, which could be an issue with the very young, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system.

How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (3)

It’s all about using fresh ingredients.

Fresh dill and parsley add a layer of flavor that we think puts this salad over the top.

If you can’t get fresh, dried will work, just use half the amount that you would be using if fresh.

And it’s even better after it sits in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight! This chicken salad sandwich recipe is really about as good as they come!

I mean, just look how delicious this looks!

Wait until you taste it!! You and those around you will love it!

If you are looking for an easy chicken salad recipe that tastes like something you’d get at an amazing restaurant, you need to look no further!

You can almost taste how good this is just by looking at it.

There is a reason this is hands down the most popular recipe on How To Feed a Loon!

Best-Ever Chicken Salad FAQs

  • How far advance can it be made? We recommend serving soon after the salad is assembled. However, you can prepare the chicken and the dressing up to several days in advance. We will say the salad is even tastier after it sits in the refrigerator for a few hours. We just suggest bringing the salad back to room temp before serving. But that’s just a suggestion!
  • Is a rotisserie chicken okay to use? Absolutely! We feel pretty strongly that the roasted chicken pieces yield an even tastier salad, but a good-quality rotisserie chicken will work, too. Just please don’t use canned chicken. Please.
  • What other ingredients could I include? The sky is practically the limit: We love dried cranberries, sliced apples, cashews or peanuts, even capers! Fresh oregano, rosemary and/or thyme is great, too!
  • Can the salad be frozen? Yes! Freeze for up to 1 month in an air-tight container. Let thaw completely and return to room temperature. You may need to make a small batch of the dressing just to stir in before serving after it’s been frozen, but that’s not 100% necessary.

Ready to make the best lunch dish in town? Go for it!

And when you make it, take a picture and post to Instagram and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and #HowToFeedaLoon

How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (7)

Best-Ever Chicken Salad

This Best-Ever Chicken Salad is really wonderful. Perfect for incredible chicken salad sandwiches (croissants are great!), or ton top of a lovely bed of green. Either way, you're just going to love this Best-Ever Chicken Salad! Using our Homemade Mayorecipe makes it even better!

4.92 from 246 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: lunch

Cuisine: American

Keyword: chicken salad, easy chicken salad, homemade mayonnaise, Roasted Chicken

Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour 10 minutes minutes

Servings: 10 people

Calories: 273kcal

Author: Kris Longwell


  • 4 lbs chicken parts (bone-in, skin-on thighs and breasts work well) (You'll need about 4 cups)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup grapes seedless, halved (red and green varieties are great)
  • 1 cup almonds thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery finely diced
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced (white and green parts)
  • 2 tbsp dill fresh, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley fresh, chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt (start with 1/2 teaspoon, then add more, to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350°F

  • Rub the olive oil all over the chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  • Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until internal temp reaches 165°F using an instant-read thermometer.

  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let cool. Remove the skin then pull the meat from the bones and roughly chop.

  • In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, grapes, almonds, celery, scallions, dill, & parsley.

  • In a small-medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon, mustard, salt, and pepper.

  • Add the mayo/mustard mixture to the chicken mixture and gently stir until well mixed.

  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

  • Serve on a bed of greens with sliced tomatoes and avocado. Or, serve on bread with green leaf lettuce. Add more toppings to your taste!



You can prepare the chicken for up to two days in advance. The dressing can be made 1 or 2 days in advance. Assemble all ingredients day of serving. We feel for best flavor, place assemble the salad in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or overnight), and then set out one hour before serving.

The salad is best served fresh but can be frozen. Simply let thaw and then come to room temp. To freshen the salad up, make a small batch of the dressing and stir in before serving.

We love serving this salad in croissants, although it's so delicious (and beautiful) over a bed of lettuce.


Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg

Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!


  • 4 pounds of chicken is way too much chicken for this recipe.


    • Cathy, the 4 lbs is like a small chicken, so once you take all the meat off the skin & bones you are left with about 4 cups! So not 4 lbs of boneless/ skinless breasts. ☺️


      • ♥️

    • 4 lbs chicken parts, bone-in. After roasted and skin removed, you’ll have about 4 cups.


  • How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (8)
    Best recipe ever! My husband normally hates chicken salad and he will ask specifically for me to make this one! We can’t get enough!


    • How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (9)
      I have already reviewed- but in response to your comment YES! Even my KIDS only like chicken salad this way. Once I didn’t have grapes on hand- but they like it best with grapes and pecans! I am making a triple batch for my daughter’s 16th birthday this weekend to serve on croissants.


      • AWESOME!!!! Happy Sweet 16th to your daughter!! Have fun and hope everyone LOVES the chicken salad!!! Let us know how it all turns out!! xoxo

    • Shawna! You just made our day! We are thrilled you had such great success with our chicken salad recipe and that your chicken-salad-hating hubby loved it! WIN!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing and for the awesome review. That means so much to us! Please stay in touch!! xoxo Kris & Wesley


  • How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (10)
    Mine looked just like the pics and yeeessss……it is the best chicken salad ever! I have to triple the recipe or it is gone over nite! We not only make sandwiches but put it over lettuce…yuuuumm..


  • How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (11)
    I feel like a good chicken salad recipe, is like a good deviled egg recipe. You taste as you go, till you like it. This chicken salad recipe is a very good base recipe to start with, and taste it as you go to your liking.


    • Thanks, Holly!!


  • This is very much how I make my chicken salad, although unfortunately i just don’t love dill. Great video!


    • Thanks, Mimi!!! Have a GREAT weekend!!!! xoxo


  • This truly is the BEST chicken salad recipe. I have prepared this too many times to count!
    After serving it to my family and friends everyone has asked for the recipe.

    I occasionally help my daughter cater events, this is our go to for chicken salad. (we prepare it the day ahead of the event) It’s light and fresh, the lemon and fresh herbs are such a great combination. It always receives rave reviews and we are always asked to share the recipe.
    FYI we love to use rotisserie chickens.


    • Hi Kim! Woo hoo! You just made our day! We love that you are loving our chicken salad recipe! It has a special place in our hearts and we LOVE that you are enjoying and sharing it with others, too!! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing and letting us know! We truly appreciate that o much! Please stay in touch!!! xoxo Kris & Wesley


  • How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (12)
    I stumbled across this recipe over a year ago, and it has been my go to ever since! My partner and I are both nurses and we love taking this for lunch. The fresh herbs combined with the lemony-acidic dressing is delicious. On top of that, the grapes add that sweet “pop!” Yum. Thanks guys, so, darn, good.


    • Hi Lynn!! Well…first and foremost…let us say THANK YOU for what you and your partner do! You are true heroes and both Wesley and I have had our faith in humankind restored because of the skill and compassion of amazing nurses! Now…onto the chicken salad! Woo hoo! We LOVE that you have been enjoying it! We love it so much, too! Thank you so so much for sharing (and for everything you do) and for the GREAT review. That means the world to us!!! Please stay in touch! xoxo Kris & Wesley


  • How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (13)
    Just made this for the first time… my husband is having it now and has said “this is really good” alternating with “This is excellent” for 20 minutes! When I asked him if it was better than “Sequa”( deli known for it’s chicken salad) he replied” Who needs Sequa???” Lol… will be making this often!❤️


    • Hi Nan! Woo hoo!!! We are so so thrilled you made the chicken salad and got such raves from your hubby! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the GREAT review! We love this chicken salad so much, too! It’s very near and dear to our hearts! Stay in touch! Kris & Wesley


  • How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (14)
    This was my first time making chicken salad and I am so happy I found your recipe. I quadrupled the recipe for a womens conference at my church and it was a hit! Seriously the best chicken salad I’ve ever had! This will be a definite go to for future gatherings. Thank you for sharing!


  • How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (15)
    I have made this for years. Great for boating, picnics or just a casual meal at home. We love it. I’ve tried others, but always come back to this one.


    • Hi Cindy! You just made our day! This chicken salad recipe is very near and dear to our hearts! So so glad you are enjoying it. And thank you so much for sharing and for the wonderful review! That means the world to us!! xoxo Kris & Wesley


  • How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (16)
    I also added Craisins. Perfection! Thank you. I’ll never use another recipe!


  • How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (17)
    I just made this. It’s chilling in the fridge, but I had to have a taste. I’m impatient! It was soooooo good, and I know it will be even better after the flavors blend. It makes a lot, so I can share some. I used rotisserie and it worked perfectly. Also, thanks for recommending 1/2 tsp of salt to begin. It was enough. Once you get something too salty, it’s just ruined. Love your recipes!


    • Hi Jill!! Woo hoo!! We hope you enjoyed the chicken salad! And so glad you were able to taste before adding more salt! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the AMAZING review! That truly means so much to us! Stay in touch! Kris & Wesley


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How to Make the Best-Ever Chicken Salad | How To Feed a Loon (2024)


What are the ingredients for chicken salad? ›

What is chicken salad dressing made of? ›

Most chicken salad dressings are a combination of mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. The rest of the flavor for this dish comes from ingredients like celery and fresh herbs.

How much chicken salad for 15 people? ›

You would typically need around 2 to 2.5 pounds of chicken salad per person, so for 100 people, you'd need approximately 200 to 250 pounds of chicken salad, depending on portion sizes and other dishes you're serving. It's essential to plan and prepare well in advance to ensure you have enough for everyone.

What can I put in my salad to make it taste better? ›

12 Easy Ways to Make Salad Taste Amazing – Seriously
  1. Make Your Salad a Spectacle. ...
  2. Mix and Match Leaves. ...
  3. Upgrade Your Salad Dressings. ...
  4. Massage Your Salad Greens. ...
  5. Toss in Cooked Veggies. ...
  6. Add Fresh Herbs. ...
  7. Sweeten with Fruit. ...
  8. Heat Your Salad Dressing.
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What can I add to chicken to make it taste good? ›

Mix salt, basil, rosemary, garlic powder, mustard powder, paprika, black pepper, thyme, celery seed, parsley, cumin, cayenne pepper, and chicken bouillon together in a small bowl until blended.

What is the most popular salad ingredients? ›

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables. Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli.

How good is homemade chicken salad good for? ›

It's tempting to stir up a big batch so that we can enjoy leftovers for a few days. But how long is it safe to keep chicken salad on hand? The short answer is to store chicken salad in a sealed container in the fridge or cooler for no more than four days.

What are the four 4 components of salad? ›

The basic parts of a salad are the base, the body, the garnish, and the dressing. The five basic types of salad are green salads (tossed or composed), bound, vegetable, fruit, and combination.

Is chicken salad actually healthy? ›

Chicken salad is rich in lean protein and a decent source of iron. Depending on what other ingredients it contains, it might also provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Still, using ingredients such as mayonnaise or serving the salad on a croissant adds calories and fat.

Is there mayo in chicken salad chick? ›

All white meat, shredded chicken, finely minced celery, mayonnaise, & our secret seasoning.

How many people will 2 pounds of chicken salad feed? ›

This two-pound container of chicken salad contains 10 servings. Each serving is 1/3 cup and contains 290 calories.

How many people will 5 pounds of chicken salad feed? ›

5 pounds of our famous chicken salad flavors presented in serving bowls & served with our delicious crackers. Serves 10-12. [Serves 10 -12 guests] Option to choose either 1 (5 lb) or 2 (2.5 lbs) of our chicken salad presented in serving bowls & served with our delicious crackers.

How many people does 1 quart of chicken salad feed? ›

serves 4-5.

What to do with tasteless chicken? ›

needs fat and acid to break it down and introduce. some moisture and my go tos are always lemon juice. and good olive oil, i then add flavor with grated garlic, some seasoning, salt and pepper and I like a little.

How do you make salad less bland? ›

Herbs, fruits, peppers, change your olive oil or try sesame, hazelnut or other traditional nut oils. Also try our variety of basils: Large Green, lemon-basil, spicy Thai, etc.

How do you revive a bland chicken? ›

From boring to brilliant: Five easy ways to fix a bland recipe
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How to enhance store-bought chicken salad? ›

Citrus juice and zest

Citrus juice does wonders to brighten the flavor of foods — including lackluster chicken salad. The acidity in citrus juice balances out the fat in the mayonnaise dressing while adding a tangy pop of flavor. The extra moisture from the juice can also help to make the salad tastier.

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