Classic Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Creamy chicken salad with celery on slices of white bread

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 sandwiches
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
493 Calories
31g Fat
33g Carbs
20g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 493
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 39%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 703mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 119mg 9%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 295mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chicken salad sandwiches are always a hit, especially for a quick summer lunch or dinner. They're also an excellent addition to picnics and potlucks. This chicken salad recipe is flavorful and delicious, plus it's incredibly quick and easy to whip up.

The recipe includes two ways to cook chicken. Whether you bake or poach them, plan on two or three chicken breasts. It also works with leftover or rotisserie chicken, and you can even use canned chicken. All the other ingredients are kitchen staples or easily substituted, and there are simple ways to add more flavor. It's a wonderful last-minute meal and a recipe you'll find useful for years to come.

Serve chicken salad sandwiches for lunch and enjoy them with sliced tomatoes, chips, or a cup of soup. To make them part of a family supper, go with french fries and coleslaw or a tossed salad.


Click Play to See This Easy Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe Come Together

"The recipe is simple to prepare and creates a classic chicken salad sandwich. It’s a great way to use leftover chicken breasts. A food chopper makes it even quicker and ensures the ingredients are uniformly sized. Clean-up was minimal, and ingredients were inexpensive, so it’s a versatile recipe to have around." —Colleen Graham

Classic Chicken Salad Sandwiches Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped red or yellow onion

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery

  • 1 large hard-boiled egg, chopped

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise, as needed to moisten the salad

  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or seasoned salt to taste)

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 8 slices bread

  • Lettuce

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple ways to cook chicken, we've outlined two favorite methods to cook it for this chicken salad recipe. You will need to cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts depending on the size.

Bake the Chicken

  1. To bake boneless chicken breasts, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking pan with foil.

    Baking sheet lined with aluminum foil

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  2. Arrange the chicken on the pan and season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Chicken breast sprinkled with salt on foil-lined baking sheet

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  3. Bake until the chicken registers 165 F on a food thermometer. Depending on the size and thickness of the boneless chicken breasts, it will take 22 to 30 minutes. Let cool and chop.

    Baked chicken with thermometer inserted, showing 165 degrees Fahrenheit

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Or Poach the Chicken

  1. To poach boneless chicken breasts, place chicken in a single layer in a deep skillet or sauté pan.

    Chicken breast in a saucepan

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  2. If desired, add some herbs and chopped aromatic vegetables, such as onions, garlic, or carrots. Cover the chicken with water (about 1/2 to 1 inch above the chicken breasts) and bring to a boil over high heat.

    Carrots, onion, and water added to chicken breast in the saucepan

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  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and continue cooking for 8 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces.

    Saucepan covered with lid

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  4. Check the chicken breasts with a food thermometer to ensure they are done to at least 165 F. Let cool and chop.

    Chicken breast with thermometer inserted, showing 165 degrees Fahrenheit

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Make the Chicken Salad

  1. Once you've cooked the chicken, gather all of the ingredients.

    Ingredients for chicken salad sandwich recipe gathered

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  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cooked, chopped chicken, onion, celery, and egg. Stir to combine.

    Chopped chicken, celery, and egg combined in a bowl

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  3. Add 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, the dill pickle relish, salt, and pepper to the chicken. Stir to blend well.

    Mayonnaise and dill pickle relish added to chicken mixture

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  4. Add more mayonnaise to moisten, if desired.

    More mayonnaise added to chicken salad

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  5. Serve on bread with lettuce and enjoy.

    Sliced white bread topped with chicken salad and torn lettuce

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Recipe Variations

  • This chicken salad is also delicious served atop a bed of greens as a salad or rolled in a tortilla as a wrap.
  • If you don't have dill relish, use finely chopped dill pickles (hamburger slices work, too) and add a little of the pickle juice to the salad.
  • For an herb chicken salad, add 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs, such as chives, thyme, and parsley.
  • Give the salad a spicy kick with a 1/4 teaspoon or so of cayenne pepper, adjusted to taste.
  • Try it with 1 teaspoon of either garlic or onion powder.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store any leftover chicken salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • If you want to make a large batch, chicken salad can be frozen for up to 3 months. Simply place the salad in a freezer-safe ziptop bag and squeeze out excess air. Thaw it in the refrigerator.

Is Chicken Salad Healthy?

For the most part, the ingredients in the chicken salad are healthy. The one exception is the mayonnaise but you do have options. Though it varies by brand, regular mayonnaise can have around 80 grams of fat and 750 calories if you were to use 1/2 cup in this recipe. Light mayonnaise can reduce those amounts by one-third or more, as can fat-free mayonnaise. Using one of those and serving the chicken salad on a bed of lettuce to reduce carbs would make this a healthier dish.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mayonnaise, Regular; 1103879. FoodData Central. 2020.