Classic Hot Chicken Salad

Chicken salad
Hot baked chicken salad Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 17 mins
Total: 32 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 1 casserole
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
634 Calories
49g Fat
24g Carbs
24g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 634
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 63%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 775mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 168mg 13%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 372mg 8%
*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.)

This hot chicken salad is a baked casserole made with chicken salad ingredients and a cheese-and-breadcrumb topping. Toasted almonds and toasted breadcrumbs give the salad extra texture and flavor. 

Serve this easy hot chicken salad with sliced fresh tomatoes or broccoli salad for a tasty everyday meal. It's a great choice for lunch or dinner menus. 

Use a purchased rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken in this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken

  • 2 cups thinly sliced celery

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or a cheddar-jack combination

  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, toasted, divided

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • Green onion, or parsley, chopped, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

  2. Butter a 2-quart baking dish or baking pan.

  3. Combine the cubed cooked chicken, celery, mayonnaise, toasted almonds, lemon juice, and chopped onion in a bowl. Taste and add salt, if needed.

  4. Stir 1/2 cup of the toasted breadcrumbs into the chicken mixture.

  5. Spoon the chicken salad mixture into the prepared baking dish.

  6. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese.

  7. Toss the remaining 1 cup of toasted breadcrumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle over the cheese layer.

  8. Bake the casserole for 15 to 20 minutes, until the topping has browned and the filling is bubbly around the edges.

  9. Garnish with chopped green onion tops or parsley, if desired.

  10. Serve the chicken hot with cooked rice and a tossed salad, steamed broccoli, or green beans.

Recipe Variations

  • Add diced cooked bacon to the chicken salad mixture for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Lighten the salad up a bit with light mayonnaise and low-fat cheese.

Toasted Almonds

  1. To toast the almonds, spread them out in a single layer in a dry skillet.

  2. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the almonds are lightly browned and aromatic.

  3. Remove to a plate or bowl immediately so they won't over brown.

Toasted Breadcrumbs

  1. To make homemade toasted breadcrumbs, heat the oven to 325 F.

  2. Cut or tear fresh or day-old bread into small pieces.

  3. Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet.

  4. Sprinkle with a small amount of kosher salt, if desired.

  5. Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, or until dry and lightly browned.

  6. Crush the dried bread coarsely or finely and use in the recipe.

  7. Freeze extra breadcrumbs in a zip-close food storage bag.