Chicken salad is a quick and nutritious meal. A fantastic choice for lunch or dinner, you can serve it as a sandwich, wrap, or pita filling, or on top of crispy lettuce. Since the creamy salad is also an excellent use for leftover and rotisserie chicken, it's also perfect for those times when you want to keep cooking to a minimum.
There's not just one way to make chicken salad, though. Whether you like a classic mix with hard-boiled eggs or want to give it a spicy kick, there's a chicken salad recipe for every season, mood, and occasion. You'll even find suggestions that skip the typical mayonnaise, and a mock chicken recipe for vegetarians.
01 of 14
Basic Chicken Salad
The basic chicken salad recipe uses mayo as the dressing base. Celery and purple onion give it a nice crunch, while lemon juice, sweet pepper relish, and Cajun seasoning ensure it has tons of flavor. It's ready and on the table in just 15 minutes, and can be adapted in any way you please.
Add more veggies or crunchy fruits, nuts or seeds, or give it some extra spice with Sriracha or Tabasco. Switch to full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream if you want to skip the eggs in mayonnaise. Cooked sweet onions are a good alternative to the raw onion, too.
02 of 14
Southern-Style Chicken Salad
This classic Southern-style chicken salad has a mayo and dill pickle relish dressing that makes it super creamy. Chopped hard-cooked eggs make it very hearty and filling. It's fabulous in sandwiches with lettuce, pickle, and tomato slices, or pile it on sliced bread, topping it with crunchy bacon and cheese.
03 of 14
Tarragon Chicken Salad
Fresh tarragon makes this creamy chicken salad recipe a tasty option. The chicken is shredded, then mixed with a homemade dressing of mayonnaise and yogurt. Celery, Dijon mustard, lemon, onion, and tarragon ensure it's filled with flavor. Serve it over a bed of salad greens or add it to a sandwich, it's delicious either way.
04 of 14
Chicken Salad With Herb Mayonnaise
This herby chicken salad uses roasted chicken breasts, but rotisserie chicken works well, too. Parsley, dill, chives, oregano, and lemon juice give the salad a lively flavor. Serve in lettuce cups, or in sandwich bread with sliced tomato and lettuce. Add deep-fried sweet potato chips to the plate for a delicious lunch.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
05 of 14
Chicken Salad With Apples and Cranberries
Chopped walnuts or pecans and chunks of apples and cranberries add crunch and texture to this savory-sweet chicken salad. Curry powder and lemon juice form a tangy mayo-based dressing. Make it lighter by skipping the mayo and using only olive oil as a binder. Serve it in ciabatta bread as a sandwich, or on flour or cauliflower tortillas with sesame seeds on top.
06 of 14
Chicken and Rice Salad
This lovely chicken and rice salad is an excellent picnic dish because it's a whole meal in itself. Cooked rice and chicken, mayo, veggies, and olives provide lots of flavors and a rich texture. Use the salad to fill heirloom tomatoes or whole peppers. Serve it on iceberg lettuce leaves, make rice paper roll wraps, cold flour tortilla sandwiches, or stuff some pitas.
07 of 14
Chicken Salad With Curry
Curry chicken salad is wonderful in pita pockets with a simple salad on the side. It also makes a great meal when mixed with cooked cubed potatoes. The curry powder gives it a powerful character while the sweet raisins and mayo tone it down, making a flavorful salad. Stick with the toasted almonds or add cubed peeled apples or pecans for extra crunch.
08 of 14
Mediterranean Chicken Salad
This Mediterranean chicken salad recipe starts with marinated grilled chicken breasts that are sliced and served atop a bed of spinach or greens with tomatoes, red onions, olive, and feta cheese, and served with toasted pita. It's a terrific warm-weather dish.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
09 of 14
Chicken Salad With Walnuts and Grapes
Grapes, walnuts, and chicken come together in a creamy mayo-sour cream dressing. Toss this tasty salad in 20 minutes and serve it on bread, lettuce leaves, or with mixed greens with slices of avocado. It makes a great last-minute lunch if you have leftover chicken or turkey. Add radicchio for a pungent crunch, or use crushed roasted seaweed for a salty and crunchy texture.
10 of 14
Cajun Chicken Salad With Pecans
For a really flavorful hero sandwich, try this Cajun chicken salad with pecans. Celery, green onions, chopped pecans, fresh parsley, and some Cajun seasoning are mixed with a creamy and spicy mayo-Tabasco-cayenne dressing. For tree nut allergies, use pepitas or sunflower seeds instead. For extra flavor, add cooked crispy bacon or cubed cured ham.
11 of 14
Classic Hot Chicken Salad
This old-fashioned casserole is made with chicken salad ingredients like celery and mayo but it's baked until crispy. The cheddar cheese on top adds chewiness and makes a tempting warm meal. Use leftover chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken, or make it gluten-free by skipping the breadcrumbs.
12 of 14
Crunchy Middle Eastern Chicken Salad
Give your chicken salad a Middle Eastern spin with this impressive recipe. Greek yogurt tahini serves as the dressing, and it's easy to make with just a few ingredients. That's mixed with shredded chicken, carrots, almonds, cilantro, and za'atar seasoning, which you can whip up, too. Try this salad on naan bread with baby spinach.Continue to 13 of 14 below.
13 of 14
Chicken Waldorf Sandwiches
If you love a classic Waldorf salad, this is the sandwich you'll want for lunch. It's incredibly simple and a perfect way to use leftover or canned chicken. Granny Smith apples, celery, walnuts, and cranberries give it that Waldorf taste. A combination of mayonnaise, yogurt, and honey mustard creates a semi-sweet creamy base.
14 of 14
Vegetarian Curried "Chicken" Salad
Chicken salad is so popular that even vegetarians get a craving for it at times. This curried "chicken" salad sandwich is great for meatless Mondays, too. The mock chicken salad is made with cauliflower, cashews, cranberries, onion, and carrot. With the combination of curry powder, ginger, mint, Sriracha, and turmeric, it definitely doesn't lack flavor, and it's fantastic on pumpkin bread.