This classic chicken salad recipe with grapes and nuts is a catch-all idea for any potluck lunch or duty-calls bridal or baby shower that’s oh-so-divine.
I don’t know if I’ve been to a bridal or wedding shower where chicken salad stuffed in croissants wasn’t served. Don’t tell the bride but those little chicken sandwich pockets might be my favorite part of the party.
I’ve shared my healthified chicken salad with Greek yogurt and avocado dressing with a few ingredients twists and turns, but this is my take on the classic chicken salad recipe. First, my fave chicken salad has to have tender, shreddy lean white chicken breast with plenty of crunchy celery and toasted almonds. Just like in Whole Foods Market’s Sonoma Chicken Salad, red grapes add plump bites of sweetness with a touch of red onion for added heat. Finally, add dollops of my super simple lemon-spiked mayo dressing mixed in and this chicken salad party is good to go.
What’s in This Classic Chicken Salad Recipe
There’s nothing complicated about this chicken salad, just a few basic ingredients that when combined together, make THE BEST chicken salad recipe. Just ask my daughter, she’ll say it’s so.
- Cooked chicken breast
- Celery—for an irresistible crunch
- Red onion
- Red grapes
- Sliced or slivered almonds (toast them for maximum flavor if you have time)
- Lemon juice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to Make This Classic Chicken Salad Recipe
Cook a rotisserie chicken, pick one up from the grocery store, or poach or bake a few chicken breasts. Instead of chunks, I like my chicken to be super shredded in chicken salad. Rotisserie chicken seems to shred the easiest for me and always tastes moist.
Chop the vegetables into small pieces to get more in each bite. You can leave the grapes whole, but I like to cut them in half so they go further and look pretty in the salad.
Toast the almonds for more flavor. Add the nuts to a dry pan, heat to medium-high, and toast the nuts while tossing often until fragrant and golden.
Keep the Dressing Simple
There are plenty of different ways to make the dressing for chicken salad —use Greek yogurt or Miracle Whip, add vinegar or mustard, try it with herbs and spices—but I’m keeping this recipe super simple.
For this dressing, mix a good quality mayonnaise with fresh lemon juice and kosher salt with freshly ground black pepper. That’s it.
If you are a fan of Miracle Whip, stir in 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar to the mayo to sweeten things up.
How to Serve This Classic Chicken Salad Recipe
There are plenty of ways to serve chicken salad to delight every eater:
- Serve in croissants or on toasted thick cuts of whole wheat bread, or make lettuce wraps for a low-carb option
- Mound chicken salad on top of fresh lettuce or cooked rotini pasta (or both!) for an easy salad
- Nestle a scoop of chicken salad in avocado halves
- Scoop out the center of a large tomato or cooked artichoke and stuff it with chicken salad
How Long Does This Classic Chicken Salad Recipe Last
One of the many things I like about this recipe is it doesn’t get watery when made ahead of time. Made ahead of time, this salad lasts for 4-5 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or as long as you feel your chicken will stay fresh.
Recipe Substitutions and Additions
- Add dried curry powder or poppy seeds
- Try adding fresh herbs like chopped tarragon or dill
- Use dried cranberries or pomegranates instead of grapes
- Add chopped egg
- Substitute Greek yogurt or Miracle Whip for the mayonnaise
- Add 1 tablespoon of rice or champagne vinegar to thin the dressing
- Try toasted pecans or walnuts instead of almonds
- Use a good quality canned chicken breast if needed
- Add some Dijon mustard for a bit of tang
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
THE BEST Classic Chicken Salad Recipe
- 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast , about 1 pound chicken breast
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup red grapes , halved
- ⅓ cup chopped red onion
- ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- To a medium size bowl, add the shredded chicken, chopped celery, grapes, onions, and almonds. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Add the mayo mixture to the bowl with the chicken and mix well. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your taste. Serve the chicken salad on croissants or bread, or over salad greens. Refrigerate for 3-4 days.
More Easy Chicken Salad Recipe Ideas
- Avocado and Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- Roasted Beet, Avocado and Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Chicken
- Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Chicken and Avocado
- Greek Chicken Gyro Salad
- Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe
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