The Easy Chicken Salad Recipe You Should Know By Heart

Bored with the usual turkey sandwich? This easy chicken salad recipe will quickly become a lunchtime staple at your house!

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Who doesn’t love a fresh and easy chicken salad recipe? With the perfect blend of creamy and crunchy, this lunchtime staple can be enjoyed on its own, over greens or sandwiched between two slices of crusty bread. While you can buy premade varieties at the store, nothing tops the flavor of homemade chicken salad. It’s also a yummy way to use up last night’s leftover chicken.

Find more great make-ahead lunch ideas,

How to Make Easy Chicken Salad

This great recipe was sent in by Julie Sterchi of Jackson, Missouri.


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1-1/4 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion, optional
  • Lettuce leaves or whole wheat bread slices, optional


Step 1: Make Your Sauce

Start by mixing the first five ingredients together for a creamy sauce. The sour cream and lemon juice add a tangy kick to this chunky chicken salad. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper until fully combined, tasting as you go, then set aside.

Not a mayo fan? We’ve got you covered. Learn how to make chicken salad without mayo. We like using plain Greek yogurt or mashed avocado for extra creaminess.

Step 2: Mix Together

In a large bowl, mix together the shredded chicken, halved red grapes, chopped pecans and chopped celery. If using onion, add it along with your mayonnaise sauce. Toss to coat.

Editor’s Tip: Get creative with your ingredients and feel free to try substitutions. Instead of grapes, add fresh blueberries or chopped cherries. If you’re out of pecans, toss in chopped cashews for a salty crunch. Dried fruit also adds a sweet bite. Find more creative chicken salad recipes.

Step 3: Serve and Store

Once your chicken salad is combined, serve with fresh homemade bread, mixed greens salad or whole-grain crackers. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator right away. If you’re looking for more recipes, then learn how to make Chinese chicken salad.

How can I make chicken salad healthier?

Many people ask, “Is chicken salad healthy?” Chicken salad can definitely fit into your healthy-eating plan—with a few tasty tweaks. Use lean, white breast meat to start. To cut back on the fat and calories from mayonnaise, incorporate mashed avocado, plain Greek yogurt or vegan mayonnaise (we love this brand on Amazon.) When choosing your crunchy ingredients, opt for fresh, chopped veggies like onions, green bell peppers or carrots. Finally, serve your chicken salad in a lettuce wedge or over a mixed greens salad for more nutrients without the extra carbs.

How long will leftovers keep?

Chicken salad leftovers will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Other rotisserie chicken recipes will also help you use any leftover chicken. But, considering how delicious this easy chicken salad recipe is, leftovers are unlikely.

These tasty sides are the perfect complement to easy homemade chicken salad:

More Great Chicken Salad Ideas
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Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.