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Contest-Winning Hot Chicken Salad

Once I'd tasted this hot chicken salad at a women's luncheon, I left with the recipe in hand. I was our city clerk for several years, and on Election Day I often brought it as lunch for our poll workers. It got everyone's vote of approval! Along with it, I serve fruit salad, home-baked bread and a light dessert. I've found it is also delicious stuffed in a tomato. —Ruth Glabe, Oronoco, Minnesota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups diced celery
  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cans (2.8 ounces each) french-fried onions
  • Chopped green onions, optional

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place chicken in a Dutch oven and cover with water; add bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until chicken juices run clear. Remove chicken and cut into 1/2-in. cubes; place in a large bowl. Stir in the next 11 ingredients.
  • Transfer to a 13x9-in. baking dish (dish will be full). Sprinkle with cheese and onions. Bake, uncovered, until heated through, about 30 minutes. Garnish with green onions, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1.5 cups: 1003 calories, 83g fat (23g saturated fat), 112mg cholesterol, 1697mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 5g fiber), 36g protein.

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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Elle
    Jul 5, 2020

    Good grief Lynne that's what "chicken salad" is!!!

  • Lynne
    Jun 3, 2020

    This really is in no means a “salad.” It had far too much mayo and sour cream for family to eat it. Too fatty. Topping out at over 1,000 calories per serving, we didn’t think it was worth the effort.

  • Ellen
    Jun 2, 2020

    I worked at a hospital where this was served at Auxiliary and Volunteers luncheons. It’s delicious. The whopping 1000 calories plus can be reduced by slightly reducing the amounts of mayo and sour cream (or use plain non-fat yogurt), using fat free soup, and eliminating the cheese altogether. It doesn’t make the yummy rich product of the fully fatted recipe, but you won’t feel guilty having a smidge more!

  • griffinsgramma
    Jun 2, 2020

    Very good, as others have stated, the amount of mayo and sour cream needs to be reduced. The name is a misnomer though, no way is this a “salad”. Good casserole, but definitely not a salad

  • Debglass11
    Mar 28, 2019

    Yummy casserole! I used about 1 1/2 lbs of chopped cooked chicken that I had in my freezer, and since I used fresh mushrooms instead of canned, I sauteed them along with the onion and celery until translucent and then added them to the chicken mixture. After reading the reviews, I used half the amount of mayo, sour cream and water chestnuts and it came out perfect. I added some of the french fried onions and cheese to the chicken mixture as well as on top. The lemon juice is a nice touch. I will definitely make this again!

  • danadeal
    Dec 16, 2012

    Much better with rotisserie chicken. I once made the chicken the way the recipe said and didn't like the flavor. I also use more chicken and less water chestnuts.

  • Taxmaster
    Nov 1, 2012

    I've made this recipe several times and always get lots of compliments. The only change I've made is not to add the french-fried onions until the casserole is almost completely baked - otherwise they get too brown.

  • gaysch
    Mar 27, 2012

    this is so good over pasta. I love this...

  • Taxmaster
    Mar 9, 2012

    I've made this quite a few times and always got rave reviews and requests for the recipe. My husband likes the leftovers as well as the original recipe.

  • katmac
    Apr 10, 2010

    I used 4 regular chicken breasts so it was more than the 2 pounds. At first I thought the mayo taste was too strong but I let it sit overnight which helped. I also added more chopped onion. I cooked it and during the last 5-10 minutes added the cheese and fried onions. I made it for my ladies Bonco group and everyone wanted the recipe.