The Best Classic Chicken Salad is an easy recipe that uses common ingredients. Rotisserie chicken, celery, and onion gets coated in a simple, tangy, mayo-based dressing.
Recipe For Chicken Salad
This is a great lunch option to serve at a brunch, barbecue, or any potluck. Everyone loves a creamy cold chicken salad.
Traditional chicken salad consists of three main components: chicken, dressing, and something crunchy.
Chicken – Any cooked chicken will work. But, I love using rotisserie chicken. It’s already cooked and seasoned, so all I have to do is pull it apart into bite-size pieces.
Dressing – I use a mayonnaise based dressing with a few other common ingredients.
Crunch – Keep it simple with celery and onions.
How To Make Chicken Salad
* Note: The full printable recipe card is at the bottom of this post.
- Add mayo to a large mixing bowl.
- Add vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Whisk until the dressing is smooth and well combined.
- Add cooked pulled or chopped chicken.
- Add sliced celery and chopped red onions.
- Stir until well mixed.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour.
How To Serve
I could eat this stuff with a spoon. And, I have! But, for guests, try some of these options.
- Sliced sandwich bread
- Sliced toasted baguette
- Butter lettuce leaves
- Tossed salad
I like the traditional recipe. But, this is where you can get super creative.
- Chopped pickles
- Chopped eggs
- Dried cranberries/raisins
- Chopped apples
- Halved grapes
- Sliced water chestnuts
- Sliced olives
- Chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, cashews, etc.)
- Sliced green onions
- Chopped avocado
Chopped apples and avocado will turn brown quickly, so only use these if you plan on serving immediately.
How To Store
This will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Stir well before serving.
Can This Be Frozen
Nope! Chicken salad does not freeze well. Don’t do it.
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Watch The Recipe Video For The Best Classic Chicken Salad Below
The Best Classic Chicken Salad Recipe
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked chicken - pulled or chopped. I use pulled rotisserie chicken*
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- For serving: crackers, bread, tortillas, lettuce leaves, etc.
- In a large bowl, add the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well combined. Add the chicken, celery, and onion. Stir until the chicken is evenly coated in dressing.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to four days.**