21 Easy Chicken Salad Recipes That'll Be Instant Classics

Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Chicken salad is one of those dishes that has been a staple in our cooking repertoire for years. It's just as elegant as it is simple—the perfect dish to throw together for last-minute dinner party appetizer or a relaxing lunch at home. You can serve it in a sandwich or a wrap, in lettuce cups or tarts, or all on its own. No matter how you serve chicken salad, it's guaranteed to be delicious.

From the creamy classics, like Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes and Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad, to more inventive takes on the dish that prove you don't need mayo to make it great (don't gasp until you've tried our Chicken Tortellini Salad and Fried Chicken Salad with Basil-Buttermilk Dressing!), our favorite chicken salad recipes offer something for everyone. Plus, chicken salad can be made ahead of time—and any leftovers will be fantastic meal prep for the busy week ahead.

01 of 21

Tarragon Chicken Salad

Tarragon Chicken Salad
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Tarragon Chicken Salad

With bright lemon and earthy tarragon, this light Tarragon Chicken Salad is perfect for your springtime ladies' luncheon

02 of 21

Cranberry Chicken Salad

Cranberry Chicken Salad
Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Cranberry Chicken Salad

You can make this chicken salad year-round, but it'll make the ideal main dish for your casual holiday brunch menu. We love the tangy notes brought to the table with the addition of Dijon mustard in the dressing, and you can never go wrong with opting for a rotisserie chicken.

03 of 21

Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad

Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad
Southern Living

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad

This classic chicken salad recipe combines all your favorite components, from celery to lemon juice to mayo. It's packed full with the nostalgic flavors of Grandma's kitchen.

04 of 21

Homemade Chicken Salad

Homemade Chicken Salad
Southern Living

Recipe: Homemade Chicken Salad

The ingredient list is simple, but effective. Thyme will be the unlikely hero, adding a touch of fresh herby flavor that really sings when you add a dash of lemon juice to the mix.

05 of 21

Crispy Chicken-and-Broccoli Salad

Crispy Chicken-and-Broccoli Salad
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Crispy Chicken-and-Broccoli Salad

This salad is all about texture and flavors. Creamy, crunchy, tangy, sweet. Be sure to add the chicken after you've allowed the salad to marinate so that it doesn't lose its crispiness.

06 of 21

Chicken Salad With Grapes and Pecans

Chicken Salad With Grapes and Pecans on a plate with leaf lettuce and crackers
Will Dickey

Recipe: Chicken Salad With Grapes and Pecans

If you're tired of the same ol' chicken salad recipe, add a bit of juicy flavor and nutty crunch with pecans and grapes.

07 of 21

Kale-and-Chicken Salad with Jalapeño-Lime Dressing

Kale-and-Chicken Salad with Jalapeño-Lime Dressing
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners

Recipe: Kale-and-Chicken Salad with Jalapeño-Lime Dressing

The trick to this light, healthy salad is to tenderize the kale. It only takes a few extra minutes, but massaging the de-stemmed leaves with olive oil will help remove the toughness.

08 of 21

Fried Chicken Salad with Basil-Buttermilk Dressing

Fried Chicken Salad with Basil-Buttermilk Dressing
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Fried Chicken Salad with Basil-Buttermilk Dressing

Consider this a lightened-up version of one of our favorite dishes, fried chicken. You can either fry it up yourself or run to Publix for a handful of tenders. We wouldn't blame you for going with the latter.

09 of 21

Oven-Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Oven-Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Oven-Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

This salad is easy to throw together, but delivers big on flavor. Grilling the romaine lettuce lends a smokey, sophisticated flavor, and baking instead of frying the chicken cuts down on oil. The results, however, are still delicious.

10 of 21

Hot Chicken Salad with Potato Chip Crust

Hot Chicken Salad with Potato Chip Crust
Sheri Castle

Recipe: Hot Chicken Salad with Potato Chip Crust

Now here's a blast from the past. Our Hot Chicken Salad with Potato Chip Crust is the retro recipe your grown-up dinnertime needs. Swap in rotisserie chicken if you're looking to serve up this casserole in a flash.

11 of 21

Breaded Chicken Salad with Grapes, Honey, Almonds, and Broccoli

Breaded Chicken Salad with Grapes, Honey, Almonds, and Broccoli
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Breaded Chicken Salad with Grapes, Honey, Almonds, and Broccoli

Crunchy grapes, a sweet touch of honey, savory almonds, and crisp broccoli make this medley a yummy one. While the chicken bakes in the oven, you can prepare the rest of the salad—you'll have a meal in 20 minutes.

12 of 21

Hot Chicken Salad

474428695_5966501869001_5966397734001-vs.jpg

Recipe: Hot Chicken Salad

The combination of pimentos, Cheddar cheese, water chestnuts, and a potato chip crust give this unconventional baked chicken salad nice layers of texture and flavor. It'll be your new go-to party dish, as it can be enjoyed as a dip or all on its own.

13 of 21

Jellied Chicken Salad

Jellied Chicken Salad
Jennifer Causey

Recipe: Jellied Chicken Salad

This retro Jellied Chicken Salad is the perfect centerpiece for your holiday dinner spread. It's a great way to incorporate leftover ingredients into one stunning dish.

14 of 21

Chicken Salad Tarts

Chicken Salad Tarts Recipe
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Chicken Salad Tarts

This classic, bite-sized appetizer will be ready in a pinch, and it'll be the fan-favorite at your next cocktail party.

15 of 21

The Greenbrier's Chicken Salad

Dorothy Draper Chicken Salad
The Greenbrier

Recipe: The Greenbrier's Chicken Salad

You can now make the Greenbrier's famed chicken salad at home with this recipe, also known as Dorothy Draper's Chicken Salad.

16 of 21

Chicken Salad

Easy Chicken Salad Recipes
MyRecipes

Recipe: Chicken Salad

Don't let the simple name fool you. Loaded with red and yellow bell peppers, red onions, water chestnuts, and diced celery, this salad is full of original flavor and a powerful crunch.

17 of 21

Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberries, Goat Cheese, and Pickled Onion

Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberries, Goat Cheese, and Pickled Onion
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberries, Goat Cheese, and Pickled Onion

Blueberries add sweetness, goat cheese lends creaminess, and the onions some tang. We sprinkle on some candied pecans for a final crunch. You'll be turning to this refreshing salad throughout the summer season.

18 of 21

Chicken Tortellini Salad Recipe

Chicken Tortellini Salad
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Chicken Tortellini Salad Recipe

Elevate pasta night with this 20-minute salad. Add your tortellini to a bed of arugula and throw on some shredded chicken for protein. Cherry tomatoes and a quick dressing pull it all together.

19 of 21

Roasted Chicken Caesar Salad

Roasted Chicken Caesar Salad
Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Roasted Chicken Caesar Salad

We jazzed up the traditional Caesar salad by roasting the lettuce, which caramelizes it, and making a few tweaks to a store-bought dressing to give it a homemade spin.

20 of 21

Chicken and White Bean Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Chicken and White Bean Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Greg Dupree; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Chicken and White Bean Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Chicken salads don't always have to be creamy (but a lot of the good ones are). In this recipe, the dressing is a bright, light concoction of orange juice, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and shallots that make everything it touches oh-so-good.

21 of 21

Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes

Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes

In the heat of summer, there's nothing better than fresh tomatoes. Why not stuff those farmers' market tomatoes with chicken salad for an extra-refreshing meal?

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles