Tarragon Chicken Salad


Already have a go-to chicken salad recipe? No matter, you're still going to want to give this one a try. Our Tarragon Chicken Salad isn't quite as straightforward as a classic chicken salad recipe, but it's well worth the extra ingredients and preparation. The recipe starts with a host of crunchy goodness thanks to chopped pecans, Granny Smith apples, celery, and red onion. The dressing is livened up with the addition of the zest and juice of a lemon and chopped fresh tarragon. While the tarragon might be a little outside of your comfort zone, we definitely think you should give it a try. Just one little ingredient can take your ho-hum recipe to the next level—and tarragon is just the ticket in this chicken salad recipe. Be sure to toast the pecans before adding them to the dish; the crunch and flavor that results will be well worth the quick effort. Make our Tarragon Chicken Salad for your next baby shower or bridal shower and it will be the hit of the party. Just be sure to whip up an extra batch to have at home too—you won't be able to resist this stuff.

Tarragon Chicken Salad
Photo: Jennifer Davick
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 25 mins
6 cups


  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 4 cups cooked chicken breasts, chopped

  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, diced

  • 1 cup celery, diced

  • 4 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped


  1. In a small skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add pecans. Cook stirring constantly for 6 to 8 minutes or until fragrant and toasted.

  2. Whisk together mayonnaise, tarragon, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Stir in chicken, apples celery, and onion until blended. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

  3. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. Stir in 1/2 cup toasted pecans just before serving. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.

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