Shredded chicken, dill pickles, and crunchy celery smothered in a deliciously creamy dressing. You’ll love how easy it is to throw together this Classic Chicken Salad for your next picnic or summer party.
Classic Chicken Salad
There’s something truly comforting and satisfying about a well-made classic chicken salad. Packed with tender, juicy chicken, crunchy celery and pickles, and just the right amount of creamy mayonnaise, this timeless favorite is versatile, easy to make, and always a crowd-pleaser. Whether planning a picnic, hosting a potluck, or just looking for a delicious and nutritious lunch option, a chicken salad always hits the spot. The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity – with just a handful of ingredients, you can create a delicious, well-balanced meal that appeals to all taste buds.
Healthy and filling, this Classic Chicken Salad is not only packed with awesome flavors, but it’s also a Keto-friendly bowl full of protein and fiber. It’s a salad that can be found in my fridge year-round because it serves as a grab-and-go lunch or an in-between-meals snack. I’ve been having this salad for lunch, like, all week. It’s addictive. Usually, I just go it alone, savoring bite after bite and keeping on track with that low-carb livin’.
How To Make Chicken Salad
Basically, this Classic Chicken Salad is a high pile of deliciousness mixed with a very appropriate creamy dressing that brings everything together. It is a great recipe to serve alongside grilled meats, but also good as a meal prep option.
Chicken Salad Ingredients
- Cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts, shredded
- Celery ribs, finely diced: Adds a crunch and a mild, refreshing taste to the salad.
- Dill pickles, finely diced: Provides a tangy and slightly briny flavor that complements the creamy dressing.
- Iceberg lettuce, chopped: Offers a fresh and crisp element to the salad.
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh lemon juice and lemon zest: Adds a zesty and citrusy brightness to the dressing, enhancing the flavors.
- Sour cream: Adds creaminess and a touch of tanginess to the dressing.
- Mayonnaise: Provides richness and helps bind the ingredients together in the dressing.
- Dijon mustard: Adds a subtle spicy kick and depth of flavor to the dressing.
- The first thing I do is either shred these Grilled Lemon Chicken Breasts or pick up a Rotisserie chicken from the market. Then, shred it.
- You will also need to dice up some good old dill pickles and celery sticks. I use about 4 celery sticks and around 1/3 cup diced pickles. Most of the time, I just eyeball it.
- Next, chop up about 3 cups iceberg lettuce and combine all the ingredients in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Stir in some lemon juice, too, and a little lemon zest.
- Add mayonnaise, sour cream, and dijon mustard over the salad; mix and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Tips And Variations For A Chicken Salad
- Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh, boneless, skinless chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken for the best taste and texture.
- Mayonnaise Options: Consider using good-quality mayonnaise or opt for a lighter yogurt-based version for a healthier twist.
- Balancing Flavors: To balance the savory flavors, add a touch of sweetness. Halved red or green seedless grapes, diced apples, or dried cranberries can provide a nice contrast.
- Customize Texture: You can customize your chicken salad with crunchy ingredients like diced carrots, chopped nuts, or sliced red onions for added texture and flavor.
- Chill Before Serving: Refrigerate the chicken salad for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to blend and develop, making the salad taste even better.
- Serving Options: Chicken salad can be enjoyed in various ways – as a classic sandwich filling, served atop a bed of greens for a salad, or stuffed into an avocado or tomato for a unique presentation.
How To Store Chicken Salad
- Always store the salad in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days. If you plan to serve this salad in a day or two, keep the chicken separate from the dressing until you are ready to serve.
- If you plan to freeze the salad, please do not add in the mayonnaise because it will separate once you defrost it. Instead, I suggest freezing the salad without the dressing. You can always dress it afterward.
- Chicken Salad can stay in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Creamy Chicken Salad Recipes
- Easy Avocado Chicken Egg Salad
- Chunky Chicken Salad Cups
- Stuffed Avocados with Chicken and Bacon Salad
- California Chicken Salad
- Creamy Dill Chicken Salad
Classic Chicken Salad
- 4 cups cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts, shredded
- 4 celery ribs, finely diced
- 1/3 cup finely diced dill pickles
- 3 to 4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- sliced green onions, for garnish
- In a large mixing bowl combine prepared chicken, celery, pickles, lettuce, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and lemon zest; stir to combine.
- Add sour cream, mayonnaise, and dijon mustard; mix until thoroughly incorporated.
- Taste for seasonings and flavors; adjust accordingly.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Garnish with parsley and green onions; serve.
- Select fresh, boneless, skinless chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken for the best taste and texture.
- Use good-quality mayonnaise or a lighter yogurt version for a healthier twist.
- Consider adding a touch of sweetness to balance the savory flavors. Halved red or green seedless grapes, diced apples, or dried cranberries can add a nice contrast.
- You can customize your chicken salad with crunchy elements like diced carrots, chopped nuts, or sliced red onion.
- Refrigerate the chicken salad for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to blend and develop, making the salad taste even better.
- Serve it your way: Classic chicken salad can be enjoyed in various ways – as a sandwich filling, atop a bed of greens, or stuffed into an avocado or tomato.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.