Of all the summer salads, a classic chicken salad recipe is always a favorite at a picnic, a barbecue, or an office potluck! Just a few ingredients can be transformed into a cold, creamy salad or filling for a homemade chicken salad sandwich or wrap!

Keep this easy recipe on hand for last-minute sandwich prep when last-minute invitations come up! Serve this summer with a side of Italian pasta salad and crunchy grilled corn on the cob!

Classic Chicken Salad sandwich on a long roll

Ingredients in Chicken Salad


  • Use leftovers from last night’s dinner or leftover rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken.
  • To Make Chicken for chicken salad I like to use either poached chicken or baked chicken breasts or thighs.
  • You can use canned chicken in a pinch but of course fresh is best when possible.
  • Ensure the chicken is cooled and shred or chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.


  • As this is a classic chicken salad recipe, I’ve kept the additions to a minimum. Celery for crunch, green onions for flavor.
  • This recipe can be made with a variety of nuts, veggies, and fruit for added flavor and texture.
  • Chicken salad with grapes, avocado or dried cranberries is a favorite. Pecans or almonds pair well with this recipe.


  • Mayonnaise is the base of this recipe and it’s simply seasoned.
  • You can get creative and substitute some of the mayo for ranch dressing or your favorite salad dressing recipe.
  • Create an Avocado Chicken Salad by replacing some of the mayonnaise with mashed avocado.

Classic Chicken Salad ingredients in a bowl, before and after mixing together

How to Make Chicken Salad?

Prepare a classic chicken salad in 15 minutes with only a few simple ingredients.

  1. Chop cooked and cooled chicken and place into a large bowl with celery and onions.
  2. Mix dressing ingredients (per recipe below) in a bowl. Toss with chicken.
  3. Serve on rolls, bread or over a bead of lettuce.

For this chicken salad sandwich recipe, any bread will do, thick slices of a baguette or buns/rolls hold up well. This is naturally low carb and it’s great over a tossed salad as well.

Classic Chicken Salad on a long roll with greens and tomatoes

Got Leftovers?

REFRIGERATOR: In an airtight container, the chicken salad will last about a week in the refrigerator. Give it a stir and refresh the flavor with a little salt and pepper (or an extra dollop of Dijon mustard) and serve!

FREEZER: Chicken salad doesn’t freeze well. To prep ahead, simply dice the chicken and freeze. When ready to make, combine it with the ingredients below for a quick lunch!

Must-Try Sandwiches

Classic Chicken Salad sandwich on a long roll
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Classic Chicken Salad

A classic chicken salad recipe is always a favorite at a picnic, a barbecue, or an office potluck! Just a few ingredients can be transformed into a cold, creamy salad or filling for a homemade chicken salad sandwich or wrap!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 cups cooked chicken chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 green onion diced (or chives or red onion)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill optional


  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve as a sandwich or over salad.


4.99 from 1536 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 206 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 362mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Salad
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Made this last night using chicken thighs. I think I may have put double celery, but it turned out good Will definitely make again.5 stars

  2. Just made this recipe and love it! Fast (I used canned chicken), easy and delish! I used avocado based mayo and skipped the salt. Didn’t have fresh dill, but I imagine that is a yummy addition.5 stars

  3. Love this chicken salad!!! I add a little extra celery just because I love celery. Perfection!!!

  4. I make this all the time. Extra celery, red onion and don’t forget the dill you won’t be disappointed5 stars

  5. I cooked my whole chicken in an Instant Pot with chicken broth, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, rosemary, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. I used the cooked breasts for chicken salad and the rest for chicken noodle soup. This recipe makes the best chicken salad I’ve ever eaten! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I did exactly what Lisa did with the Chicken in the Instant Pot and almost the exact same spices. I then made the chicken noodle soup and just now finished making the chicken salad with the breasts. Wonderful5 stars

  6. I smoked my chicken breasts with a dry rub and apple wood chips. Added grapes and a little extra mayo compared to the recipe and wow!!!!!5 stars

  7. I made this right after breakfast so the flavors could meld before lunch. The problem is that it’s so good I kept stealing bites before lunchtime. Excellent, simple chicken salad recipe.5 stars

  8. I thought this was very good and easy to make. I added a pinch of brown sugar to balance the saltiness and also added reduced sugar dried cranberries and toasted pecans. It’s a keeper for sure.

  9. salad looks great although I am curious if you intended to say a “rib” of celery vs a “stalk”? A stalk of celery is the entire head with usually 7-9 ribs and when I watched the video, you poured out only what appeared to be just one rib. There is no way an entire stalk fit into that little cup. I feel like a stalk of celery might be too much.

    1. Hi Rico, sorry for the confusion. Yes, you will want to use just one rib. Enjoy!

  10. I think this is the best I’ve ever made. I used a rotisserie chicken.
    This recipe is a keeper!5 stars

    1. Yes, that will work just fine. Canned chicken is a little bit more delicate so I recommend mixing the other ingredients together and then folding in the canned chicken. Enjoy!

  11. This was absolutely the way chicken salad should be… simple and good! I coupled it with penne pasta and it was really, really good! This is a keeper!5 stars

  12. Found your recipe last year and have used it regularly. We make it with rotisserie chicken. One whole breast will usually make about 1.5-2 cups diced/shredded chicken. (We like the leg quarters for a separate meal.) We also use 25% reduced sodium Seasoning Salt. My husband says it’s the best chicken salad he’s ever had and he devours it with club crackers whenever I make it. Thank you for ending my search for the perfect chicken salad.5 stars