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Best Chicken Salad Recipe

This is the BEST Chicken Salad Recipe that’s easy to make with grapes, cranberries, almonds, and more! It’s made creamy with mayo or Greek yogurt and is perfect in a sandwich or as a side dish!

A big bowl of Chicken Salad with grapes, cranberries, sliced almonds, and more.

BEST Chicken Salad Recipe

I know that it sounds a bit bold to call this the best chicken salad recipe, but, I do believe that it truly is. It has the best balance of flavors and textures that compliment each other perfectly. Serve this as a side dish at a Potluck or BBQ, or enjoy it as a sandwich in a lettuce or tortilla wrap, in a pita pocket, on some ciabatta bread, or simply with some basic sandwich bread!

What Makes It the BEST

  • The Chicken: The chicken is boiled gently in salted water (Pro Tip: Add 1-2 bouillon cubes to the water for even more flavor). Cooking the chicken gently ensures that it doesn’t become tough. Let it rest after being cooked to ensure the juices stay locked in, then dice it up. (You can also use leftover or rotisserie chicken.)
  • The Dressing: You can use all mayo in this, or a combination of mayo and plain Greek yogurt. (The yogurt pairs really well with the grapes!) Wait for the chicken to fully cool before combining it with mayo to ensure the oil doesn’t separate. Also included in the mix is celery, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt/pepper, garlic salt, dried dill, and paprika. 
  • The Add-Ons: A hint of sweetness is obtained from grapes and dried cranberries, which also add a pop of color. Sliced toasted almonds add a nice crunch, and green onions add a great finish.

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Gently boil the chicken until cooked through. Let the chicken rest, then dice once cooled. (Note: Leftover or rotisserie chicken may also be used.)

Chicken being cooked in a pot and diced up on a cutting board for chicken salad.

Combine the diced chicken, celery, mayo, lemon juice, Dijon, and seasonings. Chill until ready to serve. (At least 30 minutes.)

Chicken, Mayonnaise, and celery in a bowl before and after stirring for chicken salad.

 Add the sliced grapes, green onions, almonds, and cranberries. Stir to combine, then transfer to a clean serving bowl prior to serving if desired.

Chicken salad before and after mixing it.

Make Ahead Method

  • You can prepare this salad up to 12 hours ahead of time and refrigerate.
  • I recommend that you combine half of it as outlined in the instructions, then mix in the add-ons just before serving. This way the grapes won’t make it watery, the almonds will be crunchy, etc.
  • You may choose to add 1/4 cup additional mayo (or plain Greek yogurt) just before serving as well, based on the consistency.

Pro Tips

  • For extra flavorful chicken: Add 1-2 chicken bouillon cubes to the water that the chicken cooks in instead of adding salt.
  • To ensure your chicken isn’t tough, be sure to boil it gently
  • Additional ingredient options include: Bacon, Hard Boiled Eggs, Sliced Avocado, Walnuts, Apples, and more.
  • I use Fresh Gourmet Toasted Sliced Almonds for this, they’re very good!
  • For convenience purposes, you can combine all of the ingredients at once and chill prior to serving, I just keep the add-ons (grapes, walnuts, cranberries, and green onions), for the last minute for absolute best results.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

A white bowl of Chicken Salad with grapes, almonds, and chicken.

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A bowl of Chicken Salad with grapes, cranberries, almonds, and more.

Chicken Salad Recipe

5 from 2 ratings
This is the BEST Chicken Salad Recipe that's easy to make with grapes, cranberries, almonds, and more! It's made creamy with mayo or Greek yogurt and is perfect in a sandwich or as a side dish!

Ingredients

Chicken Salad

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 ¾ lbs. or 4 cups cooked
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup red grapes, quartered
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, optional

Seasonings

  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Instructions

  • Submerge the chicken in cool water and gradually bring it to a gentle boil. Stir in up to 2 tbsp. kosher salt once the water is up to temperature. Boil gently for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then dice it finely.
  • Make sure the chicken is fully cooled before mixing it with the mayo to ensure the oil doesn’t separate. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and seasonings.
  • Chill until ready to serve. (At least 30 minutes.)
  • Add the grapes, green onions, sliced almonds, and cranberries. Stir until combined. If desired, transfer to a clean serving bowl prior to serving.

Notes

Make-Ahead Method:
  • You can prepare this salad up to 12 hours ahead of time and refrigerate.
  • I recommend that you combine half of it as outlined in the instructions, then mix in the add-ons just before serving. This way the grapes won't make it watery, the almonds will be crunchy, etc.
  • You may choose to add 1/4 cup additional mayo (or plain Greek yogurt) just before serving as well, based on the consistency.

Storage:
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Pro Tips:
  • For extra flavorful chicken: Add 1-2 chicken bouillon cubes to the water that the chicken cooks in instead of adding salt.
  • To ensure your chicken isn't tough, be sure to boil it gently
  • Additional ingredient options include: Bacon, Hard Boiled Eggs, Sliced Avocado, Walnuts, Apples, and more.
  • I use Fresh Gourmet Toasted Sliced Almonds for this, they're very good!
  • For convenience purposes, you can combine all of the ingredients at once and chill prior to serving, I just keep the add-ons (grapes, walnuts, cranberries, and green onions), for the last minute for absolute best results.

The nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per serving. There are 6 servings in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 429kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 84mg, Sodium: 621mg, Potassium: 594mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 178IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 54mg, Iron: 1mg
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6 comments on “Best Chicken Salad Recipe”

  1. Great Chicken Salad! Added Pecans, raisins, slivered almonds, a little more Duke’s Mayonnaise, and black pepper!
    Seasonings are spot on!!

  2. My family LOVED this. Especially my husband with the tangy and sweet combo. I certainly have never had chicken salad with grapes and cranberries before but I honestly don’t think I can go back to the old way. Love the spices and all the delicious flavors you added and the yogurt was a nice touch.
    I never would have thought of it but it really made a difference in taste. We will be eating this all summer!

    • Excellent! I’m so happy you liked the grapes and cranberries, in my opinion it adds the perfect sweetness 😋! Thanks so much for the great comments and review Cheryl, you’re the best!❤️

  3. Sounds wonderful. Have U ever tried Crazy Jane’s Salt? I make my salad with all but the green onions. Plus I add apple, Mandarin oranges and the CJ Salt. I also use pecans.

    • Hi Sue!! I haven’t tried that salt before but I love trying out different salts!! And I LOVE the additions that you put in your salad, they all sound so wonderful and fresh!! I bet it doesn’t last long!

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