Easy Chicken Salad Recipe
This easy chicken salad recipe with grapes makes the best chicken salad sandwiches! I’ve been making this healthy chicken salad recipe for years. It’s great for make ahead lunches!
When your days are busy, it can be hard to find the time to prepare lunch. That’s why I like recipes that I can prep once and then eat for a couple of days.
This chicken salad is one of my favorite make ahead lunch recipes. It keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days. You can serve it on bread or croissants as a sandwich, or with some lettuce. I often add avocado – it’s so good!
I rarely order chicken salad at a restaurant because I don’t care for the mayo-laden chicken salad that is often served. My homemade version is fresh, light and made without mayo. I use plain Greek yogurt as the creamy base for my chicken salad dressing. If this sounds strange to you, I promise that your chicken salad won’t taste like yogurt! (You can always use mayo if that’s what you have in your kitchen.)
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It takes just minutes to make.
- You can make it ahead for quick lunches.
- The flavors and textures are a delicious combination of sweet and savory, creamy and crunchy!
How to make chicken salad
To make this simple chicken salad you will need:
Shredded or Chopped Cooked Chicken: You can use rotisserie chicken or chicken breasts, but I like to make quick Instant Pot shredded chicken to use in this recipe. I follow these steps for how to shred chicken easily. If you don’t have cooked chicken ready you can always poach a chicken breast on the stove.
Plain Greek Yogurt or Mayo: Greek yogurt is thick and creamy, and it makes a great healthy substitute for mayonnaise. You can use full fat, 2% or nonfat Greek yogurt in this recipe, depending on your preferences. Be sure to use plain (not flavored) yogurt. Of course, you can use mayo in this recipe if you prefer.
Seasonings: My recipe uses garlic powder, salt and pepper. I find that you don’t need to add too much seasoning because there are lots of flavors going on in this chicken salad. You can try adding a splash of lemon juice or a squeeze of Dijon mustard if you want.
Celery: I love the crunch that celery adds to this chicken salad. Chop the celery into small pieces so that it doesn’t overwhelm the salad.
Nuts: Pecans, walnuts, and sliced almonds all work well in this recipe. If you have a few minutes, toasting the nuts in a skillet on the stove will add a lot of flavor.
Grapes: Chicken salad with grapes is a classic and I love the sweetness that grapes add to this salad. You can also try mixing in chopped apple, dried cranberries or dried cherries.
To make this chicken salad, start with the dressing. I make the dressing in a large bowl and then add the other ingredients to that same bowl. Stir together the plain Greek yogurt, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Next, you will add the rest of the salad ingredients to the bowl and stir everything together. Taste the chicken salad and add more seasoning if needed.
You can keep the chicken salad in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, as long as you made it with chicken cooked that same day. Serve chicken salad on bread, croissants or lettuce.
Tips for this recipe:
- Either chill the chicken before you make the salad or chill the chicken salad mixture before serving.
- Try adding different mix-ins to your chicken salad: different kinds of nuts, grapes, apples, dried cranberries, dried cherries, avocado, chopped green onion or red onion.
- Cook your chicken ahead of time so that you can make this recipe quickly. Try my Instant Pot Shredded Chicken or Crockpot Shredded Chicken. Cooked chicken will stay fresh for up to 4 days in the refrigerator, so go by the date when your chicken was cooked to figure out how long you can store your chicken salad in the fridge.
- For a low carb lunch, serve chicken salad in lettuce wraps or on top of a spinach salad.
Easy Chicken Salad Recipe
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt*
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- 2 cups cooked chicken (shredded or chopped)
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup pecans (walnuts or sliced almonds, toasted if desired)
- ½ cup quartered grapes*
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion (optional)
- bread, croissants or lettuce (for serving)
- In a large bowl, stir together the plain Greek yogurt, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked chicken, celery, nuts, grapes and red onion (if using). Stir until well combined.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Serve as a sandwich on bread or croissants, or wrapped in lettuce.
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