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 chopped pecans, or 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.
It’s an excellent recipe, very tasty, and lots of options to customize. However, it exhibits what I believe to be THE MOST COMMON FLAW amongst recipies. The prep time, in this case assumes you have already cooked and shredded the chicken, chopped the celery and nuts, halved the grapes, yada yada yada. This provided the cook with NO idea how long it really takes to prepare. For this reason, 4 stars us the most I can give it.
I’m glad you enjoy the flavors in this recipe. I did factor in the prep time for chopping, but assumed that you would cook the chicken ahead of time or use store-bought rotisserie chicken. I always make this recipe when I have leftover chicken. 🙂
I made this recipe last night & had dinner with thousand island salad. I replaced the pecan nut s with wall nuts & came out very delicious. My husband liked the chicken salad sandwich with his salad. I’ll make this again for sure.
Kristine, thank you so much for this recipe! I love chicken salad but wanted something without mayo. This is perfect thank you for sharing! This was delicious, my whole family enjoyed it!
That is wonderful! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed this recipe. Thank you for taking the time to let me know.
Delicious! We added oepper and dill.
I added some dill and cumin, and used canned chicken breast. Super quick and easy. Tasted so good. Thank you!
I had leftover chicken & wanted to make chicken salad without going to the grocery! I always have Greek yogurt o I made as directed with grapes & pecans. Thought it needed more moisture so I added some homemade garlic & Parmesan dressing but probably would have been fine with extra yogurt. I’ve printed the recipe & will be making this from now on! Thank you!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed this!
Loved this recipe. As did my family. You can use a combination of vegan mayo and non dairy sour cream for those of us with allergies. I use 1/4 each and it came out wonderful. We also added some jalapeños for a kick.
My husband and I love this recipe. Getting ready to make again now.
I’m so glad you’re enjoying it!
Can i use canned chicken
I’ve never used canned chicken, but I think that would work.
I have used canned chicken many times and have no issue using it.
This looks wonderful! I am going to try adding cilantro, too.
This sounds wonderful but, forgive my ignorance, I don’t understand the measurements. What does .20 or .14 measure out to? I’m used to teaspoons, cups, etc.
Hi Judith, It looks like you’ve adjusted the amount of servings in the recipe, so it’s recalculated the amounts. Use the arrows to change the number of servings back to 7 and it should make more sense.
This is a great recipe base to go off of! Works great with onion powder/garlic powder, or fresh ingredients if you have it! I always use canned chicken and can have this baby whipped up in 5 minutes. It’s a lifesaver and staple recipe for sure!
QUESTION??? At age 79 is it worth buying a hot pot for just two people??
I think so! It depends on your cooking preferences and needs. You might find this post about Instant Pots helpful. 🙂
My husband and I both give this a 5 star rating! So delicious, we’ll both be taking it to work this week. So simple to make as well ??
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s one of my favorite make ahead lunches as well. 🙂
Thanks for the recipe! One of the main reasons I stopped here while googling egg salad is you did not write a ten-page blog of your egg salad “experience” and how it changed your life…lol:) Thanks for keeping all your recipes easy, delish and to the point.
Haha, I appreciate your comment! I try to include only information that will be helpful to those making the recipe, answer common questions, etc. I hope you find many more recipes to enjoy!
If I use canned chicken, do I need to use chicken in oil or will in water do.
Chicken in water will work well. Enjoy!
White pepper is really good in this recipe with juice from a whole lemon
So so good! I used mayo but need to try with Greek yogurt. I also used almonds. I cooked chicken in the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, let cool, then shredded.
This was my first attempt at making chicken salad and it was delicious. My husband is a big chicken salad fan and he loved it. I did use 1/2 greek yogurt 1/2 mayo just because I was afraid my husband would notice a difference with all Greek yogurt. I will definitely be making this again.
I made this today and omg It came out so good! So simple and delicious. I used canned chicken from Costco though because I didn’t have chicken. So yummy and I did put tomatoes and onions as the toppings and instead of pickles( mine froze in the fridge :/) I used a little bit of relish. Definitely making this again and with the cooked chicken from Costco this time !
How much was a serving for you as an estimate?
The nutrition information is calculated based on a 1/2 cup serving.
I’ve never had a good chicken salad but I had a rotisserie chicken and was sick of using the same recipes over and over again. I found this recipe randomly online and al I can say is DELICIOUS! such an easy recipe and I had most ingredients on hand. Will be making this over and over again.
Just wondering. I do not like Greek yogurt. Is the Greek yogurt
flavor very strong?
I do not find it to be a strong flavor in this recipe, but you can substitute mayonnaise if you prefer.
I used plain regular yogurt. I have never pulsed a roast chicken before. I just found a new way to make chicken salad. This was excellent!
I have tried SO many times making chicken salad and it has ALWAYS failed until now!! Great recipes for this and egg salad!
Made the chicken salad with two 10 oz cans of chicken (drained it before adding to the dressing). Couldn’t find sliced almonds so used slivered ones (my daughter is allergic to walnuts). Used dried cranberries…we prefer them to grapes…added 4T of apple cider vinegar to give it a kick…was a HUGE hit with the ladies at a tea party. These ladies are all great chefs, so for them to rave about a recipe is big. Personally, I could eat this straight out of the bowl…forget the bread, croissants or any other type of wrap. Will be making this recipe many times over!
Could I use lowfat yogurt?
Yes, lowfat yogurt should work fine, as long as it is plain Greek yogurt.
Soooo yummy!! This recipe rocks and makes you feel like you’re eating healthy. I cooked my chicken via pot for about 11 minutes and it was perfect. These ingredients go really well together! Love this recipe!
Love this chicken salad recipe. ??
I always stuck to a recipe that my mom made with chicken breast, miracle whip, celery, granny smith apple (no skin) chopped into small cubes and yellow raisins. Occasionally we would throw in some pecans or walnuts depending what we had on hand.
It’s good to change things up and try new ingredients. Thank you for sharing this tasty recipe.
I added some green 🍎 had to use mayonnaise instead of yogurt. We loved it!
This was amazing! Love it!! I used cranberries instead of grapes and can’t beat it!