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Easy Chicken Salad Recipes

Put it on a roll, in a lettuce wrap or eat in with a handful of crackers. Regardless of how you choose to enjoy your chicken salad, you should be making it. Why, you ask? It’s perfect for the summertime; it’s a quick, light lunch that everyone can enjoy; it makes great leftovers. The list goes on and on. Ready for some inspo? We've got traditional takes (and more adventurous spins) on this super tasty classic.

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Photo: Tara Donne

Chicken Salad

When you're cooking, you have the opportunity to create "depth of flavor" by fully developing every element of the recipe. This Chicken Salad does just that, reaching maximum flavor potential with each step. Season the chicken poaching liquid with lots of fresh parsley, thyme, onion, carrot and celery; check. Build a flavorful sauce with plenty of Dijon mustard, scallion, parsley and lemon juice; check. Incorporate more ingredients like crispy smoked bacon or fresh summer tomatoes; check.

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Roast Chicken Salad Sandwiches

There are a variety of ways you can cook chicken to put in your chicken salad. You can poach, sear, bake, fry or roast it to create the best flavor profile for the type of chicken salad you are looking to make. For this recipe, roasting the chicken develops a beautiful brown, crispy skin and, with the addition of lemon and fresh herbs, creates a juicy, tender, bright meat to use as the base of the salad. To save prep and cook time, whip up some homemade mayonnaise and chop up lots of fresh herbs and celery while the chicken cooks.

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Photo: Armando Rafael ©

Italian Chicken Salad

Because chicken salad is typically mayonnaise-based, it can sometimes be too heavy. This Italian Chicken Salad, however, uses a vinaigrette and is much lighter. On those summer days when it’s just too hot to think about eating anything rich and creamy, turn to this recipe for its tangy red wine, aromatic fresh parsley, sharp red onion and crisp bell pepper. How refreshing!

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Photo: Matt Armendariz

Fried Chicken Salad

Fried chicken is a summer staple. Pair it with a dipping sauce, eat it on its own or make a chicken salad out of it! That's right, you can make chicken salad with it! This recipe works great with fresh or leftover chicken and emphasizes the richness of the fried poultry through the addition of scallions, yellow mustard and dill pickles (and dill pickle brine!). Pack a hearty scoop of salad onto a potato roll and add a dash of hot sauce for the best sandwich of your whole backyard barbecue.

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