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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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.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Salad

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.

Get the Recipe: Roast Chicken Salad Sandwiches

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!

Get the Recipe: Italian Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups

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.

Get the Recipe: Fried Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad, Avocado and Cheddar Panini

These Chicken Salad, Avocado and Cheddar Paninis strike a balance between bright vibrancy and rich, buttery deliciousness. The salad itself consists of tender chicken, red grapes, slivered almonds, pecans, onion, Granny Smith apple, dried cranberries and lots of salt and pepper, each of which adds a fresh flavor and strong texture to the salad. Once assembled on a croissant with avocado and plenty of cheddar, the brighter elements of the chicken salad balance the richness of the other sandwich elements. Enjoy for brunch, lunch, dinner, daytime snack, midnight snack, elevenses, etc. (it’s basically always a go-to).

Get the Recipe: Chicken Salad, Avocado and Cheddar Panini

Ranch Chicken Salad Cups

This Ranch-inspired chicken salad makes the most of bright, tangy flavors like sour cream, buttermilk, scallion and dill to create a chicken salad that compliments the vibrant summer produce at your local farmers market (shameless plug—buy local!). Mixed with tomatoes, avocado, bacon and lots of shredded chicken, this homemade Ranch dressing will highlight the sweet tomatoes, creamy avocado and salty bacon. If you want to add more veggies to your meal, serve the salad in lettuce cups and top with additional tomatoes.

Get the Recipe: Ranch Chicken Salad Cups

Chicken Salad Rolls

The secret to these Chicken Salad Rolls is that they’re best eaten leftover. That’s right, a meal you can enjoy for several days throughout the week that will only get better with time. A dream! This is because, the longer the chicken sits with the “something crunchy,” “something oniony,” mayonnaise or yogurt, salt and pepper, the more it absorbs the flavors of each of these ingredients, combining into perfect harmony. Just be sure to assemble your sandwich the day you want to eat it so your bread doesn’t get soggy!

Get the Recipe: Chicken Salad Rolls

Napa Valley Chicken Salad

This flavorful, easy-to-make chicken salad comes together with just a few ingredients, each of which play an integral role in the profile and body of the dish. The dressing is a combination of sharp Dijon mustard and zesty Ranch dressing and complements the sweetness of red grapes, the earthiness of toasted pecans and the crispness of celery. Enjoy this salad on its own or put it on a sandwich with fresh tomatoes and lettuce for a summertime classic you’ll want every day.

Get the Recipe: Napa Valley Chicken Salad

Curried Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches

Sandwiches are often overlooked. They’re perceived as the main course, but primarily for breakfast or lunch, excluded from even the most casual of dinners sometimes. Sandwiches are very rarely ever thought of as an appetizer or snack. It’s time for that to change! These Curried Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches are a beautiful mix of fragrant curry powder, sweet dried cranberries, tangy apple, rich walnuts, oniony scallions, juicy chicken and creamy mayonnaise all working together with the crunch of toasted whole-wheat bread. Try them at your next dinner party, sports game viewing party or outdoor picnic.

Get the Recipe: Curried Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches

Summer Chicken Salad

This chicken salad makes the best of summer’s go-to tools and ingredients. Fire up the grill and cook your chicken to perfection, ensuring you develop deep char marks on each piece for maximum flavor. Grill ears of fresh summer corn; shave off the kernels and toss with a fresh mixture of onions, dill and celery. Add a bright, creamy dressing and you've got the ideal meal for any summer afternoon.

Get the Recipe: Summer Chicken Salad

Lemon Roasted Chicken Salad Wrap

If you’re the kind of person who loves a jam-packed chicken salad, this should be your go-to recipe. Not only is each layer of the dish full of flavor (the chicken is roasted with garlic, thyme and lemon—very fragrant ingredients that will permeate throughout the dish!), but each layer is emphasized by the others. The incorporation of sweet cranberries heightens the acidic lemon in the chicken. The crisp celery and water chestnuts parallel the richness of walnuts. Each element creates balance, solidifying each ingredient’s role in the recipe.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Roasted Chicken Salad Wrap

Lady Marmalade Chicken Salad

The name of the game with this Lady Marmalade Chicken Salad is pungent flavors. Every ingredient in this recipe — orange marmalade, shallots, green apple, lime juice, garlic, brown mustard, curry powder, cilantro — is working to pack a different punch of flavor, each of which, when married together, works to unify the dish. All of these elements are combined with creamy Greek yogurt and tender chicken for a salad that can be a stand-alone meal, but that is also great when paired with toasted bread or lettuce leaves.

Get the Recipe: Lady Marmalade Chicken Salad

Picnic Potato and Chicken Salad Cups

Summer is the time for picnics and salads. That is, potato and chicken salads! Get the best of both worlds with these Picnic Potato and Chicken Salad Cups. Full of fresh herbs like parsley and sage, you get the starchiness of potatoes and the succulence of roasted chicken. Throw in crispy bacon and plenty of crisp veggies and you’ve got yourself the best potato-chicken salad your picnic has ever seen.

Get the Recipe: Picnic Potato and Chicken Salad Cups