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Homemade Chicken Salad – A Great Recipe For Leftover Rotisserie Chicken

One of my favorite, go-to recipes in the middle of summer is this Homemade Chicken Salad Recipe. It is a cool and refreshing meal that takes only minutes to prepare.

Not to mention that this recipe is extremely versatile. You can add fruit, nuts or change up the spices in the mixture and you will never get bored with eating it over and over.

Although I typically make this recipe during the warmer months because it is cool and refreshing, I also make it in the middle of winter when I have leftover rotisserie chicken.

homemade chicken salad sandwich
Homemade chicken salad can be used to make a cool and refreshing sandwich. Or use it to make a wrap, a snack with crackers, or eat it on a bed of lettuce for a low-carb meal.

Just like when making Barbecue Chicken Wraps, it is a great way to use those chunks of meat that you have pulled off the bone after the chicken was served for dinner. Then simply dice up leftover meat and mix the ingredients together and your lunch is ready for tomorrow!

However, don’t think of this recipe just as a sandwich for lunch. I like to eat it as a snack with crackers or over a bed of lettuce for a low-carb meal.

You can even put some in a small serving dish and serve it as part of a charcuterie board with grapes, crackers, cheese, and nuts as an appetizer for a gathering with friends.

Now that you can see how versatile this recipe can be, let’s get to the actual ingredients and recipe instructions.

Homemade Chicken Salad Recipe

*A printable recipe card is located at the bottom of this article which contains the specific measurements, temperatures and cook times. However, continue reading below to learn about more helpful tips about this specific recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups chicken – cooked
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 rib celery, medium size
  • ½ small red onion
  • 1 TBSP. lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley and/or dried dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
cooked chicken being diced
This recipe comes together in minutes when using leftover rotisserie chicken. However, you can also make it by cooking a medium size chicken breast.

INSTRUCTIONS

Cut the cooked chicken in 1/2 inch cubes or if you are using cooked shredded chicken, cut the chicken in manageable bite size pieces. Then place the prepared chicken in a medium size bowl. Set aside.

Dice 1 medium size rib of celery and half a small red onion into fine sections. Add the diced celery and onion to the bowl with the chicken.

Then add the lemon juice, parsley or dried dill weed, and Dijon mustard to the bowl and stir. I like the flavor that the dill provides, but there are some people that prefer their Homemade Chicken Salad to have more of a mild flavor.

The choice is up to you whether you want to use parsley or dill. And if you like both, it is okay to add both into the mix.

Next add salt and pepper to taste and give it one final stir until everything is evenly coated. Then cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for an hour to let the flavors combine.

mayo and chicken
This recipe couldn’t be easier to make. Just mix the ingredients and put it in the refrigerator so that he flavors can meld.

Yes, you could technically eat it right away, however it will be so much better once the flavors have had time to meld together. In fact, just like when making Ham Salad Spread, it only gets better with time!

Keep it cold until you are ready to serve. Spread it on a sandwich. Put it in a wrap. Or serve it as a dip with crackers or over a bed of lettuce for a low-carb meal.

Helpful Recipe Tips For Making Chicken Salad

Because this is such a versatile recipe, there are many variations that you do to customize this classic recipe to your preference. In fact, adding various ingredients means that you can make this recipe over and over again and never get tired of it.

Below I have listed some recipe tips and various recipe adaptations that you will find helpful when making this recipe.

1. Although I typically use leftover rotisserie chicken to make this homemade chicken salad recipe, you can also cook a fresh chicken breast as well. As a guideline, 1 medium chicken breast will yield approximately 1 1/2 – 2 cups of cooked and diced chicken.

2. If you are wanting to make a smaller or larger serving size, this chicken salad recipe can be easily adjusted. Use the ratio of 2 cups of cooked chicken per 1/2 cup of mayonnaise.

Therefore, if you want to make a smaller portion size, use 1 cup of cooked and diced chicken and mix it with 1/4 cup of mayonnaise. Then mix in the other ingredients per your taste.

chicken spread on a cracker
One of my favorite ways to serve chicken salad is as a dip with crackers.

3. This is a classic homemade chicken salad recipe that can be customized to your preferences with various additions. The most common additions are listed below:

Nuts: chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts

Spices: dill, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic

Fruit: sliced grapes, diced apples, raisins, Craisins, olives

Vegetables: green or sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, pickles, fresh or pickled jalapeños

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this homemade chicken salad gluten-free?

This recipe is naturally gluten-free based on the ingredients given. However, be sure to always check the labels of the products that you use to verify that they are indeed gluten-free.

In addition, if you are wanting to serve this as a sandwich or wrap, be sure to use a gluten-free product. Or stick with serving it over a bed of lettuce and have no worries at all!

Can I use Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise?

Mayonnaise, Miracle Whip or plant based mayo can be used in this recipe interchangeably. Use whatever product you have on hand.

If I serve it as a dip with crackers or as part of a charcuterie board, how long can I leave it out?

Because of the dressing in the recipe is mayo based, you must keep the spread in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Then do not leave it out longer than 1 hour at room temperature unless it is sitting in a bowl that is placed in ice.

chicken salad in a bowl with lettuce
Keep this recipe low carb and serve it over a bed of lettuce.

How long can I keep this homemade chicken salad in the refrigerator?

This is a good question and the answer depends on the chicken that you are using. If make this recipe with leftover chicken, you must base your storage time on when the chicken was cooked rather than when the chicken salad is made.

It is recommended to store leftover chicken no more than 5 days in the refrigerator after it has been cooked. Therefore, if you made this recipe on the 3rd day, you must eat the salad within 2 days of making it.

However, if you are using canned chicken or cooking a fresh chicken breast when making this recipe, then you can store it for the entire 5 days.

Enjoy! Mary

To receive FREE recipes delivered directly to your email, be sure to sign up for the iCookfortwo newsletter. A sign up form is located in the middle of this article. If you have any questions, comments, or want to submit an idea for a recipe for two, feel free to email at mary@icookfortwo.com

homemade chicken salad

Chicken Salad For Two

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 10 minutes

Classic chicken salad recipe that has the perfect balance of creamy and crunchy texture. Serve the spread for a sandwich, wrap, on crackers or as a stand alone meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 rib celery, medium size
  • 1 TBSP. lemon juice
  • ½ small red onion
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Optional

  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed

Instructions

  1. Cut the cooked chicken in 1/2 inch cubes or if you are using cooked shredded chicken, cut the chicken in manageable bite size pieces. Then place in a medium size bowl. Set aside.

  2. Dice 1 medium size rib of celery and half a small red onion into fine sections. Add the diced celery and onion to the bowl with the chicken.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix until well combined. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for an hour to let the flavors combine.
    Serve cold in a sandwich, wrap, as a dip with crackers on a bed of lettuce.

Notes

1 medium chicken breast will yield approximately 1 1/2 - 2 cups of cooked and diced chicken.

Recipe can be easily adjusted for a larger serving using the ratio of 2 cups of cooked chicken per 1/2 cup of mayonnaise.

Mayonnaise, Miracle Whip or Plant based mayo can be used in this recipe interchangeably. Because of the dressing in the is recipe, it must be kept in the refrigerator. Do not leave it out longer than 1 hour at room temperature.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days from the time that the chicken was cooked (not the time that the chicken salad was made).

This is a classic chicken salad recipe that can be customized to your preferences with various additions. The most common additions are listed below:

Nuts: chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts

Spices: dill, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic

Fruit: sliced grapes, diced apples,, raisins, Craisins, olives

Vegetables: green or sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, pickles, fresh or pickled jalapeños

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 4
    Amount Per Serving Calories 343Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 22gCholesterol 75mgSodium 328mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 17g

    Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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