Call it a classic chicken salad or a five-ingredient chicken salad, but whatever you call it, this California Chicken salad, full of fresh, delicious ingredients, will be the best lunch you have had all week.
This chicken lunch recipe is an incredibly satisfying meal with perfectly seasoned chicken (done any way you like), seasonal grapes, crunchy green celery, and chopped pecans.
And with less than 10 minutes to assemble (and easily made ahead), you will love the texture and all the bold, fresh flavors.
- chicken – cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken (quicker)
- diced celery
- red grapes
- chopped pecans
- real mayonnaise
- salt and black pepper
- croissants, optional for serving
How to make California Chicken Salad
- Mix chicken, crunchy celery, juicy grapes, pecans, and mayonnaise.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, or serve in a bowl or on croissants.
How to Serve Homemade Chicken Salad
- Sandwiches: Chicken salad is a classic sandwich filling. Spread the chicken salad on bread or wrapped in a bed of greens.
- Appetizers: Chicken salad can also be served as an appetizer. Try filling celery sticks, cucumber rounds, or pita bread cups with chicken salad.
- Main course: Chicken salad can also be served as a main course. Try serving it in lettuce wraps or on a bed of rice or quinoa.
- Toppings: Chicken salad can also be used as a topping for other dishes. Try adding it to a salad or using it as a topping for a baked potato.
No matter how you serve it, chicken salad is a delicious and versatile dish that everyone will love.
Here are some additional tips for making California chicken salad:
- Choose the proper bread: The type of bread you use will affect the overall bright flavors of the chicken salad. For a classic sandwich, use white bread or croissants. For a more healthy option, use whole wheat bread or pita bread.
- Add your favorite toppings: Chicken salad is a blank canvas, so feel free to add your favorite toppings.
- Serve with a side dish: Chicken salad is a great way to use leftover chicken. Serve it with a side dish recipe like a salad, fruit, or chips.
- Make ahead: Chicken salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This makes it an excellent option for busy weeknights.
Variations of Classic Chicken Salad
- Apple Pecan Chicken Salad: This variation uses apples and pecans instead of traditional grapes and walnuts. The apples add sweetness and tartness balanced by the pecans’ crunch.
- California Chicken Salad with Avocado: This variation adds avocado to the mix, which gives it a creamy texture and a boost of healthy fats.
- California Chicken Salad with Sriracha: This variation adds Sriracha to the mix, which gives it a spicy kick.
- California Chicken Salad with Quinoa: This variation swaps out traditional bread for quinoa, which makes it a healthier option.
- California Chicken Salad with Tofu: This variation uses tofu instead of chicken, which makes it a vegan option.
As you can see, the perfect chicken salad recipe is really up to you! And you should def try our Mexican Chicken Salad recipe too!
From heat with chili pepper or pepper flakes to vegetable additions like white or yellow onion, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers, the perfect original signature salad for your home is based on your tastebuds. Add a secret ingredient to this basic chicken salad recipe, and bam!
Make sure to visit our salad recipes here and enjoy delicious, guilt-free lunches all year.