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Classic Chicken Salad

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I can easily classify a few types of sandwiches as classics that everyone should learn to make. This simple chicken salad recipe is great as a sandwich for lunch, with crackers, inside lettuce and tortilla wraps, or as a finger food tea sandwich for parties.

chicken salad sandwich half with lettuce and tomato.

The best way to cook chicken for a chicken salad: Before you get started, this recipe requires cooked and chopped chicken.

Of course, it’s perfect if you have leftover chicken you need to use up, but if you are making fresh to table, air-frying is pretty quick (here is our Ninja Foodi chicken breast recipe if you need help); grilling chicken tenders doesn’t take too long on a gas grill; or poaching and shredding chicken also works well (but takes longer) and makes pretty hearty sandwiches.

large bowl with 2 cups of chopped and cooked chicken.

Ingredients

  • Chicken, cooked and cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • Condiments: Real Mayonnaise and Dijon Mustard
  • Seasonings: Dried dill weed, ground black pepper, and seasoning salt
  • Vegetables: Diced celery, Sliced green onion, Sliced Tomato, Romaine Lettuce
  • Bread: 6 slices Italian Loaf Bread (fine to substitute type but I will die on the hill that using good quality bread makes the sandwich)
  • As a note, the taste of chicken salad comes down to seasoning. Make sure to season it to taste and test it before eating. Although I try to avoid salt, I find that more salt is a welcome addition to this recipe.

How to make a Classic Chicken Salad Sandwich

Like an egg salad recipe or a chicken club sandwich, many ingredients can be added to customize your chicken salad sandwich. This is a common version with an old-fashioned, classic taste. Feel free to alter it as you like.

  1. In a bowl, combine 2 cups of cooked, chopped chicken with 1/2 cup of real mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of diced celery, 1 thinly sliced green onion, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of seasoned salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill weed. Mix well.
  2. Season the chicken salad mixture with ground black pepper to taste.
  3. Toast the 6 slices of Italian loaf bread until they are lightly golden and crisp.
chicken salad mixture being shown in a bowl and mixed up.
  1. On one slice of toasted bread, lay a single layer of romaine lettuce and top with a sliced tomato.
  2. Spoon about 6 tablespoons of the chicken salad mixture over the tomatoes.
  3. Cover it with another slice of toasted bread to complete the sandwich.
  4. Repeat the process to make a total of 3 sandwiches. Slice each sandwich in half before serving for lunch or diagonally in 4 triangles to serve as a tea sandwich.
chicken salad on a sandwich layered with tomato, lettuce, and toasted Italian bread.

Alternative ingredients

To sweeten the savory chicken mix, add dried cranberries, slivered almonds, or quartered green grapes. If you do that, skip the tomato, as it does not complement those ingredients.

Lastly, chopped egg is a great way to add a little bulk and protein and is a wonderful addition as a mix-in.

chicken salad sandwich being held in the air and all layers visible.

What to serve with a Chicken Salad Sandwich

Sandwiches are typically paired with chips and fresh fruit, but chicken salad goes great with various sides.

Here are four choices that I love to round out a delicious plate:

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Classic Chicken Salad Sandwich


Prep Time 10 minutes
This simple classic chicken salad sandwich recipe is a great base for a delicious lunch. Perfect for leftover chicken, chicken salad with lettuce and tomato transforms lunch into a satisfying midday meal.

Equipment

  • mixing bowl

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups chicken cooked and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 slice tomato
  • romaine lettuce
  • 2 tbsp. diced celery
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 6 slices bread any type, we suggest high quality Italian Bread

Seasonings

  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt may need extra to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of cooked and bite-sized chopped chicken, 1/2 cup of Real mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons diced celery, 1 thinly sliced green onion, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, and 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed. Mix until chicken salad is well blended.
  • Season the mixture with ground black pepper and (optional) additional salt here if you would like. Please see notes about other seasoning suggestions.
  • Toast 6 slices of bread. On one slice of toasted bread, add romaine lettuce and sliced tomato.
  • Spoon approximately 6 tablespoons of the chicken salad mixture on top of the tomatoes. We use a 2 tablespoon scoop to properly proportion.
  • Finish with another piece of toasted bread to form a sandwich. Repeat steps till all sandwiches are made.
  • Cut each sandwich in half for a lunch or in diagonal 4ths for an appetizer and serve immediately. Store any leftover chicken salad in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Notes

The timing on this recipe doesn’t take long but assumes the chicken is already prepped. If chicken is not prepped, add on the timing to the recipe for a full idea of how long it takes. 
Tips: A chicken salad mixture can be made in a variety of ways. As listed its a classic taste commonly found in old fashioned recipes. Feel free to alter with some heat (dash of cayenne), add dried cranberries or quartered grapes, or substitute the celery for diced apples. Another popular addition is adding chopped boiled eggs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 520kcal

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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