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Chicken Salad

5 from 40 votes

posted: 06/12/21

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Chicken Salad is an easy recipe that comes together to make an amazing chicken salad sandwich. Make it to bring to a picnic or just have it for an easy weeknight meal.

close up of a chicken salad sandwich

This Chicken Salad with grapes is great all year, but especially for summer picnics! This recipe has my heart. I love the sweetness the grapes bring to this savory recipe. Their crunch pairs perfectly with that of the celery.

Your family will love this recipe now for easy lunches and even more so come the fall when school picks back up again.


Loved your chicken salad….never used grapes before but it will be a must from now on! Thank you!

Chicken Salad Ingredients

The ingredients in this recipe are the perfect balance of flavors and texture. Scroll to the bottom of the post to get the full printable recipe with measurements and instructions.

  • Cooked Shredded Chicken: Read below for my tips and tricks on shredding chicken. Another great idea is to keep frozen shredded chicken on hand.
  • Grapes: This is the ingredient that usually throws people for a loop, but it adds such a perfect texture and sweetness to the recipe.
  • Red Onion: I love red onions in salads because they bring a subtle sweetness with their onion taste.
  • Celery: The celery in this recipe adds the perfect crunch.
  • Mayonnaise: We are using mayo as the base of our chicken salad dressing. You should feel free to use light mayo. It cuts some calories without sacrificing taste or texture.
  • Lemon Juice: A little lemon juice goes a long way in this recipe to add sense of freshness.
  • Salt: As with all recipes, you may want to start with just a little salt and add more once you taste the dressing.
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Black Pepper
overhead of the ingredients for chicken salad broken up by ingredient in a bowl

How to Make Chicken Salad

I like to make this recipe in three steps.

  1. Add the main ingredients (chicken, grapes, red onion, celery) to a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the dressing in a small bowl. Try the dressing and add more salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the dressing into the main ingredients and mix to combine.

How to Make Shredded Chicken

Making shredded chicken for this or other recipes is very simple and takes less than 20 minutes.

  1. Place the chicken in a sauce pan with enough water to cover it.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and simmer over low heat for 4 to 10 minutes or until the chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

A note on the thermometer: I love that one because it can be easily kept in while the chicken cooks. It has an alarm that lets me know exactly when it reaches 165 degrees.

You can also use your Instant Pot to make shredded chicken. Another great option is to use a rotisserie chicken. Sometimes I like to buy several, shred them, and freeze them.

Please note that you will need 1 pound of raw chicken to make 3 cups of shredded chicken.

Why No Nuts

You will notice that I didn’t use any nuts in this recipe, though many chicken salad recipes call for it. I really love the sweet crunch that grapes give this recipe and didn’t think the nuts were necessary.

If your family likes nuts in it, I would recommend toasting 1/4 cup of almond slices and adding those in.

What to Serve Chicken Salad On

My favorite way to eat this is on a nice soft buttery croissant. But it is delicious on any bread or bun for an amazing chicken salad sandwich. It would also be great in a wrap.

If you want to make this a lower carb recipe, you could eat this in endive or Bib Lettuce cups like in my Chicken Lettuce Wraps. This is also great just eaten with a fork or on a bed of salad greens.

chicken salad sandwich on a croissant on a cutting board with grapes in the background

Serving Size

This recipe makes 4 cups. What you see pictured is about 1/2 a cup of chicken salad to make a chicken salad sandwich. I would plan for about 8 sandwiches for this recipe.


How long is chicken salad good for?

Chicken Salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. That being said, if it was left outside more than 2 hours at a picnic, it should be tossed.

Can you freeze chicken salad?

I would not recommend freezing this recipe. In general, I don’t like freezing mayonnaise based dishes.

What can I use in place of grapes?

Dried cranberries would be great to replace the grapes here.

overhead view of a chicken salad sandwich

Other Great Picnic Recipes

If you are looking for other great recipes to bring to a picnic, consider some of these options:

If you make this chicken salad recipe or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

close up of a chicken salad sandwich
5 from 40 votes

Chicken Salad

Serves: 8 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
This Chicken Salad is an easy recipe that comes together to make an amazing chicken salad sandwich. Make it to bring to a picnic or just have it for an easy weeknight meal.


  • 3 cups cooked chicken chopped (see notes in the post for how to cook shredded chicken)
  • 1 cup red grapes cut in half
  • 1/2 small red onion diced small
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used light)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a large bowl combine the cooked chicken, red grapes, red onion, and celery.
  • In a small bowl whisk togethr the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste being careful to start out with just a little.
  • Stir the dressing into the main ingredients.
  • Serve right away or store in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. Please note that if this salad sits out for more than 2 hours, the leftovers should be thrown away.
Serving: 0.5cup Calories: 114kcal (6%) Carbohydrates: 6g (2%) Protein: 18g (36%) Fat: 4g (6%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 38mg (13%) Sodium: 199mg (9%) Potassium: 219mg (6%) Sugar: 4g (4%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
close up of a chicken salad sandwich

did you make this

Chicken Salad

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Sue says

    I use Old Bay seasoning instead of garlic. Yummy. Sometimes i use krab (with a K) instead of chicken. Old Bay is great.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yes! That sounds really similar to my Crab Salad.

  2. carlos says

    I am vegetarian

    • Lisa Longley says

      You can find all my vegetarian recipes here: Vegetarian Recipes.

  3. Lorraine says

    This recipe is basically the same as what I’ve done for years, except the grapes and lemon juice. I have been using craisins for the sweet kick I needed and use creamy horseradish sauce and less mayo. I will use grapes next time and I know that will be enjoyable.. Thanks for something new I can do to my chicken salad!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you enjoy it!

  4. Jackie says

    Can canned chicken work for this recipe?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Any shredded chicken will work for this recipe.

  5. Elaine Pacholek says

    5 stars
    Thank you, Lisa — great recipe! I just made 36 chicken salad mini croissants for a teacher appreciation lunch at our local small preK-12 school, multiplied your recipe by 4 and it worked out perfectly, using two large rotisserie chickens.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Elaine! You are my hero! That is quite the task, but teachers so deserve the love. I’m so glad this worked on a large scale!

  6. Dorothy Linton says

    I have made every recipe you have.love all. Keep sending them

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy to hear that you are enjoying them!

  7. Fiona says

    5 stars
    Very balanced and yummy! Used apple cause had it on hand. Will make again. Thx!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad that you liked it!

  8. Edith says

    5 stars
    I love this recipe. I have made it for my family and for friends also for church covered dish lunches. Rave reviews and nothing left to bring home. Had to start caring copies of the recipt with me. Thanks Lisa.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Ahhh, this makes my day, Edith! Thank you for taking the time to come and let me know.

  9. Lill says

    5 stars
    This would be excellent to use as a filling for stuffed tomatoes.Lill

    • Lisa Longley says

      You are so right! It really would!

  10. Jodi says

    Just because I’m the one who mostly does the dishes, make the dressing first, mix, add the chicken, celery, grapes and onion and then stir it up!

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners