From Classic to Creative: How to Make the Perfect Chicken Salad

From Classic to Creative: How to Make the Perfect Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is a classic dish that has been enjoyed for generations. This versatile dish can be served as a sandwich, on a bed of greens, or on its own. It is a great option for a quick and easy meal that can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

The origin of chicken salad is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the United States in the early 1800s. It was originally made with leftover chicken mixed with mayonnaise, celery, and seasonings. Over time, various versions of chicken salad have emerged, with some recipes including fruit, nuts, and even curry powder.

Chicken salad can be a nutritious meal option when made with the right ingredients. Chicken is a good source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. It is also low in fat and calories, making it a great choice for those looking to maintain a healthy weight.

Mayonnaise is a common ingredient in chicken salad, but it can be high in calories and fat. To make a healthier version of chicken salad, use a lighter mayonnaise or substitute it with Greek yogurt or avocado.

Adding vegetables, such as celery, onions, and carrots, can increase the fiber and nutrient content of chicken salad. You can also add fruit, such as grapes or apples, for a touch of sweetness and additional vitamins and minerals.

What to Serve with Chicken Salad

Chicken salad can be served in a variety of ways, depending on your preference. Here are some serving suggestions:

  • On a bed of greens: Serve chicken salad on a bed of lettuce or mixed greens for a refreshing and healthy meal.
  • As a sandwich: Spread chicken salad on whole wheat bread or a wrap for a satisfying and portable lunch.
  • With crackers: Serve chicken salad with whole grain crackers for a quick and easy snack.
  • In a pita: Stuff chicken salad in a whole wheat pita pocket for a filling and delicious meal on-the-go.

Chicken Salad

Course Poultry
Author N. J. Sorensen, RDN


  • 4 pounds whole chicken
  • 6 stalks celery chopped (4 large, 2 small)
  • 3 medium onions chopped (2 large, 1 small)
  • 3 cloves garlic halved
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 cup lite mayonnaise
  • Salt and white pepper to taste


  • Chicken Preparation: Place the whole chicken in a large stockpot and add the chopped vegetables, garlic, salt, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until there is no blood visible near the bone. Remove from heat and allow the chicken to cool in the water. Once cooled, remove the chicken from the pot and strain the remaining liquid to use as chicken stock. Remove the skin and debone the chicken, making sure to remove any gristle. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes.
  • Salad Preparation: In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken cubes, chopped celery, chopped onions, mayonnaise, salt, and white pepper. Mix well.
  • Serve the chicken salad cold with toast.


You can adjust the amount of mayonnaise, salt, and white pepper to your personal preference.

Choosing chicken salad as a meal option is a great way to get in your daily dose of protein and vegetables. It is a versatile dish that can be made to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Whether you are looking for a light and healthy lunch or a satisfying dinner, chicken salad is a great choice.

By making your own chicken salad at home, you can control the ingredients and make a healthier version that suits your needs. Experiment with different ingredients, such as herbs and spices, to create a unique and flavorful chicken salad that you will love.

In conclusion, chicken salad is a classic dish that has stood the test of time. It is a nutritious and delicious meal option that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. By making your own chicken salad at home, you can customize it to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Give it a try and see how delicious and satisfying it can be!