As the temperatures rise and summer calls for lighter meals, one dish that never fails to satisfy my cravings is classic chicken salad. It’s become one of my all-time favorite easy summer dishes! Combining simplicity, flavor, and a touch of healthy indulgence. This recipe is not only a breeze to make but also packs a punch of vibrant flavors that will leave you wanting more. So, let’s dive into my personal twist on the classic chicken salad, guaranteed to make your taste buds dance with delight.
Easy Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe
To whip up this scrumptious chicken salad, gather the following ingredients:
- Chicken Breasts: I’m all about convenience, so I opt for boneless rotisserie chicken from my local Walmart. It’s flavorful and saves precious cooking time.
- Mayonnaise: The creamy, velvety texture of mayonnaise acts as the perfect binder to bring all the ingredients together.
- Dijon Mustard: A little dollop of Dijon mustard adds a zingy depth of flavor and a subtle kick.
Red Grapes: I adore the burst of juiciness and the visual pop of color that red grapes bring to the salad. However, green seedless grapes work just as well.
- Celery: For that satisfying crunch, I include plenty of crisp celery in my chicken salad.
Green Onion: These sassy green onions add a savory touch without overpowering the salad, giving the perfect balance.
- Toasted Almonds: Toasting sliced almonds brings out their nutty essence, imparting an irresistible aroma and an extra layer of deliciousness.
- Parsley: To infuse the salad with freshness, I finely chop a few tablespoons of vibrant parsley. – Chicken Broth: If I’m making my own chicken, I’ll take advantage of the flavorful juices already present. Otherwise, a can or box of chicken broth does the trick.
- Lemon Juice: A squeeze of lemon juice not only brightens the flavors but also adds a zesty freshness that screams summertime.
- Salt and Pepper: Seasonings are the secret to tailoring the salad to your taste buds, so don’t shy away from sprinkling in your favorite seasoning.
- Begin by dicing the cooked chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. If using traditional rotisserie chicken, remove the skin and shred the meat.
- In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, stirring until well blended.
- Add the diced chicken to the bowl, followed by the red grapes, celery, green onion, toasted almonds, and chopped parsley.
- Gently fold the ingredients together, ensuring that the chicken is evenly coated with the creamy dressing.
- Gradually add chicken broth to achieve your desired consistency, keeping in mind that the salad should hold together without being overly runny.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Give it a final stir to incorporate the flavors.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, allowing the salad to chill and the flavors to meld together.
- Serve the chicken salad chilled, either as a standalone dish, a sandwich filling, or alongside your favorite chips. Consider using a buttery croissant for a delightful pairing that adds a touch of elegance to the meal.
How Do You Make Chicken Salad Less Bland?
By itself, chicken salad can be a very bland meal but that’s one of the best things about it! You can easily add extra ingredients to create a chicken salad that includes all of the flavors you love.
Don’t be afraid to season – Seasoning is one of the quickest and easiest ways to give your chicken salad flavor. Don’t be afraid to play with the seasoning and try new-to-you seasonings to add extra flavor. I personally love adding onion powder, garlic salt, salt, pepper, and even salad seasoning.
Onions add flavor – No matter what you’re making, I am always a believer in adding onion. They give such a nice flavor to food, including chicken salad!
Add fresh herbs when available – I love a pre-chopped herb as much as the next person, but they just don’t have the same flavor as fresh herbs. I promise that fresh herbs in your chicken salad will be game-changing.
Grapes to add sweetness and balance – If your chicken salad needs a little something, try adding in grapes! The sweet flavor balances out the other more tart ingredients and the crunch is always a crowd-pleaser!
What Do You Serve With Chicken Salad?
Now that you have your chicken salad, it’s time to serve it! My favorite way to eat it is in sandwich form with a delicious side to make it into a full meal. Some great side options include potato chips (my favorite!), a leafy salad, or a cheese plate.
How To Make The Best Chicken Salad
All of your questions about how to make the best chicken salad answered –
Can I Use Canned Chicken Instead Of Fresh?
You can absolutely use canned chicken instead of fresh! Since you’ll be adding additional ingredients and flavors, opting for canned chicken will still allow your chicken salad to be flavorful but much easier to make. I’m all about convenience, after all!
Should Chicken Salad Be Cold Or Warm?
This is definitely a personal preference as it can be served warm or cold, but I always recommend serving it cold! This allows you to really taste all of the flavors of the chicken salad, as well as the textures.
How Do You Keep Chicken Salad From Drying Out?
The best way to keep your chicken salad from drying out is with mayo! I always use Hellman’s mayonnaise from Walmart in my chicken salad; it’s creamy and delicious!
How Long Does Fresh Chicken Salad Last In The Refrigerator?
The downside of chicken salad is that it doesn’t last a long time in the fridge. Since I usually whip up a batch for lunch or for entertaining, it’s usually eaten quickly so I don’t usually have a problem! When refrigerating you chicken salad, always eat it within 3-4 days and if you have it left out on the counter, toss it after 2-3 hours. Since it’s jam-packed with chicken and dairy products, it spoils quickly.
Now that you’ve discovered my classic chicken salad recipe, I hope you’re excited to give it a try! Chicken Salad has been a go-to for me during summers, providing a burst of flavor and a dose of healthy indulgence. With its easy preparation and vibrant ingredients, it’s the perfect summer delight to savor on lazy afternoons or share with loved ones at picnics and gatherings. So, roll up your sleeves, gather the ingredients, and embark on a culinary adventure. I genuinely hope you try this recipe and fall in love with the ultimate classic chicken salad, just as I have. Cheers to a delightful summer filled with memorable flavors!
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