Chicken Salad- The King of Spring Entertaining! (Recipes Included)

With the arrival of warmer weather, there just seems to be an influx of baby showers, bridal showers, potlucks and all sorts of social gatherings! An easy and popular basic dish for any of your upcoming social gatherings is chicken salad. We recently visited my husband’s grandfather and he made chicken salad sandwiches for everyone- it was literally just canned chicken and mayo, but you know what? Almost every single one of my kids ate it without complaints, and my oldest two even asked for seconds!

I personally prefer a few more veggies and textures in my chicken salad, but really, everyone has their own personal preference! It can also be fun to experiment and try a few different varieties to ensure you never get bored!

Chicken salad is such a great dish for spring and summer because it requires no cooking (if you buy canned chicken!), it’s served cold, and it can easily be served as a snack/appetizer by serving with crackers or chips, or you can make it the star of the show and serve on croissants, homemade bread, tortillas, or even lettuce wraps for those who may need to watch their carb or gluten intake.

In case you, like myself, want to add a little more to your chicken salad than just chicken and mayo, here are a few recipes you can take a look at! They’re all so different- and they all look delicious!

Teriyaki Chicken Salad Sandwiches - Our Best Bites

This recipe for Teriyaki chicken salad sandwiches is a cool and refreshing twist on traditional chicken salad! It's perfect for showers, luncheons, and hot summer nights! Author: Kate Jones

2 chicken breasts
Kikkoman teriyaki sauce baste and glaze
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup sliced green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 mango cut into small cubes
1 can small pineapple tidbits OR roughly-chopped chunks
1/3 -1/2 light mayonnaise

Marinate chicken for at least 4 hours. Grill for about 7 minutes per side. While chicken is grilling, combine celery and green onions in a small mixing bowl or a plastic storage container with a lid. When chicken is done, allow to stand for about 10 minutes and then cut into bite-sized pieces. Toss with celery and onions and then add mayonnaise and mix thoroughly. Start with 1/3 cup and go from there. Add 2-3 (or more) tablespoons of Teriyaki sauce to taste. The thickness of the Kikkoman Baste and Glaze (or the homemade recipe) is important because it helps keep the dressing from becoming too runny. You want to add some of the yummy Teriyaki flavor, but you also don’t want it to be overwhelming. Refrigerate for several hours.

Right before serving, add mango, pineapple, and nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You may need to add more mayo and/or Teriyaki; if you need it, go for it! Serve on a lettuce leaf in a croissant or a pita (or by itself if you feel the urge!)


substitutes and variations

Chicken breasts: 2 pre-grilled chicken breasts or 8-12 ounces grilled chicken
Teriyaki Baste & Glaze=1 recipe of our Teriyaki Sauce
Sliced almonds=sunflower seeds
Mango=1 small can drained Mandarin oranges
Canned pineapple=1/2 cup chopped pineapple Source:

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

Add Recipe to Cook'n

Poppy Seed-Chicken Pitas

Prep time:
Cook time:
Yield: 4 servings
Serving size: 4
Calories per serving: 422

3 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
Kosher salt
1 large orange
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream or low-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped (optional)
Torn lettuce leaves, for serving
4 whole-wheat pitas, halved

Cover the chicken with cold water in a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon salt. Remove strips of zest from half of the orange with a vegetable peeler; add the zest to the water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 18 minutes. Remove the chicken and let cool.

Grate the remaining orange zest into a large bowl; juice the orange into the bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, celery, nuts, chives, poppy seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Add the apricots, if desired.

Shred the chicken, discarding the bones and skin, and toss with the dressing. Stuff a few lettuce leaves and some of the chicken salad into each pita.


Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

Add Recipe to Cook'n

Curried Chicken Salad With Toasted Almonds

This curried chicken salad makes a nice lunch or sandwich supper. Serve this flavorful chicken salad on lettuce or in pita pockets or sandwich rolls.

Prep time:
Yield: 4
Serving size: 4
Calories per serving: 536

2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 rib celery, diced
2 scallion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 cups mayonnaise, or to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoons curry powder, or more, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Gather the ingredients.

In a medium bowl, combine diced chicken, celery, onion, almonds, and raisins.

Toss with lemon juice and 1/2 cup mayonnaise. Add more mayonnaise, as needed, to moisten.

Add curry powder, salt, and pepper, to taste; blend well.

Serve on lettuce or in pita pockets or sandwich rolls.


Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

Add Recipe to Cook'n

Buffalo Chicken Salad

This easy Buffalo Chicken Salad recipe can be made ahead for lunches throughout the week. Author: Gina

Prep time:
Yield: ["2","2 servings"]
Serving size: 2
Calories per serving: 253

6 1/2 ounces cooked chicken breasts or canned, from an 8 oz breast, cubed
1/4 cup red onions, plus more for garnish
1/2 celery stalk, plus leaves for garnish
1 baby carrot
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Frank's hot pepper sauce, or more to taste
6 babt Romaine lettuce leaves, or your favorite lettuce for wraps
light blue cheese dressing, optional for topping

If you need to cook the chicken in the slow cooker, cover it with water 4 hours on low then shred. Use a rotisserie chicken breast or even canned chicken works here.

In a mini chopper, chop all the veggies, then add the chicken and pulse a few times.

Transfer to a bowl and mix with the mayo and hot sauce, adding more to taste.

To serve, spoon into lettuce wraps and garnish with red onion, celery leaves and more hot sauce.


Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

Add Recipe to Cook'n

Mango Chicken Salad

Prep time:
Serving size: 4
Calories per serving: 138

0.5 cup sweetened shredded coconut
0.75 cup plain low-fat yogurt
0.5 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons Major Grey's mango chutney
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
0.25 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 Easy Roasted Chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken (about 2 1/2 pounds), shredded (about 4 cups)
1 mango, peeled, seeded, and diced
10 ounces baby spinach

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut on a rimmed baking sheet; toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes; cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, chutney, mustard, turmeric, and cayenne; season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and mango; toss. Serve on spinach, sprinkled with toasted coconut.


Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

Add Recipe to Cook'n

One of the best things about chicken salad is that you really can just tweak it to make it your own! Leave things out or add things in to make it whatever delicious concoction you’d like! You can also always make chicken salad a little healthier by using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. An easy way to up the nutritional value. In addition to the above recipes, here is a simple list of ingredients to help get your creative juices flowing:

  • Chopped hard boiled eggs
  • Halved grapes
  • Chopped tomato
  • Bacon crumbles
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Honey mustard
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Red onion
  • Chopped pickles
  • Diced apples
  • Black beans
  • Corn
My ideal: a little greek yogurt, onion salt, olives, celery, apples, and pepper! *Chef’s Kiss*. I need to go make some chicken salad now!

    Camille Hoffmann
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author!


Subscribe to Cook'n Premium and get newsletter articles like this each week!

blog comments powered by Disqus