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Chicken salad on a croissant next to chips and a pickle spear.
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Chicken Salad

Start with leftover chicken and this Chicken Salad recipe takes just 5 minutes to toss together. Ideal for meal prep or a quick make-ahead lunch idea, this Chicken Salad can be dressed up with your favorite mix-ins and herbs.
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 10 servings (3/4 cups each)
Calories 260kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise or to taste (see note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice from half a lemon (see note 2)
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed (see note 3)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups cooked chicken shredded (see note 4)
  • 3 ribs celery finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced freshly parsley

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery seed, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. (I like 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 pepper.)
  • Add chicken, celery, and parsley. Toss to combine. Serve immediately or cover and chill until serving.

Notes

  1. Mayonnaise: I love Hellman's, Duke's, and Best Foods, but any brand will work. (Just skip Miracle Whip or other mayo-style dressings.) Not a fan of mayo? Simply use an equal amount of plain Greek yogurt.
  2. Lemon juice: This citrusy, acidic element makes the flavors really pop. You could also opt for any kind of vinegar, like white vinegar, champagne vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
  3. Celery seed: I really like celery seed in chicken salad. But if you don't have it and you don't want to buy it, feel free to omit it entirely.
  4. Chicken: Leftover rotisserie chicken works great in this recipe. (Starting from scratch with a package of chicken breasts? See below; I'll walk you through how to cook the protein for this Chicken Salad.) Come Thanksgiving, try this same concept with leftover turkey instead of chicken.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes about 7 1/2 cups of Chicken Salad, enough for 10 sandwiches, wraps, or salads with 3/4 cup Chicken Salad per person.
  6. Storage: Transfer extra Chicken Salad to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  7. Mix things up: Try folding in halved grapes, cubes of apple, or chopped toasted walnuts or toasted pecans. I also love swapping the celery and celery seed for either red onion and lemon pepper seasoning OR toasted walnuts and dried cranberries.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cups | Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg