Tips For Making a Great Chicken Salad:
- Use freshly cooked or leftover cooked chicken. I prefer to use a rotiserrie chicken or a chicken that I roast myself at home. Roasted chicken is so much more juicy and full of flavor!
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the choicest pieces to use. Use one breast for every 2 people.
- Once cooked, allow the chicken to cool. Then cut the chicken into ½” chunks or you can even tear the meat if you prefer. Place in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the crunchiest veggies! Celery is always used in chicken salad, but you can also add crunch from carrots and cucumbers.
- Add finely chopped onions. Red onions work well in chicken salads served in autumn and winter. Don’t add too much onion, it packs a big punch and goes a long way for that tart flavor.
- Add some sweet fruit! My favorite ingredients in a great chicken salad are grapes, dried cranberries, apples and even raisins!
- Extra crunch makes a more exciting salad! So add chopped nuts such as slivered almonds, pecans, walnuts or even cashews! Add some crumbled bacon too! How about some water chestnuts? Mmmmm!
- Go for the green by adding some freshly cut herbs, whether mixed in the salad itself or as garnish.
- A creamy dressing is a must. Use mayo, sour cream, whipped cream, Greek yogurt, or a combination of these to act as the glue to hold the chicken salad together.
- Use freshly-made mayonnaise if you have the time. The fresher the better in any ingredient is always the way to achieve the best results.
- Season nicely with herbs and spices. Adding a tiny bit of curry to the creamy dressing gives a nice kick to the salad — but just a little bit of cury! I use fresh dill and Italian parsley to take chicken salad over the top in flavor. Those and GARLIC too! Paprika is also a colorful last-minute garnish.
- Chill for several hours or overnight for all of the flavors to marry.
- Serve on beds of vivid green lettuce in assorted varieties or serve in a carved out tomato. And for the classic sammie, serve in fresh croissants. Just be creative!
A few more recipes you’ll love!
- 2-1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- dried cranberries
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1 cup halved green grapes (red would be even prettier for the season)
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip salad dressing
- 1/2 cup heavy whipped cream (whipped until soft peaks form)
- 1 tablespoon freshly diced Italian parsley
- (use any or all of the following seasonings to your taste preference)
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon or dill
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. onion powder
- 1/8 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1/8 tsp. curry powder (if desired, optional)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- Italian parsley
- large tomatoes
- lettuce varieties of choice
- Combine the first dry ingredients in one large bowl.
- In another medium-sized bowl, blend the mayonnaise, whipped cream, and spices.
- Add the mayonnaise mixture to the chicken and other ingredients.
- Mix well.
- Adjust seasonings as desired.
- Cut out large tomatoes.
- Lay tomatoes on a bed of lettuce, or inside a half head of iceberg lettuce.
- Place the chicken salad inside the tomatoes and around the lettuce.
- Sprinkle with paprika.
- Garnish with sprigs of Italian parsley.
We hope that you enjoy this Chicken Salad with Dried Cranberries and Grapes
If you try this recipe and take a photo as Larry did above, I promise to share it with everyone here on the blog!
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