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Chicken Salad is perfect for light lunches or picnics at the park! Eat your creamy chicken salad on a croissant, in a salad, or by itself!

It’s the classic side to serve at any shower or get together. This simple recipe has been used in our family for decades and is great with our go-to broccoli salad and pasta salad recipes.

Chicken salad sandwich on a croissant served with carrots and strawberries.

Grandma’s Easy Chicken Salad

This chicken salad recipe is nostalgic for me! It came from my sweet Grandma.

She always used to make a big batch of Chicken Salad for us when we came to her house. We’d eat it for lunches with fresh fruit and salad. It was also common for families parties and showers.

Every ingredient compliments each other and the mayo dressing has lots of flavor. The chicken is tender and well seasoned, and the celery and sliced almonds give it the BEST crunch.

This recipe is really easy to whip up. Just like Grandma, I love mixing up a big batch and eating it on croissants for weekday lunches or serving at get togethers.

Chopped celery and chicken for chicken salad sandwich.

How to Make chicken salad

You’re going to need about 3 cups of chicken for this recipe. Feel free to cook your chicken however you’d like.

CHICKEN. We like to bake the chicken in the oven, but you can also use canned chicken, chopped, rotisserie chicken or shredded chicken. Sometimes, I even boil my chicken breasts, cut it into cubes, and then season with a little salt and pepper.

DRESSING. Chop the chicken and celery, and set aside while you make the dressing. Whip the whipping cream in a large bowl, until thickened. Add lemon juice, mayo, salt and pepper and whisk together until smooth.

CHILL + SERVE. Add in the chicken, celery and almonds to the mayo dressing. Cover the chicken salad and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. It’s best served chilled. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Tip: There are a few substitutes for the mayo if you’d rather use something else. Low-fat plain greek yogurt, or sour cream.

Mayo dressing in a white bowl.


There are lots of different versions of chicken salad out there. Here are a few additional ingredient add-in options to try:

  • pesto
  • fruit: sliced grapes, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped apple
  • other nuts: walnuts, cashews, pecans
  • water chestnuts
  • green onions
  • peppers
  • curry powder
Chicken salad in a bowl.

Serving + SToring

Make for a crowd: This recipe will serve up to 8 people! Double it or triple it if you’re making it for a larger crowd or party. Here is a party serving guide

  • 8-10 people – 1 batch
  • 16-18 people – 2 batches
  • 24-25 people – 3 batches
  • 32-34 people – 4 batcahes

What to serve with chicken salad: There are tons of ways to serve chicken salad. I love it as a sandwich on yummy rolls, sliced bread, or croissants. Fresh fruit or veggies are delicious side dishes on the side of chicken salad sandwiches.

If you want a lower-carb option, try eating it in a lettuce wrap, or even on top of chopped lettuce as a salad.

These sandwiches are popular at showers, family reunions, and other large gatherings because they easily feed a crowd. And it can be made ahead of time!

Here are some of our favorite breads to serve it with:

STORE chicken salad in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make it a few days ahead of time if you need to! I do not recommend freezing chicken salad, it is always better when made fresh!

Chicken salad sandwich recipe with strawberries on the side.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! It’s definitely one we love to make for showers and get togethers.

For more salads, check out:

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5 from 19 votes

Chicken Salad Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Chicken Salad is perfect for light lunches or picnics at the park! Eat your creamy chicken salad on a croissant, in a salad, or by itself!
Servings: 8
Prep: 15 minutes
Chill: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 6 chicken breasts cooked and cubed (rotisserie chicken and shredded chicken work too)
  • cups chopped celery
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
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  • In a large bowl, combine chopped chicken and celery.
  • In another bowl, whip cream by hand until thickened. Add lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Whisk together until smooth.
  • Pour dressing over chicken and celery. Add sliced almonds and mix until combined.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.



Make Ahead: The components can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Store chicken, celery, almonds and parsley in one bowl and dressing in a separate container in the refrigerator. Combine dressing with other ingredients before serving.


Serving: 1cup, Calories: 471kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 137mg, Sodium: 684mg, Potassium: 744mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 376IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
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Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Kristi says:

    5 stars
    I really like the mayo mix you Use in this recipe. I also added sliceD purple grapes.

  2. AllI says:

    5 stars
    Im slIghtly addIcted to chicken salad so i had to make this. It did not disappoint!

  3. Toni says:

    5 stars
    My kids really loved this! It was such a huge hit at my house!

  4. Tanya Schroeder says:

    5 stars
    I’m always in the mood for a good chicken salad recipe!

  5. Ashley F says:

    5 stars
    I loved the option of
    Changing out the mayo for greek yogurt!

  6. Emily says:

    5 stars
    Yaaaasssss! This is one of my favorite summertime sandwiches. Yum!

  7. Olivia says:

    5 stars
    Love chicken salad! I actually like anything you can make ahead. It makes things easier for me. The whipping cream makes this extra special.

  8. Joy says:

    5 stars
    Chicken salad has to be one of my favorites! Everyone always craves it around my house & this recipe was super easy & tasted delicious!

  9. Misty says:

    5 stars
    This is the perfect sandwich for a warm/hot summer day. So refreshing and good. LOVE it

  10. angela says:

    5 stars
    It’s a pleasure to make this recipe today. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Glad to share! I am glad you tried it & liked it! Thank you!