In this post: This delicious chunky chicken salad recipe is filled with healthy fruits and vegetables. It’s perfect when made with poached, rotisserie, or canned chicken!


This delicious chunky chicken salad is perfect for the days you want a light yet protein-packed lunch. One great thing about this chicken salad recipe is that it’s so versatile – you can use any chicken you like: white, dark, leftover, poached, or even canned chicken! Learn how to make this chicken salad recipe for yourself with step-by-step instructions.

Chunky chicken salad on a lettuce leaf.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This chunky chicken salad recipe:

  • is quick and easy to make
  • doesn’t require fancy equipment or hard-to-find ingredients
  • is free of the most common food allergens
Celery, grapes, chicken, lettuce, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and salt in their respective containers on a cutting board.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Chicken breasts: I like to use skinless and boneless chicken breasts because they’re easy to chop up.
  • BBQ sauce: optional for flavoring the chicken.
  • Celery: adds a delightful crunch to the salad.
  • Apples: any type works but honey crisp, Fuji, and Empire are my favorites.
  • Grapes: red grapes are best in this salad but green grapes could be used in a pinch. 
  • Nuts/seeds: of your choosing (ideas below).
  • Mayonnaise: you could also use vegan mayo if you don’t eat eggs.
  • Dijon mustard: optional for flavoring the salad.
  • Sage: tastes minty, musky, and perfect for this recipe.
  • Salt and pepper: add these two classic seasonings to taste.

Variations of This Recipe

  • You could add flavoring ingredients like dill, paprika, lemon juice, or relish.
  • Many chicken salad recipes include a couple of hard-boiled eggs for even more protein.
  • Red onion makes a tasty addition to this chicken salad.
  • Dice up some baby dill pickles for a nice crunch and tang.
  • Some nuts and seeds you may choose to include are walnuts, pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

How to Make Chunky Chicken Salad

  1. Bake chicken breasts on a broiler rack in the oven at 350F for 40 minutes or until almost done.
  2. Brush the chicken with BBQ sauce and finish baking.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the other ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Let the chicken cool for 5 minutes, then cut it into small cubes and add it to the bowl. Stir until well mixed.
  5. Serve the chicken salad over a bed of greens and garnish with some parsley or other fresh herbs.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this chicken salad in lettuce wraps, in a sandwich, or over a bed of greens! Though this recipe is a complete meal, you can also eat it with side dishes like:

Recipe Tips

  • If you use freshly cooked chicken, let it cool before cutting it up.
  • Play around with the sauces and seasonings until you get the flavors you love!
  • This recipe is easily doubled or tripled if you want to serve more than 2-4 people.
Chunky chicken salad on a lettuce leaf.

Storage

Place your leftover chicken salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can store it on its own or in the lettuce wraps/on a bed of greens. If you want to use the leftovers in a sandwich, you should store the chicken salad separately from the bread so it doesn’t get soggy.

FAQs

How long does chicken salad last in the fridge?

Chicken salad will last 3-5 days in the fridge depending on whether or not you used leftover chicken (which has already lived some fridge life) and how well you’ve stored your chunky chicken salad.

Is this chicken salad recipe dairy-free?

This chicken salad recipe is completely dairy-free! It’s also gluten-free as long as it’s not served on wheat bread.

chicken salad in a lettuce wrap

Chunky Chicken Salad

Yield: 2-4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Enjoy this chunky chicken salad in a sandwich, lettuce wrap, or plain old salad.

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp BBQ sauce, optional
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup diced apple, any type
  • 1 1/2 cup halved grapes
  • 1/4 cup nuts/seeds of choice
  • 1 tbsp mayo or veggie mayo
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard, optional
  • 1 tsp sage
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bake chicken breasts on a broiler rack in the oven at 350F for 40 minutes or until almost done.
  2. Brush the chicken with BBQ sauce and finish baking.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the other ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Let the chicken cool for 5 minutes, then cut it into small cubes and add it to the bowl. Stir until well mixed.
  5. Serve the chicken salad over a bed of greens and garnish with some parsley or other fresh herbs.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 328mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 4gSugar: 15gProtein: 31g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Do you have a favorite way to eat chicken salad?

shannon photo and sig oct 2022

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7 Comments

  1. Me too-love the apples in it! I like to add some hot sauce/chipotle too similar to a sandwich they sell at a local mexican place here. There is always cooked chicken ready to go in my fridge-so much yummier than pretend sandwich meat!