Chicken Salad {With Video}

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The BEST EVER chicken salad sandwiches! Perfect for the holidays to serve as an appetizer! | | #chicken #salad #sandwiches #appetizer #lunch #sandwich #holiday #entertaining #fingerfoods #finger #food #easy #quick #poppyseed #cranberry #celery #rotisseriechicken

The BEST chicken salad recipe. This makes the perfect dip or sandwich filling!

This chicken salad recipe is one of my very favorite things to eat as a meal or snack throughout the day. This chicken salad is my go-to for an easy and DELICIOUS appetizer or light meal when hosting guests. 

Shot of a chicken salad sitting on a plate

Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is a favorite in my family and this fall-inspired version is the BEST! Toasted pecans, crunchy celery, super flavorful chicken, and chewy cranberries all tossed in a sweet poppyseed dressing? Amazing! And even better when it’s served as a dip with crackers, fruit, and veggies!

Shot of chicken, walnuts, celery, and cranberries in a bowl

How Do You Make Chicken Salad?

This recipe is extremely easy which is perfect for this busy holiday season! You can whip it all together in 10-15 minutes and serve it right away! Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and you now have the perfect compliment for your salad. Check out my recipe below for detailed directions on how to make this delicious recipe.

Wet ingredients added to dry ingredients for the chicken salad

Chicken salad ingredients

There are only FOUR ingredients in this salad: pecans, celery, dried cranberries, and chicken.

The “secret” to having the best chicken salad is using really tender and flavorful chicken. And the best way I’ve found to do this is by using a pre-made rotisserie chicken. I use about 2 cups of meat from a rotisserie chicken and then use the remaining chicken in another recipe. (See here, here, and here!)

The “dressing” for this chicken salad recipe requires only a few ingredients as well: mayo, sour cream, poppyseeds, a little lemon, Dijon mustard, and some honey for a little sweetness.

How to serve chicken salad

  • My favorite way to serve chicken salad is on croissants! If you’re looking for a great appetizer you can serve this chicken salad on miniature croissants. (Full size croissants make a great lunch!)
  • Serve as a dip: place the chicken salad mixture in a bowl and surround it with chips, veggies, and thinly sliced apples.
  • Serve on top of thinly sliced apples (or make a low carb “sandwich” with apples as the bread)


A chicken salad sandwich in a croissant


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Chicken Salad

5 from 6 votes
The BEST chicken salad recipe. This makes the perfect dip or sandwich filling!
Print Recipe

Chicken Salad

5 from 6 votes
The BEST chicken salad recipe. This makes the perfect dip or sandwich filling!
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken salad, chicken salad recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 -8 people
Calories 202kcal
Author Chelsea


  • 2 cups prepared rotisserie chicken, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (cherry infused for an even more delicious chicken salad!)
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup full fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (fat free or light is great!)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons poppyseeds
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Enjoy With:

  • Croissants or other Sandwich Rolls (add some lettuce for a sandwich)
  • Thinly sliced apples
  • Celery Sticks
  • Crackers


  • To toast the pecans: pour the pecans into an even layer in a small, dry (no need to add oil or anything) skillet over medium-heat and stir them around a bit until they are fragrant, lightly browned, and toasted to your liking. Watch carefully to avoid burning the nuts (they can go from toasted to burned VERY quickly)
  • In a large bowl, add in the chopped rotisserie chicken, toasted and chopped pecans, dried cranberries, and thinly sliced celery.
  • Add the mayo, sour cream, honey, Dijon mustard, poppyseeds, lemon juice, and a generous (or to taste) sprinkle of salt + pepper.
  • Gently stir all of the ingredients together until combined. Taste and adjust for seasonings (salt, pepper, additional lemon, etc.) 
  • Enjoy with crackers, apples, and celery sticks OR layer it on a croissant and add some lettuce. Enjoy immediately.


Nutrition Facts

Calories: 202kcal

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


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Recipe Rating


  1. Looks wonderful, but how do you make the cranberry-infused-with-cherry-juice??? I’m considering adding dried Montmorency cherries instead, we use them in green salads as a sweet/tart surprise amidst the blue cheese dressing.

    1. That’s just an option for store-bought (I think Craisins makes it) 🙂 Montmorency dried cherries would be delicious too; in fact, we use those often and LOVE them! Enjoy!

    1. No, you can just buy the pack of cranberries like that. They should say on the package cherry infused dried cranberries. Regular cranberries are great too with this recipe! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    One of the best chicken salads to date. My family wouldn’t allow me to add the pecans, but without them it was still marvelous.

  3. 5 stars
    Really good recipe.
    Didn’t have any poppy seeds but added a little ground ginger (for an Asian flavor) and found it to be a great touch. Very easy to throw together and everyone enjoyed!

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