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Chicken Salad Recipe

Is there anything better than a classic chicken salad sandwich? With crunchy diced celery, and plenty of mustard and mayo, our pitch-perfect version hits the spot like none other.


classic chicken salad in a bowl with a spoon

A Terrific Chicken Salad Recipe, For Sandwiches, Wraps and Everything in Between!

You may think of a chicken salad sandwich as something you order for lunch at your go-to spot. But after years of chicken salad enjoyment, we’ve come to the somewhat shocking realization that the best chicken salad sandwich is always the one we make at home with our own two hands! Of course, a homemade chicken salad sandwich is a bit healthier than what you’d be served in most restaurants—a little easier on the mayo and the salt, surely—but it’s also more delicious! The freshness of a homemade chicken salad sandwich cannot be beat. We make our chicken salad in a really classic way, with pecans and celery for crunch, a little Dijon for a slight kick, and mayo for that creaminess that chicken salad absolutely must have.

ingredients for chicken salad sandwiches. bread, shredded chicken, lettuce, lemon juice, tarragon, celery, pecans
ingredients for chicken salad shredded chicken, mustard, lemon juice, tarragon, celery, pecans in a bowl
chicken salad in a bowl shredded chicken, lemon juice, tarragon, celery, pecans
Chicken salad in a bowl shredded chicken, lettuce, lemon juice, tarragon, celery, pecans mixed together with lettuce

What’s In Chicken Salad?

Start with perfectly cooked chicken. You could use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, and save yourself some time, or you can just take ten minutes and make perfect poached chicken. Either way works! Our chicken salad recipe—like most—is very forgiving. Even if you’ve got slightly dry chicken, all the mayo, mustard and fresh lemon juice will ensure a moist, delicious chicken salad. Here’s what you’ll need to make our chicken salad recipe:

  • Cooked chicken
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • Celery
  • Lemon, both the juice and the zest!
  • Pecans, optional (but heartily recommended!)
classic chicken salad in a bowl with shredded chicken, lettuce, lemon juice, tarragon, pecans, celery
classic chicken salad in a bowl with shredded chicken, lettuce, lemon juice, tarragon, pecans, celery

How to Make A Really Great Chicken Salad Sandwich

Now that you know how to make great chicken salad, you’re ready to make a great chicken salad sandwich. Grab some good bread—a good, sturdy whole grain bread always feels like the right bread for chicken salad to us—and a little arugula for peppery bite and you’ll be ready to go! Here’s how to make it:

  1. Cook the chicken.
  2. Make the chicken salad by simply stirring all of the chicken salad ingredients together in a big bowl.
  3. Lay out some bread—you can toast it if you’d like—and scoop some chicken salad into it. This chicken salad sandwich recipe makes four sandwiches, so dole it out accordingly.
  4. Sprinkle some arugula on top, then cap with another slice of bread.
  5. Dig in!
classic chicken salad on a plate with shredded chicken, lettuce, lemon juice, tarragon, pecans, celery on bread
two hands holding classic chicken salad sandwich over a plate

What Goes With Chicken Salad Sandwiches?

They’re really a meal unto themselves, but a delicious side dish is always welcome! Try serving these chicken salad sandwiches with one of these refreshing, classic salads:

Tools You’ll Need:

chicken salad recipe made and stacked on a plate with shredded chicken, lettuce, lemon, tarragon
homemade chicken salad on a plate with shredded chicken, lettuce, lemon juice, tarragon, pecans, celery on bread

What A Perfect Sandwich!

Try our chicken salad sandwich recipe, and let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Chicken Salad Recipe

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 570


  • 4 cups chicken, cooked, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup celery, small dice
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped, optional
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 8 slices whole wheat, honey, oatmeal bread (feel free to use any type of bread or croissant)


  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the chicken, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, celery, pecans, lemon zest, parsley and the lemon juice. Mix until fully combined.
  2. Divide the mixture between 4 slices of bread.
  3. Top each sandwich with 2 tablespoons of raspberry preserves and then a handful of arugula.
  4. Place the remaining 4 slices of bread on top of each sandwich.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories570
  • Protein32 g
  • Carbohydrates28 g
  • Total Fat31 g
  • Dietary Fiber6 g
  • Cholesterol129 mg
  • sodium734 mg
  • Total Sugars3 g

Chicken Salad Recipe

Questions & Reviews

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    Any questions?

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  • Jessica

    Best chicken salad ever! I didn’t have pecans but i can imagine that would make it even better!

    Thanks Jessica, glad you loved it!

  • CLF

    Easy and Delicious

    Thank you, glad you loved it!

  • Jsp

    Great recipe. We mixed the arugula in. It could use dried cherries or cranberries to add sweetness.

    We are so glad you liked it!

  • Katie

    This is our new go-to chicken salad recipe. So easy and delicious. I do prefer my chicken salad with a little sweetness, so I usually throw in some chopped white grapes too.

    So glad to hear you enjoyed it, Katie!

  • Melanie

    Loved it! Added garlic powder. Didn't have lemons or parsley but it still turned out great. Will definitely make again and again!

    yay! So glad!