Chicken Salad with Grapes
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Chicken salad with grapes is always a winner! With crunchy pecans, juicy grapes, and tender chicken, this go-to lunch dish is perfect for both potlucks and sandwiches.
One of my favorite jobs was when I worked on the marketing team for Whole Foods Market. Not only did I learn a ton about food and cooking, but the job came with another perk: our offices sat on top of the flagship store.
That meant I could get nearly anything I wanted for lunch, and quite often my default was their cold chicken salad.
I haven’t worked there in years, but chicken salad is still one of my favorite lunch meals!
Whether eaten alone or tucked between some bread, creamy chicken salad with grapes is an easy-to-make lunch or shareable dish. I particularly love to use it for making chicken salad wonton cups.
Plus because it’s a make-ahead dish, you’ll have your lunch prepped and ready to go. What could be easier?
Ingredients for chicken salad
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe.
Chicken – I like to use a store-bought rotisserie chicken whenever I want to make chicken salad. It saves a ton of time!
You can also cook your own chicken at home. I recommend a mix of white and dark meat for the best flavor.
Chopped pecans – Pecans add a warm yet mildly sweet flavor to chicken salad. I like to make sure the pieces are small; you can either chop the nuts in a food processor or buy the pre-chopped nuts.
Grapes – Go for either green or red seedless grapes. Make sure to halve the grapes, or they can easily fall out of your sandwich!
Celery – Chopped celery is a must for chicken salad, in my book. It adds a nice crunch and light flavor.
Green onions – Green onions are also known as scallions. Use both the white and green parts of the onion.
Salt and pepper – Season your chicken salad to taste. If you’re using a rotisserie chicken, it will already have some seasoning, so taste as you go.
Tarragon – Tarragon has a very light licorice flavor that is balanced with citrus notes. I use dried tarragon for this recipe. For a substitute, you can try chervil, marjoram, or parsley, which is milder.
Mayonnaise – Make sure you use regular mayonnaise for this recipe, not Miracle Whip. My favorite mayo is Duke’s, but you can use your preferred brand. Whether you use full-fat or light is up to you!
How to make this recipe
Honestly, making classic chicken salad at home couldn’t be easier.
First, prepare your chicken. You’ll need about 4 cups of cooked chicken.
I prefer to dice the chicken for this recipe, cutting it into small chunks.
If you prefer to shred it, you can quickly do so by putting the cooked, deboned chicken into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn it on briefly and the chicken will be shredded in a minute! Be sure to not run it too long or it will continue to break down the chicken.
In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and tarragon until blended.
Add the chicken and mix well to coat all the pieces evenly.
Now, add in the chopped celery, pecans, grapes, and green onion. Stir until everything is evenly distributed.
Taste the chicken salad and adjust the seasoning as desired.
You can serve this right away, or cover the bowl and let it chill for a few hours to let the flavors meld.
Make this chicken salad your own with tweaks or substitutions. Here’s a few ideas:
Swap the pecans for chopped walnuts instead, or even chopped pistachios. You can toast the nuts for a great flavor.
Add in dried cranberries for sweet-tart taste.
Use curry powder instead of tarragon, along with a bit of ground cayenne for a kick.
Add fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or thyme.
For a more pronounced onion flavor, swap in diced red onion, which has more of a bite.
Want to make this a cheesy sandwich like a tuna melt? Leave out the grapes and add sliced cheese, cooking your sandwich on the stove until deliciously melty.
How long does chicken salad last?
Store leftover chicken salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This recipe makes a lot, so if you do not plan to eat it within that time, I recommend halving the recipe for a smaller batch.
Make sure you keep the chicken salad chilled. If serving at a party, do not let it sit at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
Can I freeze chicken salad with grapes?
Due to the mayonnaise, I do not recommend freezing chicken salad.
The mayonnaise can separate upon thawing, and the overall mixture can become watery with an odd texture.
Instead, I recommend freezing the cooked chicken and making chicken salad fresh when you want to eat it.
What can I use instead of mayonnaise?
If you don’t want to use mayonnaise, you can use plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, or mashed avocado.
The flavor of the chicken salad will be slightly different depending on what you use, so taste as you mix and adjust seasonings as needed.
What to serve with chicken salad
Chicken salad is great on its own on lettuce leaves or tucked into your favorite bread.
Use homemade honey oatmeal bread, pita or naan, or a flaky croissant.
I like to have fresh vegetables on the side, but pickled carrots or dilly beans are also a great option!
Round it out with an ice-cold vanilla lemonade and you have the perfect picnic meal.
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
Chicken Salad with Grapes
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cups diced cooked chicken
- 1 cup halved red grapes
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, salt, tarragon, and pepper. Add the chicken and stir well to coat.
- Mix in grapes, pecans, celery, and green onion. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to use.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…