This easy homemade Chicken Salad with Grapes works as a sandwich, a dip, or in lettuce wraps for a low-carb option. Shredded rotisserie chicken, grapes, mayo, mustard, hummus, pecans, and a few finishing touches are mixed together in this healthy gluten-free recipe. This is the easy dish that every summer picnic needs!
Best Chicken Salad Sandwich with Grapes
There are so many different perspectives when it comes to making a homemade chicken salad.
Some grew up with apples, others with grapes, cranberries, or even raisins.
People make it with mayonnaise and mustard, while others add a pinch of curry powder.
But at the end of the day, one thing remains the same… this dish always has a place at the potluck or picnic table!
You just can’t beat a creamy chicken salad full of pecans and juicy grapes, then piled on your favorite bread.
This recipe is a great way to use up leftover chicken and make a delicious dish at the same time.
What is in Chicken Salad?
The fresh ingredients that you will need for this delicious chicken salad with grapes recipe include:
- Chicken. You’ll want to cut cooked chicken into small bite-sized pieces. The easiest and best kind to get when making this homemade dish is a rotisserie chicken, which will generally give you between 4 and 5 cups of chicken. However, if you have your own chicken breasts on hand you can also cook and shred some Instant Pot Shredded Chicken for this recipe.
- Mayonnaise. Use a regular mayo such as Duke’s or Hellmann’s. You can also use a Paleo-approved mayonnaise that is made with avocado oil if you prefer.
- Hummus. Plain or original flavor is best in this recipe, as any additional seasonings will come through. Feel free to substitute for more mayonnaise if you do not like hummus.
- Mustard. Dijon mustard gives a great flavor. Yellow mustard works as well.
- Celery. Finely chopped, crunchy celery is the way to go! It adds an amazing texture.
- Pecans. Nuts are the secret ingredient and one of the first things you’ll notice when you enjoy this grape chicken salad. Toasting the pecans crisps them up and deepens their flavor. You can also use toasted almonds, walnuts, or cashews instead. Opt for a cinnamon sugar pecans or a savory spiced pecans recipe for some extra flavor.
- Dill. This fresh herb makes this chicken salad taste so delicious!
- Grapes. Be sure to get seedless, sweet grapes. Red or green grapes will work equally as well.
Pro Tip: Opt for a natural, or traditional-style rotisserie so as not to have any conflicting flavors.
How to Make Chicken Salad
Below, you’ll find the steps to follow to make the best chicken salad recipe at home:
Prep the Ingredients
The chicken needs to be diced. Also, chop the grapes, stalks of celery, and pecans until they are in small pieces.
Mix the Chicken and Sauce
Combine cooked, shredded chicken in a large bowl with mayonnaise, hummus, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Stir until it is well-coated. It’s best if you mix the chicken and creamy dressing first so the other ingredients do not get over-mixed.
Add the Mix-ins
Toss in the celery, toasted pecans, grapes, and dill. Stir until the salad ingredients are just combined.
Chill and Serve
For the best results, chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight before serving. You can serve it immediately but the flavors meld together and taste even better after some time in the fridge.
Chicken salad goes beyond just your typical sandwich and can be served in a variety of ways:
- Sandwich Bread: The most iconic way to serve! Honey wheat from the grocery store, your own gluten-free sandwich bread recipe, or white sandwich bread all pair amazingly well with this easy chicken salad recipe.
- Lettuce Wrap: If you’re on a low-carb or keto diet, opt for a Bibb or butter leaf lettuce wrap. You can also serve this classic recipe on a bed of lettuce as a salad.
- Croissant: Take it up a notch and serve it like Jason’s Deli does—on a buttery croissant!
- Crackers: Serving it up at a party or picnic? Sturdy crackers are great for scooping out a big bite of chicken salad.
Since this recipe is made with temperature-sensitive ingredients (i.e., mayonnaise) do not let it sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours at a party or potluck. If the ambient temperature is greater than 85-90 degrees do not let it sit out for more than 1 hour.
The recipe you’ll find below is already gluten-free and dairy-free as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements.
- Keto and Low-Carb: Leave out the grapes. You can replace with more nuts if you’d like. Serve it in a lettuce wrap or with some Parmesan cheese whisps.
- Nut-free: Omit the nuts. To keep the crunchy texture add more celery.
- Whole30: Make sure the mayo and mustard is Whole30 approved, and do not use the hummus.
Is chicken salad healthy?
Yes, chicken salad is usually considered a healthy dish, especially when it’s homemade. However, be careful what you put in, as the sauce and mix-in ingredients can add calories and sugar.
Can you freeze chicken salad?
Freezing chicken salad is not recommended because it contains mayonnaise. Mayonnaise generally separates after freezing and then thawing, creating a “broken” dressing.
How long is chicken salad good for?
This chicken salad recipe is good for 3-5 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container. Please note, this is starting from when the chicken is cooked, not when the salad is made.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Save time. Use a rotisserie chicken. Opt for a natural, or traditional flavor so as not to have any conflicting flavors.
- Chop small. Cut the chicken and grapes into small bite-sized pieces. Finely dice the dill and celery. This ensures each bite has a little bit of everything!
- Be patient. Wait to add celery until serving. The crisp veggie sometimes releases liquid as it sits and can cause the chicken salad to be runny.
- Food safety is key. Do not keep this recipe at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If the ambient temperature is greater than 85°-90°F do not let it sit out for more than 1 hour.
- Make extra. Whip up a big batch and take extra to a picnic or have some for an easy meal later.
What to Serve with Chicken Salad?
Of course, this classic chicken salad recipe is delicious on bread. But you can serve it alongside a number of veggies and other sides for a complete meal.
Top it with Air Fryer Bacon for a treat.
More Picnic Salad Recipes
It’s so easy (and tasty!) to take a salad to a picnic. Try any of these recipes next.
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Chicken Salad with Grapes
- 4 ½ cups chicken cooked, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup hummus plain or garlic
- ½ – ¾ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ Tbsp. dill finely chopped
- ½ cup celery finely diced
- ¾ cup pecans toasted
- 1 cup grapes cut into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl add chicken, mayonnaise, hummus, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste . Stir until chicken is well coated.
- Add dill, celery, pecans, and grapes. Stir until just combined so as not to break apart the grapes.
- Chill chicken salad for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Serve chicken salad as a sandwich, in a lettuce wrap, or with crackers. Enjoy!
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- Chicken salad nutritional information is calculated without sandwich bread, lettuce wrap, or crackers.
- You can use an avocado oil-based mayonnaise.
- To make your chicken salad low-carb and keto compliant, leave out the grapes (you can replace with more nuts if you’d like!) and serve it in a lettuce wrap or on Parmesan cheese whisps.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.