Easy Chicken Salad Recipe

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I absolutely love chicken salad! It’s perfect for parties, get-togethers and everyday lunches. This easy chicken salad recipe from Joanna Gaines is sure to please! It’s sweet, savory and satisfying. Serve it up on lettuce or a croissant roll for a fancy touch.

chicken salad served on a croissant with potato chips

Since visiting Magnolia Table, I’ve been dying to recreate the BEST chicken salad recipe I’ve ever enjoyed. When my aunt let me borrow The Magnolia Table cookbook from Joanna Gaines, I was super excited to see the classic chicken salad recipe inside. There are tons of other recipes I’m looking forward to making, but up first is this easy chicken salad recipe!

How To Make Classic Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is one of the easiest recipes to throw together, especially if you’re using rotisserie chicken. I always use rotisserie chicken for my chicken salad because it gives it such a great flavor. This classic chicken salad recipe only takes about 10 minutes. Simply add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir everything together until well combined. Add a little salt and pepper and you’ve got a delicious lunch!

ingredients for chicken salad in a large glass mixing bowl

Chicken Salad Ingredients

Chicken salad is super versatile. You can choose which mix-ins you like and what kind of flavor you want. You can make it tangier with dill and pickles, or keep the simple, garden flavors of green onion and grapes. The Magnolia Table chicken salad recipe calls for the following ingredients:

  • Shredded rotisserie chicken
  • Red grapes
  • Green onion or chives
  • Chopped pecans
  • Mayonnaise

For me, this recipe is perfect as is, but you can make it your own with any other favorite ingredients. This recipe works well for a luncheon, a shower, a barbecue or for a lighter dinner when something else is just too much.

chicken salad served in a large glass mixing bowl near The Magnolia Table Cookbook

How To Serve Chicken Salad

  • When I ordered the chicken salad sandwich at The Magnolia Table it was served the BEST way, in my opinion! My favorite way to enjoy chicken salad is on croissants!
  • I also often eat chicken salad served as a dip. It’s so delicious with Ritz crackers. Trust me! Place the chicken salad mixture in a serving bowl and surround it with crackers, veggies, and thinly sliced apples.
  • To keep this lunch light and use only whole foods, serve the chicken salad on top of a bed of greens or thinly sliced apples.

Chicken Salad Variations

  • If you don’t have grapes, try adding chopped apple, raisins or dried cranberries.
  • This recipe calls for chopped pecans, but you can use other types of nuts like almonds, walnuts, or cashews.
  • Replace the mayo with mashed avocado and sour cream for an avocado chicken salad. Or for a low fat version, replace some or all of the mayo with Greek yogurt.
  • Rotisserie chicken is GREAT in this chicken salad, but you can also use any leftover cooked chicken you have on-hand. Canned chicken works too.
  • Make BBQ chicken salad by adding 2-3 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce in place of some of the mayonnaise.
  • Add spices to this recipe to add different flavors like garlic, paprika, curry powder, or even mustard. Try chipotle seasoning and lime juice or a dash of cayenne pepper with pickled jalapeños for a spicy version.

chicken salad mixed in a large glass bowl served with croissants

Tips For Making Chicken Salad

  • This recipe takes a total time of 10 minutes to whip up, but I like to refrigerate it for at least an hour to give the flavors a chance to come together.
  • Chicken salad will last refrigerated for about 4 days, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or in a covered container. Don’t leave it out at room temperature for more than two hours for food safety.
  • I don’t recommend freezing chicken salad because the mayo will separate when defrosting. You can freeze the cooked chicken, then just defrost it in the refrigerator the day before you want to make the salad, and add the other fresh ingredients the day of.
  • This is a great recipe to make-ahead at the beginning of the week for grab-and-go lunches, and my go-to when I have a busy schedule ahead. You’ll never want to go back to store-bought chicken salad again!

More Delicious Salads:

Avocado Tuna Salad

Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

Arugula Pesto Chicken Salad

chicken salad on a croissant served with chips

chicken salad served on a croissant with potato chips
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Chicken Salad

This easy chicken salad recipe from Joanna Gaines is sure to please! It’s sweet, savory and satisfying. Serve it up on lettuce or a croissant roll for a fancy touch.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken salad, chicken salad sandwich
Servings: 6 servings


  • 5 cups shredded chicken from rotisserie chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups halved red grapes
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion (light and dark green parts) or chives
  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise (preferably Hellman's)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For serving:

  • 12 small croissants, sliced horizontally in half
  • 6 butter lettuce leaves


  • Combine the chicken, grapes, pecans (if using), and green onion in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add the mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste and stir until well coated.
  • Serve immediately or cover and chill until cold, 1 to 2 hours. Taste for seasoning. Served on croissants with lettuce leaves.
  • Store chicken salad in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to four days.


Recipe from The Magnolia Table Cookbook from Joanna Gaines.

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chicken salad recipe shown mixed in a glass mixing bowl and served on croissants

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  1. 5 stars
    Can I just say that everything is better on a croissant? I have never had chicken salad on a croissant, but now I’m asking myself why? This looks like the perfect recipe to serve for Sunday brunch.

  2. 5 stars
    This is the best chicken salad! And, I agree the best way to enjoy chicken salad is on a croissant! I hope to get to Magnolia Table sometime!

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