One of my summer go-to’s is a chicken salad sandwich. There’s something refreshing about a cold, loaded deli-style salad that encompasses all of your favorite ingredients. Different than deli-meat or a lettuce salad, this dish still provides crunch, flavor, and versatility. Adding even more to the versatility quotient? Roasting a whole chicken, using the breast for this salad and the other parts for additional meals throughout the week. And while this recipe focuses specifically on the chicken salad, check out the notes below if you want to roast your own whole chicken.
Also in the notes section, I provide plenty of substitution and complementary ingredients as really, the combinations for making your own, signature, favorite chickens salad are endless. I make a large batch on Sundays to eat for lunch throughout the week and each week I find myself adding something slightly different and experimenting. Below is one of my favorite flavor combinations but as always, mix-and-match based on what you have, what you like, and what you may what to explore more. I truly feel like a chef when I’m off the recipe and putting new combinations together and I hope this recipe inspires you to do the same. Enjoy!
Roasted Chicken Salad
Total Time: 10-45 Mins Depending On Chicken
Makes: Approx. 6 Cups
- 4 CHICKEN BREASTS (4.5 CUPS SHREDDED)
- ½ CUP GRAPES, CUT IN HALF
- ½ CUP CHOPPED NUTS OF YOUR CHOICE
- 1/3 CUP EACH: CRAISINS, SUNFLOWER SEEDS, PUMPKIN SEEDS
- 3 TBS TOTAL CHOPPED FRESH HERBS SUCH AS PARSLEY AND THYME
- GENEROUS SPRINKLE EACH: SALT, PEPPER, ONION POWDER, GARLIC POWDER
- ¼ CUP SPICY BROWN MUSTARD
- 1/3 CUP RANCH DRESSING
- ½ CUP EITHER MAYONNAISE, SOUR CREAM, OR GREEK YOGURT (SEE MORE BELOW IN THE NOTES SECTION)
- If not using already cooked chicken, you’ll need to cook chicken. For this recipe, I used 4 chicken breasts, sprinkled with salt and pepper, placed on a sheet pan, and baked at 425 degrees for about 25 mins. Then I let them cool and shredded them by hand into a large bowl
- Add all the remaining ingredients into the same bowl. Mix until well incorporated
- Serve over lettuce, on bread, or alone. Refrigerate if not eating immediately. The salad will keep for about 4 days
- You can use any part of the chicken you like (dark or white meat) but will need a total of about 4.5 cups once shredded. I like baked chicken breast but have tried store-bought rotisserie chicken and used it in a pinch.
- If you don’t have or like the above-listed ingredients you can try: chopped celery, olives, capers, bacon, grape tomatoes, blue cheese, feta, avocado, bell peppers, corn, apples, chickpeas, cucumbers, green onions, etc. You’re ultimately looking for a combination of slightly sweet and salty, with some crunch, and something fresh and herbaceous.
- My “secret” ingredients are the spicy mustard and ranch – they create a tang. The main wet ingredient in these types of salad is typically mayonnaise. As I don’t care for mayo (and my fiancé doesn’t care for sour cream – the next most often used) I find Greek yogurt works well and again adds a bit of the tang that I enjoy.