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Quick and Easy: Chicken Salad Recipe

Categories: Cooking, Food, Lunches, summer living



In the warmer weather I am always on the look out for things to make for dinner which don’t require: a) lots of time spent in the kitchen, b) slaving away over a hot stove, and c) running out to the grocery store. Basically recipes that allow be to make something yummy in spite of my over all laziness.

This easy chicken salad recipe fits the bill. It is plain enough to please even the most picky child, yet has a nice combinations of flavor that you won’t mind serving it to friends for an impromptu lunch date.

First start with chicken that you have already cooked. I like to grill extra chicken and set it aside for making things like chicken salad or for topping a nice salad, like the Thai Chicken Salad I posted a couple weeks ago.


Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.


You will need:

chicken chunks
celery (optional)
red onion (optional)
mayonnaise (or plain yogurt for those of you suffering from mayo phobia)
craisins (optional, usually I use red grapes)
diced granny smith apple (optional)
pita pockets (tortillas, bread)

Do you see how many things are optional? Now you can’t leave all of the optional things out or you will just be eating a bowl full of cold diced chicken and that does not sound very appetizing. Or maybe it does to you.


Dice up your celery and add it to the bowl of chicken. You will then add your mayo. use as much as you need to make it all stick together. Not so much that the chicken is drowning in a sea of mayonnaise. Stir it up well.

Add some freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste.


Dump in a bunch of sweetened dried cranberries (craisins).


Stir it up well.

You can now refrigerate this until it is time for serving.

After washing your lettuce, which you really should do very well even if it looks clean or says prewashed from the grocery store. A good friend of mine used to be the head nurse in a pediatric intensive care unit. She said that every time children would come in sick with ecoli (sick enough to be hospitalized) it would be traced back to lettuce. If that doesn’t make you break out your salad spinner you got as a wedding present in 1992 I don’t know what will.

So after you wash your lettuce well, dry and stuff small leaves into the pita pocket. Then spoon the chicken salad mixture in.

Serve in a pita pocket or roll up in a tortilla for extra fancy schmancy-ness. or at least that is what my children think when they see sandwiches on anything other than plain bread.


Oh, yeah.

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4 comments so far...

  • YUM. Also, try adding some chopped/sliced almonds. Toasted if you have the time. Again, Yum.

    Jane  |  June 26th, 2008 at 1:42 am

  • Chris, what do you wash produce with? (Besides dangling participles?) I heard a report on NPR recently about how rinsing with water doesn’t really do much, so I use a bottle of vinegar-water (2 parts to 1 part). Do you do something different?

    P.S. Chicken salad, yum! I miss it — most pre-made chik salad has the death vegetable (celery) in it, and I don’t think to make it at home. I will definitely use this recipe.

    Rebecca  |  July 4th, 2008 at 6:58 pm

  • Just made this with chicken, apples, craisins, garlic parmesan flavored almonds, red onion, mayo, lemon pepper and salt. Served on whole wheat buns. Yum!!

    Rebecca  |  July 6th, 2008 at 6:04 pm

  • I made this as you suggested, but added some ff poppyseed dressing to sweeten it up a bit, and my husband ate the whole darn bowl! (As in, did not save any for me!) I guess it was pretty good.

    Imanitsud  |  July 11th, 2008 at 5:10 pm