Most chicken salads I’ve tried over the years have been on the bland side. Chicken isn’t exactly the most flavorful thing, especially if you’re using canned chicken or all breast meat, which a good percentage of chicken salad recipes use.

This recipe starts off on a better footing by using really good shredded chicken from your roast chicken, but it doesn’t stop there. This salad packs in some serious flavors that make it a perfect weekday lunch. I usually make a big batch of it and then use it throughout the week for lunches and snacks.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (4 cups) shredded chicken
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • cup diced kalamata olives
  • cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup diced cucumber (English cucumber works best)
  • ½ cup quartered grape tomatoes (optional)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced mint
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 pita breads, cut in half and pulled apart ready to fill

Method

Mix everything together except the pitas. Stuff the salad in the pita pockets, and lunch is served! It keeps fine refrigerated for a week. Doesn’t get easier than that!

Four Chicken Salad Variations

Chopped Cherry Chicken Salad

  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • ¼ cup diced shallot
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon or thyme
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Toss everything together and taste. The apple cider vinegar adds a really nice tang. You could also throw in some actual diced apple for extra crunch.

Thai Chicken Salad

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 red chiles, seeded
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Sprouts
  • Cucumbers, chopped
  • Limes, cut into wedges
  • Salted peanuts
  • Soy sauce

Add vegetable oil and chili oil to a wok or large pan over high heat. Once hot, add lemongrass, ginger, chiles, and garlic.Cook on high until the veggies are softened and aromatic. Finally, add chicken. Remove from heat and mix in onion and fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on lettuce wraps with sprouts, cucumbers, lime wedges, peanuts, and soy sauce.

Spanish Chicken Salad

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • ½ tablespoon chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoon cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira (or balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Chopped chives, garnish

Combine mayonnaise, onion, tomatoes, garlic, paprika, Madeira, olive oil, and parsley in a food processor and pulse a few times until roughly combined. Stir into shredded chicken and season with salt and pepper. Serve as an appetizer on toasted bread garnished with fresh chives.

Waldorf Chicken Salad

  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 apples, peeled, seeded, and diced thin
  • 1 cup halved red grapes
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and taste for seasoning. Serve over lettuce or in lettuce wraps. You can also wrap this salad in a tortilla for a great lunch option.

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