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Chicken Salad Sandwiches

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Chicken Salad Sandwiches are flavorful chicken, crunchy nuts, celery, and grapes, bound with creamy mayonnaise. Serve this easy, popular dish at bridal or baby showers, receptions, parties, luncheons, and get-togethers.

chicken salad sandwich next to red grapes and pecans on a wood board

This recipe is adapted from my cookbook, “I Love My Instant Pot” – Cooking for One Cookbook. It’s the best chicken salad recipe EVER! I found myself constantly craving it while writing the book, even though I had so many other dishes each day. 

Chicken salad sandwiches are a very popular dish to serve at baby showers, bridal showers, receptions, parties, and get-togethers. It’s easy to make ahead, and packed with protein and great flavors. 

Before I teach you how to make the best chicken salad sandwiches, let me answer a few questions about the ingredients.

COSTCO ROTISSERIE CHICKEN

Did you know that Costco sells rotisserie chickens at a loss? They know cheap rotisserie chickens get people through the door. Customers inevitably fill carts on the way to the back of the store where the chickens are sold.

Using rotisserie chicken is a great and easy way to make this recipe for chicken salad sandwiches. Let the meat cool down, then pull it apart to use in this recipe (carefully look for small bones!). 

top view of chicken chunks in white bowl surrounded by clear bowls of spices, pecans, celery, mayo, and red grapes next to croissants, all on a blue cloth

CHICKEN SALAD WITH CANNED CHICKEN

The main ingredient in this recipe is obviously chicken. You can use whatever chicken you have on hand, such as chopped or pulled chicken

Cooking the chicken yourself is great, however, to save time, I make my chicken salad sandwiches using 12.5 oz cans of canned chicken. 

I purchase canned chicken for my food storage, but rarely eat canned meat. These sandwiches are the exception. It’s the only recipe I use canned chicken in because it’s THAT good! 

Canned chicken makes this recipe super easy. Just make sure to drain the liquid very well from the can. This recipe calls for one can of chicken and yields four chicken salad croissant sandwiches.

DOES CANNED CHICKEN NEED TO BE COOKED?

No, canned chicken is cooked, then preserved by canning. You can add it directly into this salad and serve right away. It will need to be refrigerated if not served immediately.

chicken salad sandwich next to red grapes and pecans on a wood board

ARE CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICHES FATTENING?

Chicken salad sandwiches have many nutritious ingredients, such as chicken, nuts, celery, and grapes. It all depends on the ingredients and how it’s served. Luckily, you can easily substitute ingredients to keep this recipe low carb!

My recipe calls for full fat, quality mayonnaise. This makes the chicken salad especially creamy and delicious. You can simply substitute the mayo with half greek yogurt; however, the flavor will be much lighter.

Try serving chicken salad on a lettuce or tortilla wrap, or with celery sticks for a low carb option!

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAYONNAISE AND MIRACLE WHIP? 

Mayonnaise is simply emulsified eggs, oil, and acid (vinegar or lemon juice). It has a tangy, rich flavor. It’s used as a spread, in dips, and to bind together ingredients.

Miracle Whip serves a similar purpose as mayonnaise, but it has a unique flavor. It’s sweet because it contains added sugar and spices.

You may use either spread, but I prefer mayonnaise.

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN SALAD

  • In a medium bowl, combine mayo dill, onion, garlic, basil, and salt. (The dill and basil make this recipe extra special!)
  • Mix completely.
  • Add chicken and mix to combine.
  • Fold in nuts, celery, and grapes.
  • Serve immediately on croissants, or refrigerate until serving.

If preparing ahead, add grapes immediately before assembling. This recipe can be made 24-48 hours ahead, but it will absorb the mayonnaise over time. Don’t be surprised if it’s dried out a bit in the fridge and you need to add a little extra mayo.

If you don’t like grapes, you can substitute with chopped apples. I recommend tossing the cut apples in some lemon juice to prevent browning, then mix in right before serving. 

I don’t recommend using any soft fruits such as berries, citrus, or bananas. Apples or grapes compliment the flavors very nicely in the recipe.

top view of two chicken salad sandwiches next to red grapes on a wood board

HOW LONG DOES CHICKEN SALAD LAST WITH CANNED CHICKEN? 

Chicken salad with canned chicken lasts about 3-5 days in the fridge. I recommend adding the grapes right before serving. Add a little more mayo if it gets dry during storage.

CAN YOU FREEZE CHICKEN SALAD?

Assembled chicken salad doesn’t freeze well. But you can easily cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot and use it in this recipe!

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICHES

Serve chicken salad on lettuce or spinach, sandwich bread, croissants, tortilla wraps, with crackers, or with low carb celery sticks. My favorite way to serve chicken salad is with croissants or homemade white bread or rolls.

I like to serve chicken salad sandwiches with chips, fresh fruit, or a green salad. I have several side dishes that would pair well with this recipe for a bridal or baby shower in this post. 

two chicken salad sandwiches next to red grapes and pecans on a wood board

OTHER THINGS TO ADD TO CHICKEN SALAD

Chicken salad is a versatile recipe. It’s easy to toss in different ingredients to keep the recipe interesting. 

Here’s some ideas:

  • Cheese
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Apples
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Cashews
  • Onion
  • Pickles
  • Raisins

MORE BABY SHOWER RECIPES

Instant Pot chocolate covered strawberries

About Lisa

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Lisa Childs is the food blogger behind Tried, Tested, and True. Join the hundreds of thousands of people each month that learn from Lisa-

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Graphic of The Best Chicken Salad Sandwiches with one picture of chicken salad on a croissant.
chicken salad sandwich next to red grapes and pecans on a wood board

The Best Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Yield: 4 Sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

Chicken Salad Sandwiches are flavorful chicken, crunchy nuts, celery, and grapes, bound with creamy mayonnaise. Serve this easy, popular dish at bridal or baby showers, receptions, parties, luncheons, and get-togethers.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon full fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 cups chopped or pulled chicken, cooled OR 1, 12.5 oz can chicken (drained)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cashews, walnuts, or pecans
  • 3 tablespoons celery, minced
  • 1/2 cup red grapes, halved or quartered
  • 4 butter croissants, sliced open

Instructions

1. In a medium bowl, combine mayo dill, onion, garlic, basil, and salt.

2. Mix completely.

3. Add chicken and mix to combine.

4. Fold in nuts, celery, and grapes.

5. Serve immediately on croissants, or refrigerate until serving.

Notes

  • This recipe can be made 24-48 hours ahead, but you might want to add a little extra mayonnaise if it has dried out a bit in the fridge.
  • If preparing ahead, add grapes immediately before assembling.

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