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10 Chicken Salad Recipes for Lazy Dinners and Picnic Potlucks

By Ariel Knutson
May 19, 2021
Photo Credit: Paleo Running

Chicken salad is delicious. It’s also easy to make (and make-ahead), adaptable, and generally a healthy, protein-packed option. It’s the queen of lunch, sure, but also lazy dinners and picnic potlucks. We’ve rounded up some of the best chicken salad recipes for you to try right now. From a curried chicken number to a vegan version, you’ll find plenty of inspiration.

1. Guacamole Chicken Salad from Paleo Running Momma

Fresh guacamole = instant party. So, why not fun up your lunch a little and combine everyone’s favorite appetizer with chicken salad? If you’ve got some pre-made guacamole and a rotisserie chicken, this recipe practically makes itself.

Tarragon chicken salad

Photo Credit: Little Pine Kitchen

2. Tarragon Chicken Salad from Little Pine Kitchen

Instead of just using mayo, this chicken salad has a unique dressing. It includes fresh tarragon, lemon juice and peel, and a dash of vanilla extract. Serve it on a sandwich or keep it low-carb with cucumber slices, bell peppers, and celery stalks.

Curried chicken salad

Photo Credit: The Modern Proper

3. Curried Chicken Salad from The Modern Proper

I hate to choose favorites, but I have a thing for curried chicken salad. It’s incredible what a little bit of curry powder can do for something that’s normally so simple! This recipe also uses Greek yogurt as a creamy base to lighten things up, and includes golden raisins and celery for some added texture.

Sun-dried tomato chicken salad

Photo Credit: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

4. Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Salad from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

This pantry-friendly chicken salad is rich and tangy thanks to a healthy dose of sun-dried tomatoes and plenty of capers. Stuff inside a wrap or serve over a bed of lettuce.

blt chicken salad

Photo Credit: Mad About Food

5. Whole30 BLT Chicken Salad from Mad About Food

This BLT chicken salad combines two great lunches into one. All you really need to besides the traditional mayo and chicken, are cherry tomatoes, bacon bits, and green onions. And like in most chicken salad recipes, you can use rotisserie chicken to make things even easier.

Cranberry walnut chicken salad

Photo Credit: The Simple Veganista

6. Cranberry Walnut Vegan “Chicken” Salad from The Simple Veganista

Chickpeas are a brilliant vegan substitute for chicken in this recipe. The key is to lightly mash the chickpeas before combining it with the dressing, celery, onions, cranberries, and walnut. It helps everything stick together.

Jalapeno popper chicken salad

Photo Credit: Mad About Food

7. Jalapeño Popper Chicken Salad from Mad About Food

Chicken salad is the perfect base for creativity, and this recipe is proof. Madeline of Mad About Food uses jalapeños and bacon bits to mimic jalapeños poppers. If you want to up the heat, she suggests adding the seeds of the pepper to your dish.

Cranberry pecan chicken salad

Photo Credit: Julia’s Album

8. Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing from Julia’s Album

This humble chicken salad has four main ingredients: chicken, pecans, dried cranberries, and green onion. Where things go off script is with the dressing, which is a combination of mayonnaise, sour cream, honey, Dijon mustard, and poppy seeds.

Pesto chicken salad

Photo Credit: All the Healthy Things

9. Pesto Chicken Salad from All the Healthy Things

Pesto is a classic addition to chicken salad, and the key to making it extra delicious is by using the very best pesto. It’s worth the effort to make it yourself instead of getting the store bought stuff. This recipe also adds red onion, pine nuts, and a little lemon juice to brighten things up.

Greek avocado chicken salad

Photo Credit: Creme de la Crumb

10. Greek Avocado Chicken Salad from Creme de la Crumb

This Greek-inspired chicken salad is loaded with all sorts of delicious things: avocado, kalamata olives, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and a creamy dressing made with fresh dill. It’s good enough to eat by itself.

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