Homemade Chicken Salad

And so, another week begins. I hope that you aren’t already sick of hearing me talk about movies, because it’s summer blockbuster season and that’s all I can think about, to be honest. Either way, this is all, of course, leading up to telling you how much I liked Super 8. It was everything I thought it would be, but the special effects that really blew me away. I suppose I should have expected as much from Stephen Spielberg and J.J. Abrams. The story is something like E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and a little bit of Cloverfield all thrown together into one awesome movie. It didn’t do quite as well as I would have hoped it would this past weekend, so if you haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet, I highly recommend that you do as soon as possible. It’s a movie that absolutely everyone can enjoy, which is rare enough to warrant a trip to the theater.

I’ve always loved chicken salad, but it took Kramer a while to come around to it. He’s usually not a big fan of lots of “add ins” to his food, but this chicken salad is one of the few exceptions to that rule. We actually ate this for dinner three nights in a row, so if that’s not an indication of how good it is, I don’t know what to tell you. I love this chicken salad because it’s heavy on the mustard and not so much on the mayo, so there’s lots of flavor without it being too heavy. I especially like the combination of fruit and chicken. Needless to say, this is a far cry from your average canned chicken salad. The big pieces of juicy, white meat chicken alongside fresh produce and sweet raisins (or cranberries, if you prefer) make for quite a tasty sandwich or salad. I even added some blue cheese to this when I made it into a sandwich, and let me tell you something: do yourself a favor and pick up some blue cheese to pair with this. It makes your sandwich all that more “grown up” and lends itself beautifully to not only the chicken, but to the fruit, too! Forget the can and whip up some of this delicious homemade chicken salad in under an hour – you’ll be thanking me soon!

Homemade Chicken Salad
Your ingredients.

Homemade Chicken Salad
Dice your apple and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over it, to keep it from discoloring.

Homemade Chicken Salad
Combine the apple in a bowl with your diced celery, diced red onion, and raisins.

Homemade Chicken Salad
Cube your chicken breast into bite sized pieces. You can use pre-bought chicken breasts, or quickly bake or boil them. I boiled mine in a large pot of water for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with about a 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Homemade Chicken Salad
Combine with the Dijon mustard and mayonnaise.

Homemade Chicken Salad
Toss with the other ingredients.

Homemade Chicken Salad
Crumble some blue cheese over toasted bread, and add a few thin slices of red onion along with it, if you like.

Homemade Chicken Salad
Top with some lettuce and a thin layer of extra mayo or mustard and dig in!

Homemade Chicken Salad
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5-6
  • 1.5-2 lbs. chicken breasts (2-3 breasts), baked, grilled, or boiled
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon or country mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 apple, diced
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup raisins or dried cranberries
Assembling your Sandwich
  • toasted bread
  • crumbled blue cheese
  • sliced red onions
  • lettuce
  • mustard/mayonnaise
  1. Begin by cooking your chicken. My preferred method is to not turn on the oven, so I would recommend bringing a medium sized pot of water to a boil over high heat, then dropping the chicken breasts in and reducing the heat to medium-high. Boil for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through, then remove from the water and allow to cool. When the chicken is cool, or at least room temperature, slice them into bite-sized pieces. Don't worry about making the pieces uniform - it's actually better to have a few different sizes for a nice texture. If the chicken shreds a bit while you cut it, even better. Toss the chicken with salt and pepper, then toss with the mustard and mayonnaise. Set aside.
  2. Dice your apple and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over it, to keep it from discoloring and to add some acid to the salad. Toss the apple with the diced celery, diced red onion, and raisins or dried cranberries. Add this mixture to the chicken mixture and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt, pepper, mustard, or mayonnaise as you see fit. This chicken salad will keep well in the fridge in an air-tight container for 3 to 4 days.
  3. Now, the most important part: assembling your sandwich. I recommend toasting some bread, then adding a few thinly sliced pieces of red onion, some crumbled blue cheese, lettuce, and a touch of Dijon mustard. Scoop the salad onto the bread and press down to keep it together. It also goes great on a simple bed of lettuce for a healthy, low-carb lunch or dinner.


24 Responses

  1. Dena says:

    Sounds yum! Always a fan of new chicken recipes.

    I’m glad Super 8 was good, I was planning on seeing it myself. I also wish to see X-Men First Class. We saw Kung Fu Panda 2 and I really enjoyed it (I’m a fan of CG animation). The cast is great, the dialogue is clever and I really loved the villain (a peacock!).

  2. I’m not a fan of “Add ins” to my salad either, (raisens, apples, etc) but if Kramer liked it than I will give it a go! Certainly looks like a refreshing meal for a hot humid summer day. We made fresh mozzarella bruschetta sandwiches last week to beat the heat. You should come check it out when I post it later this week, I think you guys would like it :)

    I still haven’t seen Xmen! Was supposed to Saturday but plans changed last minute. Super 8 is on my list too. I am a huge JJ Abrams fan. Star Trek reboot was great. And Lost is one of my favorite TV series.

    • Sydney says:

      Chris: Your sandwiches sound absolutely delicious! Lost is my 2nd favorite series (Sopranos will always be #1), and Abrams’ Star Trek reboot was insanely good – you won’t be disappointed in Super 8, I promise you!

  3. Tina From Pa says:

    I’m really hungry now ! I don’t like gloppy mayo salads either, the chicken salad I make, I add dried cranberries and chopped Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds. The sweet tart and smokey crunch is a taste treat. I have to try this combo, sounds great!

  4. Anthony says:

    That looks seriously good, and I love chicken salad sandwiches. Since I’m more of a savory than a sweets-eater, what would be a good substitute for, say, the apples? Avocado chunks?

  5. Kari says:

    This sounds awesome, Sydney! I will try it out tomorrow maybe. (We also saw Super 8, last night…great show, for sure)

    • Sydney says:

      @Kari: Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it, too.

      @Jen: Everything is better with bacon – everything.

      @Christine: I love fruit in anything savory, too! I wish Kramer was as big a fan as me!

      @Julia: My thoughts exactly! 😉

  6. Jen says:

    I was up when you posted this morning and I have to tell you that this looked so good that I immediately went to the fridge and pulled out some chicken to defrost so I could make it right away. 😀 The only difference is I baked my chicken with some Montreal seasoning from McCormick and added bacon. I had to skip the blue cheese too (Woe! Because my mom isn’t as much of a fan of blue cheese as I am) but it still came out amazing!

    PS; Keep your movie reviews coming too! My two biggest loves in life are movies and food and I love that your blog is a mix of that. 😀

  7. Heck yes! I love fruit in things… most of the time. People get weird with raisins in lasagna sometimes (?!) but I love apples with chicken and raisins, especially with that mustard! Mmm. Awesome idea, I can’t wait.

  8. Julia says:

    Blue cheese and onion, over toasted bread. Mustard IN the chicken mix. PERFECTION!

  9. Sarah says:

    Saw Super 8 on opening night and loved it! Was disappointed in the size of the crowd though, I think there were maybe 25 people tops in there. People are missing out!

  10. Sharon says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s so easy and so good at the same time! No prizes for guessing what I had for dinner :)

  11. yum yum yum. chicken salad with the sweet stuff is my favorite. i’m gonna try adding cherries – tis the season!

  12. Bria says:

    I just finished eating this sandwich with your sweet potato french fries and later am going to eat your mini blueberry crisps that i had made earlier. The fries were AMAZING as well as the sandwich. Totally making this whole dish again.

  13. […] cheese for good measure, too, because when you have blue cheese (as I did, leftover from making chicken salad sandwiches), you are obligated to put it in as many dishes as possible, right? I drizzled some honey-mustard […]

  14. Megan says:

    This looks so delicious! I love every thing about it! If only I had some bread at home! <3

  15. Kelly says:

    I love chicken salad. Have never tried it with raisins.

    Also love grapes in it too. Yours looks delicious

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