Classic “Chicken Salad Chick” Recipe (Along With Multiple Variations)
Chicken Salad Chick is a popular restaurant chain in the United States that specializes in various types of chicken salad. They offer a wide range flavors and styles, making it a go-to destination for chicken salad lovers. Chicken Salad Chick is known for its fresh ingredients and creative twists on this classic dish. Today I’m going to show you how to recreate the Classic Chicken Salad Chick Recipe with variations for some of their other popular flavors.
This is not your average chicken salad!
While the “official recipe” is obviously a closely guarded secret, this one comes pretty darn close!
I always give instructions with step-by-step photos in my posts, just in case some readers have questions. But if you are just here for the recipe, click the JUMP TO RECIPE tab under the title and it will take you straight there. You can also print the recipe card with full instructions, or you can click one of the SHARE BUTTONS and save it for later!
What makes this recipe special?
Before we dive into this easy copycat recipe, let’s take a moment to appreciate what makes this tasty chicken salad so special. It’s a delightful blend of shredded chicken tenderloins, crunchy celery, onions, and a medley of herbs and spices—all bound together by a creamy, tangy dressing.
This recipe calls for chicken tenderloins which are naturally tender and have a smoother, more pleasant texture compared to chicken breasts, which are used in traditional chicken salad recipes.
Tip: I find that chicken breasts can sometimes be dry and fibrous when used in salads. If you are going to use them, it is really important not to overcook them.
The harmonious mixture of flavors and textures creates the perfect balance for this dish which is why it has captured the hearts of countless salad lovers.
Let’s gather up the ingredients
The basic ingredients for this delicious chicken salad can be purchased at any grocery store.
- Chicken tenderloins
- Celery– finely diced
- Onions- I prefer to use finely diced red onions, but you can use shallots or whatever onions you have on hand. Green onions give it a nice pop of color.
- Mayonnaise– I think they use Duke’s mayonnaise, but I’ve had great success with other brands.
- Dijon mustard
- Lemon juice
- Black pepper
- Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix– If you want to add an extra kick of flavor, try using the spicy version.
Now Let’s get cooking
Follow these simple steps
1. Shred the Chicken: If you don’t have shredded chicken on hand, start by poaching the chicken in chicken stock.
Fill a large pot with the chicken tenders and chicken stock. Poach over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they are fully cooked, then shred your cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces.
2. Chop and Prep: Finely chop the celery and onions. Add them to a large bowl. They’ll add a delightful crunch to your salad.
3. Create the Dressing: Now add the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix and stir until combined well.
This is where the magic happens!
4. Mix it Up: Add the shredded chicken to the creamy mixture and gently toss until everything is coated evenly.
5. Chill and Savor: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for about an hour. This allows the flavors to meld, and the salad becomes even more delicious.
6. Serve and Enjoy: When you’re ready to indulge, scoop your Classic Chicken Salad onto a bed of lettuce, make a sandwich, or simply enjoy it with crackers.
The Beauty of Copycat Recipes
Copycat recipes, like this one, allow us to recreate our favorite restaurant dishes in the comfort of our own kitchen (Yes, even our RV kitchen).
Plus, they often save us quite a few dollars!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use leftover chicken for this recipe?
Definitely. Leftover cooked chicken, whether it’s from my Air Fryer Roasted Split Chicken Breasts, rotisserie chicken, or any other source, works wonderfully.
Shred it and use it as the base. The texture won’t be exactly the same as if you were to use chicken tenders, but it will still be delicious.
2. Are there any alternatives to mayonnaise?
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, you can substitute Greek yogurt or sour cream for mayonnaise. These options provide a tangy creaminess while reducing the overall fat content.
3. What can I use if I don’t have Dijon mustard?
If you’re out of Dijon mustard, regular yellow mustard can be a suitable substitute. It won’t have the same depth of flavor, but it will still add a pleasant tang.
4. Can I make chicken salad with leftover Thanksgiving turkey?
Absolutely! The holidays are coming up and Turkey Salad is a wonderful way to repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers.
Simply swap out the chicken for turkey in your favorite version of this recipe.
Leftover chicken salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Just be sure to keep it chilled to maintain freshness.
Take this classic version and then get creative and mix and match ingredients to suit your taste.
Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet, spicy, tangy, or savory, there are a variety of Chicken Salad Chick recipes to choose from. Here are some variations inspired by their menu. Enjoy exploring the possibilities.
Fancy Nancy Chicken Salad:
Add diced apples, sweet dried cranberries, and a sprinkle of chopped pecans to your classic chicken salad for a sweet and nutty twist.
Sassy Scotty Chicken Salad:
Incorporate ranch dressing, bacon bits, shredded cheddar cheese, and diced tomatoes to give your chicken salad a zesty and savory kick.
Fruity Fran Chicken Salad:
Mix in diced pineapple, Fuji apple chunks, seedless grapes, and a hint of honey for a refreshing and fruity flavor explosion.
Jalapeño Holly Chicken Salad:
Spice things up by adding finely chopped jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, and a dash of hot sauce to your chicken salad for a fiery and tangy experience.
Buffalo Barclay Chicken Salad:
Create a buffalo-inspired chicken salad by drizzling buffalo sauce over your chicken, adding crumbled blue cheese, and tossing in diced celery for that classic buffalo wing flavor.
Kickin’ Kay Lynne Chicken Salad:
Go for a smoky and spicy option by mixing in smoky bacon, chipotle ranch dressing, diced jalapeños, and shredded pepper jack cheese.
Nutty Nana Chicken Salad:
For a crunchy and nutty twist, add chopped almonds, sweet pecans, and a touch of honey.
Pimento Cheese Chicken Salad:
Create a Southern-inspired delight by incorporating pimento cheese into your chicken salad mixture, giving it a creamy and tangy kick.
Luau Lydia Chicken Salad:
Transport yourself to a tropical paradise by adding diced mango, macadamia nuts, and toasted coconut.
Olivia’s Old South:
A southern classic with sweet pickle relish and hard-boiled eggs.
So, the next time you’re craving the delightful flavors of a chicken salad from Chicken Salad Chick, why not give this copycat recipe a try?
You’ll be amazed at how closely it captures the essence of the original, and you might just find a new favorite homemade salad.
If you decide to make this Chicken Salad or any of my other Salad Recipes, please be sure to give it a rating and let me know how yours turned out. I love hearing your feedback and I will do my best to answer any questions you have as quickly as I can.
As always, I will be back next week with more delicious recipes from my RV kitchen to yours!
Classic “Chicken Salad Chick” Recipe
- 1 ½ pounds chicken tenderloins
- 32 ounces chicken broth or stock
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2-3 stalks celery, finlely diced about ½ cup
- ½ red onion, finley diced about ½ cup
- 1 tablespoon dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix I like the spicy version, but either will work
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
If your chicken isn't already cooked, poach it in chicken stock.
- Fill a large pot with the chicken tenders and chicken stock. Poach over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Mix it all together
- In a large mixing bowl add celery, onion, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, dry Ranch dressing mix, salt, and black pepper. Stir until well blended.
- Add shredded chicken and mix in well.
- Wrap with plastic wrap and allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.
- Store leftover chicken salad in an air tight container for 4-5 days