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I admit it. I’m a Basic B. And chicken salad is my go-to lunch. I make a batch at least once a week and today I’m going to share my basic recipe, some variations, and the secret ingredient that really levels it up.
Video: Step-By-Step Chicken Salad Recipe
Let’s start with the basics. Chicken salad typically consists of cooked chicken, mixed with a combination of mayonnaise, mustard, and various seasonings. But don’t let the name fool you – this salad is anything but basic! It’s a canvas for creativity, allowing you to customize it to your heart’s content.
Chicken Salad Variations
Add a few tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce and a garnish with crumbled blue cheese to make Buffalo Chicken Salad.
Add a few tablespoons of pesto in with the mayonnaise.
Add a tablespoon of curry powder and garnish with chopped almonds.
One of the biggest perks of Basic B Chicken Salad is its versatility. You can enjoy it in so many different ways. Need a quick lunch? Spread it between two slices of your favorite bread or pile it on a croissant for a scrumptious sandwich. I love an open-faced sandwich using one slice of bread. Craving something lighter? Pile it onto a bed of fresh greens for a satisfying salad or eat it wrapped in lettuce leaves. Looking for a crowd-pleasing appetizer? Serve it with some crackers or veggies for a delicious dip. The possibilities are endless!
Now, let’s talk about the nutritional benefits. Chicken, as the star of this salad, is a fantastic source of lean protein. It’s low in fat and high in essential amino acids, which are important for building and repairing muscles. Protein is also known for its ability to keep you feeling full and satisfied, making it an excellent option for those looking to maintain a healthy weight or support their fitness goals.
Secret Ingredient: Peppadew Peppers
Maybe you’ve been browsing a salad bar or snacking on a charcuterie board and stumbled upon Peppadew peppers. At first glance, they look like a standard pickled cherry pepper, but anyone who has crunched on these snappy, flavorful veggies will tell you they’re anything but standard.
Peppadews will sometimes pop up at your local, well-stocked grocery store, especially chains like Sprouts and Whole Foods. Since they’re great with charcuterie and antipasti, you may also find them at your local Italian specialty foods store or deli. If you aren’t having any luck in person, you can buy jars from online retailers like Amazon. If you can’t find them, you can substitute pickled cherry peppers, Piquillos, roasted red peppers or even a few tablespoons of giardiniera.
Chicken Salad Lunch Gallery
I’m not kidding when I tell you that chicken salad is my go-to lunch. Here are just a few photos I’ve recently snapped.
Chicken salad is my go-to lunch. Here is the BEST chicken salad recipe including variations, and the secret ingredient that levels it up.
Shredded or chopped cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken works great)
3 green onions (white portion only)
4 – 5 pickled peppadew peppers plus 1 tablespoon of brine
2 – 3 stalks of celery
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
(optional) 1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
mayonnaise (amount will vary based on preferences)
salt and pepper
(optional) chopped green onions, or microgreens for garnish
Chop or shred cooked chicken, discarding bones and skin.
Combine chopped chicken, with chopped green onions, peppadew peppers, and celery and mix well. You can use a food processor if you want a more fine/spreadable consistency. Or mix by hand if you prefer it chunkier.
Add mustard, mayonnaise and pickle relish to achieve desired consistency.
You can scale this recipe up or down depending on how much chicken you start with. I don’t measure any of the ingredients. I just eyeball it according to taste.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.