A classic chicken salad is the perfect blend of cold creaminess bursting with flavor. It's good on crackers, between slices of bread, or all by itself. And it stores super easily which makes it versatile enough to bring just about anywhere. Maybe an office party, summer picnic, supper club, or even to have on hand as a make-ahead meal for lunches throughout the week.
Since I was a vegetarian for nearly a decade, initially I found it hard to incorporate meat into my meals. But I'm doing better and better at finding new ways to get more protein in my diet that's tasty yet still ethical. This was one of the first dishes I started with when I began to eat meat again.
I brought this recipe back to life with some tweaks last week when I made it for our first ever monthly supper club! The flavors were the perfect blend for our theme, "summer cookout".
Classic Chicken Salad Ingredient Variations
Switch up Your Herbs
You can certainly use another herb if you don't have dill on hand or can't find it in the store. But I do find dill is my favorite herb for this dish. I'm curious if anyone has made this with basil? I bet that would taste great! Parsley or tarragon would be great additions or substitutions as well.
Swap out the Pickles
This is my secret ingredient! Sssh, don't tell anyone.
Not a fan of pickles? Use cucumber. Or just leave it out all together. My personal favorite swap is sauerkraut. I try to get sauerkraut in any way I can and I love the flavor it adds to the dish. If you're not sure about it, I get it. Maybe try it in half a cup and if you don't like it, go back to pickles or cucumbers.
Try a New Mayonnaise
I love dairy but I do try to limit it when possible. I found this brand to be just as good as any I loved growing up and a great alternative! But of course, you can always use your favorite here. I usually use the original flavor but I made this with chipotle last week and it was surprisingly good as well and gave it a nice spicy kick.
Add some Nuts
I love a chicken salad with some crushed walnuts or pecans. It adds some nice texture ; however, I don't think it's necessary to take this recipe to the next level so I didn't include it. But if you have them on hand, by all means try one and let me know what you think!
This classic chicken salad can be made dairy-free when you choose a vegan mayonnaise and can even be gluten-free when you eat it by itself or on a gluten-free cracker. And according to Beckett, our 7-month old baby-led weaning boy, it's kid-friendly too!