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Chunky Herb-Mayo Chicken Salad

5 from 1 community review

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There are so many ways to dress up a classic chicken salad. I’m keeping it simple with this basic version, adding some ingredient tweaks that take the flavor up a few notches. It’s a fresh-tasting combination of bite-size chicken chunks, a light yogurt-mayo dressing enhanced with fresh lemon, chopped green onion or shallot, and plenty of fresh herbs — you can use dill, tarragon, basil, parsley, cilantro, or a mixture of your favorites!

Chicken salad sandwiches served open-face on a wooden cutting board.

Do you have some roasted chicken you want to repurpose for another meal, or simply craving a homemade chicken salad sandwich? This is my favorite chicken salad to pile onto thick slices of toasted sourdough with lettuce for lunch or to serve when dinner salads are on the menu.

My collection of chicken recipes would not be complete without a fresh take on the classic chicken salad. The easiest way to add flavor is to use flavorful fresh herbs, grated lemon, and seasonings. Like my recipe for lemony shrimp salad, the creamy mayonnaise-based dressing is lightened-up with Greek yogurt.

Ingredients for making chicken salad, including a bowl of chunky chicken breast, lettuce, herbs, shallot, lemon and mayonnaise.

Gather ingredients

  • Cooked chicken: It’s no surprise, but starting with tasty, moist chicken is the key to an excellent chicken salad. I recommend using your preference of light or dark meat from a properly roasted chicken or even a beer-can chicken cooked on the grill or in the oven. Chicken that’s cooked on the bone will have the best flavor and texture. To save time, you can bake boneless chicken breasts in the oven and cut them into chunks for the salad.
  • Mayonnaise: My taste for mayo veers to the tangy, rather than sweet (like my favorite lemon-garlic blender aioli). Use whatever brand or version that pleases your taste buds, but keep in mind the quality really matters. I use just enough to bind the salad together so it’s not super-goopy.
  • Yogurt: Using a 50/50 mixture of mayo and thick, plain yogurt lightens the texture and adds a pleasant tangy flavor.
  • Shallot or green onion: I enjoy the color and savory flavor of finely chopped scallions in chicken salad. You can substitute with shallot.
  • Herbs: Dill, tarragon, rosemary, chives and parsley all pair beautifully with chicken. Use a good 2 tablespoons of your favorite herbs.
  • Fresh lemon: After making many salads, I found that lemon juice thins out the dressing and can water down the salad. Instead, I use lemon zest for concentrated flavor.

Recipe overview

Chicken salad sandwiches served open-face on a wooden cutting board.

Chunky Herb-Mayo Chicken Salad

Karen Tedesco
I dressed up a classic chicken salad with some ingredient tweaks that take the flavor up a few notches. It’s a fresh-tasting combination of bite-size chicken chunks, a light yogurt-mayo dressing enhanced with fresh lemon, chopped green onion or shallot, and plenty of fresh herbs — you can use dill, tarragon, basil, parsley, cilantro, or a mixture of your favorites!
Print Pin
5 from 1 community review
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

Lemon Mayo

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot, or scallion (green onion)
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chicken Salad

  • 12 ounces cooked boneless, skinless chicken (12-14 ounces), sliced into bite-sized cubes (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, parsley, basil, dill, chives or a combination of your preference
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To serve

  • Lettuce leaves

Instructions 

Herb Mayo Dressing

  • Put the mayonnaise, yogurt, shallot or green onion, lemon zest, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Stir together until blended. The dressing will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Chicken Salad

  • In a large bowl, stir the chicken with the herbs, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Add the dressing and fold it into the chicken until it's evenly coated.
  • Serve the chicken salad as with lettuce or add to toasted bread to make a sandwich.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Ideas for variations: Add 1/4 cup chopped celery, a tablespoon of Dijon and/or some toasted walnuts or almonds for more crunch.
  • Chicken salad keeps 2 days refrigerate

Nutrition

Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 350mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 251IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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2 Comments

  1. Could you use regular plain yogurt?

    1. Yes, you can. I’d recommend a whole milk yogurt if you enjoy a creamier texture.