Not Your Grandma’s Chicken Salad

This classic chicken salad recipe was “modernized” by using a rotisserie chicken, less salt, more protein, and a bit more spice.

Not your grandma’s chicken salad

I didn’t grow up on chicken salad, at least I don’t remember ever trying it until I was a teenager. I fell in love! My husband loves his chicken salad to be similar to tuna salad with egg and celery, so that’s how I learned to make it.

We discovered this recipe from Southern Living and love it! It’s called Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad, and it really is a classic. The last few times I’ve made it, I’ve tweaked it to be what I call more “modern.” Essentially, I got rid of the sodium as much as possible, upped the celery and some of the spices, doubled the number of eggs, and saved time by using rotisserie chicken instead of cooking and seasoning chicken myself. With all these changes, I don’t increase the mayonnaise, which means there is overall “goop.”  

Chicken Salad Ingredients

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, deboned
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ½  cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/8 heaping teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

Chicken Salad Instructions

  1. Boil water and start the eggs cooking. Remove them from the hot water and set aside to cool.
  2. While the eggs are cooking, debone the chicken, Place the meat in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the celery, onion, celery seed, white pepper, cayenne/red pepper, dried parsley, and paprika.
  4. By this time the eggs should be cool enough to handle. Peel them and chop them up. Put them in the salad mix.
  5. Add the mayonnaise and mix well.
  6. Add the lemon juice and mix well.
  7. Chill in the fridge until all the ingredients are cool and the same temperature—at least 30 minutes, but longer is better.
I love to eat the salad on its own. My husband usually eats it on a tortilla (spinach low carb is the best!) with chopped tomato.

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