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This Ultimate Chicken Salad is both creamy and crunchy! It’s packed with bright flavors like diced apples, grapes, almonds, and fresh herbs. It’s also completely good for you since it’s Whole30, dairy free, and gluten free! Enjoy it on lettuce wraps, in a salad, or on a sandwich for a tasty meal!

Ultimate Chicken Salad by The Whole Cook vertical

Today is a good day because we’re talking about my Ultimate Chicken Salad. I am crazy about this stuff.

This chicken salad is both creamy and crunchy. I hate when chicken salad is dry so you better believe that’s not happening on my watch, friend.

Celery and shaved or slivered almonds give it a crunch.

Grapes and apples give it sweetness.

The mayo, seasoning, and fresh dill gives it some tang.

It’s all so very very good together.

Ultimate Chicken Salad by The Whole Cook horizontal on spoon

For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):

  • Fully cooked chicken
  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Green onion
  • Sliced or slivered almonds
  • Mayo
  • Lime juice
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh dill
  • Seasonings

What color grapes are best to use?

I typically use red grapes because I think they show up beautifully in the finished product but of course green works great too.

Ultimate Chicken Salad by The Whole Cook horizontal side left

What mayo is best to use?

For this recipe you’re welcome to use whatever mayonnaise you prefer. Two popular brands that I’ve used are Hellman’s and Duke’s.

If you enjoy making your own mayo go for it. I’m a fan of this easy mayo recipe by Melissa Joulwan.

Want to go with a Whole30 compliant store-bought mayo? I recommend Primal Kitchen’s Avocado Oil Mayo.

Do you have to peel the apples?

It’s up to you. Feel free to leave them unpeeled if you like! 

How to customize this chicken salad

While I think this chicken salad is perfect as is, you can play around with some of the ingredients based on what you have on hand. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use fresh tarragon instead of dill.
  • Incorporate dried cranberries.
  • Lighten it up by using 1/2 mayo and 1/2 yogurt.
Ultimate Chicken Salad by The Whole Cook horizontal on greens

How to store leftovers

You can keep this chicken salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days.

How to serve this

This Ultimate Chicken Salad is delicious in between two slices of toasted bread if you’re in a sandwich kind of mood. When serving this at a party I like to scoop it into croissants or in a wrap. Either way you do it bread + chicken salad always = yum. It’s math, y’all.

I personally love a big dollop of this chicken salad on romaine leaves or bibb lettuce. Pair it with fresh fruit for a perfectly light meal!

5 from 38 votes

Ultimate Chicken Salad

By Christina
This Ultimate Chicken Salad is both creamy and crunchy! It’s packed with bright flavors like diced apples, grapes, almonds, and fresh herbs. It’s also completely good for you since it’s Whole30, dairy free, and gluten free! Enjoy it on lettuce wraps, in a salad, or on a sandwich for a tasty meal!
Prep: 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings


  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lbs cooked chicken breasts, 3 1/2 to 4 cups chopped or shredded chicken, can use chicken thighs or rotisserie chicken
  • 1 small or medium apple, peeled, cored, and diced, makes 1 cup
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved, if grapes are very large you may want to cut into thirds
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp lime juice
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  • Shred or chop your chicken and set aside in a large bowl.
  • Add diced apple, celery, grapes, and green onion to the bowl of chicken. Stir until combined.
  • In a separate bowl add mayo, ground mustard, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Stir until combined.
  • Pour mayo mixture into the larger bowl with chicken, etc. Stir together so everything is coated in the seasoned mayo.
  • Add your sliced or slivered almonds, dill, and thyme. Gently stir. (Save these ingredients for the end so they don’t get lost in everything else.)
  • Taste. Add up to an additional 1/4 tsp salt and pepper if you like. (Most often I do but it really depends on which mayo I use so give it a final taste before adding more.)
  • You’re ready to serve! Enjoy in a sandwich, salad, or over greens for a satisfying and very tasty meal!



The amount of salt and pepper you need varies depending on the mayo you use. I find that Primal Kitchen’s Avocado Oil Mayo has a strong flavor so the 3/4 tsp I list in the ingredients is often plenty. However, when I make my own mayo or use a traditional store-bought variety I tend to want a smidge more salt. My recommendation is to make it according to the ingredient list and then give it a final taste before serving. You can always add extra salt. It’s better to wait until then so you get it just right!


Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 387kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 449mg, Potassium: 297mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 185IU, Vitamin C: 3.1mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Sadie says:

    Amazing chicken salad.. Another winning recipe from the Whole Cook! 

  2. Rebecca says:

    Love this recipe. It’s fail proof and gets better as the days go on. 

  3. Jacqui says:

    The best chicken  salad I’ve ever had! I left out the apples because I didn’t want it too sweet and it was absolutely delicious. 

  4. Cindy Kimball says:

    Great on a hot night. High temps today with higher humidity. This chicken salad always hits the spot.

  5. Ash says:

    YES YES YES this is my 3rd time finding this recipe to make it for my family and friends!! Hands down the BEST! Love it, thank you

  6. V. Bryant says:

    I made this 2 weeks ago and meant to leave a review but forgot, came across another recipe of yours I am about to try today not knowing you were the same person and was just scrolling through your recipes and saw it again, anyway, this was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! I’m buying your books you deserve my money😁🤑. 

  7. Barbara Harris says:

    If one in the family doesn’t like mayo, do you have an alternative suggestion?

  8. Kaye Elle says:

    Great combo of ingredients. My only slight critique is that mine was a little heavy on the mayo for this type of recipe. Definitely a save and repeat!

  9. Amy says:

    Absolutely delicious! 

  10. Selena says:

    So good! The thyme is the key here! Love all the flavors. This will be my go-to chicken salad recipe.