Bye-Bye Basic, Say Hello to 7 Chicken Salad Recipe Twists

Sarah Spigelman Richter

Bye-Bye Basic, Say Hello to 7 Chicken Salad Recipe Twists

Header image: CHOW

Whether you’re headed on a plane, the car, or just going to the beach, chicken salad sandwiches are a surefire way to please everyone in your party. Don’t settle for the same old chicken, mayo, and celery trio. Mix it up with these recipes which include mix ins from the exotic to the outrageous…outrageously delicious, that is.

1. Chicken salad with cherries


Because life’s just a bowl of cherries, right? This classic recipe pairs chicken salad with tart cherries, crunchy almonds, and just a hint of diced shallot for a sweet-meets-savory combo that is perfect on focaccia or raisin walnut bread. Get our Chicken Salad with Cherries Recipe.

2. Chinese-y Chicken Salad


This dairy-free chicken salad is perfect for a picnic since there’s nothing in it that can spoil. Use leftover roasted chicken or store bought rotisserie chicken and don’t be scared of adding the chile paste – it makes the dressing spicy but not lip-burning. Get our Chinese-y Chicken Salad recipe.

3. Mexican Chicken Salad


Bring on the margaritas to pair with this one. Traditional chicken salad gets tossed with jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice for a Mexican flair. Try it stuffed in avocados for a brunch party. Get our Mexican Chicken Salad recipe.

4. Grilled Chicken with Chickpea Salad

This salad is elegant enough for a dinner party but easy enough to make on a weeknight. Roasted chicken is dressed with a tangy yogurt and sumac dressing and layered over a savory chickpea and radish salad. Feel free to use poached chicken breasts if that’s what you have on hand. Get our Grilled Chicken with Chickpea Salad recipe.

5. Habanero Chicken Salad

Dixie Chik Cooks

If you can take the heat, get into the kitchen! This creamy chicken salad packs a hidden punched with both diced jalapeno and habanero peppers. Be sure to wash your hands carefully after handling those crazy hot peppers. Get the recipe here.

6. Chocolate Chicken Salad

Just a Pinch

Chocolate makes everything better, right? Tiny shards of dark chocolate bark interspersed with juicy grapes and creamy chicken salad add a pleasantly bitter flavor and textural contrast to the classic chicken salad. It’s a great way to get kids to eat their lunches. Get the recipe here.

7. Bowtie Pasta Salad with Chicken, Grapes, and Peas

Kitchen Scoop

Carbs, protein, and vegetables on one forkful? Yes, it’s possible with this creamy chicken pasta salad. This make ahead salad is perfect for a big crowd and is ready for any other veggies or fruits that you may have lying around the house. Get the recipe here.

Sarah Spigelman Richter is a New York City–based writer, blogger, and social media manager. She has developed recipes for Tabasco, blogs about her favorite restaurants and recipes at Fritos and Foie Gras, and can be found, most Friday nights, watching "Arrested Development" reruns.