Classic Chicken Salad (Gluten Free) is the ultimate chicken salad recipe! Made with simple ingredients and pantry staples, this creamy chicken salad recipe is a perfect light dinner or weekday lunch!
My secret ingredient in this chicken salad is....TARRAGON! This herb is slightly spicy and citrusy and goes a long way in chicken salad.
Chicken salad is the perfect big batch recipe to prepare ahead of time and serve for large gatherings such as birthday parties or bridal showers. If you are looking for another simple recipe to serve for large crowds, try this Roasted Tomato and Corn Pasta Salad. Made with plenty of fresh herbs, this pasta salad holds up well and tastes better the next day. Or, try this Herby Lemon Orzo Salad with Roasted Vegetables for a recipe that everyone will love!
Easy and Classic Chicken Salad (Gluten Free) Details
Flavor: This chicken salad has a slightly tangy flavor thanks to the herbs and mustard. The creamy dressing gives the chicken salad a smooth texture.
Time: You can make this chicken salad in about 15 minutes (not including the time to cook the chicken).
Level of Difficulty: Super Simple! A little shredding, chopping and mixing, and you will have a delicious chicken salad recipe to enjoy!
This Easy and Classic Chicken Salad (Gluten Free) recipe comes together with basic, everyday ingredients. No need to run to multiple grocery stores looking for fancy ingredients. Check out your refrigerator and pantry to find these ingredients or substitutions.
- Shredded Chicken: I prefer to use boneless skinless chicken breasts. You could use chicken thighs or chicken tenders. Or, you could even use store-bought rotisserie chicken to make this really easy. I will teach you how to get the most perfect shredded chicken in this post!
- Celery Stalks: Fresh, crisp celery tastes best in this easy chicken salad recipe.
- Red Onion
- Black Pepper
- Mayonnaise: Duke's Mayo is my favorite and it is naturally gluten free. Make sure that the mayo you use is gluten free. You can also substitute Greek yogurt or sour cream (I don't recommend using all sour cream. Use 50% sour cream, 50% mayo).
- Mustard: I prefer to use a spicy brown mustard or a Dijon mustard in this recipe for extra flavor.
- Fresh Tarragon, Chives and Thyme: I find that fresh herbs give the best taste. If you don't have these exact herbs, substitute in herbs that you like such as fresh parsley or fresh dill.
- Fresh Lemon Juice
Let's Get Cookin'!
- Make the Chicken. My favorite way to make the chicken is to use boneless chicken breasts and cook them in the crockpot. Season both sides of the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Pour about ¼ cup of chicken broth into the crockpot. Cook on low for 4 hours until chicken is cooked through. If you are using leftover rotisserie chicken, you can skip this step.
- Shred the Chicken. You can shred the chicken with a fork and a knife when the chicken is at room temperature. Or, use this time saving trick! While the chicken is still warm, place the chicken in the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix chicken using the paddle attachment on low speed for about a minute until chicken is thinly shredded.
- Mix the ingredients. Place chicken in a large mixing bowl. If you shredded the chicken using the mixer, the chicken can stay in that bowl. Add the celery, red onion, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, tarragon, chives and thyme. Stir together. Taste to add seasoning or additional mayonnaise or mustard. You don't want the chicken salad to be dry.
Add chicken to a crockpot. Season with salt and pepper. Pour ¼ cup chicken broth in bottom of pot. Cook on low for 2- 4 hours until chicken is cooked through.
Shred chicken in stand mixer.
Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
How to Serve
This recipe is naturally gluten free. To keep it gluten free, try serving the chicken salad:
- In Butter Lettuce Cups: Think of these lettuce cups as mini wraps for your chicken salad!
- Over a Salad: Grab all of the your favorite salad ingredients such as romaine lettuce, crunchy veggies, dried fruit and nuts to make a delicious salad!
- As a chicken salad sandwiches: To keep this recipe gluten free, be sure to grab your favorite gluten-free bread. Serve with lettuce and tomato!
- Serve for a crowd: Serve this homemade chicken salad to feed a crowd. Have a tray of lettuce wraps, a tray of croissants or buns and the chicken salad. Let guests choose how to eat their chicken salad. Pasta salads and potato chips pair perfectly!
Make it healthier: substitute plain Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise.
Make a Maryland version: season with Old Bay! A Chesapeake tradition!
Make a deluxe chicken salad: add in sliced red grapes or green grapes, slivered almonds, green onions and/or dried cranberries to make a filling and tasty chicken salad!
No fancy equipment is needed to make this chicken salad!
- Crockpot (if not using leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken)
- Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment (to shred chicken)
- Large Bowl
- Large Spoon or Spatula
- Airtight Container (for storage)
Store this Classic Chicken Salad refrigerated in an airtight container. Enjoy this chicken salad within 3-4 days of making. You can prepare this recipe the day before. Be sure to stir chicken salad before serving. Add additional mayo and/or seasonings if needed.
Use a stand mixer to shred the chicken! It is the easiest way to get thinly sliced chicken pieces that mixes perfectly with the other ingredients. Plus, you won't burn or cut yourself while cutting the chicken.
No, most chicken salad is naturally gluten-free. However, be sure to check the ingredients, what is mixed in the chicken salad and what the chicken salad is served with before consuming.
Serve chicken salad on gluten-free crackers, in a butter lettuce cup or on a wrap for healthy alternatives to bread!
Chicken salad can taste bland if there are not any seasoning or fun mix-ins. To keep chicken salad from tasting bland, season with salt and pepper, stir in fresh herbs, add in seedless grapes, green onion or red wine vinegar for different ways to spice up chicken salad!
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with Easy and Classic Chicken Salad (Gluten Free):
Easy and Classic Chicken Salad (Gluten Free)
- Slow Cooker
- Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Large Spoon or Spatula
- Airtight Container for storing
- 1.5 lbs Chicken Breast cooked and shredded
- 2 Celery Stalks chopped
- ¼ cup Red Onion chopped
- Salt and Pepper
- ¾ cup Mayonaisse
- 1 tablespoon Spicy Brown Mustard
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Tarragon finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Chives finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme finely chopped
- Add chicken, celery, red onion, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, tarragon, chives and thyme to a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly mix together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve in lettuce cups, over salad or on bread.