Lemon Almond Chicken Salad is the absolute best chicken salad recipe! Perfect on a sandwich or just by itself, you will love this amazing recipe for chicken salad with grapes and almonds tossed in a creamy lemon dressing!
Lemon Almond Chicken Salad is a must make for anyone who loves chicken salad. For most of my life, I was never a fan of mayo based salads. We never had them growing up, we were more of oil and vinegar dressing type of family. I always liked the looks of those cute little sandwiches at picnics, but I never tried them. So when I had to make an easy chicken salad recipe for a bridal shower, I was stressed because it is hard to make something that you have never had before, let alone, don’t even know if you like!
I decided to start with the essential chicken salad ingredients, shredded chicken and mayonnaise. Making shredded chicken in the Instant Pot really helps this recipe come together quickly, or you could use a store bought rotisserie chicken! I played around with a couple different combinations and quickly learned that an all mayo dressing was too heavy and the flavor was too overpowering in the salad. I added in other ingredients like olive oil and sour cream to calm down the mayo flavor. I know the sour cream sounds weird, but it really helps to smooth out the strong mayo test, while not compromising the creaminess of the salad. I was still finding things a little…well, bland. Which I think is the problem with a lot of chicken salads.
A big bowl of lemons was staring at me on the counter and they were basically calling my name to add them to the salad. Have you ever added lemon juice or lemon zest to something that is a little lacking on flavor? It seems to brighten up and improve so many dishes. Once I added in the lemon zest and juice, I knew I had found the winning combination. The lemon really brightens up the salad and makes it different than other chicken salads.
I was so happy with how the salad turned out but I knew my true test would be if I could get Ryan to like it. He does not, under any circumstance, eat a mayonnaisey salad. It is just not his thing. So I asked in my nicest voice possible if he would be willing to try my chicken salad because I couldn’t serve it at the bridal shower without someone else giving their opinion first! So he tried it and loved it! I actually just made a big batch at the beginning of this week for him to take for lunches. It is a mayonnaise miracle, I tell you.
I never in a million years thought I would be excited about a chicken salad recipe. But, I mistakenly created a bit of a monster because now I LOVE it. I find myself ordering it for lunch all the time at cafes and coffee shops just to try different versions and see how other people are making it. I love the Panera Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich and I think the common thread for me is the grapes! Chicken Salad with Almonds and Grapes must just be my jam! I have also played around with an Apple Almond Chicken Salad, but I definitely prefer the texture of the grapes!
You can vary the mix ins here, but I really wouldn’t skip the grapes! The little burst of sweetness they add goes so well with the tart lemon flavor! The almonds bring the salty bite, and the celery is all about the texture. You can switch them up though and add in whatever you like! I hope you try this Lemon Almond Chicken Salad recipe soon! It’s a big hit with everyone that tries it and I know you’ll love it too!