Crunchy, crisp, spicy, and sweet: we're amping up the flavors and textures with this chicken salad!
I like to repurpose our leftover chicken and some of our weekly fruit and vegetable haul by throwing together a big batch of this Shredded Chicken Salad for making sandwiches, topping salads, or to dig into all by itself! It seldom goes to waste (because who doesn't love fresh chicken salad?!), and it can be frozen for up to two months for make ahead meals. Not only does it revive chicken from the week’s meal prep or last night’s dinner, turning it into a whole new creation, but it also contributes to avoiding food waste, which I always try to be extremely mindful of.
The fun part about chicken salad is that you can get creative with your additions by making adjustments based on your cravings, mood, or personal preferences. You can choose your favorite nuts (or use no nuts at all!), try out different sweet additions like raisins or chopped dates, alter the mayo and mustard quantities and ratios to your liking, and more. What I enjoy most about this Shredded Chicken Salad recipe is the variety of flavors and textures that come with every single bite. Between the creamy mayo and tangy kick from the Dijon mustard, the bits of sweetness from plump, juicy grapes and chewy dried cranberries, the nutty walnut crunch, the sharpness from the Parmesan, and the fresh crispiness of diced vegetables, every savory bite is deliciously unique, making you hungry for more!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 (Unless you’re cooking your chicken from scratch.)
Yield: 6 Servings
5 cups shredded chicken
*NOTE: I’ve use grilled, roasted, and rotisserie chicken. This salad is great for whatever leftover chicken you have and are trying to repurpose! You can also cube the chicken, but I find that shredding the chicken provides more texture and absorbs more flavor from the remaining ingredients.)
3 celery stalks, about 1 cup, halved down the center and chopped
¾ cup chopped carrots
½ cup raw walnuts
*NOTE: I use whole walnuts. You can use them whole or in pieces - whatever you prefer.
⅓ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup grapes, sliced in half
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
½ cup whole grain Dijon mustard
*NOTE: Go for a spicy variation of Dijon mustard if you prefer some heat.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper for seasoning
2 tablespoons Trader Joes Everything But the Bagel Seasoning (optional)
1. Add the chicken, celery, carrots, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, cranberries, and grapes to a large bowl and mix until combined using your hands or a large spoon.
2. Add the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and extra virgin olive oil to the bowl. Stir until all ingredients are combined and evenly coated.
3. Add Trader Joes Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. Stir again until combined throughout the chicken salad.
4. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
5. Serve immediately, or allow to sit for 30 minutes or so to allow the flavors to come together before serving. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week, or store in the freezer for up to 2 months.