With diced apples, celery, and shredded cheddar cheese; this Rotisserie Chicken Salad has it all! This recipe is ready in under 10 minutes and is lighter than classic chicken salad.
In today's post we will be making rotisserie chicken salad sandwiches. These sandwiches are easy to make, delicious, as perfect for entertaining as they are for a weekday lunch. Read on to learn how to make the recipe, common FAQs, and more.
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Let me introduce you to my new favorite lunch recipe that is always reliable but never boring. The kind of sandwich I can whip up in just 3 simple steps, fills us up and holds us over until dinner, and satisfies all my midday hungry tastebuds: rotisserie chicken salad!
The rotisserie chicken brings both flavor and texture to this salad. Juicy from slow roasting, the meat is more succulent than canned and most roasted chicken. Seasoned with rotisserie seasonings, the meat is more dimensional and flavorful, too.
Best of all, the crunch of celery and sweet bursts of apple give this salad a lightness and crunch that makes it perfect to serve all year round, but is especially welcome during warm months. It's the kind of recipe I like to keep rotisserie chicken on hand for (see my notes below on freezing rotisserie chicken!). You never know when the craving will hit!
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This chicken salad recipe with rotisserie chicken is...
We may just never go back to making chicken salad any other way!
- Rotisserie chicken - skinned and cubed or shredded into small pieces. Whole rotisserie chickens are sold at many grocery stores here in the states. Costco also sells packages of just rotisserie chicken meat (already skinned and pulled off the bone); you just need to shred or cube.
- Apples - gala, Fuji, honey crisp, or another sweet and crisp apple is best.
- Celery - mince the pieces finely for the best flavor and texture.
- Red onion - or finely minced sweet onions. Also mince the onions finely so you don't get any strong kicks of onion when you bite into the salad.
- Sour cream - full fat is best.
- Mayonnaise - I recommend and use Best Foods (also known as Helman's) olive oil mayonnaise, a reduce fat mayonnaise, but traditional mayo also works.
- Apple cider vinegar - adds a bit of tang and sweet flavor profile to the recipe. Distilled white vinegar can substitute for the apple cider vinegar in a pinch.
- Dried tarragon
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese - an optional ingredient. Adds a savory dimension to the salad!
How to make chicken salad with rotisserie chicken...
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, salt, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and dried tarragon until combined.
- Add the apples, celery, red onion, shredded chicken, and cheddar cheese (if using) to the dressing and gently fold in until combined.
- Serve the chicken salad on sandwich buns, croissants, or your sandwich bread of choice.
How to easily shred rotisserie chicken:
A super easy way to shred chicken is with the stand mixer or a hand mixer! Just place the skinned and de-boned chicken in a mixing bowl and run the mixer on slow to medium speed (with the wire attachment if using a stand mixer) until the chicken is shredded to your degree of liking.
Alternatively, chicken can also be shredded by hand or with two forks. With 1 fork in each hand, place the forks in the chicken and pull apart, shredding the chicken as you do, or until the chicken is shredded to your degree of liking.
- Refrigerate the salad until serving. Since the recipe has mayonnaise in it, it isn't safe to leave out at room temperature for longer than 1 hour or in the heat for longer than 20-30 minutes.
- Making this recipe ahead of time. This salad is a great make ahead recipe, making it perfect for potlucks, get togethers, showers, and more. You can make it up to 36 hours ahead of time. Keep covered in the refrigerator until serving.
- Doubling or tripling the recipe. If making a large batch of the salad, just multiply the ingredients by the desired amount and follow the directions as listed.
Rotisserie chicken lasts for 3-4 days, or by the consume by date on the package of the chicken. I often purchase pre-shredded rotisserie chicken from Costco and always consume or freeze within 6 days of opening, as the package directs.
Though some chicken salad recipes do have hard boiled eggs in them, this recipe does not.
Notes about freezing rotisserie chicken:
Though the chicken salad can't be frozen (the sour cream and mayonnaise dressing will split, resulting in a weird texture), you can freeze rotisserie chicken. In fact, I like to buy the packs of rotisserie chicken at Costco, use some chicken to make salad and freeze the rest to use later. Here's how to freeze the chicken:
- Portion the chicken out into your desired portions (or, 2 cups for this recipe)
- Place in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag
- Freeze for 2-3 months
Before using the frozen chicken salad in this recipe, defrost in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours, or until the chicken is thawed.
Chicken salad variations:
- Chicken - don't have rotisserie chicken? No problem. Make roasted chicken salad by substituting shredded or cubed roasted chicken for the rotisserie meat. Similarly, you can also make classic chicken salad by substituting drained and shredded canned chicken.
- Fruit - halved grapes, dried cranberries, or red or golden raisins can substitute for the diced apples. You can also add a handful of any of the fruit along with the apples for an additional sweet kick to the salad.
- Nuts - add some crunch and extra nutrition to the salad by stirring in ¼ cup minced pecans, walnuts, or almonds.
Be the star of your next get together -- whether it's a brunch, picnic, baby shower, bridal shower, or pool party -- by bringing this chicken salad made with rotisserie chicken! This salad is, of course, delicious for a weekday lunch as well.
On warmer days, I serve the salad on bread or with crackers to dip alongside fruit salad, vegetables and hummus. On cooler days, I like to serve it soup (our favorite is with tomato and red pepper!) or sweet potato fries.
Leftover chicken salad keeps covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or from the best by date on the rotisserie chicken package. Leftovers do not freeze well.
This rotisserie chicken salad is naturally gluten-free as long as it is served on gluten-free rolls or bread.
To make this recipe dairy-free, use plain nut-milk yogurt in place of the sour cream and omit the cheddar cheese (or use vegan or nut milk cheddar cheese).
This salad is naturally low-carb and keto if served on salad, roasted cauliflower, or another low-carb base instead of the bread.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
More chicken recipes:
- Best Grilled Chicken Thighs
- BBQ Chicken Flatbreads
- BBQ Chicken Nachos
- Herbed Panko Crusted Chicken
- Healthy Orange Chicken
- Thai Green Chicken Curry
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Chicken Bolognese Sauce
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!