This Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans is an elegant spin on the traditional recipe. Cooked shredded chicken is tossed with grapes, toasted pecans, celery and onion in a homemade honey poppyseed dressing. Serves 9 (3/4-cup) servings.

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

The very first time I had this chicken salad with grapes was at my really good friend Heidi’s wedding shower. Back then I wasn’t a big fan of fruit in a savory salad. But when I was served this salad (a long with a buttery flaky croissant) I pulled up my big girl pants, grabbed a forkful and it was that moment I realized that I actually did like fruit in salads.

More like I loved it!

Several months later, I was having family over, I remembered that salad and how she had told me it was from Costco. So now I was on a hunt! I bee-lined through the store to where I thought it should be and they DIDN’T HAVE IT!! WHAT??? How can it be? Well I guess it’s “seasonal” and “I guess” in the winter they stop carrying it. This is when I thought to myself “I bet I could make it from scratch” (this was way before my blogging days).

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

And so I did.

ingredients for Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

To Make this Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans You Will Need:

for the dressing:

  • mayonnaiseOr, for a lighter version, use a combination of greek yogurt and mayonnaise (see notes in recipe printable).
  • apple cider vinegarAdds a touch of acidity and brightens and thins out the dressing.
  • honeyAdds a touch of sweetness.
  • poppyseedsLends subtle texture.
  • kosher saltEnhances the flavors in the dressing.
  • freshly ground black pepperAdds subtle bite and flavor.

for the salad:

  • yellow onionLends delicious onion flavor and some crunchy texture.
  • pecans (toasted) – Add toasty, nutty flavor and crunch.
  • shredded cooked chickenUse leftover roasted chicken, poached or rotisserie.
  • red grapesAdds sweet pops of flavor and texture.
  • celeryLends earthy flavor and crunchy texture.

ingredients for dressing in a bowl.

Make The Dressing:

In a bowl, measure and add 1 cup mayo (see notes for a lighter version), 1 tablespoon honey, 1-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds and season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper .

stir dressing

Stir until combined.

creamy chicken salad dressing

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Make The Salad:

Add 1/2 cup yellow onion to a bowl and add a few ice cubes and water. Let this soak for about 10 minutes.


Soaking onions in ice water removes a lot of the bite. You still get onion flavor but it’s mellowed out considerably.

shredded cooked chicken in wooden bowl.

Shred 4 cups of cooked chicken. Use roasted, rotisserie or poached chicken breasts (and thighs).

How much is 4 cups of shredded cooked chicken?

Whether using roasted, rotisserie or poached cooked chicken, 4 cups is about 20 ounces or 1-1/2 pounds.

toasted pecans in skillet.

Next, in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast 2 ounces of pecan halves until fragrant. Once all toasty and smelling awesome remove and transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop.

salad ingredients in bowl.

In a large bowl; add the (4 cups) shredded cooked chicken, (2 ounces) toasted and chopped pecans, (1/2 cup drained) yellow onion, 1/2 cup finely diced celery (use the celery leaves too!), and 1 cup small halved red grapes.

pouring the dressing

Pour in the dressing.

stir ingredients in with the dressing.

Stir until everything is combined and evenly coated in the dressing.

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans in mixing bowl.

I recommend chilling it for at least an hour but serving it immediately is just fine too!

This is hands down my favorite salad! I have made it a zillion times and it’s my go to chicken salad recipe.

How To Serve Chicken Salad:

  • seedy crackers – I like Mary’s Gone crackers.
  • toasted bread – Try it on croissant bread OMG.
  • lettuce – Serve on or wrapped in romaine, iceberg or bibb lettuce.
  • sandwich or wrap – Tuck it into a croissant, lavash or wrap of choice or in pita bread.

What To Serve With Chicken Salad:

  • Fresh fruit
  • veggies
  • chips of choice
  • small cup of soup

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

How To Store Chicken Salad:

Store leftovers in a large container or individual personal size containers with a tight fitting lid.

How Long Will Chicken Salad Last In The Fridge?

If stored properly, chicken salad can last up to 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.


Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

Enjoy! And if you give this Chicken Salad with Grapes recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans
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Yield: 9 servings

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

This Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans is an elegant spin on the traditional recipe. Cooked shredded chicken is tossed with grapes, toasted pecans, celery and onion in a homemade honey poppyseed dressing. Serves 9 (3/4-cup) servings.



  • 1 cup mayonnaise, or sub a portion of it with greek yogurt (see notes)
  • tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon poppyseeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup pecans, lightly toasted then coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken , leftover roasted, poached or rotisserie
  • 1 cup small red grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup diced celery, chopped small



  • In a bowl, measure and add the mayo, vinegar, honey, poppyseeds and season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


  • Add diced onion in a small bowl with a few ice cubes and some water. Soak for 10 minutes then drain and remove ice. This step is optional, but does remove some of the bite from the onion.
  • Place pecan halves in a dry pan over medium-low heat, tossing occasionally until toasty and fragrant. Transfer to a cutting board and chop.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add chicken, onion, pecans, grape halves and celery. Pour the dressing over top and toss well to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.


Make This Chicken Salad Lighter:
Swap some of the mayo for plain nonfat greek yogurt to cut fat and calories.
Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.
Serving: 0.75cup, Calories: 317kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.05g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 339mg, Potassium: 224mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 80IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg