The very first time I had this chicken salad with grapes I was at my really good friend Heidi’s wedding shower. Back then I wasn’t a big fan of fruit in a savory salad, I.e.like totally hated it. But when I was served this salad, I pulled up my big girl pants, grabbed a forkful and it was that moment I realized that actually liked it, more like 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. I cried for like 5 minutes. BUT! That was when the light bulb went off and I thought to myself that I could totally make it from scratch (this was so before my blogging days). And I did.
So, if you are still making the traditional chicken salad recipe of chicken, celery, red onion – STOP! This recipe puts that old one to shame. It’s super quick to throw together, and it makes enough for a gathering of 6-8. Or, like me you could eat this everyday for lunch for a week.
It’s sooo good that I’m not sure what I love most. It might be a tie between the grapes, toasted pecans or the fact that I can eat it on a big fat croissant!
To Make the Dressing You Will Need:
- apple cider vinegar
- poppy seeds
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
To 1 cup mayo add 2 tablespoons honey and 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar.
Then measure and add 1 teaspoon poppy seeds.
Season with salt and pepper then stir until creamy. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To Make The Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans You Will Need:
- shredded cooked chicken
- toasted pecans
- red onions (optional)
- the above poppy seed dressing
Wash and pat dry a cluster of grapes or about a cup.
Then in a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pecans until fragrant. Once all toasty and smelling awesome remove and coarsely chop.
Next slice two celery stalks in half lengthwise then finely dice.
In a large bowl; add the chicken, chopped toasted pecans, diced celery (you can totally use the celery leaves too!!), and add the red grapes. If the grapes are on the large side then cut them in half.
Pour in the dressing.
Stir until everything is dressed evenly. I recommend chilling it for at least an hour. And that is it!
This is hands down my favorite salad! I have made it a zillion times and it’s my go to chicken salad recipe.
I prefer mine, either on a bed of romaine or on a sinfully soft and buttery croissant. But if I’m feeling lazy I just spoon a mound into a bowl and I’m perfectly happy! Either ways are totally fabulous and equally satisfying!
Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 6 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
FOR THE SALAD:
- 4 cups shredded roasted cooked chicken , leftover roasted or rotisserie
- 2 ounces pecans, lightly toasted then coarsely chopped
- 1 cup small red grapes, halved if large
- 2 ribs celery stalks (short), chopped small
- Measure and mix dressing ingredients, taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside.
- Combine salad ingredients, then pour the dressing over top. Toss and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
- Serve this salad on a buttery croissant or on a bed of romaine lettuce leaves!
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