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Classic chicken salad gets a delicious makeover with this Poppyseed Chicken Salad recipe with chicken, grapes, celery, and toasted pecans in an easy & sweet creamy poppyseed dressing. Serve as sandwiches inside croissants, rolls, or serve as lettuce wraps or eat it with a fork!

For more poppyseed recipes be sure and also try this Poppy Seed Chicken Pasta Salad, Strawberry Spinach Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing, or these Coconut Lemon Poppyseed Muffins.

A croissant with this chicken salad in the middle.

Poppyseed Chicken Salad Recipe

You’re going to love this chicken salad recipe that’s full of shredded chicken, juicy red grapes, sugary toasted pecans, crunchy celery, and then smothered in an easy & creamy homemade poppyseed dressing.

Chicken salad is one of those things that makes for great sandwiches inside a buttery croissant or soft roll. Serve it inside lettuce for a low carb option, and you can even eat it as is with a spoon or use your favorite cracker to dip into the poppyseed chicken salad.

No matter how you serve it, it’s always a hit! Let’s learn how to make this chicken salad with poppyseed dressing with all my tips for success.

A bowl of cream chicken salad

Ingredients Needed

  • Chicken Salad : These are the ingredients needed for the chicken salad.
    • Cooked Chicken – This can either be shredded or chopped. You can even use a rotisserie chicken from the store, or canned chicken (it’s actually better than you might think!).
    • Red Grapes – Cut each grape in half.
    • Finely Diced Celery – Adds so much crunch and texture.
    • Chopped Pecans
    • Sugar – The pecans get toasted in sugar to form this sweet and caramelized shell on the pecans.
  • Poppyseed Dressing : The ingredients you will need to make the easy homemade creamy poppyseed dressing.
    • Mayonnaise – For the best taste and creamy texture, use full-fat mayo in this recipe instead of the light or reduced-fat mayo.
    • Honey – A little sweetness for the dressing.
    • Apple Cider Vinegar – Acid is always a good thing in dressings.
    • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice – Use lemon juice from a lemon and not bottled lemon juice. It makes such a different when freshly squeezed lemon juice is used.
    • Poppy Seeds – These are a ‘dried seasoning’ that you will find by the other spices. They are purple/dark purple in color.
    • Kosher Salt – Sea salt is another great option.
    • Ground Black Pepper
Labeled ingredients

How To Make Creamy Poppyseed Chicken Salad

  1. Chicken Salad : Combine the chicken, halved grapes, and diced celery into a large mixing bowl or the serving bowl you will be using. Stir to combine and set aside.
  2. Toasted Pecans : In a skillet pan, over medium-low heat, add the chopped pecans and sugar. Cook for 3-5 minutes, while stirring frequently, until the pecans are toasted and coated in the sugar. Transfer the pecans to a plate lined with parchment paper or wax paper, and let them cool for 10-15 minutes before adding them into the chicken salad.
  3. Poppyseed Dressing : In a separate smaller mixing bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the poppyseed dressing until well combined. Pour the dressing over the chicken salad bowl and stir together until everything is well coated in the creamy dressing.
  4. Chill : Cover the bowl with a lid, or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Process photos showing how to make this chicken salad recipe.
Process photos showing how to make this chicken salad recipe.
Process photos showing how to make this chicken salad recipe.
Process photos showing how to make this chicken salad recipe.
Process photos showing how to make this chicken salad recipe.
Process photos showing how to make this chicken salad recipe.

How To Serve Poppyseed Chicken Salad

There are several ways to enjoy this chicken salad. We love this served as sandwiches inside buttery croissants or soft rolls from the bakery. This is most often how my family eats chicken salad.

Serve it ‘wrap style’ inside your favorite tortilla or other wrap. Roll it up like a burrito and then cut it in half for a delicious chicken salad wrap. Feel free to add shredded lettuce to the wraps if wanted.

You can also serve it inside lettuce wraps for a low-carb and lighter option. Another way is to serve the chicken salad as is with a spoon, or eat the chicken salad with your favorite crackers or baguette bread slices.

Close up of the chicken salad sandwich with fruit next to it.

For the best creamy texture and flavor I highly recommend using full-fat mayonnaise in the poppyseed dressing. I love the Hellmen’s or Best Foods brand.

For easy & simple prep buy a rotisserie chicken from the store (I love the Costco rotisserie chicken) and chop up the meat for the chicken salad. It’s already cooked, seasoned, and ready to go.

Open faced sandwich on a white plate with chips.
A sandwich ready to serve on a plate with fruit.

Recipe Tips

  • Celery Tip : For a softer, milder celery try using the celery stalks from the middle of the bunch. They are usually more tender and softer.
  • Serving : The best way to serve and eat this chicken salad is inside buttery croissants. The chicken salad is best served chilled straight from the fridge.
  • Chill Time : The salad needs at least 2 hours to chill and for the flavors to develop and meld together. Plus, chicken salad in general tastes much better when it’s chilled.
Close up of a croissant with chicken salad inside of it.

More Chicken Salad Recipes

A croissant with this chicken salad in the middle.
Together As Family Logo

Poppyseed Chicken Salad


Author Jessica – Together as Family
Course Dinner, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 sandwiches
Classic chicken salad gets a delicious makeover with this Poppyseed Chicken Salad recipe with chicken, grapes, celery, and toasted pecans in an easy & sweet creamy poppyseed dressing. Serve as sandwiches inside croissants, rolls, or serve as lettuce wraps or eat it with a fork!

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Chicken Salad

  • 3 cups cooked chicken (shredded or chopped)
  • cups halved red grapes
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons poppyseeds
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Combine the chicken, halved grapes, and diced celery in a large mixing bowl or the serving bowl you will be using. Stir together and set aside.
    3 cups cooked chicken, 1½ cups halved red grapes, 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • In a skillet pan, over medium-low heat, add the chopped pecans and sugar. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pecans are toasted and fragrant.
    3/4 cup chopped pecans, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • Transfer the pecans to a plate lined with parchment paper, or wax paper, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before adding them into the chicken salad mixture.
  • In a separate smaller mixing bowl, whisk together all the creamy poppyseed dressing ingredients until well combined.
    Pour the dressing over the chicken salad and mix well to make sure everything is coated in the dressing.
    1 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 teaspoons poppyseeds, ½ teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Cover the bowl with a lid, or plastic wrap, and let refrigerate for at least 2 hour before serving.

Notes

    • Celery Tip : If you prefer a softer, milder celery try using the celery stalks from the middle of the bunch. They are usually more tender and softer.
    • Serving : The best way to serve and eat this chicken salad is inside buttery croissants. The chicken salad is best served chilled straight from the fridge.
    • Chill Time : The salad needs at least 2 hours to chill and for the flavors to develop and meld together. Plus, chicken salad in general tastes much better when it’s chilled.

Nutrition

Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 21g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 332mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg

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