Best Ever Chicken Salad Recipe

This is the best ever chicken salad recipe because it is easy, tasty and versatile. It has a creamy base, is crunchy (from the walnuts and cranberries) and has a mild, yet distinct flavor from the tarragon. It shines on its own. But, it also makes a great filling for sandwiches. It is my go-to recipe whenever I need to feed a crowd for lunch or need an easy recipe to serve at a picnic. These days we make a little extra grilled chicken, cube it and use it in the recipe. Rotisserie chicken works well too.

Freshly mixed chicken salad with dried cranberries, walnuts and tarragon.

Read on for the recipe, make ahead strategies and tips for serving.

Makes About 5 Cups, 1/2 cup per Serving


  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced (about 2 stalks)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Bread or wrap, optional


  1. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise and tarragon in a large bowl with a spoon.
  2. Add celery, walnuts, cranberries and chicken to bowl and gently stir.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  4. See serving suggestions below.

Serving Suggestions and Tips

    • Serve over salad greens.
    • Make it a sandwich using a croissant, toasted bread or a bun. Add lettuce and tomato, if desired.
    • Cook in crescent rolls or puff pastry.
    • Try out other ingredients such as mandarin orange segments, red onion or different types of nuts.
  • Freeze filling in a flour tortilla wrap. Since minimal amounts of mayonnaise and sour cream are combined with other ingredients, it freezes quite well. Wrap the filled flour tortilla in deli paper and then place in a ziplock bag. To serve, take the wrap directly from the freezer and microwave in the deli paper for about 30 seconds.
Enjoy this best ever chicken salad recipe on a toasted bun.

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