Whether you’re looking to entertain your gals for a weekend brunch or need a nourishing main for packed lunches, this speedy recipe for Chicken Salad With Grapes is destined to become a favorite. Shredded chicken, crunchy nuts, earthy celery, creamy goat cheese, and juicy grapes are tossed in a mustardy mayo dressing for a delightfully grown-up spin on the diner classic.
Why This Meal Is The Best
I don’t know about you, but this is the time of year when I’m most loathe to cook anything fussy or fancy. I’m still figuring out my new back-to-school routine so there never seem to be enough hours in the day, plus it’s still too hot and sticky out to want to bust out my easy sheet pan meals.
My favorite solution? Rotisserie chicken! This tasty store-bought cheat is an inexpensive way to add lean protein to any meal. Pick the meat from the bones and add it to everything from chicken tacos to pot pies, white chicken chili or enchiladas for an extra speedy meal.
And for those times when you just can’t be bothered to cook AT ALL? Whip up a batch of this grape chicken salad. This recipe is:
- Fast & Easy. Sprucing up a plain chicken salad recipe with sweet-tart grapes, spiced pecans, and creamy goat cheese is a sure-fire way to impress, but it barely takes any extra effort.
- Wholesome & Nourishing. It has lean protein, veggies, and fruit all in one bowl!
- Versatile. This crave-worthy salad is equally at home on a bed of greens, tucked into a buttery croissant, stuffed between pieces of toasted sourdough, or served Lunchables-style with chips or crackers. As if that weren’t enough to love, I have some super fun variations for you to try to keep things fresh and interesting.
Chicken Grape Salad Ingredients
This easy recipe for chicken salad with grapes takes just 10 ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Rotisserie Chicken - My favorite way to get dinner on the table in a hurry! You can also swap in 2 chicken breasts if you’re all about the white meat.
- Grapes - Any color or variety will work here, so long as they don’t have seeds,
- Sweet & Spicy Pecans - Sure, you can make your own, but typically keep a bag (or 3!) of the Trader Joe’s brand on hand for easy snacking. You can also use plain sugared pecans if you don’t like spice, or swap in the plain toasted nuts of your choice. Slivered or sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, or even cashews are all fair game.
- Celery Stalks - For added crunch.
- Green Onions - For a bit of piquancy. Feel free to use chives, shallots, or small diced sweet onions instead.
- Fresh Parsley - To add color and a lemony, herbaceous brightness. If need be, you can swap in about ⅓ as much dried parsley, or use another herb like cilantro, anise-flavored tarragon, or dill.
- Goat Cheese - Also known as chèvre, crumbles of this tangy cheese add bright flavor and a lovely creaminess to our salad. Feel free to swap in firmer feta if you prefer, or omit it if dairy is a no-go.
- Mayo - Use your favorite brand.
- Whole Grain Mustard - To add a bit of sharpness and acidity to the mix. I love that the whole grain variety adds an almost caviar consistency, but you can easily swap in dijon if that’s what you have on hand.
- Salt & Pepper - Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper round everything out.
Since we’re relying on pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, you need little more than your hands. Here’s what else to grab:
- Cutting Board & Chef’s Knife - For chopping veggies and slicing grapes.
- Mixing Bowl & Spoon - For tossing everything together.
How To Make Chicken Salad With Grapes
This easy chicken salad comes together in a snap. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Make Dressing. Combine the mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: Toss. Add the remaining ingredients (saving ½ the goat cheese to garnish the salad) to the bowl with the dressing. Toss to combine.
Step 3: Chill. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes and store up to 4 days.
Step 4: Serve. Be sure to top with extra pecans and crumbled goat cheese for a pretty presentation. Enjoy!
Swaps & Substitutions
I love this recipe for chicken salad with grapes, but there’s always room to customize it to your liking. Here are a few WKRW-approved variations to try:
- Curry Chicken Salad With Grapes - Omit the goat cheese and the mustard in the dressing, swapping in ½ - 1 ½ teaspoons of curry powder to taste for a warm and cozy spin on the original. You can also use a spicier blend like garam masala if you’re a fan of heat.
- Add Apples - Sweet, crunchy, fall-inspired chicken salad with grapes AND apples?!? Sign me up. Oh, this would also be good with the curry treatment if you’re into it.
- Make It Vegan - Using Butler’s soy curls that have been rehydrated with veggie stock in place of the chicken, vegan mayo, and omitting the cheese (or using a plant-based version) will turn this into a vegan delight.
FAQs & Tips
- Pull the chicken while it’s still warm. It’ll shred so much easier than if it’s cold!
- Save the carcass and extra juices for making stock. Once you’ve gotten all the good stuff off the chicken, toss whatever is left and any accumulated juices in a large stock pot, top with water, and simmer for a few hours. If you have them on hand, a few carrots, a quartered onion (skins and all), your parsley stems, and a few extra ribs of celery make for very flavorful additions to the stock. When you’re done, strain the stock into clean mason jars and freeze for up to 6 months!
- Slice a bunch of grapes in half in one slice using two matching delitainer lids. Here’s a visual of what I mean!
Can I freeze this chicken salad? I don’t recommend it, as mayonnaise doesn’t really do well in the freezer.
What are the best kind of grapes for chicken salad? Any seedless grape varieties will work splendidly. Thompson or Ruby seedless varieties are probably the easiest to find. I also love seedless concord grapes, cotton candy grapes, and moon drops!
Once you whip up a bowl of this delicious chicken salad with grapes, I have a feeling you’ll have no shortage of ideas on how to use it. Here are some of my favorites:
- As a sandwich, particularly on a buttery croissant.
- With sliced pieces of baguette or crackers for packed lunches or picnics.
- Tucked into butter lettuce cups to be eaten with your fingers.
- Piled high on a bed of lightly dressed greens.
More Tasty Salad Recipes
Chicken Salad With Grapes
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 rotisserie chicken shredded (or 2 chicken breasts cubed)
- 2 cups grapes halved
- 1 cup chopped sweet and spicy pecans or just sugared pecans if you don’t like spice!
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 3 green onions diced
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
- ½ cup mayo
- 2 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- In a small bowl combine the mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients (saving ½ the goat cheese to garnish the salad)
- Place in the fridge for 30 minutes and store up to 4 days.
- When serving, top with extra pecans and crumbled goat cheese.