Creamy, crunchy, and slightly sweet this Sonoma-style chicken salad makes for a perfect lunch or afternoon snack! Serve it over a bed of greens, in between bread or all on its own.
I love, love, LOVE chicken salad! In fact, this is the first of many chicken salad recipes I plan on posting to the site. This one is a classic Sonoma style that mixes shredded chicken, grapes, pecans, and poppy seeds with a creamy, slightly sweet dressing. Make this salad at the beginning of the week and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will last up to four days!
P.S. You can use a rotisserie chicken for this recipe to save a little time and effort! One whole 2lb (ish) rotisserie chicken should do it. Discard the skin and bones, shred the meat and you’ll be good to go!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s everything you’ll need to make Sonoma Chicken Salad: boneless, skinless chicken breast, grapes, red onion, celery, pecans, poppy seeds, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, sour cream, vinegar, and honey.
Recipe Step by Step
Step One: Poach the Chicken
In a large pot of salted water poach the chicken for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely then shred.
Step 2. Make the Dressing
Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 3. Toss and Serve
Toss the chicken, celery, onion, grapes, and toasted pecans with the dressing. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Chicken Salad FAQs and Expert Tips:
Yes! The flavor will only get better after a night marinating in the refrigerator. You can make this chicken salad up to 24 hours ahead of serving.
I like to serve chicken salad on toasted, seedy bread. You can also serve it with croissants, crackers, on top of a bed of mixed greens or wrapped in a tortilla!
Check out more great recipes:
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Sonoma Chicken Salad
- 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2lbs)
- 1 heaping cup grapes sliced in half
- ½ red onion diced
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 1 c toasted pecans coarsely chopped
- ¾ c mayo
- ¼ c sour cream
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- Place the chicken breast in a pot and cover with water and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Remove the chicken from water and let rest until cool enough to handle. Use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or two forks to shred the chicken. Let cool completely before tossing with the other ingredients.
- Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Taste and season with salt as needed.
- In a large bowl toss the shredded chicken with the grapes, celery, onion, toasted pecans, and dressing. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. This recipe is even better the next day!
- Chicken Breast: Roasted rotisserie chicken is great for this recipe and a great time saver.
- Red Onion: Shallot or, white onion.
- Grapes: Diced apple.
- Pecans: Toasted walnuts or almonds.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Redwine, rice or champagne vinegar, or lemon juice.
- Sourcream: Plain yogurt, creme fraiche, or extra mayo if you prefer a dairy-free chicken salad.
- Sonoma Chicken Salad will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can absolutely make this recipe ahead. The flavor is best after a few hours in the refrigerator marinating.