Chicken Salad with Grapes and Almonds
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.
This savory-sweet chicken salad is delicious in a sandwich, scooped over greens, or eaten straight from the bowl.
Back in May, The Kitchn published a fun chicken salad showdown by Amelia Rampe, pitting recipes from The New York Times, Southern Living, Ina Garten, and The Pioneer Woman against one another in the name of finding the best chicken salad on the internet. Each recipe uses a different method for cooking the chicken, different mix-ins, and different dressings. The Pioneer Woman’s savory-sweet chicken salad with grapes, almonds, and dill was crowned the winner, with Ina Garten’s recipe coming in a very close second. I loved both recipes, so I took what I liked from each, added a few touches of my own, and combined them into a version that’s delicious on a sandwich, scooped over greens, or eaten straight from the bowl. This is the fun of cooking!
What You’ll Need To Make Chicken Salad with Grapes and Almonds
Preheat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Rub the chicken with the oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads between 160°F and 165°F (the temperature will continue to rise about 5 degrees as it cools).
It’s important not to overcook the chicken or the salad will be dry. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer with a remote probe (affiliate link) so that you can monitor the temperature of the chicken without ever opening your oven. It takes all of the guesswork out of it.
When the chicken is cool, remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin and bones. Dice the chicken into a 1/2-inch pieces.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, 1 scant teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Whisk to combine.
Add the diced chicken, celery, scallions, grapes, almonds, and herbs to the dressing.
Toss until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Chill the salad in the refrigerator for a few hours. Before serving, taste and adjust seasoning again, if necessary.
You May Also Like
- A Really Good Tuna Salad
- Classic Chicken Salad
- Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes and Cashews
- Classic Egg Salad
- How to Make Tender Poached Chicken
Classic Chicken Salad with Grapes and Almonds
This savory-sweet chicken salad is delicious in a sandwich, scooped over greens, or eaten straight from the bowl.
- 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 3 lbs)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's or Duke's
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 stalks celery, finely diced
- 4 large scallions, light and dark green parts, thinly sliced
- 1½ cups grapes, halved
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Rub the chicken with the oil and sprinkle all over with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads between 160°F and 165°F (the temperature will continue to rise about 5 degrees as it cools). Set aside to cool.
- When the chicken is cool, remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin and bones. Dice the chicken into a ½-inch pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, 1 scant teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the diced chicken, celery, scallions, grapes, almonds, and herbs and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, sugar, and lemon juice, if necessary. Chill the salad in the refrigerator for a few hours. Before serving, taste and adjust seasoning again, if necessary.
- Note: If you'd like to use leftover or rotisserie chicken, you'll need about 4 cups. Begin at step 3. (Toss very gently if using a rotisserie chicken; it shreds easily.)
- Note: The key to making a good chicken salad is not overcooking the chicken. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer with a remote probe (affiliate link) so that you can monitor the temperature of the chicken without ever opening your oven. It takes the guesswork out of it.
- Per serving (6 servings)
- Calories: 584
- Fat: 43g
- Saturated fat: 9g
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Sugar: 10g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 36g
- Sodium: 679mg
- Cholesterol: 114mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Hello. This sounds amazing. I am not a fan of Dijon mustard. Do you think it would alter the recipe too negatively if I omitted that ingredient? Thanks!
Hi Crystal, it’s perfectly fine to omit it. It will still taste great. Enjoy!
I wanted to make this to bring on a trip for our lunches.
How long will this stay good?
Thank you so much
If you pack them in a cooler with ice packs, they should last for several hours.
MARGARET MACKINTOSH, dropping by to say , this is the most delicious chicken salad I ever ate. I an 88, just waiting for my family to come so I can serve my chicken salad . Thank you so much
Love the combination of flavors!
Delicious! I did not add any sugar and it isn’t missed.
I made this for my family and everyone agreed it was the best chicken salad ever! I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes!
Excellent chicken salad! This taste very similar to the chicken salad served at Neiman Marcus restaurants.
Wow! Our Jen is a real celebrity chef! Her chicken salad is mentioned in Dorie Greenspan’s blog today. Very impressive.
My daughter goes back to school tomorrow and she requested chicken salad wraps. I made this tonight and will add to a spinach-herb wrap for her lunch. Added dried cranberries instead of grapes at her request. I’m looking forward to the leftovers for myself! I took a few taste tests…delicious! Thanks again for yet another great recipe!
Hi Jenn! My husband brought home skinless boneless from the grocery store instead of bone in. Any advice on the temperature and how long to cook it? I’m lost without a recipe and yours are my favorite!
Hi Michelle, I’d bake them at 400°F for 22-26 minutes or until the temperature reaches 165°F. The timing will depend on how thick the breasts are. (Keep in mind that the chicken won’t be quite as tender, but it will still be good!)
Hi Jenn, made this for a group of friends who raved about it!! About to make another batch and have a question: where the recipe calls for fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley & fresh chopped dill, could I instead use dried versions of these 2 ingredients? If yes, how should I adjust the amounts used?
So glad it was a hit with your friends! I like this best with fresh herbs but you can get away with dried. I’d use 2 teaspoons of parsley and 1 teaspoon of dried dill. 🙂
I buy the Costco chicken and I love finding recipes like this to use the leftovers! This is excellent!
This is absolutely delicious! Perfect balance of all the flavors. Made almost exactly as written – had light sour cream, whole grain Dijon mustard and toasted sliced almonds so that is what I used but don’t think would change flavor from original by much if at all. Another great recipe – Thank you!
Another great recipe! Made it twice in one week.
Excellent, especially the next day when the dill had a chance to permeate the salad. I made as written except used greek yogurt rather than sour cream and omitted the sugar.
I was wondering how long will this recipe keep in the refrigerator?
Thanks so much!
Hi Melissa, I think this will keep nicely for 3 to 4 days. Hope you enjoy!
This is the best chicken salad I’ve ever tasted! Once upon a chef is my go to – every recipe I’ve made is delicious. Additionally, Jen is clearly well organized and detailed oriented. Her recipes and instructions, with pictures, are always correct ( Surprisingly, I often find mistakes with other chefs/ bloggers). I love that she lists the ingredients in the exact order of the instructions, breaking out the wet and dry ingredients.
This salad is outstanding. I love how all the flavors worked together. The fresh dill is a must. Thank you for always having recipes I can count on to be a hit.
I just made this chicken salad and am letting it sit in the fridge to chill. I used 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts that had been cooked in the crockpot. (Well, less than 2 because one seemed to have overcooked at the top.) But, I think it will be just fine. 🙂 What I found kind of funny, though, is that I used the same branded ingredients that are in your picture and I didn’t realize it until now. If there’s a problem, I can’t blame it on them, can I? 😁 Anyway, I’m looking forward to trying this. My usual chicken salad recipe has grapes and almonds but the dressing is just mayo. This should take it up a few notches!
As usual, a delicious and refreshing recipe! My husband loved this and asked for me to make it weekly all summer long! And if there are any ingredients you normally don’t use or like, ignore your history and just make it as written and you won’t be disappointed! I now have learned to trust Jenn and her perfected recipes — and though we’re not fans of dill or even sour cream, and I thought there might be too much lemon juice, I followed the recipe and the flavors all melded beautifully (none taking center stage) into a praise-worthy chicken salad! A bit savory, a bit sweet from the ripe (I used green) grapes, … why I could go for some right now! Make it. Follow the recipe. You’ll love it!
YES, it is the best chicken salad ever. Used toasted almonds and green grapes. It is the dressing that makes this so wonderful. I had some left over rotisserie chicken, both light and dark meat and threw the dressing together not really measuring…outstanding. Curried chicken salad will be next. Thanks Jen for another winner
I went to this recipe directly from poached chicken technique. Is there a downside here if poached is used rather than roasted?
Thanks. Chuck Klemballa
Hi Chuck, Either method will work perfectly here.
I love it
This chicken salad with grapes recipe out-shined several others in my pursuit of recreating the flavors of one I enjoy at a local restaurant. Following it as designed, it did not disappoint. I am grateful for discovering it and your talents. When friends and family are looking for recipes, I send them your way.
This was a big hit with my wife. Made according to the directions except, I used pecans instead of almonds because we have a couple of pecan trees in the yard. Made a few times now and it’s always a hit.
Great tasting recipe. I don’t always have grapes and almonds but it still turned out great.
This is my go-to recipe for chicken salad
When I visited my mother she would insist that I make this
I made this and it is very good. I am a ginger lover and the second time I made it I added some freshly grated ginger to the dressing mixture, WOW!
Thanks for the great recipe!
I LOVE this chicken salad – it is company worthy. I make this with high quality fresh bread whenever I invite someone for lunch – always a big hit!
Hi Jen. Have you tried to freeze leftovers?
Hi Karen, I haven’t tried it and unfortunately, I don’t think it would freeze well — sorry!
Hi, this looks delicious – I am not a sour cream lover but I have had it in some recipes and cannot taste it so I am okay with it. Can you taste the sour cream in this recipe? Thank you!
Hi Samantha, No I wouldn’t say this tastes strongly of sour cream. Hope you enjoy if you make it!
This chicken salad is delicious. I made it for a buffet luncheon and everybody asked for the recipe. I used green grapes instead of red, because the green grapes I had were a little sweeter. I could not find bone-in chicken breasts, so I bought skinless breasts and poached them. It worked out perfectly. Next time I make it, I will try to find bone-in with skin chicken breasts which I believe will add another layer of flavor.
If I don’t have sour cream, would plain Greek yogurt make an okay substitute?
Sure, Kelly, that will work. Please LMK how it turns out!
I’ve made it with greek yoghurt and it’s delicious although I prefer the recipe as you’ve written it. I’m eagerly waiting for your next cookbook!
Hey Jenn: I’m planning on making this today, could I toast the almonds do you think?
Sure! Hope you enjoy. 🙂
This is the first chicken salad I’ve ever made or ever eaten. I’ve recently found a reliable recipe for homemade mayo and decided to make this for my husband not knowing if I even like chicken salad (I react strongly to many preservatives so its always been a no-no for me). This is delicious. I made it according to the recipe. I’m not a huge fan of dill and wondered how it would taste with grapes but this salad is wonderfully balanced. I did not add the almonds initially but add them when I serve it since it will take us several days to eat the entire recipe. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.
We ate in this all week and it was delicious just like everything else on the website. Can’t wait for the second cookbook!
Delicious take on chicken salad! Very easy to make too.
Looks delicious! I plan on making this for dinner, during our current heatwave i do not want go near the stove/oven!
I plan on using 1.5lbs boneless chicken breast because thats what I have on hand…do you suggest reducing the rest of the ingredients or does it pretty much even out once you remove the bones/skin from your 3lbs of bone in chicken?
I hope that makes sense!
1.5 pounds should work well with no other modifications. Hope you enjoy!
Thanks for your prompt reply, I made it as you suggested with no modifications (actually I used pistachios instead of almonds because its what I had) but other than that I made the dressing as directed and it was DELICIOUS! I scooped it into pita pockets. This will be my go to chicken salad recipe.
Have tried many chicken salad recipes and this one is the best one yet! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! I loved the addition of sour cream, many times I feel the dressing tastes too strongly of mayo, this one is perfect!
OMG! This is a fabulous chicken salad. I was a bit skeptical about adding grapes (I usually add chopped apples to mine) but I made the recipe as written and loved it. Just the right combination of sweet and savory. The only thing I did differently was to poach the chicken in broth rather than roasting in the oven – our temperature was 107 degrees and I’m not turning on the oven! I will definitely make this again…and again. Thanks for another winner, Jenn.
I made this for a small ladies luncheon, everyone loved it and asked for the recipe. My husband had the leftovers but was frowning at the grapes and almonds but ended up loving it. I also served your Luscious Lemon Bars for dessert, again another winner.
This was delicious – moist & lots of flavor. I served it in whole wheat wraps with vegetable chips & apple slices on the side. Will definitely make it again.
WOW Jenn: Whenever I’m in the mood to try something I check what recipe’s you have on it as I know I’ll be pleased with the result and this is no exception. Whatever I’ve tried that you have perfected is a hit. This is absolutely delish. Thank you for always making me a star cook.
Would dried cranberries work instead of grapes? Looking forward to trying your recipe!
Sure, I think that should work – enjoy!
Refreshing and delicious. Great meal on a summer day.
Will try it on croissants as a sandwich.
Can I use skinless chicken breasts instead? If so, how many pounds would I use?
Sure, just be careful not to overcook the chicken. Also, cut the 1 teaspoon of salt that’s used to season the chicken to 1/2 tsp. You’ll need about 1-1/2 pounds boneless breasts. I’d love to hear how it turns out! 🙂
Oh my! Another winner. This is refreshing. I didn’t have to adjust the seasoning at all. It was good the way it was. All your recipes that I have made are all amazingly delicious. Thank you for making the recipes easy to follow. You sure make us, your followers, look good.
Hi Jen. The recipe calls for rubbing salt and pepper on the chicken before cooking and after cooking the skin and bones are discarded. I am not questioning the recipe just curious to know what function the salt and pepper plays given the skin is discarded. Thanks.
Hi Suzanne, the salt and pepper get rubbed all over the chicken so it gets exposed to the meat on the bottom as well. Additionally, some of the seasoning penetrates the skin to get through to the meat. Hope that clarifies!
Can i use lemon or lime juice instead of mayo/sour cream?
I wouldn’t recommend it here — sorry!
This sounds wonderful. Has anybody tried it with chicken thighs instead of breasts? Thanks.
Hi Peggy, Thighs or a combination of breasts and thighs would work beautifully. Cook time will about the same.
Omg I have been waiting for THIS day (sounds dramatic but still true haha!). I seriously cannot wait to try this tonight and am so excited to serve this – hellooo chicken salad croissants at every future shower/lunch party! Your tuna salad recipe really proved you just need to know the right combination of simple ingredients when it comes to perfecting old-school recipes. I actually already deleted the other 2 chicken salad recipes I’ve kept cause I ALREADY KNOW – I ALREADY KNOW Jenn this will be my go-to
Haha!! I feel the exact SAME way! I forwarded the post to my husband while he was at work today, I was so excited. Jenn doesn’t know it but we are best friends..LOL. I can’t wait to try it 😉
Do the almonds hold up for a few days? I’m making a smaller version for myself. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes!
Yes. They may soften up just a bit, but they’ll still be a nice addition. Hope you enjoy!
Thank you for the delicious chicken salad recipe! The almonds were a special addition to me as was the sour cream. I’ll keep this forever!
This is exactly like my mother’s chicken salad and it is wonderful. My mom would squeeze the lemon juice directly onto the warm chicken. I make it these days using Penzey’s Fox Point seasoning, or sage and walnuts or pecans in the fall. Mom used green grapes, I prefer red. It’s been a family favorite for many years. So glad it’s being shared!