Chicken Salad with Grapes and Almonds

Tested & Perfected Recipes

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

chicken salad ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

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.

seasoned chicken breasts on baking sheet

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.

roasted chicken on baking sheet

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.

diced chicken

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.

whisked dressing in bowl

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.

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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.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 3 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's or Duke's
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2-1/2 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
  • 1-1/2 cups grapes, halved
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Rub the chicken with the oil and sprinkle all over 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). Set aside to cool.
  3. 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.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, 1 scant teaspoon salt, and 1/2 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • 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.

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Reviews & Comments

  • 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.

    • — RKC on October 21, 2020
    • Reply
  • If I don’t have sour cream, would plain Greek yogurt make an okay substitute?

    • — kelly on September 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Kelly, that will work. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on September 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hey Jenn: I’m planning on making this today, could I toast the almonds do you think?

    • — Cynthia on September 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Kathie Briggs on August 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • We ate in this all week and it was delicious just like everything else on the website. Can’t wait for the second cookbook!

    • — Chad on August 25, 2020
    • Reply
  • Delicious take on chicken salad! Very easy to make too.

    • — Christie on August 22, 2020
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  • 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!
    Thank you

    • — Evelyn on August 21, 2020
    • Reply
    • 1.5 pounds should work well with no other modifications. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 21, 2020
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      • 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.

        • — Evelyn on August 22, 2020
        • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Jessica on August 17, 2020
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Pam S. on August 17, 2020
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  • 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.

    • — Faye on August 16, 2020
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  • 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.

    • — Bernie on August 16, 2020
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  • Would dried cranberries work instead of grapes? Looking forward to trying your recipe!

    • — Brenda F on August 15, 2020
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    • Sure, I think that should work – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • Refreshing and delicious. Great meal on a summer day.
    Will try it on croissants as a sandwich.

    • — Lori on August 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can I use skinless chicken breasts instead? If so, how many pounds would I use?

    • — Veronica on August 14, 2020
    • Reply
    • 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! 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 14, 2020
      • Reply
    • 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.

      • — Lily on August 20, 2020
      • Reply
      • 🙂

        • — Jenn on August 20, 2020
        • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Suzanne on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on August 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • Can i use lemon or lime juice instead of mayo/sour cream?

    • — murph on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend it here — sorry!

      • — Jenn on August 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • This sounds wonderful. Has anybody tried it with chicken thighs instead of breasts? Thanks.

    • — Peggy Morgan on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Peggy, Thighs or a combination of breasts and thighs would work beautifully. Cook time will about the same.

      • — Jenn on August 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • 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

    • — Anna on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • 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 😉

      • — Julie Boogren on August 13, 2020
      • Reply
    • Hi Jenn,
      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!

      • — Diane on August 16, 2020
      • Reply
      • Yes. They may soften up just a bit, but they’ll still be a nice addition. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on August 16, 2020
        • Reply
        • 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!

          • — Diane on August 20, 2020
          • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Karen on August 13, 2020
    • Reply

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