Loaded Chicken Salad—YUM!

My 14-year-old daughter, who usually doesn’t even like chicken salad, gave this one an “11” on a scale of 1 to 10. I think that says a lot about this recipe! Also, it backs up the theory that your kids have to try new foods many different times and, more importantly, many different ways.

I could’ve easily labeled her as someone who doesn’t like chicken salad, but now, about a half a dozen tries later, I found one that’s a winner! I never said it was easy overcoming pickiness, but it is worth it in the end. My younger daughter, on the other hand, has never met a chicken salad she didn’t like and would happily eat this one for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I let her, haha. :)

Loaded Chicken Salad on 100 Days of Real Food

We usually don’t use much mayo in our house, but when we do, we go for some of the cleaner options that didn’t exist when we first cut out processed food (as mentioned in the recipe below)! I love how much easier it is to eat better nowadays.

Speaking of, I also used organic chicken in this recipe from our sponsor, (SVO) Farmer Focus. You can use this store locator to find their products near you (we got our chicken for this recipe at Earth Fare).

Sponsor Shoutout: SVO Farmer Focus Chicken

I used Farmer Focus organic chicken, and what we like about their company (other than the fact their chicken is organic!) is their focus on the farmer and investment in the process, which means better working conditions, and in the end, a better product. Plus, their operation is 100% organic from start to finish, something that most other chicken companies don’t always do.

whole young chicken from SVO Farmer Focus

Farmer Focus began when the founder, Corwin, felt there was a need for high-quality chickens raised with dignity and care, and sought out to create this with a small-scale organic farm. Now with ten times the size of his original flock, his belief and ethics clearly have a place in the market!

Other chicken farmers who were tired of their existing contracts, and the competition with other farmers, were welcomed with open arms and now have the ability to own their own chickens and retain control of their farms. And thus, the Farmer Focus business model (that we are fans of!) was born.

Different Ways We Eat Chicken Salad

With warmer weather upon us, it’s the perfect time of year for this recipe. We prefer our chicken salad stuffed inside a toasted whole wheat pita along with a slice of cheese and lettuce. You can also use regular bread or crackers, of course, but there’s just something about putting it “inside” the pita that’s appealing to us.

Also, don’t forget, you can even skip the bread and crackers all together if you want and wrap it inside a big piece of lettuce all by itself! Although, I’d probably still include the slice of cheese. :)  Either way, it’s great for a packed lunch or picnic outing or even for a pot luck cookout gathering!

Loaded Chicken Salad on 100 Days of Real Food School Lunch

What’s your stance on chicken salad?

Loaded Chicken Salad on 100 Days of Real Food

Loaded Chicken Salad

Serve in a pita or wrapped in lettuce, and you have a meal perfect for lunch or a picnic outing.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Slow cook chicken: 4 hrs
Total Time: 20 mins
Course: Lunch, Salads
Cuisine: American
Print Recipe
Servings: 8


  • 4 1/2 pound whole chicken I used Farmer Focus organic chicken, cooked (see instructions below)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise I like “cleaner” brands such as Chosen Foods or Primal Kitchen
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans lightly toasted
  • 1 apple cored and diced. I like honeycrisp or gala (red delicious will brown too quickly)
  • 1 cup red grapes diced
  • 2 stalks celery trimmed and cut into small dice or slices
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

For serving

  • Havarti cheese or cheddar
  • lettuce
  • 8 whole-wheat pitas


To cook the chicken

  • Cook the chicken in the slow cooker according to directions for "The Best Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot" recipe as follows:
    Cut an onion in half and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker.
    Combine 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper in a small bowl.
    Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken and place on top of the onion. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, until the chicken is falling off the bone.

To make the chicken salad

  • Shred the chicken with a fork and add it to a large mixing bowl. (Don't forget to save the skin and bones to make Overnight Chicken Stock in your slow cooker!)
  • Mix in the mayo, pecans, apple, grapes, celery, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until well combined. If you don't use the recommended seasoned chicken for this recipe then you may need to add more spices for better flavor.
  • We like to toast whole-wheat pitas in a pan with a little butter and then add the chicken salad along with a slice of havarti or cheddar cheese and some big crunchy pieces of lettuce. Serve and enjoy!


We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Serve wrapped in lettuce, instead of whole-wheat pita, to make this recipe gluten-free.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Loaded Chicken Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 560 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 83mg28%
Sodium 683mg30%
Potassium 487mg14%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 747IU15%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 214mg21%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Loaded Chicken Salad on 100 Days of Real Food

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12 thoughts on “Loaded Chicken Salad—YUM!”

      1. Nicole,

        I get the making chicken stock with the bones. I have done that too. But didn’t realize chicken salad would take a the meat of a whole chicken. I thought maybe she would use some of it for something else to make as well. The meat of a whole chicken is a lot.

  1. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for my family the other day and we all LOVED it! So simple and so delicious! Perfect classic chicken salad recipe- thank you!

  2. I love chicken salad when the weather is hot and your loaded version looks fantastic. I also love that you used organic chicken. I am pinning to try soon!

  3. 5 stars
    I used a rotisserie chicken since they were on sale at our Whole Foods store. The only change I made to the recipe was to add a mango which I had in the frig and was begging to be used! It’s a delicious salad and made for great Friday night supper. Thanks for posting it.

  4. 5 stars
    This is exactly what I put in my chicken salad and is my favorite. I also add just a tiny bit of yellow curry powder and everyone that tries it loves that variation.

  5. That’s my basic chicken salad recipe! You can doctor it up a bit more if bringing somewhere, but this is the standard at my place.

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