Hot summer days call for dishes that don’t involve turning on the stove! Pecan Chicken Salad was a customer favorite in the restaurant and is a lunchtime favorite around here! Packed full of crunchy pecans and celery, the flavor of this chicken salad just can’t be beat! Bonus…it’s gluten free and keto / low carb friendly!
As I have mentioned in a previous post, chicken salad, for me, can go really wrong. I know there are some out there who like the fruited or sweet version of chicken salad but I am definitely not one of them! I have never been a fan of “sweet with my meat”! That being said, I love nuts in my chicken salad. Toasting the pecan adds great flavor to this finished salad, so don’t skimp on that step. Not only do they add a great crunch but they add a great flavor to what could be a really bland salad. I mean let’s face it, chicken and mayo don’t have a ton of flavor so we are depending on all the other ingredients to impress…and this version never lets me down!
To toast pecans, place them on a sheet pan and place them in a 350 degree oven until you start to smell them…about 5 minutes! Easy!
Lunch time out here on the ranch is quick and simple, most often leftovers. I’m definitely not slaving over the stove cooking up a multi-course meal for lunch! Often the Cowboy is in the door to grab a quick bite and a drink, then he’s straight back out to work. He definitely doesn’t often request a specific meal or dish for lunch but Pecan Chicken Salad is one thing he often asks for. It’s great for quick lunches and especially on a hot summer day and it really hits the spot. When I make a batch, the crew goes crazy for it! Maddie loves eating it in lettuce cups, Paige eats it straight out of the container and I love to use it on cucumbers like a dip…the possibilities are endless!
When I’m making chicken for dinner, I always make a little extra to use in recipes like this or freeze for later. A stash of shredded chicken in the freezer is great for meal prep! You can used boiled chicken, baked, roasted, rotisserie, white meat only, a combination of bother…whatever you have and like with one exception. Please for the love of chicken salad, do not use canned chicken…EVER.
Pecan Chicken Salad is simple to make and nothing short of incredibly delicious. Shredded chicken, pecans, celery and a few simple seasonings magically mingle and create the perfect texture and flavor. Make a batch and keep it in the fridge to pack for a quick weekday lunches or even for a light summer dinner!
Pecan Chicken Salad is simple to make and nothing short of incredibly delicious. Shredded chicken, pecans, celery and a few simple seasonings magically mingle and create the perfect texture and flavor. It will quickly become a lunchtime favorite!
- 4 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- 1 cup finely diced chopped celery
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
- 1/4 cup sliced green onion
- 2 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups your favorite mayonnaise
Place cooked shredded chicken in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice, celery salt and pepper till thoroughly combined. If chicken is warm from cooking, let cool completely before moving on. If you are using leftover chicken that is already cool proceed!
Add celery, onion and pecans and toss. Begin adding mayo, starting with a cup, mixing well after each addition. Add mayo until desired consistency is reached. This chicken salad will firm up in the fridge so I always add a touch more initially before in goes into to chill. Store in a sealed container and refrigerate till needed!
The amount of mayo you need to use depends a lot on the type / brand of may you are using. The flavor of this chicken salad improves over time. It also tends to be really firm right out of the fridge. You may have to add additional mayo the next day depending on what you are using it for.