SIGN UP FOR FREE WEEKLY RECIPES

Hot Chicken Salad Recipe – A Crunchy Delicious Texture)

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

My homemade Hot Chicken Salad Recipe is a delightful dish. It combines tender chicken with creamy dressing and crunchy toppings. Remember, it’s baked until golden. The key to its unique taste is a blend of spices and herbs. This dish is a great way to enjoy a warm, comforting meal. If you’re deciding on a savory, satisfying option, my advice is to try this recipe. It’s typically a crowd-pleaser.

Are you tired of the same old salads? Let me share my experience with a game-changer: a hot chicken salad recipe. This dish transformed my view of what a salad can be. I remember the first time I tasted it; the warm, savory flavors paired with a delightful crunch surprised me. It was a far cry from the mundane, cold salads I was used to.

Hot Chicken Salad Recipe

 I found a way to make this salad a regular in my meal rotation. Its preparation involves simple steps, yet the result is a masterpiece of taste and texture. 

Combining tender chicken, creamy sauce, and crispy toppings brings a comforting balance. It’s perfect for those chilly evenings when a typical salad just doesn’t cut it.

What Is Hot Chicken Salad?

Hot chicken salad is a warm, comforting twist on traditional cold salads. It typically features cooked, shredded, or diced chicken combined with creamy ingredients like mayonnaise or sour cream and often includes cheese. 

This mixture is baked until bubbly and golden, creating a rich, savory flavor. It’s usually enhanced with celery, onions, and nuts, adding a delightful crunch. 

This dish is a great way to enjoy the heartiness of a casserole with the freshness of a salad, making it a popular choice for a satisfying, homemade meal.

What Is The Origin Of Hot Chicken Salad Recipe?

The origin of hot chicken salad can be traced back to the United States, evolving as a variation of traditional chicken salads. 

It gained popularity in the mid-20th century, particularly in American home cooking and community cookbooks. 

This dish reflects a trend towards casseroles and one-dish meals, which were prized for their convenience and comfort. 

It combines elements of a classic salad with the warmth of a baked dish, embodying the American inclination for innovation in comfort foods. 

Hot chicken salad is a testament to the era’s fondness for combining familiar ingredients in novel ways, creating a nostalgic and timeless dish.

Hot Chicken Salad Recipe

Ingredients List

IngredientQuantity
Cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces2 pounds
Large celery stalks5, ½-inch slices at an angle
Mayonnaise1 cup
Grated sharp Cheddar1 cup (3 ounces)
Slivered almonds½ cup
Lemon juice2 tablespoons
Onion salt1 teaspoon
Salt and black pepperTo taste
Potato chips (classic or ruffled), lightly crushed4 cups, plus more as needed
Hot Chicken Salad Recipe

What Are The Variations Suitable For The Hot Chicken Salad Recipe?

Several variations can enhance the classic hot chicken salad recipe, catering to diverse tastes and dietary needs. 

  • Spicy Buffalo Twist: Add buffalo sauce for a kick.
  • Mediterranean Fusion: Toss in feta cheese, olives, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Asian-Inspired Delight: Mix in soy sauce, ginger, and sesame seeds.
  • Tex-Mex Flavor Burst: Include black beans, corn, and avocado.
  • Zesty Caesar Spin: Drizzle with Caesar dressing and sprinkle Parmesan.
  • Curry Infusion: Incorporate curry powder and raisins.
  • Balsamic Bliss: Use balsamic vinaigrette, sundried tomatoes, and pine nuts.

What Are The Tips For The Hot Chicken Salad Recipe?

  • Quality Chicken: Use freshly cooked chicken for better flavor and texture. Rotisserie chicken can be a convenient, flavorful option.
  • Balanced Creaminess: Adjust the mayonnaise to your preference. Too much may make it overly rich, too little could leave it dry.
  • Crunch Factor: Toast the almonds lightly for extra crunch and depth of flavor. Ensure the celery is fresh for optimal crispness.
  • Cheese Selection: Choose a good quality sharp cheddar for a more pronounced taste.
  • Seasoning Balance: Be mindful of onion salt and lemon juice. They should enhance, not overpower, the other flavors.
  • Topping: Don’t skimp on the potato chip topping. It adds a unique texture and taste.
  • Baking: Bake until just bubbly and golden. Overbaking might dry it out.
  • Serving Temperature: Serve warm, not hot, to appreciate all the flavors.

Are There Any Unusual Or Exotic Ingredients That Work Well With This Salad?

Hot Chicken Salad is a classic dish, but you can introduce unusual or exotic ingredients for a unique twist:

  • Dried Cranberries: Provide a sweet-tart contrast and chewy texture.
  • Pecans or Walnuts: Add a nutty crunch and richness.
  • Garam Masala: Infuse warm, aromatic flavors with a hint of spice.
  • Sriracha: Provides a spicy kick and modern flair.
  • Roasted Red Peppers: Bring smoky notes and vibrant color.
  • Fresh Herbs: Like cilantro, tarragon, or dill for a fresh, herbal lift.
  • Toasted Coconut Flakes: Impart a toasty, tropical depth.
Hot Chicken Salad Recipe

Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and position a rack in the center.
  2. Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, mayonnaise, Cheddar, almonds, lemon juice, and onion salt. Mix everything thoroughly. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper as required, depending on the seasoning level of your chicken.
  3. Prepare for Baking: Transfer the chicken mixture into a 3-quart (9-by-13-inch) shallow baking dish. Spread the mixture evenly. Cover the top with the crushed potato chips, adding more if necessary to ensure complete coverage.
  4. Bake: Place the dish in the preheated oven, uncovered. Bake until the potato chips turn golden brown and the mixture is warm throughout, bubbling lightly at the bottom. This should take about 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Rest and Serve: After removing the dish from the oven, let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, it’s ready to be served.

Enjoy the rich flavors of hot chicken salad while supporting your health goals—a delicious win.

What Herbs And Spices Work Well In Hot Chicken Salad Recipe?

  • Dill: Adds a fresh, slightly tangy flavor, complementing the creamy elements.
  • Paprika: It is especially appealing to the chicken for a hint of smokiness and color.
  • Thyme: Its earthy tone pairs well with poultry.
  • Garlic Powder: Offers a subtle, savory depth without overpowering other flavors.
  • Chives: Contribute a mild onion-like taste, adding freshness.
  • Tarragon: A slightly anise-like flavor that enhances the chicken.
  • Curry Powder: Introduces a warm, slightly exotic taste.
  • Basil: Fresh or dried, basil adds a sweet, herbal note.
  • Cumin: Imparts a warm, earthy flavor, especially good in a spicier version.
  • Rosemary: Its piney aroma complements the richness of the salad.
Hot Chicken Salad Recipe

Nutritional Values

The nutritional value of hot chicken salad largely depends on its ingredients. It’s a good source of protein from the chicken and provides calcium from the cheese. 

However, it can be high in calories and fat due to mayonnaise and cheese. The almonds add healthy fats and a bit of fiber. 

Celery contributes minimal calories but offers vitamins and crunch. Opting for low-fat mayonnaise or yogurt can make it a healthier choice.

What Are The Total Calories In The Salad?

The total calories in hot chicken salad can vary based on specific ingredient choices and portion sizes. 

Generally, considering the use of mayonnaise, cheese, and chicken, a single serving could range between 400 to 600 calories. 

The calorie count is influenced by the type of mayonnaise (regular or low-fat), the amount of cheese, and the chicken’s preparation. 

Health Benefits Of Hot Chicken Salad Recipe

The Hot Chicken Salad recipe offers several health benefits:

Protein Source

Chicken is a lean protein that aids muscle development and repair.

Low-Calorie Option

With careful preparation, it can be a low-calorie meal for weight management.

Nutrient-Rich Veggies

Incorporating vegetables like spinach and bell peppers provides essential vitamins and minerals.

Fiber Boost

Adding fiber-rich ingredients like spinach and celery aids digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Walnuts, if included, offer heart-healthy omega-3s.

Low Carbs

A carb-conscious choice with minimal carbohydrates.

Satiety

Protein and fiber content help control hunger and reduce overeating.

Versatility

Can be tailored to meet specific dietary preferences and restrictions.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Dressings Are Best Served With Hot Chicken Salad?

Hot Chicken Salad pairs well with various dressings to enhance its flavors. Here are some excellent dressing options:

  • Spicy Chipotle Ranch: Adds smoky heat and creaminess for a zesty kick.
  • Honey Mustard Dressing: Balances the savory elements with a touch of sweetness and tang.
  • Creamy Avocado Lime: Provides a fresh, tangy twist with creamy avocado richness.
  • Greek Yogurt Tzatziki: A healthier, tangy choice with a hint of Mediterranean flair.
  • Sriracha Mayo: Offers a spicy kick for those who enjoy heat.
  • Classic Ranch Dressing: Creaminess and a familiar taste that complements the salad’s ingredients.
  • Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette: Adds zesty brightness with a hint of garlic.
Hot Chicken Salad Recipe

Make mealtime a joy with our hot chicken salad—delight your senses while staying healthy.

Are There Any Unique Toppings That Can Elevate The Crunch Factor?

  • Fried Shallots or Onions: Add a crispy, savory bite.
  • Pomegranate Seeds: For a juicy crunch with a burst of sweetness.
  • Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: Offers a nutty crunch and extra nutrition.
  • Crispy Quinoa: Lightly fried for a delicate, protein-rich crunch.
  • Crumbled Rice Cakes: A lighter, airy alternative to traditional croutons.
  • Toasted Coconut Flakes: Brings a tropical twist with a crispy texture.
  • Sesame Sticks: A savory, crunchy option, perfect for extra texture.
  • Wasabi Peas: Adds a spicy crunch, great for a flavor kick.
  • Chopped Water Chestnuts: Provides a fresh, distinctive crunch.
  • Tortilla Strips: A crispy addition, ideal for a Tex-Mex flair.
Pin 1

What Is The Difference Between Homemade And Store-Bought Hot Chicken Salad?

  • Freshness: Homemade salads typically use fresher ingredients compared to store-bought, which may have preservatives to extend shelf life.
  • Customization: Unlike the fixed recipes of store-bought options, you can tailor homemade salads to personal tastes and dietary needs.
  • Nutritional Value: Homemade salads often have fewer additives and can be healthier, whereas store-bought versions might contain extra sugar, salt, or preservatives.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Making salads at home can be more cost-effective, especially for larger quantities.
  • Flavor Variety: Homemade salads allow for creative flavor combinations, whereas store-bought salads are limited to the flavors available in the store.
  • Portion Control: You can control portion sizes more effectively at home, which benefits those monitoring their intake.
  • Packaging Waste: Homemade salads reduce packaging waste, offering a more environmentally friendly option.
  • Preservatives and Additives: Store-bought salads often contain preservatives and additives to maintain freshness, which are absent in homemade versions.
  • Texture: Homemade salads can be prepared to the desired texture; store-bought salads may lose their texture due to storage.
  • Emotional Value: Preparing a salad at home can be more satisfying and emotionally rewarding, adding a personal touch to the meal.

How Can You Store Or Preserve The Hot Chicken Salad Recipe Leftovers?

  • Cool Before Storing: Let the salad cool to room temperature before storing it to prevent condensation.
  • Airtight Containers: Use airtight containers to keep the salad fresh and prevent odors in the fridge.
  • Refrigeration: Store in the refrigerator, ideally at or below 40°F (4°C).
  • Consume Quickly: Best eaten within 2-3 days.
  • Avoid Freezing: Freezing may alter the texture, especially the creaminess and crunch.
  • Reheat Gently: Reheat in the oven or microwave, but be aware that the texture of the topping might change.
  • Separate Toppings: Store toppings like potato chips separately to retain their crunch.
  • Label and Date: Mark the container with the date to keep track of freshness.
  • Avoid Cross-Contamination: Store away from raw foods to prevent contamination.
  • Check Before Eating: If it shows any signs of spoilage, such as an off smell or appearance, it’s best to discard it.
Pin 2

Special Tools & Equipment List

  • Baking Dish: A 3-quart (9-by-13-inch) shallow baking dish is ideal for evenly spreading the salad.
  • Mixing Bowls: Various sizes for mixing ingredients.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For precise ingredient measurements.
  • Kitchen Knives: A good set for chopping chicken, celery, and other ingredients.
  • Cutting Board: Preferably separate boards for meat and vegetables.
  • Cheese Grater: For freshly grated cheddar.
  • Aluminum Foil or Baking Paper: Useful for covering the dish, if needed.
  • Oven Mitts: Essential for handling the hot baking dish.
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon: For mixing and spreading the salad mixture.
  • Serving Utensils: Large serving spoon or spatula.
  • Lemon Juicer: To extract fresh lemon juice easily.
  • Nut Cracker (if using whole nuts): For fresh almonds, if not pre-sliced.
  • Can Opener: If using canned chicken as an alternative.
  • Food Processor (optional): Useful for quickly crushing potato chips or chopping ingredients.
  • Salad Tongs: For serving the salad efficiently.
  • Storage Containers: For any leftovers.
  • Kitchen Scale: Helpful for measuring ingredients, especially if following the recipe closely.
  • Pepper Mill: For freshly ground black pepper.
  • Thermometer (optional): To check the internal temperature, ensuring it’s heated thoroughly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use A Different Type Of Cheese In The Hot Chicken Salad?

Yes, you can substitute the sharp Cheddar with various other cheeses according to your preference. Cheeses like Swiss, Gouda, or Monterey Jack work well as they melt nicely and complement the flavors of the salad. Each cheese has a unique taste; for example, Swiss cheese adds a nutty flavor, while Monterey Jack offers a milder taste. The key is to choose a cheese that melts well and aligns with the flavor profile you enjoy.

Is It Possible To Make A Low-Fat Version Of This Salad?

Absolutely. You can substitute the regular mayonnaise with a low-fat or fat-free alternative for a healthier, low-fat version of hot chicken salad. Greek yogurt is another excellent option that adds creaminess without the added fat. Additionally, low-fat cheese or reducing the amount of cheese can reduce fat without significantly compromising the taste. Remember that these substitutions might slightly alter the texture and flavor. Still, they can make the dish more suitable for those watching their fat intake.

How Can I Add More Vegetables To This Salad?

Adding vegetables to a hot chicken salad is a great way to increase its nutritional value. Consider adding diced bell peppers for sweetness and crunch, chopped spinach or kale for greens, or even shredded carrots for a subtle sweetness and texture. These vegetables not only add color and variety but also enhance the overall nutritional profile of the salad. The key is to chop them into small, bite-sized pieces so they blend well with the overall texture of the salad.

Can I Prepare Hot Chicken Salad In Advance?

Yes, you can prepare hot chicken salad in advance, which makes it convenient for meal planning. Assemble the salad, but hold off on adding the potato chip topping until you’re ready to bake it. You can store the prepared, unbaked salad in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Add the potato chip topping and bake as directed when ready to serve. This method ensures that the potato chips remain crisp and the salad retains flavor and texture.

Are There Gluten-Free Options For This Recipe?

To make a gluten-free version of hot chicken salad, you must ensure that all ingredients are gluten-free. Replace the regular potato chips with a gluten-free variety for the topping. Also, be cautious about any added seasonings or pre-prepared ingredients like mayonnaise or chicken broth, as they might contain gluten. With these adjustments, the recipe can be easily adapted for a gluten-free diet without compromising taste.

Hot Chicken Salad Recipe - A Crunchy Delicious Texture)

Hot Chicken Salad Recipe – A Crunchy Delicious Texture)

0 from 0 votes
Course: Salads
Servings

2 – 3

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

400

kcal

Hot Chicken Salad Recipe is a warm, comforting twist on traditional salads, combining tender chicken with creamy dressing and a delightful crunch. Baked until golden, it’s a perfect blend of savory flavors and textures. This salad offers a unique take on classic comfort food, ideal for a cozy family dinner or a potluck.

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds 2 Cooked Chicken

  • 5 5 Large Celery Stalks (½-Inch Slices At An Angle)

  • 1 Cup 1 Mayonnaise

  • 1 Cup 1 Grated Sharp Cheddar

  • ½ Cup ½ Slivered Almonds

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Lemon Juice

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Onion Salt

  • Salt And Black Pepper (To Taste)

  • 4 Cups 4 Potato Chips (Classic or Ruffled)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preheat The Oven
    Set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the rack is positioned in the center for even cooking.
  • Mix Ingredients
    Combine the cooked chicken, sliced celery, mayonnaise, grated Cheddar cheese, slivered almonds, lemon juice, and onion salt in a large bowl. Mix everything thoroughly. Taste the mixture and, depending on the seasoning level of your chicken, add salt and black pepper as needed.
  • Prepare For Baking
    Transfer the chicken mixture into a 3-quart (9-by-13-inch) shallow baking dish. Spread the mixture evenly across the dish. Then, top it with the lightly crushed potato chips. Make sure the chips cover the top completely, adding more if necessary.
  • Bake The Salad
    Place the dish in the preheated oven, uncovered. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the potato chips on top turn golden brown and the salad is warmed through, with the mixture bubbling lightly at the bottom.
  • Rest And Serve
    After baking, remove the dish from the oven. Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld and the dish to cool to a palatable temperature before serving.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Ingredient Variations: Feel free to adjust ingredients like mayonnaise and cheese to suit dietary preferences or to lighten up the dish.
  • Protein Options: Easily adaptable for vegetarians with alternatives like chickpeas or tofu.
  • Nut Allergies: Omit almonds or replace them with seeds for a nut-free version.
  • Toppings: Experiment with different toppings for variety in texture and flavor.
  • Make-Ahead: Can be assembled ahead and baked just before serving.
  • Serving Suggestions: Pair well with a light salad or steamed vegetables for a balanced meal.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in the refrigerator and consume within 2-3 days for best quality.

Cookie Salad Recipe

Indulge in the delightful fusion of Cookie Salad Recipe, where crunchy cookies meet fresh fruits.

Keto Chicken Salad Recipe

Discover the delight of Keto Chicken Salad Recipe, a harmonious blend of shredded chicken, creamy mayonnaise, tangy mustard, and fresh herbs. 

Spring Mix Salad Recipe

The Spring Mix Salad Recipe combines fresh greens, crisp vegetables, and tangy cheese, all tossed in a homemade dressing.

Dill Potato Salad Recipe

Dill Potato Salad Recipe is a refreshing twist on the classic, featuring tender potatoes coated in a creamy dressing infused with the bright and aromatic flavors of fresh dill. 

Leave a Comment

Author picture

HELLO AND WELCOME TO
soup chick!

You've entered a realm where each bowl isn't just a meal; it's an expedition to the core of comfort, well-being, and the sheer delight of feeding both body and soul. My name is Julia, and I'm here to navigate you through the flavorful worlds of Soup Chick. Together, we'll uncover the artistry behind each recipe, share stories that warm the heart, and celebrate the simple pleasures of making and enjoying soup.

More About Me

POPULAR RECIPES

AS SEEN IN