Easy Southern Chicken Salad Recipe

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Whet your appetite with this yummy, old-fashioned southern chicken salad recipe!

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Mouthwatering, Quick, and Simple Southern Chicken Salad Recipe

What is southern cooking? It’s a cuisine that originates from the southern region of the United States. It’s often described as hearty, home-cooked dishes or comfort food.


Dry Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped chicken
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 Tbsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • Red pepper to taste

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise


  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Parsley

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

You will need about 2-3 kg of chicken breast (bone in) to make 4 cups of chopped chicken. For this recipe, you have the option of using your leftover chicken or you can cook it from scratch.

The easiest way to cook raw chicken breasts is to boil them. Here’s what you need to do to boil your chicken breast:

  • Fill a medium or large saucepan with water. There should be enough water to cover your entire chicken.
  • Boil the water on medium or high heat.
  • When the water begins to boil, add the chicken. Make sure the entire chicken is submerged in the water.
  • Reduce the heat and cover the pan.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check on your chicken after 10 minutes. It should be completely cooked in 15-25 minutes.

Once you have your cooked chicken, chop the chicken into cubes and set it aside.

Tip: If you want your chicken to be more flavorful, you can boil it in chicken or vegetable broth instead of water. You can also add spices or vegetables in the boiling water.

Step 2: Make Hard-Boiled Eggs

The next thing you need to do is make two hard-boiled eggs.

Just follow these steps and you’ll have the perfect hard-boiled egg every time:

  • Put two eggs in a small saucepan.
  • Cover the eggs with 1 inch of cold water.
  • Boil the water on medium or high heat.
  • Once the water begins to boil, cover the saucepan.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the eggs from the saucepan and place them in a bowl of iced water.

Once the eggs cool down, peel the shell off. Chop the hard-boiled eggs into cubes and set it aside.

Tip: If you’re using eggs from the refrigerator, let them sit in room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking. This allows your eggs to cook more evenly.

Step 3: Chop the Vegetables

You will need about 1/2 medium onion and three medium stalks of celery for this recipe. Remember to wash the vegetables before you chop them.

Remove the leafy ends of your celery stalks and chop them as thin or as thick as you want. Keep in mind that the celery adds a lot of crunchy texture to this recipe, so adjust your chopping size based on your preference.

If you want a crunchy salad, make larger slices. If you want a more subtle crunch, slice the celery thinly.

You’re not going to cook any of your vegetables, so it’s best to chop your onion into small cubes to make sure it’s evenly distributed in the salad. Otherwise, large, raw onion pieces may be difficult to eat.

Tip: To prevent tearing up while you’re chopping your onion, use a sharp knife and chop off the onion’s roots last.

Step 4: Toss the Dry Ingredients Together

chef putting salt | Easy Southern Chicken Salad Recipe | how to cook chicken salad
A man adding salt to a mixing bowl.

Lightly toss your dry ingredients together in your serving bowl. You may want to start off with the chicken, eggs, and vegetables first.

You’ll notice that the celery and hard-boiled eggs add a touch of color to your salad. After tossing these ingredients and making sure they’re evenly distributed, add the remaining dry ingredients (salt, white pepper, celery salt, and red pepper).

Tip: Use a large bowl to toss your salad. It’s difficult to mix the ingredients if there isn’t enough room in the bowl for movement.

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Step 5: Add the Wet Ingredients

Once you’ve mixed together all of the dry ingredients, it’s time to add the wet ingredients. The wet ingredients serve as the salad’s dressing.

It’s best to add in the wet ingredients one at a time so that you’re sure that it’s properly incorporated with the other ingredients. Start with your lemon juice.

The citrus flavor provided by the lemon complements the creaminess of the mayonnaise. You’ll need one lemon to make two tablespoons of juice.

Try to avoid using bottled lemon juice or concentrates for this recipe. Once you’ve mixed in your lemon juice, fold in 1/2 a cup of mayonnaise.

You should have 1/4 cup of mayonnaise leftover. Set that aside for later.

Tip: If you want to make this salad extra special, you can also try making mayonnaise from scratch! You can also use a low-fat mayonnaise variant if you’re looking for a healthier option.

Step 6: Chill

Cover your bowl with cling wrap. Put it in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

Your salad is best consumed cold!

Tip: While you’re waiting, you can start preparing the garnish, bread, and crackers.

Step 7: Add Remaining Mayonnaise and Garnish

After two hours, take your bowl out of the refrigerator and remove the cover. Fold in the remaining mayonnaise.

Transfer your salad on a serving dish and sprinkle paprika on top. Add a small bunch of parsley as a garnish on top.

Step 8: Serve with Crackers or Bread

This salad is best enjoyed on top of plain crackers or a slice of toasted bread. Pair it with a glass of cold southern iced tea.


Check out this easy southern style chicken salad recipe tutorial from North Texas Vegetable Gardening and Cooking:

Now that you know how to cook chicken salad, you can whip it up whenever you want a delicious and healthy dish! The chicken and eggs are a great source of protein, while celery is packed with antioxidants and vitamins!

But apart from these, it’s important for adults to consume a healthy mix of daily vitamins. If you aren’t sure you’re getting everything you need from your diet, we recommend this Body Protective Complex/Vitamin D3 bundle.

Have you tried making this southern chicken salad recipe? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section. 

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