The ULTIMATE hearty Southern Chicken Salad recipe. A southern salad loaded with chicken, avocado, bacon, eggs, tomatoes and tossed in a creamy dijon mayonnaise dressing.

You can enjoy this flavorful chicken salad as a croissant sandwich, side salad, and even as lettuce wraps.

Hearty chicken salad in a large salad bowl.

Though we share have so many salads, this homemade salad along with our Broccoli Salad with Bacon and our Cauliflower Broccoli Salad recipe is amazing for a potluck or picnics.

SOUTHERN CHICKEN SALAD-

This traditional southern-style chicken salad is such a delicious salad! With just a few basic ingredients you can have this creamy salad ready in no time. The combination of chicken, with bacon and veggies in a creamy dressing, has the best taste and texture.

Southern chicken salad in a white bowl topped with fresh greens.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED-

We use classic ingredients for the homemade chicken salad recipe. You can add or leave out items to your personal preference and what you have in your fridge.

  • CHICKEN: Whatever chicken you have on hand will work in this recipe.
  • ADD-INS: We used bacon, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, boiled eggs, celery, red onion, bell peppers in our salad.
  • DRESSING: Made with mayo, sour cream, dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and of course salt and black pepper. Just stir everything together in a medium bowl.
All the ingredients needed for the southern chicken salad in a white plate.

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN SALAD-

Making a flavor-packed chicken salad dish at home is so easy, quick, and takes no time at all. You most likely already have the ingredients!

  1. CHICKEN–  Shred or cube the cooked chicken, depending what chicken you use.
  2. BACON– Cook the bacon and cut into small bacon bits or small pieces. (Our air-fryer bacon works great.)
  3. COOK EGGS- Cook egg using your favorite method, ours is here. Once cooled, peel and cube the eggs.
  4. DRESSING– Combine the ingredients for the homemade dressing, set aside.
  5. VEGGIES– Cut cherry tomatoes in half, slice or finely dice onions, finely chop celery and cube avocado.
  6. SERVE– In a large mixing bowl, add the chicken and remaining ingredients and toss. Add the dressing and gently toss again. Serve salad and enjoy.

Ways to serve SOUTHERN CHICKEN SALAD-

I love this salad because there are so many different ways to enjoy this chicken salad. Chill the salad before serving.

  • CRACKERS– Serve with a side of crackers, your favorite brand and flavor would work.
  • SALAD– Just toss all the ingredients together and enjoy as a side salad.
  • SANDWICH– Serve as a sandwich by using croissants, sandwich bread, biscuits or any other bread!
  • LETTUCE WRAPS– Add the chicken salad into romaine lettuce and serve as lettuce wraps.
CHEF’S TIP: The size you cut the ingredients will depend on how you want to serve the chicken salad. If serving in a sandwich cut all of the ingredients really small, if serving in a salad or as lettuce wraps, cut into bigger pieces.
Southern chicken salad in a white bowl inmixed topped with fresh grated black pepper.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS-

What kind of chicken do I use for this salad?

Any cooked chicken will work great in a chicken salad. Canned chicken, rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken, or even a quick pan-seared chicken breasts (cooled) will work.

How long can this chicken salad last?

If refrigerated, the salad can last in an airtight container up to 2 days. Don’t add avocado to the salad, add fresh avocado when serving.

Can I freeze this southern chicken salad?

This chicken salad will not do well if frozen.

Can I substitute the mayo?

We love the real mayonnaise in the dressing, but you can use Greek Yogurt for a lighter salad. Add sweet pickle relish for more flavor and easily substitute garlic powder for minced garlic.

What other ingredients can I use?

Though we love this version of the salad, you can add nuts like almonds or walnuts, grapes, dill pickles or cranberries to the salad.

Chicken salad sandwich stacked on top of each other.

MORE POTLUCK SALADS-

Southern Chicken Salad

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5 from 5 votes
The ULTIMATE hearty Southern Chicken Salad recipe. Southern salad loaded with chicken, avocado, bacon, eggs, tomatoes and tossed in a creamy dijon mayonnaise dressing.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 20 oz canned chicken breast cans, drained (2 (10) oz cans)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 boiled eggs, cubed
  • 1 avocado, cubed

Dressing-

Instructions

  • Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing, mix well.
  • Combine chicken, tomatoes, red onion, celery, bacon and eggs. Add avocado and gently toss.
  • Add dressing, season with salt and pepper and toss again. Serve salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 397kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 17gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 569mgPotassium: 368mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 385IUVitamin C: 10.3mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1.4mg
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)