For all the dill pickle lovers out there, this easy make-ahead lunch is for you! My creamy crunchy Dill Pickle Chicken Salad is packed with pickles, fresh dill, celery, and chicken breast. Excellent on a wrap, sandwich, or crackers!
There’s a chicken salad for everyone, and this one is for the dill pickle lovers. Chicken salad is one of those classic cold lunches I love reinventing over and over. It’s an easy, versatile way to take your chicken from ~bleh~ to meal prep heaven 😎
This dill-icious recipe packs a triple punch of dill – dill pickles, fresh dill, AND dill pickle juice from the jar. It might sound like a lot of dill (never!), but the other veggies and creamy ingredients help create the perfect balance of flavors.
Croissants somehow became a classic go-to with chicken salad, but I totally get it! A tiny hint of sweetness from a croissant balances the savory dill chicken salad really well. But I promise, this Dill Pickle Chicken Salad will go great on just about any eating vessel you could come up with! Enjoy!
Total Time: 10 minutes
Prep: Make-Ahead Friendly
What are the ingredients in this Dill Pickle Chicken Salad?
This recipe is a great use of leftover chicken breasts, but you can also grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. If you’re like me and you always have dill pickles in the fridge, this recipe is calling your name!
Here’s a little explanation of everything I added to this chicken salad and why:
- boneless skinless chicken breasts – You can use leftover chicken breasts, rotisserie chicken, or cook some chicken specifically for the chicken salad. You’ll want at least one pound of chicken before cooking.
- celery – Some diced celery adds the perfect crunch to this chicken salad, which is especially great if your pickles are less crisp than you’d like them to be.
- dill pickles – Use your favorite dill pickles for this! The more flavorful, the better. I definitely noticed a slight difference in the taste when I used a different brand of pickles. The pickle juice adds a lot of flavor!
- red onion – I’m not a big red onion fan, but sometimes it just belongs. And it definitely belongs here. Something about the bite of red onion just belongs in chicken salad to me!
- fresh dill – On top of the dill pickles and pickle juice, adding lots of fresh dill really brings this chicken salad to life. The fresh dill adds another layer of bright dill flavor you’ll love.
- mayonnaise – I love adding some mayo to my chicken salad for the ultimate creamy factor! A mix of both mayo and Greek yogurt is my favorite.
- plain Greek yogurt – Along with the mayo, I like to also some Greek yogurt to make it even more creamy and reduce the need for so much mayo. However, I don’t like to use ALL Greek yogurt because I find the tartness of the yogurt can come through.
- pickle juice – All I do is take a measuring spoon and dip it into the jar to collect some juice. This is a super easy way to add tons of flavor to the chicken salad!
- lemon juice – Half a lemon’s worth of juice adds the perfect zing to the salad and ties everything together in my opinion!
- dijon mustard – I love adding just a hint of mustard for some zest and depth of flavor in my chicken and tuna salads.
- garlic powder, salt & fresh ground black pepper – These are the additional spices I toss in to make it perfect for my tastes! #garliclover
How do you make this Dill Pickle Chicken Salad?
This is one of those “toss it in the bowl and mix it all up” recipes, which I just love. So simple and easy. The most time consuming part is cutting up your chicken and veggies.
The recipe calls for 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts, which equals about 3 cups of chicken once it’s cooked and shredded. You can use leftover chicken, cook some chicken specifically for the recipe, or grab a rotisserie chicken at the store.
If I need to cook chicken for this recipe, I’ll go for my Instant Pot method – find the recipe in my post How to Cook Chicken for Meal Prep, plus lots more chicken meal prep ideas!
Once your chicken is cooked, shred it up as finely as you can, either by hand or using an appliance of choice. Some people like to use a hand mixer or stand mixer for an easy hands-off method (I love this post on 4 different chicken shredding methods!).
After the chicken is shredded, use a sharp knife to also chop it up. This will give you smaller pieces of chicken which means more surface area to absorb flavors and get the perfect chicken salad texture.
Prep all the veggies, then start tossing everything in a large mixing bowl. Add the creamy ingredients, liquids, and spices, then mix it all together. You can definitely enjoy it now, but it tastes even better after it’s been in the fridge overnight.
Croissants are my favorite way to take chicken salad from a boring lunchtime sandwich to something I look forward to all morning. I don’t usually buy croissants, but something about the tangy creamy chicken salad with the flaky slightly sweet croissant is the absolute best!
Can I use all mayo or greek yogurt instead of using both?
I’ve been making chicken salad for years, and my preference is to use both plain Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. This combination makes the chicken salad perfectly creamy, without the risk of too much tang from the Greek yogurt or too much mayonnaise in general.
You might have a different preference though, so feel free to make it exactly how you want it!
Can I use rotisserie chicken instead of chicken breasts?
Yes, you can use rotisserie chicken instead of cooked chicken breasts. You’ll need about 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken.
What kind of pickles are best for chicken salad with pickles?
For this version of chicken salad with pickles, I suggest using dill pickles. However, I’m sure chicken salad can be made with sweet pickles! I just haven’t tried that yet because I don’t usually keep sweet pickles on hand.
Can you make this chicken salad with relish?
Sure! I’ve used dill pickle relish as a pickle substitute in my Lazy No-Chop Tuna Salad for years. You’ll need about 1/2 cup of relish to equal 2 dill pickles. I would also skip the salt, as jarred relish can be extra salty.
How should you serve this Dill Pickle Chicken Salad?
This chicken salad can be eaten for lunch, dinner, or enjoy a few bites as a snack if you want! Here are some of best ideas for how to serve this Dill Pickle Chicken Salad:
- Enjoy on a croissant (my favorite way!)
- Portion into meal prep containers and enjoy with crackers or pretzels (pictured below)
- Meal prep it with large pieces of romaine or butter lettuce for lettuce wraps
- Eat it on a wrap or tortilla with some greens
- Toast it on some bread with cheese to make a chicken salad melt
How do you meal prep chicken salad?
Like all my chicken salad recipes, this Dill Pickle Chicken was made for meal prep. I actually think it tastes even better after a night in the fridge after all flavors have mingled.
Here are some ideas on how to meal prep this recipe at your house:
- Ingredient prep: Make sure your chicken is cooked and your veggies are ready to go so you can make the chicken salad in the next 24 hours or so. If you have leftover chicken cooked chicken breast, even better!
- Prep for now & later: Prepare the recipe as written and enjoy a portion or two now, while saving the rest for another lunch or dinner in the next 4 days.
- Complete prep & portion: Portion the full recipe into 4 meal prep containers so lunch is ready for the next 4 days.
Where do you get those meal prep containers?
I love these 3 Compartment Glass Meal Prep Containers (affiliate link!) for meals like this where I want to keep ingredients separated. These ones are made by Prep Naturals and you can find them on Amazon.
Is this recipe freezer-friendly?
I would not recommend freezing this recipe due to the mayonnaise and celery. It would definitely have a weird texture after thawing!
How to store prepared chicken salad:
Store prepared chicken salad in an airtight container with lid in the fridge for up to 4 days.
How to heat up prepared chicken salad:
I usually prefer to enjoy chicken salad cold from the fridge, but a delicious way to heat it up would be to toast it on some bread and add cheese for a chicken salad melt! You could use an air fryer, toaster oven, or regular oven for this.
Did you make this? I want to see how it turned out! Tag me in your social media post @projectmealplan and use #projectmealplan when you share!
Dill Pickle Chicken Salad
For all the dill pickle lovers out there, this easy make-ahead lunch is for you! This creamy crunchy Dill Pickle Chicken Salad is packed with pickles, fresh dill, celery, and chicken breast. Excellent on a wrap, bun, croissant, or with crackers!
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked then shredded and chopped (about 3 cups shredded chicken)
- 3 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 dill pickles, diced
- 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (about 1 clamshell)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons pickle juice from the jar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt & fresh ground black pepper
- Mix it up: Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl, including the cooked chicken breast, celery, dill pickles, red onion, fresh dill, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, pickle juice, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix it all up until everything is well combined.
- Serve & store: Serve immediately if your ingredients were cold. If the chicken was warm, it’s best to store the prepared salad for at least 4 hours until well chilled before eating. Serve with crackers, on bread, in lettuce wraps, or on a croissant. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
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Shredded chicken: Feel free to use any method to shred your chicken, including by hand, with a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer. I like to chop the chicken a bit after it’s shredded for an even finer texture. You can also use a food processor – check out my Easy Chicken Salad With Grapes recipe for photos and a video of the method.
Mayo vs Greek Yogurt: Feel free to use all of either one or a combo of both mayo and Greek yogurt like I did in the recipe. I prefer a bit of each in my chicken salad.
Nutrition information estimated with My Fitness Pal and includes chicken salad only.
- Serving Size: about 1 cup
- Calories: 280
- Fat: 19g
- Carbohydrates: 5g
- Protein: 25g
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