A creamy, chunky-style Southern chicken salad made the old-fashioned way and seasoned to perfection!

We’ve had many celebrations happening in my family lately; graduations, baby showers, and weddings! Not to mention all of the summer activities to make up for the quarantined summer of 2020! I don’t know about you, but the last place I’m trying to hang out all day is in the kitchen!!

As much as I LOVE cooking, I’ve been too busy soaking up these beautiful sunny days and hanging out with family that I missed so much. Because of this, I’ve been making many quick and easy dishes that don’t require me to have my oven on for too long, like this Southen chicken salad.

southern chicken salad recipe

Oh my goodness, we LOVE this chicken salad! It’s so creamy, chunky, and perfectly seasoned!  Pair it with a side of potato chips and grapes, and it’s the perfect meal on a warm, sunny day!

What’s In This Southern-Style Chicken Salad:

  1. Chicken:  This chicken salad of full of tender chicken that is well-seasoned using Old Bay, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery salt.
  2.  Hard-Boiled Eggs– A must-have for chicken salads!
  3. Celery-Finely diced to add flavor and texture
  4. Onions– Finely diced to add flavor and texture
  5. Sweet Relish– To balance out the spiciness of the chicken.
  6. Duke’s mayonnaise– It really is the next best thing to homemade : )
  7.  Spices: Dill weed, black pepper, parsley, and lil paprika (optional) to enhance the flavor and appearance.

southern chicken salad

Optional Add-Ins

I wanted to keep this Southern chicken salad super traditional and basic; however, if you’re looking to add other stuff, here are some popular suggestions!

  • Dried cranberries or raisins
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Chopped apples and grapes

How to Serve Chicken Salad

Southern chicken salad is served cold. I like to serve chicken salad on buttery croissants or with club or saltine crackers! It’s also great on toasted potato bread! Or eat it plain! It’s good either way! Add lettuce and tomato if that floats your boat.

best southern chicken salad recipe

Chicken Salad FAQs

What can I substitute for the celery in chicken salad? If you don’t like the texture of celery but still want its flavor, try some celery seed or celery flakes. If you are not a fan of the taste of celery, you can leave it out.

Why is my chicken salad watery? Chicken salad that is left to sit in the fridge overnight (which will taste amazing, by the way) can gather water from the celery and onions. Usually, a good stir before serving is all you need. I would suggest adding grapes /apples (if using) when you are ready to serve it since they can produce a lot of liquid.

How long will this Southen chicken salad keep in the fridge? 3-5 days is the rule.

old-fashioned chicken salad recipe


I hope that you enjoy this chicken salad as much as we do!! Looking to spice it up? Try out these Mexican Chicken Salad Pinwheels!

best southern chicken salad recipe

Get the Recipe: Southern Chicken Salad

4.57 from 30 ratings
A soulful chicken salad loaded with chunks of chicken breasts, boiled eggs, onions, celery, relish, and spices! A traditional chicken salad made the old-fashioned way with simple ingredients.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 people


  • pounds chicken breast
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil (for brushing chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seafood seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ cup celery (finely diced)
  • ½ cup onions (finely diced)
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish
  • ¼ teaspoon dill weed
  • ¾ cup Duke's mayonnaise , (may need more or less)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • fresh cracked black pepper, (a sprinkling)
  • salt, pepper, +extra seasonings, if desired, (see note)


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
  • Brush the chicken very lightly with a little olive oil.
  • To season the chicken, mix together Old Bay Seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery salt.
  • Sprinkle chicken generously with seasoning on top and bottom.
  • Place chicken on prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. (You may need more or less time depending on the thickness of your chicken)
  • Once the chicken is done, let it cool and then dice it up into small chunks and place in a large bowl.
  • Add diced celery, diced onions, diced eggs, sweet relish, and dill weed to the large bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Next, stir in the mayonnaise a little at a time until your desired creaminess is reached.
  • Stir in parsley and black pepper
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. (see note)
  • Cover and refrigerate until chilled. (about 1 hour)
  • Stir before serving. Serve with crackers or on buttered croissants.



Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. (Use garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt, black pepper, dill weed, and a sprinkling of paprika, if desired)
Want to add other add-ins? Try grapes, dried cranberries, apples, or walnuts.
Cuisine: American, southern
Course: Main, Salad, Side Dish
Tried this recipe?Mention @divascancook on Instagram or tag #divascancook.