Easy Lemon Chicken Salad

Day 3 of Salad Week and today is a quickie in all aspects—I’m even keeping the post blessedly short! Ha ha! You know those recipes that you don’t even think of as a recipe because it’s truly something you just kind of throw together without a heck of a lot of planning or thought but that people ask you for the “recipe” anyway? Cue the Easy Lemon Chicken Salad—cause it’s a star in that category!

I’ve got a few other chicken salad recipes on the site that are far more interesting and unique, like this Strawberry Chicken Salad with Poppyseed Dressing, this apple and nut version, this Tarragon Chicken Salad and even an Asian-style, Sesame Chicken Salad. All of them are good and you should definitely give them a try, but nine times out of ten, I find myself making this simple lemony version instead. Part of that’s because I’m lazy (ha ha!) and part of that’s because it’s just so basic and comforting and reliable. No bells and whistles—what you see is what you get. Just well roasted white meat chicken mixed with some light mayo, lemon juice, celery and scallions with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. That’s it folks.


It’s great on a sandwich, atop lettuce greens or just as is, straight from the container. And it comes together in just a few minutes with the barest minimum of effort. And speaking of brevity, I did promise you a short post and here I am at 3 paragraphs already, so I’ll sign off for today and sleep well tonight, with the happy knowledge of knowing exactly what I’ll be having for lunch tomorrow! More salad fun to come!


Easy Lemon Chicken Salad

Makes at least 6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus time for chicken to cook


  • 4 large bone-in chicken breasts

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • Canola or olive oil

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I use light)

  • The juice of 1 lemon

  • 4-5 stalks celery, ends cut off and cut into a medium dice

  • 5-6 scallions, thinly sliced

The Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place chicken breasts in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Pour on a little glub of oil and turn chicken pieces so that both sides are well coated. Roast for about 1 1/2 hours or until entirely cooked through (you may cook if for less time—we like it very well done.)

2. Remove chicken from pan to a plate and let cool completely. (You could definitely cook the chicken the day before and chill it until ready to use).

3. Meanwhile, in a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, celery and scallions. When the chicken is cooled, remove and discard the skin and bones and cut up the meat into bite-sized pieces. Add to the bowl and stir together with the mayo mixture. Taste and season with salt and pepper. You can either serve this immediately or cover and chill for up to three days.


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