This is the best Chicken Salad Croissant recipe that I've been using for years and it's perfect for group gatherings or a light lunch on a hot day!
It consists of tender bites of chicken breast nestled in a sweet, creamy and tangy homemade poppy seed dressing with crunchy celery, red onions(optional), almonds and red grapes all tucked into a buttery croissant!
I think you'll agree that a delicious, homemade Chicken Salad is always a crowd pleaser at group gatherings like lady luncheons, wedding showers, baby showers, Graduation parties or or even at a "working" lunch.
This recipe is inspired from a variety of sources including Whole Foods Market's™ "Sonoma Chicken Salad" and the chicken salad served at Neiman-Marcus' restaurant, "The Zodiac Room", created by Helen Corbitt.
Helen Corbitt's "Chicken Salad Supreme" was a mainstay on the Neiman's menu for years, due to its sweet poppy seed dressing.
Why you'll love this recipe
- This is a great way to use leftover roast chicken or, use a deli rotisserie chicken to reduce the total time!
- This recipe has a hint of sweet, savory and lots of flavor and crunch from the celery and grapes - but you can put whatever you want in yours
- It's a nice, light and filling entree you can serve on a crisp bed of lettuce, as a side dish, or as a hearty sandwich nestled in a buttery croissant!
- The sweet poppy seed dressing is what really sets this recipe apart from the others with a hint of apple cider vinegar and sweet honey - you can use a little lemon juice if you don't have apple cider vinegar.
- Make appetizer sandwiches with mini croissants! Perfect for parties, luncheons, showers or a working lunch menu!
What you'll need
This recipe uses chicken breast, celery, red grapes, red onion, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, a hint of honey, whipping cream, poppy seeds, a little salt and black pepper and sliced almonds.
Red onion and Nuts are optional. I like to put sliced almonds or chopped pecans in mine because they add a nice crunch to the recipe, but if nut allergies are a concern to you, you can eliminate nuts.
Some recipes call for sour cream, but I've found the mayonnaise poppy seed dressing is my favorite way to make this.
You can use canned chicken, but I find it loaded with sodium and a weird after-taste...another option is to use deli or rotisserie chicken or, some grocery stores offer containers of chopped or pulled cooked meat.
The beauty of making a homemade recipe is that you can put whatever you want in it, but the secret's in the sauce.
How to make it
I recommend baking chicken breasts for this recipe-this is my favorite method because the chicken turns out flavorful and juicy.
You can use meat from a whole chicken (deli chicken) or canned chicken, but for the best flavor, use baked chicken breasts.
Shred or dice cooked chicken breast and place in a large mixing bowl
Use a separate cutting board to chop the celery and grapes (never co-mingle meat and veggies on a cutting board)
Chop celery and grapes: add to chicken
Make the poppy seed dressing in a medium bowl
Drizzle a little dressing/sauce over ingredients; combine well; taste for seasonings; add more dressing if desired
Allow to rest in fridge for at least 15 minutes
Serve as a side, entree, or as a sandwich on a full or mini-croissant
How to bake chicken breasts
Preheat oven to 350ºF; pat dry chicken breasts; lightly season with salt and pepper; place in lightly oiled baking dish; cover with foil. Bake until internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
Allow chicken to cool then cut into cubes or shred.
Making chicken salad for a crowd?
The ingredient proportions for this recipe are based on 2 pounds of shredded meat, which results in about 6 cups of salad.
If you're making full-size sandwiches, allow about ¼ cup salad per sandwich
If you're making mini chicken salad sandwiches, allow about 3 tablespoons of salad per croissant.
Make up to 3-days in advance and store in a tightly secured container in the refrigerator.
You can make the entire salad and store it, or prep all the ingredients and combine the day of serving:
- To make in advance chop/shred the chicken and store it in the fridge.
- Cut and measure out the other ingredients and store in fridge.
- Make the poppy seed salad dressing and store it in the fridge, too.
About an hour before it's time to serve, mix everything together and assemble the croissant sandwiches and place on a pretty serving platter.
If you don't have the exact ingredients and want to make this salad in a flash, feel free to incorporate any of the following:
- Fruit: diced red or green apples, green grapes, raisins, golden raisins
- Nuts and Seeds: toasted almonds, chopped pecans, walnuts, candied pecans, smokehouse almonds, honey roasted peanuts
- Vegetables: watercress, radish, bell pepper, water chestnuts, green onions
- Other foods: fried "Chow Mein" noodles, toasted sesame seeds, dry roasted pumpkin seeds
- Don't have mayonnaise: Use plain greek yogurt
- Looking for a healthier option or want a low carb option or keto version? Serve this classic chicken salad as lettuce wraps!
- Herbs and seasonings: you can toss in a little fresh dill, a teaspoon of garlic powder, a little oregano or marjoram
I think you'll find this is one of the easiest and best chicken salad croissant recipes out there!
More cold salad and sandwich recipes
- Southern Pimento Cheese
- Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Mayo-Free Coleslaw
- Classic Egg Salad
- Classic Tuna Salad
- Broccoli Crunch
- Deviled Ham Spread
- Watermelon Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Homemade Mayonnaise
♥ If you make this recipe, please scroll down and leave a rating and comment. I love to hear from you!
Best Chicken Salad Croissant Recipe
- 2 pounds chicken , cooked, white, cubed or shredded
- ¾ cup chopped celery
- 2 cups seedless red grapes , cut in half
- ½ cup sliced almonds , optional
- ½ cup walnuts or pecans , optional
- 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ cup whipped cream , homemade or use a whipped dairy product
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- salt and pepper , to taste
- Shred or cube cooked chicken; set aside2 pounds chicken
- Dice celery; slice grapes in half; set aside¾ cup chopped celery, 2 cups seedless red grapes
- Put cooled shredded or cubed chicken, celery, grapes, almonds in large mixing bowl2 pounds chicken, ¾ cup chopped celery, 2 cups seedless red grapes, ½ cup sliced almonds, ½ cup walnuts or pecans
Make the Dressing
- Combine dressing ingredients into large bowl and mix well1 ½ cups mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, ½ cup whipped cream, 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- Drizzle some of the dressing over chicken mixture; combine well; taste for salt and peppersalt and pepper
- Add more dressing/sauce if desired
- Place covered in fridge for 30 minutes
- Remove from fridge 30 minutes prior to serving
How to bake chicken breasts:Preheat oven to 350ºF; pat dry chicken breasts; lightly season with salt and pepper; place in lightly oiled baking dish; cover with foil. Bake until internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Allow chicken to cool then cut into cubes or shred. Reduce the total time by about 15 minutes if you get a rotisserie chicken.