Classic Chicken Salad

Here’s a crowd-pleasing sandwich filler that is quick and easy to make. If you find that your packed sandwich gets soggy, try bringing the chicken salad in a thermos and making your sandwich right before you eat it — or line the bread with lettuce leaves! 

Hands-on time:
20 minutes
Total time:
20 minutes

Kitchen Gear

Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed) 
Medium-sized bowl
Measuring spoons
Measuring cup


1⁄4 cup plain yogurt
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon mustard (any kind you like)
  pinch kosher salt
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (from a rotisserie or home-cooked chicken)


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.

  1. Put the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, and salt in the bowl and mix well.
  2. ​Add the celery and chicken and mix well.
  3. Use right away, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. 


Add any of the following:

  • 1⁄4 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or diced dried apricots
  • 1⁄4 cup toasted walnuts, pecans, or almonds
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion or sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, basil, cilantro, or parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, or more to taste
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon 

​OR ELSE: Turn Classic Chicken Salad into Classic Tuna Salad

Instead of chicken, use 2 (5-ounce) cans tuna (any kind you like), drained; add 1 tablespoon relish or finely chopped pickles, and decrease the mustard to 1 teaspoon; add 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil and skip the mayonnaise.

Add any of the following:

  • 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh basil, parsley, or cilantro leaves
  • 1⁄4 cup Spinach Pesto or olive paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh or pickled jalapeño peppers
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon