These California chicken salad sandwiches are packed with a creamy, tangy dressing, and the perfect sweet punch of grapes and almonds. Whether you sandwich it between soft, brioche bread, flakey croissants, or use it to top off a quick salad, this chicken salad is anything but boring. Call it the perfect spin on a retro classic! If you love the California inspo, you'll love my California cheesesteaks, too!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Chicken salad is traditionally made with shredded chicken, mayonnaise, and mild additions such as celery. Classic chicken salad is plenty good, but it can get a little... shall we say, plain?
This chicken salad recipe incorporates flavor not only with the delicious dressing, but also by using seasoned chicken with my favorite homemade chicken seasoning. Once you try using this seasoned chicken for your chicken salad, there is no going back!
While these sandwiches are perfectly filling on their own, try them out with some spicy air fryer potato wedges or a grilled corn and avocado salad for a complete meal.
- Chicken breast: White meat works best for chicken salad, as it is firmer and holds up well to the dressing and add-ins.
- Mayonnaise: Use your favorite, high-quality mayonnaise for this recipe. It's the base of the dressing, so it's important!
- Grainy mustard: Grainy mustard adds the right amount of acid, and a little bit of texture to the dressing.
- Green onion: You will want to use both the greens and the whites of the green onions.
- Fresh dill
- Red grapes
- Sliced almonds: You can purchase roasted sliced almonds pre-packaged at the grocery store.
- Seasoned salt
- Old bay
- Black pepper
A full list of ingredients with measurements is located on the recipe card, below.
Collecting all your ingredients - This will make cooking so much easier. Gather all the spices you will need, and keep them nearby.
Preparing the chicken - You can either use leftover chicken, a rotisserie chicken, but I highly recommend air frying your chicken seasoned in our homemade chicken rub.
Chop your ingredients - Dice the chicken breast, quarter the grapes, and finely chop the scallions and dill.
- Mix together the chicken and dressing: In a large mixing bowl, add the diced chicken, mayonnaise, mustard, spices, dill and scallions. Mix together until well combined.
- Add the grapes and almonds: Gently fold in the grapes and almonds, being sure to keep them whole and in tact.
- Serve: Serve on your bread of choice, with a bed of lettuce.
This chicken salad gets better as it sits! If you are planning to take this for lunch, I highly recommend trying to make it the night before. The flavours meld together, and taste even better the next day! I recommend this for all mayonnaise-based salad recipes, including my classic egg salad recipe.
- Mayonnaise - substitute greek yogurt, or a mixture of mayonnaise and greek yogurt for a lighter twist
- Seasoned salt - use regular salt with some garlic powder mixed in.
- Old bay - substitute with some celery salt, paprika and cayenne pepper.
- Brioche - Any type of bread will work for these sandwiches.
- Cranberry & walnut - Instead of grapes and almonds, try out some dried cranberries and walnuts.
- Dill pickle - Add in some fresh dill, and chopped dill pickles for a dill pickle chicken salad
- Curried - Add in some curry powder for a spicy punch.
- Chimichurri - Use homemade chimichurri aioli instead of regular mayo, for a more herby and punchy twist to this chicken salad!
This is what I used to make this recipe - Please be mindful that different equipment and cooking utensils may yield varying results. Most of my favourite equipment can be found on my storefront.
- Mixing bowls
This chicken salad keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days, stored in an airtight container.
Assemble the sandwiches as you are going to eat them, to avoid soggy bread or croissants!
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This recipe was originally published in October, 2021. It was updated in March, 2022 to include process shots, detailed instructions and tips for making the best California chicken salad sandwiches every single time!
California Chicken Salad Sandwiches
- 2 Chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 2 tablespoon All purpose chicken seasoning
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- ½ cup Fresh dill finely chopped
- ½ cup Scallions finely chopped
- ½ cup Red grapes quartered
- 1 tablespoon Grainy mustard
- ½ teaspoon Seasoned salt
- ½ teaspoon Old bay
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper
- ¼ cup Sliced almonds
- 8 slices Brioche bread
- Romaine lettuce to serve
- Prepare the chicken: Season the chicken with all purpose chicken seasoning. Air fry for 15 minutes at 390°F, or until the chicken reads 165°F internally.2 Chicken breasts, 2 tablespoon All purpose chicken seasoning
- Mix together the chicken and dressing: In a large mixing bowl, add the diced chicken, mayonnaise, mustard, spices, dill and scallions. Mix together until well combined.2 Chicken breasts, ½ cup Mayonnaise, ½ cup Scallions, 1 tablespoon Grainy mustard, ½ teaspoon Seasoned salt, ½ teaspoon Old bay, ½ teaspoon Black pepper, ½ cup Fresh dill
- Add the grapes and almonds: Gently fold in the grapes and almonds, being sure to keep them whole and in tact.½ cup Red grapes, ¼ cup Sliced almonds
- Scoop onto croissants: Line the bottom of your bread with your lettuce of choice. Scoop the chicken salad onto the lettuce, and top with another slice of bread.8 slices Brioche bread, Romaine lettuce