Chunky Chicken Salad for a Crowd

by Alli

Technically, summer doesn’t end until September 22nd.  So, it’s still prime summertime party season here in the south. Chunky Chicken Salad is a huge favorite at my house. 

There's a reason that my chunky chicken salad is requested over and over. It's the best I've ever tasted plus it's my husband's favorite. Click the photo to get the recipe or save for later.

I’m in North Myrtle Beach this week enjoying a last-hurrah family beach trip. I call it our goodbye-to-summer see-ya-next-year trip. My husband has already stated that he sure hopes I’m making my chicken salad. No worries. I’ll have it whipped up in no time.

If you’re planning a big weekend pool party,  a family reunion, or a trip to the beach, try my Chunky Chicken Salad for a Crowd. It feeds 20!  And if you need more than that, just double it!

Chunky Chicken Salad

I usually prepare this the night before we hit the beach for our family vacation.  I put it in a large freezer bag and stick it in the cooler just before leaving for our road trip to the beach.  It’s nice to have something ready to eat when we arrive.  Serve with crackers or make sandwiches.  It’s all good!

Helpful Hint: If I need to make a chicken salad in a hurry, I use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  I must always be in a hurry because I use a rotisserie chicken just about every time I make this.

When I’m preparing it for guests, I just use the breast meat and save the dark meat for another use.  Southerners would never use dark meat in a chicken salad!  Don’t tell anyone, but when it’s just my immediate family, I use the whole thing!  My family loves dark meat! 🙂

Chunky Chicken Salad

If you’re using chicken breasts, let them cool completely before chopping.

Chunky Chicken Salad

Place chicken in a large bowl and add all the ingredients and toss with the mayo and mustard. Store in the fridge.

Chunky Chicken Salad

Yield: 20 servings

Chunky Chicken Salad for a Crowd

Chunky Chicken Salad

Chunky Chicken Salad is creamy and crunchy and full of flavor.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 3 lbs. boneless chicken breasts (or prepared rotisserie chicken)
  • 4 apples (gala or fuji), chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup walnuts OR pecans
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. If you're using boneless chicken breasts, place chicken in a large stockpot and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover.
  3. Cook for 20 minutes or until no longer pink.
  4. Chop or shred chicken.
  5. In a large bowl, mix chicken with apple, onion, celery, walnuts, salt, and pepper. Toss with mayonnaise and mustard.
  6. Store in the fridge.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

My chunky chicken salad is also delicious served in croissants for a bridal luncheon or a brunch. The crunch of the apples and nuts combined with the creaminess of the mayo/mustard mixture takes a ho-hum chicken salad to a whole new level.

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Sara-Jayne September 5, 2016 - 6:15 am

You know, I’ve been wondering all week what I can do to liven up the boys’ sandwiches and this is it! They would LOVE this salad!

Matthew September 5, 2016 - 6:31 am

Looks extremely good! I just had salad for lunch, but its nowhere visually tantalizing as yours!

Maureen September 5, 2016 - 7:18 am

Oh wow this looks so delicious and so easy to make! I bet this will go perfect with pita bread or wrap too. Must try your recipe soon. Off to pin it now 😀

Stephanie Jeannot September 5, 2016 - 9:39 am

Sounds delicious on a croissant. That’s my favorite sandwich bread. Never made this recipe yet yum!

Jeanette September 5, 2016 - 10:04 am

You’ve got my mouthwatering! I love chicken salad sandwiches, this one looks outstanding. I will be painting this one to use soon.

Heather @ Kraus House Mom September 5, 2016 - 10:40 am

My son loves when I make a giant container of chicken salad. He asked me to make it for his lunch next week. It’s one of our favorites.

Terri Beavers September 5, 2016 - 11:00 am

This looks and sounds really delish. I really like that you added apples into the recipe. We love chicken salad on croissants.

Jenn @ EngineerMommy September 5, 2016 - 3:20 pm

I love chicken salad and tuna salad. And I definitely prefer a chunky texture in the salad! Serving it on a croissant is pure perfection. I would love to have this for lunch today!

Mimi Green September 5, 2016 - 7:11 pm

Hold the nuts and I’m all the way in. I’ve not had chicken salad in years, but I loved it. I’m a sucker for a fresh croissant. Sounds like a winning pair.

Liz Mays September 5, 2016 - 9:37 pm

Oh this would be the perfect thing to serve at a party. I’m loving the apples and veggies!

Bella September 5, 2016 - 9:38 pm

I love this recipe! I make chicken salad all the time but your version sounds very refreshing with the apples in it.

Sarah September 5, 2016 - 10:05 pm

This looks like an easy way to make chicken salad and it sounds super yummy! I am going to have to try to make it right up soon.

Franc Ramon September 6, 2016 - 1:24 am

Croissant and Chicken Salad, I’m definitely gonna love that. It’s gonna be a full and tasty meal for me.

Chrishelle Ebner September 6, 2016 - 3:03 am

I love a good chicken salad. I agree it is great for a family meal and as a yummy dish at a bridal or baby shower. I have never put apple in mine. I have to try your recipe.

Jeanine September 6, 2016 - 11:28 am

This looks amazing. I saw it posted on Facebook and its all I’ve been thinking about now. I need to make this ASAP. Looks so good. Who doesn’t love a good chicken salad!

Heather | All Roads Lead to the Kitchen September 6, 2016 - 1:37 pm

Chicken salad is one of my favorite summer or light lunch meals. I love all of the delicious add-ins in this version…pass me a croissant!

Jasmine September 6, 2016 - 2:12 pm

I LOVE a good chicken salad! We’re in florida we’re its still in the 90’s so we’re grilling for another few months. This would be perfect side dish!

LaShawn September 7, 2016 - 4:58 am

I am always looking for a good chicken salad recipe! I’ve never made one with apples!

GiGi Eats September 7, 2016 - 3:46 pm

This wouldn’t be for a crowd if I made it. It would be just for me and my big ass mouth! hahahahaha!

Alli September 12, 2016 - 12:08 pm

My family loves it too. 🙂

Robin Rue September 8, 2016 - 9:56 am

This looks so super delicious! I need to give this chunky version a try.

Shavonne September 8, 2016 - 12:03 pm

Looks so Yummy!!!. I love croissants. I’ve had grapes in my chicken salad but I’ve never tasted it with apples.. hmmmm… interesting. I will definitely try this recipe

Alli September 12, 2016 - 12:08 pm

I love grapes in my chicken salad. I have another recipe that calls for grapes and it’s so good.

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