These light yet filling Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches are perfect for picnics, brunches, and teas!
I think the perfect picnic dish is a classic chicken salad sandwich. It's light yet hearty, sweet and savory, pillowy and crunchy in every bite. And of course, it's perfectly portable!
❤️ Why you'll love these sandwiches
- Fast - You can make them in just 15 minutes total time with my recipe.
- Easy - These sandwiches use simple ingredients you can find at your local grocery store.
- Fresh - They're packed with fresh chicken and veggies and have a satisfying crunchy texture.
- No-cook recipe - That's right, no need to turn on the oven to make these sandwiches. So it's an amazingly simple recipe for warm spring or summer days!
🍗 Ingredient notes
Here's what you need for this chicken salad recipe:
Rotisserie chicken - this makes the recipe so fast and easy! Simply chop up the meat from one store-bought rotisserie chicken into small pieces. You can also cook chicken from scratch; I've included those directions in the recipe card below.
Garlic - Normally, I like to cook with at least two cloves of garlic. But in this no-cook recipe, garlic can easily overpower the dish. So stick to one clove, or even half if you are more sensitive to garlic flavors.
Mayonnaise - I use my favorite dairy-free (vegan) mayonnaise. Use your favorite!
Celery - Celery adds a glorious crunch and helps lighten up the chicken salad.
Grapes - Use whatever grapes you like here: green, red, or black. I love the sweetness that grapes add to chicken salad.
Red onion - For a bit of zing, I love adding a little bit of finely diced red onion. Make sure you really dice the red onion into small pieces, unless you like biting into bigger chunks of red onion.
Lemon zest and fresh lemon juice - This bit of citrus helps brighten the dish with fresh acidity and ties all of the flavors together.
Tarragon - Tarragon is a nice deep, earthy herb which balances the rest of the flavors in this chicken salad. But you can also add dill, thyme, oregano - most herbs work here.
Salt and Black pepper - Season to taste.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
1. In a large bowl, combine chicken with the other ingredients to make the chicken salad. Make sure the mayo and lemon juice gets incorporated well with the other ingredients.
2. Spread the chicken mixture with a spoon between two slices of bread, and serve. So simple!
🥣 Other additions
Some of my favorite additions for these chicken salad sandwiches include:
- chopped or sliced cucumbers
- thinly sliced radish to garnish sandwiches
- sliced or chopped hard-boiled eggs (this link takes you to my favorite method of making hard-boiled eggs perfectly every time!)
Absolutely! Use 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts or tenderloins. Add chicken to a large stockpot of salted, boiling water. Reduce heat to medium and simmer chicken at a low boil for 10-12 minutes, or until it is cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken from water and place on a plate to cool. Cut the chicken into small cubes, then set aside to cool slightly while you gather and prep the remaining ingredients.
Some vegetables with high water content, such as cucumbers, grapes, and celery, may make your chicken salad sandwiches soggy if you add too much. Be sure to thoroughly dab these ingredients dry with a cloth before adding to the mixture. Also be sure to keep the ratio of these types of ingredients lower.
To store properly:
- store assembled chicken salad sandwiches in resealable plastic bags or an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
- store the chicken salad (unassembled, without bread slices) in an airtight food storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Chicken salad doesn't freeze well, as it becomes soggy and watery when thawed. I would not recommend freezing it.
🍽 Ways to serve chicken salad
- Make traditional chicken tea sandwiches: Use less filling, cut off the crusts, quarter.
- Serve as party appetizers or finger sandwiches: Use the same amount of filling but cut off the crusts, quarter, stick an appetizer toothpick in the middle of each one.
- Package up for picnics: Cut in half, then package up in paper and twine. They're a great option for a summer picnic!
- Enjoy as a full sandwich for a simple, scrumptious every day lunch or dinner!
💡 What to serve with chicken salad sandwiches
🍷 What wine pairs with chicken salad?
I suggest enjoying these classic chicken salad sandwiches with a nice crisp, unoaked or lightly oaked Oregon Chardonnay or an off-dry Riesling.
Other Salad Recipes You Might Like
Classic Chicken Salad Sandwiches
- 12 slices your favorite sliced bread
- 1 pound rotisserie chicken meat, chopped into small pieces
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup finely chopped green apples
- 1 cup quartered grapes
- ¾ cup finely chopped celery
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a large bowl, mix together the chopped chicken, garlic, ½ cup mayonnaise, green apples, grapes, celery, red onion, tarragon, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
- Stir into the mayonnaise mixture until the chicken is well coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. At this point, you can cover the bowl and refrigerate the chicken salad for up to four hours.
- When you are ready to assemble the sandwiches, lay out 8 slices of Franz Bakery White Mountain Gluten Free Bread.
- Spread remaining 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise evenly on each slice, approximately ½ tablespoon per slice.
- Top 4 of the slices with a scoop of the chicken salad mixture.
- Place any of your preferred optional sandwich add-ins on top of the chicken salad (we topped ours with radish microgreens, as pictured here).
- Top each with the remaining slices of bread.
- To serve as regular sandwiches: slice in half and serve. To serve as tea sandwiches, cut off crust and cut into halves or quarters, then serve.
- Use 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast halves or tenderloins
- Add chicken to a large stockpot of salted, boiling water. Reduce heat to medium and simmer chicken at a low boil for 10-12 minutes, or until it is cooked through. Remove from water and place on a plate to cool. Cut the chicken into small cubes, then set aside to cool slightly while you gather and prep the remaining ingredients.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.