Our favorite easy chicken salad

It’s hot y’all.  This week in Texas, every single day is in the triple digits.  Tomorrow is supposed to be 106.  Dumb…  Anyway, because it’s so hot we try not to cook a ton this time of year.  I try and plan uncomplicated recipes that require very little ovening – ha, ovening.  That is totally a word.  We have a lot of grilled hot dogs, tacos/nachos, sandwiches, easy pastas, etc.  One of our favorites is this super easy chicken salad.  I’ve had tons of chicken salads and honestly, I love them all!  The kids don’t like a ton of veggies so in ours I leave out onions & celery.  Sometimes I sneak in a tiny bit of celery but usually I leave it out because I have to add it to the list to remember to buy it and I never do.  And when I do I only use one stalk and the rest goes bad.  I’ve read thru tons of chicken salad recipes and most of them also call for a TON of mayo.  I had one at a potluck that was so YUMMY and when my friend got me the recipe it called for a cup of mayo and 3/4 cup of miracle whip!!! NOT Kidding!  That’s like 1.5 cups of mayo (I sorta consider miracle whip mayo… although I won’t eat it…)  Another one I liked had half a bottle of caesar salad dressing – I liked that one but the kids weren’t big fans. So here is ours, easily adaptable and perfect for hot day lunches when we are mainly hanging in the pool!

Matt grills up 3 chicken breasts.  I don’t even marinate them first.  I didn’t get a picture of our grilled chicken but you get the idea.  You could also sauté or bake it, whatever you choose, but like I said – we grill a lot in the summer because it’s so easy.  I cut the chicken into small bite size pieces – you can shred it if you prefer.

Next I halve/quarter a cup to a cup and a half of grapes.  We always have grapes on hand because they are a popular summer snack!

chickensaladgrapes

Then I add a half cup to 3/4 cup of pecans. I love pecans and like my chicken salad crunchy so the more the better.

chickensaladpecan

Next up cranberries… I get this size bag and add half.  This bag will allow me to make chicken salad twice.  That giant bag of pecans above lasts many times…

chickensaladberries

Then mayo… Although most recipes call for a ton of mayo, I don’t like that much.  Honestly I add 3 – 4 tablespoons then stir and then add a little more if needed.  I don’t like it yucky wet with mayo.  I also use light mayo – helps on the calorie intake and our family doesn’t notice the difference.  Add a little at a time and stir until you get the consistency you like.

chickensaladmayo

Lastly, (not pictured) I sprinkle on Lawry’s seasoned salt and garlic powder.  I told you I make it with stuff I always have on hand.  We pile it on to Hawaiian rolls or croissants or if we are feeling particularly healthy, lettuce.  It’s actually a pretty healthy meal because it has low fat mayo (and not too much), nuts, fruit and grilled chicken.  Best part about this recipe is you can change it up depending what you have on hand.  You could use apples or walnuts or slivered almonds or whatever.

chickensalad

I snapped these pics with my iPhone while prepping and it still only took me 5 minutes.  I then forced the kids in from the pool to eat.  It’s THAT easy. Not pictured: the big bag of ruffles we put in the middle of the table when we have this – I can’t have chicken salad samiches without ruffles… it’s a rule!

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