Classic Homemade Chicken Salad

By Jess

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There are very few lunch options as healthy and well rounded as a classic chicken salad. This paleo recipe takes that lunchtime staple and makes it even better by adding a delicious homemade paleo mayo that goes perfectly with the juicy chicken pieces and fresh veggies. The mayo is made with ingredients such as apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard that makes sure it’s both healthy and flavorful. Meanwhile, the salad itself, of course, has cubes of boneless skinless chicken breasts mixed with some great veggie choices.

chicken salad recipe

Some salads really can have it all. A great selection of wonderfully fresh vegetables, juicy pieces of lean chicken adding plenty of protein, and an unbelievably tasty homemade mayo would all combine to make the perfect salad. And that’s exactly what this classic chicken salad with homemade paleo mayo provides. It’s a delicious and nutritious salad that will provide your body with everything it needs to stay fueled up throughout the day.

How to Make Classic Chicken Salad

The chicken salad itself doesn’t contain anything too out of the ordinary. It is, after all, a classic mixture for a reason — there’s nothing here that needs changing. You’ll obviously be using chicken breast cubes to add the protein into the salad.

The rest of the ingredients used are fresh parsley, lemon, diced red onion and celery, a minced garlic clove, Dijon mustard, and whole black peppercorns. They all combine perfectly to provide lots of essential nutrients while making one great tasting salad.

prepping vegetables for chicken salad

chicken lemon and spices

The homemade chicken salad is just fine to enjoy all on its own, but to really take this recipe to the next level you will be including the tasty homemade paleo mayonnaise. It’s fairly simple to prepare, requiring a single egg yolk to be placed in a bowl before adding salt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar.

As you whisk these ingredients together, gradually begin to add either avocado oil or a light olive oil into the mixture until it resembles the thick texture of regular mayonnaise.

mixed chicken salad

The choice of avocado oil or olive oil is entirely up to you — both options will add a moderate amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats to the mayo that will provide some great cardiovascular and antioxidative benefits. (2)(3)

prepared paleo mayo

This recipe ends up making enough of the homemade mayonnaise to use with the chicken salad while still leaving around half of the batch left over. The remaining mayo can be safely stored in the fridge for future use. When the chicken salad is combined with this delicious creamy mayo, it can of course be enjoyed as is. I like to take it a step further though and make paleo-style ‘sandwiches’ with it by wrapping it in lettuce. Give it a try.

paleo chicken salad recipe


  • For the mayonnaise
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • ¾ cup avocado oil or light olive oil
  • The rest of ingredients
    • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • ½ lemon, sliced
    • ¼ tsp whole black peppercorns
    • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1 small red onion, finely diced
    • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • salt, black pepper to taste


  1. In a pot place the chicken, lemon slices, black peppercorns and season with salt.
  2. Add enough water to cover the chicken breasts, plus one additional inch.
  3. Cover the pot with a lid and cook over medium heat 25-30 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, make the mayonnaise.
  6. In a bowl, place the egg yolk.
  7. Add the salt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar and whisk until combine about 30 seconds.
  8. Add ¼ cup oil a drop at a time, whisking constantly, until mixture is emulsified and thick.
  9. Gradually add remaining oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick.
  10. Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch cubes and add to a bowl.
  11. Add the celery, onion, parsley, garlic, Dijon mustard and half of prepared mayonnaise.
  12. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and serve.
  13. Refrigerate the rest of mayonnaise for another use.
  14. Serve the salad in sandwiches with lettuce.


Serving Size





Total Time

45 minutes

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

25 minutes

Print Recipe

More Paleo Chicken Salad Recipes:

Easy Traditional Chicken Salad with Grapes

Any time there is chicken leftover from a recipe, I like to make it into this popular chicken salad, which also features homemade Paleo mayonnaise. Serve with some romaine lettuce for an easy and packable lunch. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your desired taste.

Traditional Chicken Salad Recipe


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5 tbsp Paleo mayonnaise
2 tsp Paleo honey mustard
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 cups red grapes, cut in half
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. In a large bowl, mix the shredded chicken with the mayo and mustard until evenly coated. Add in the salt, garlic powder, parsley, and pepper. Lastly, stir in the red grapes. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve cold.

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