Sonoma Chicken Salad Sandwiches


Aren’t Chicken Salad Sandwiches the best? If you like poppy seed salad dressing then this is the chicken salad of your dreams, it tastes amazing and it’s so easy to throw together! It makes a perfect lunch for any day of the week, and obviously it’s pretty much the number one choice for a picnic, it’s also a good party food for a shower or holiday lunch. 

Best Chicken Salad Sandwich on Cutting Board

How To Make A Chicken Salad Sandwich

My recommendation for the easiest way to make this is to either use rotisserie chicken or to cook the chicken in a slow cooker overnight, toss it in an airtight container in the morning and refrigerate it, then by lunch time it will be cool enough to shred or chop and toss into the salad.

Then prep a simple poppy seed dressing, which you can definitely make lighter by using half Greek yogurt for half of the mayo, or use light mayonnaise.


Then toss the chicken, some diced celery, pecans, a hint of parmesan and dried cranberries with that dressing and you’ve got a delicious chicken salad!


Easy Chicken Salad Sandwich With Celery and Cranberries

I know this is going to be my new favorite dish for picnic lunches this summer. Just be sure after eating this chicken salad to smile real big… and check your teeth for poppy seeds :).

Some other good substitutions for the dried cranberries would be diced apples or grapes and another good nut option would be almonds or cashews, but I would recommend trying the recipe as written at least once. The ingredients listed are a perfect combination together. When served over some fresh rustic bread this sandwich is to die for!

Ingredients for chicken salad on bread for a sandwich

Other Easy Chicken Salad Recipes


Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe

This chicken salad is amazing and so simple! It is my new favorite chicken salad.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 3 1/2 cups cooked , shredded chicken (about 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries , such as Craisins, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Sliced bread , for serving (here is a great recipe)


  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp apple juice
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a large mixing bowl toss together shredded chicken, celery, pecans, dried cranberries and Parmesan cheese, set aside. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together all ingredients listed for the dressing until well blended. Pour dressing mixture over chicken mixture and toss to evenly coat. Serve over sliced bread, croissants or rolls. Store in refrigerator.
  2. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: I have half a rotisserie chicken leftover for costco and I was just thinking that I’d make a chicken salad and now I’ve find the perfect recipe! It looks packed with all sorts of goodies! Will have to make this tonight or tomorrow :) May 17, 2012 at 10:14am Reply

  • JulieW8: I love the Sonoma Chicken salad! Thanks for the recipe – I’m going to have to try this. May 17, 2012 at 1:46pm Reply

  • stacielk: This sounds delicious – wrote down the recipe – can’t wait to try it! May 17, 2012 at 5:58pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Thanks for the comments! I hope you all thoroughly enjoy! Have a great day! May 17, 2012 at 9:02pm Reply

  • Debs @ The Spanish Wok: Oh this sounds delicious, that’s tomorrows lunch sorted, thanks. May 17, 2012 at 11:53pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Debs – youre very welcome! Hope you love it =)! May 18, 2012 at 3:32pm Reply

  • Tessa: Easy cool meals like this are a must in the summer. I agree, these would make perfect picnic fare. Yum! May 18, 2012 at 8:13pm Reply

  • Debs @ The Spanish Wok: Made this for lunch today. Adapted slightly to what I had in, but was so delicious, thanks. May 19, 2012 at 5:29am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Debs – I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed =), thanks for taking the time to leave a comment letting me know! And your welcome! May 19, 2012 at 7:24pm Reply

  • Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking: This looks so delicious, Jaclyn! Congratulations on your Foodgawker feature on Facebook, too. Thanks for sharing this great recipe! May 23, 2012 at 1:47pm Reply

  • Linda @ Lemon Drop: this is looks sooo good. Pinned! May 23, 2012 at 2:17pm Reply

  • j3nn: That looks incredible. Love the cranberries! That’s a neat twist. May 23, 2012 at 2:58pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Thanks Linda and Georgia! Thanks for letting me know it was featured on foodgawkers facebook =). May 23, 2012 at 3:02pm Reply

  • meuc: Yummy…this looks delicious. Forgive my ignorance, but how do you cook the chicken breasts in the slow cooker? Do you put them in alone or with broth or some other liquid? Thanks! May 30, 2012 at 8:48am Reply

  • Jaclyn: meuc – don’t worry it’s a good question, I just use 1 can of chicken broth when I cook them in the slow cooker. Your welcome =), I hope you enjoy! I just made these again on Monday for dinner, I love love love it! I used the recipe for no knead rustic bread I posted on monday, it’s a perfect combo. May 30, 2012 at 10:50am Reply

  • Sonya: I made this and WOW was it delicious!! the dressing was so amazing and will be using it over salad aswell. My family just loved this recipe. Thanks so much! June 6, 2012 at 2:25am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Sonya – I’m glad you loved this too =)! I love a simple, delicious chicken salad in the summertime. Thanks for your comment and your welcome! June 7, 2012 at 10:27pm Reply

  • Binomial Baker: I tried out this recipe and used greek yogurt instead of mayo and threw in a few other twists. It was amazing! Thanks for the inspiration! June 9, 2012 at 3:34pm Reply

  • Debs @ The Spanish Wok: Finally got around to blogging this delicious recipe of yours. I have adapted it slightly, hope you don’t mind.

    Poppy Chicken Salad June 11, 2012 at 5:40am Reply

  • Trinie: Super yum! You’ve posted some really great recipes where I can sneak veggies in! Thank you! I haven’t had any complaints in the peanut department! :) June 19, 2012 at 12:52pm Reply

  • تحضير الكسكس: thank you so much August 1, 2012 at 5:04am Reply

  • Anonymous: I am wondering if you could use greek yogurt instead of the the mayo in the dressing? August 19, 2012 at 8:35am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – I think that would be fine, it obviously wont have the rich creamy flavor that mayo gives but it will definitely be healthier and lower fat =). I hope you enjoy! August 21, 2012 at 8:15am Reply

  • Brittany: Made these last night. SO delicious!! Did not have apple cider vinegar so substituted seasoned rice wine vinegar and they came out great. Definitely a staple sandwich for us now. January 28, 2013 at 10:32am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Brittany – that is awesome to hear! Thanks so much for leaving a comment! January 30, 2013 at 1:11pm Reply

  • Sarah: My daughter loves anything chicken. She is also very picky on food. I found this receipt and tried. She loves it. She had it for three dinners within a week. You can tell how much she liked it. I started to use your website as my favorite food website. February 16, 2013 at 10:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sarah – that is so great to hear I’m so glad you daughter loves this. Also thank you so much for your kind compliment, I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my site =)! and I know how it can go with picky eaters I have two young kids myself =). Thanks again I hope you continue to enjoy what you find here! February 19, 2013 at 9:49am Reply

  • Laura: Best chicken sandwich I’ve ever made! Thanks for the wonderful recipe! March 13, 2013 at 5:11pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Laura – I’m so glad you thought so! Thanks for leaving a comment! March 14, 2013 at 4:12pm Reply

  • Erin: This was awesome. It was a party in my mouth! The only thing I was missing was a croissant. Next time I will make sure I have some on hand. March 25, 2013 at 11:52am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Oh I know, I love chicken salad on croissants, amazingly good! March 25, 2013 at 6:14pm Reply

  • Mindy: Hands down, this is an AWESOME chicken salad. I held an informal luncheon the other day, and everyone raved at the luscious sandwich that I created with some rustic bread. Later on, I used the salad as a snack on Town House Crackers and was so delicious. It was a big rave by my friends and, consequently, felt so proud! Hugs. April 21, 2013 at 5:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That’s so great to hear Mindy! I’m happy you and your friends enjoyed this, thanks for your comment! May 7, 2013 at 9:04am Reply

  • Patrice: I have been searching (for a long long time) of and and on for a flavorful chicken salad instead of the regular mayo blah blah blah ingredients. This was really easy to make and it was tasty, it was up to par with restaurant quality. Thank you! Would like to try your canoli dip recipe but afraid I’ll eat the whole bowl in one sitting! LOL June 15, 2013 at 2:33pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So happy to hear you liked this Chicken Salad Patrice! Thanks for your comment! June 27, 2013 at 6:47pm Reply

  • Danielle: I lacked a few of the ingredients (apple cider vinegar, apple juice, and dried cranberries), but I subbed in white grape juice for the apple juice and rice vinegar for the apple cider vinegar. It was still amazing and I got many, many compliments. Next time I’ll be sure to have everything to make this to reach it’s amazing potential. :) June 17, 2013 at 4:39pm Reply

  • restaurant Fort Lauderdale: I just want to say that I have tried this last Saturday for a simple food-trip with my friends and we all loved it. In fact, each one of us was already digging into it even before the dish was completely done. This is indeed a great recipe and has become one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing! August 1, 2013 at 12:57am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re very welcome! So glad you’ve liked it! August 11, 2013 at 7:05pm Reply

  • Mitzi: You mentioned it yields 5-6 servings. Is that pretty accurate? I’m serving it on croissants and need to serve about 30. Do I need to 5x the recipe? February 26, 2014 at 2:46pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think so, it’s always just my best guess really. It’s based of what we eat. March 9, 2014 at 1:45pm Reply

  • Melanie Greer: I made this once a few weeks ago with olive oil mayo, pistachios and dried cherries. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! today I made it again and sub’d greek yogurt for the mayo and that cut about 500 calories out of the entire recipe. What a huge difference! Thanks for this recipe it is on my top 5 for lunch! March 10, 2014 at 10:54am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I love the twist you put on this! It sounds amazing, I love that combo! And I love subbing greek yogurt for some of the mayo in recipes, definite calorie reduction. Thanks for leaving a comment Melanie! March 23, 2014 at 4:55pm Reply

  • christi: I have always been a miracle whip girl…Please tell me what you use for mayo!!! I am so excited to make this1! July 22, 2014 at 1:10pm Reply

  • Kate: I was wondering exactly how long to cook the chicken in the crock pot? I was also wondering if I needed to defrost the chicken completely….I just started using my crock pot and am new to cooking so these questions may seem a bit obvious. I can’t wait to try this recipe! January 18, 2015 at 5:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I usually thaw and cook it on low for 6 hours. Hope you love the recipe! February 5, 2015 at 6:46pm Reply

  • Tricia N: How much yields one serving? 1/2 cups? January 19, 2015 at 5:44pm Reply

  • Wendy Walecka: This looks divine! It is exactly the kind of chicken salad I love for sandwiches. I cannot wait to try it! January 28, 2015 at 11:00pm Reply

  • Rosie: May I make a suggestion? After you cook your chicken, throw it in your mixer and use the paddles on low to shred it. It’s quick and easy – as long as the chicken is still hot. And it’s MUCH easier than shredding or chopping cold chicken! February 11, 2015 at 11:54am Reply

  • Samantha: I make a recipe very similar to this. Yours has more which seems more flavorful but I am going to try this with fresh onions instead of onion powder. April 9, 2015 at 7:47am Reply

  • Bridgett: I made it for my husband and he loved it and can be used with crackers instead of bread for even less calories. It’s very versatile, I might trying adding a few additional ingredient next time to change it up. January 16, 2016 at 4:56pm Reply

  • Leah Howell: This is my go-to chicken salad recipe, it’s absolutely amazing!! Everyone that tries it oohs and ahs and then asks for the recipe :) my husband and I fight over the leftovers… I win July 20, 2017 at 8:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Ha ha glad you love it and win! July 26, 2017 at 2:34pm Reply

  • elle: Can I made the chicken breasts in the oven and if so, do I add any seasonings and should I bake them at 350? July 27, 2017 at 1:58pm Reply

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