Nicole McLaughlin shows off a simple approach that yields seriously good results.

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Once you've nailed the basics of chicken salad, there are endless ways to customize the classic dish to your liking. Nicole McLaughlin shows off a simple approach that gets seriously good results with just 3 steps.

Chicken Choices

"The best chicken salad is made with boneless, skinless chicken breast," shares McLaughlin. "It's going to yield the best texture." Season your chicken well before covering with foil and baking at 300° for 60-80 minutes. The finished product will be tender, ready-to-shred breasts with plenty of rich pan juice.

Fruity Curry Chicken Salad
Credit: DIZ

When making a large batch of chicken salad, use a food processor to lighten your workload. "You're going to pulse it until you get the consistency you like," says Nicole. "It's going to break down further as you mix it, so don't overdo it."

Get the Recipe: Classic Chicken Salad

Dress to Impress

Craving a creamy, tangy dressing that makes your chicken salad stand out? It all starts with mayonnaise. Add sour cream, Dijon mustard, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice for a lusciously bright flavor.

Next, you'll add something sweet to counter the sharpness of the mixture. Granulated sugar, honey, and sweet relish are all great options for bringing perfect balance to your chicken salad dressing. Freshly chopped scallions, parsley, and dried dill combine for a deliciously crisp finish.

In the Mix

Make your chicken salad as simple or as decadent as you desire with the right add-ins. "My simple add-ins are chopped celery, onion, or hardboiled eggs," says McLaughlin. "You can add a little of the little pan juice for added moisture and flavor."

If you prefer a sweet, curried chicken salad, you'll follow the same steps with a few swaps. Add in grapes, toasted pecans, and chopped apples for a mouthwatering dish that has hundreds of 5-star ratings from our community of home cooks.