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Simple Roasted Chicken Salad

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Tis the season, baseball season, and our oldest is ramping up for his first year of machine pitch baseball. Those shiny red cleats he’s sporting are screaming, “I’m brand new!” And the twice-a-week baseball practices have officially begun.

Twice a week isn’t so bad, but when practice goes from 6 to 8pm, dinner has to be ready to eat at 5pm for him (with a quick snack when he gets home) and at 8pm for dad, the coach.

Luckily, both of these boys like sandwiches, because they’re a simple solution to odd dinner times. Our classic fallback is the BLT, but a simple roasted chicken salad always pull through in the clutch, and I love that I can make it ahead of time!

roasted chicken salad on white plate

Easy Roasted Chicken Salad

Roasted chicken salad is super versatile since it can be eaten in a sandwich, on crackers, on apple slices, or in lettuce leaves. And it keeps well in the fridge, so it can be quickly pulled out for any meal or snack.

Now, I haven’t always loved chicken salad: my chicken was too chunky; there was too much celery, too much mayo, blah, blah, blah. My chicken salad was a constant disappointment no matter what I tried, until I stumbled upon the roasted chicken salad at The Fresh Market. Oh la la! And I’m not even French!

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The Fresh Market Chicken Salad

Word on the street is that The Fresh Market makes their chicken salad from rotisserie chickens, and if you’ve ever tasted it, then you can see how that would be true. The well-seasoned chicken has a light creaminess and bits of crunchy celery. Its simplicity and barely-there mayo won me over!

I knew I needed to break down this recipe because 1. I couldn’t afford to buy it from The Fresh Market very frequently (ka-ching!) and 2. when I make it from home, I know exactly what’s going into it.

Now, I don’t usually have leftover rotisserie chickens just laying around, and I wanted a way to replicate the recipe without having to roast an entire chicken, pick off the meat, etc. (Ain’t nobody got time for that!)

So here’s my version of a simplified roasted chicken salad. (And the way the chicken is roasted below could easily work for any other recipe where you need cooked chicken, such as enchiladas, nachos, salads, etc.)

Roasted Chicken Salad Ingredients

  • 1.5-2lbs chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2-3 ribs of celery
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I love Duke’s)

Easy Roasted Chicken Salad Recipe

  1. Season the chicken breasts with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder while skillet is heating up on medium hight.
  2. Pan roast chicken breasts for 8 minutes on the stove top (four minutes per side) on medium high heat.
  3. Move the skillet to a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Check the temperature of the chicken to make sure it is done. An instant-read thermometer is a great tool to have in the kitchen for checking meat temps.  chicken in oven
  4. Shred the cooked chicken with a food processor (no big chunks here!). It only takes 8 to 10 pulses. This is much easier than shredding by hand. (You can also use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment!)
  5. Chop the celery into a fine dice. (You could also do this while the chicken is finishing up in the oven.)chopped celery
  6. Mix the chicken and celery up with Duke’s mayo. For a creamier chicken salad, simply add more mayo, but do so a little at a time. I’m not a paid sponsor (not hardly), but I live in the South, and Duke’s is THE mayo to use. Duke's MayoThis is by far the least energy consuming way I’ve ever made chicken salad, but I can still make my family think I slaved all afternoon over it. My secret is safe with you, right?roasted chicken salad on whole grain bread

Roasted Chicken Salad Variations

While I like my chicken salad pretty simple, you may like your’s jazzed up. Here are some additions:

  • grapes (halved and added)
  • dried cranberries
  • chopped granny smith apples (or put the chicken salad on top of round apple slices.)
  • toasted pecans or walnuts
  • curry powder

Modify this recipe by simply adding in your favorite ingredients to make it your own. I’d love to know what other ingredients you put in your chicken salad!

Easy Roasted Chicken Salad

Easy Roasted Chicken Salad

Try this easy take on The Fresh Market's roasted chicken salad. With just a few ingredients, fresh chicken salad can be ready in a flash!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2-3 celery ribs
  • 1/4 cup Mayo

Instructions

    1. Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder while skillet is heating up on medium high heat.
    2. Pan roast chicken breasts for 8 minutes on the stove top (four minutes per side) on medium high heat. Move the skillet to a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Check the temperature of the chicken to make sure it is done. An instant-read thermometer is a great tool to have in the kitchen for checking meat temps.  
    3. Shred the cooked chicken with a food processor (or with a paddle in a stand mixer). It only takes 8 to 10 pulses. This is much easier than shredding by hand.
    4. Chop the celery into a fine dice. (You could also do this while the chicken is finishing up in the oven.)
    5. Mix the chicken and celery up with Duke’s mayo. Use more mayo if you prefer creamier chicken salad. Serve or chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 241mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 47g

I'd love to hear from you

Courtney

Friday 5th of August 2022

This was so easy and so delicious! I used some leftover roasted chicken and it turned out so good! Definitely will make again and again.

Courtney

Saturday 6th of August 2022

I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Adam M

Monday 11th of April 2022

I make my chicken breasts like this in a cast iron with a similar method but roasting at 400 for 8 minutes. Quicker and temp comes out perfect. Also, good practice for cooking breast in a skillet to use paper towels to remove excess moisture from the chicken before seasoning and putting in the skillet to get a nice browning and FLAVOR.

Excited to try this recipe this weekend though because Fresh Market's chicken salad is the best! Might try to use some chicken thigh too because I think theirs has some dark meat in it.

Courtney

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

Thanks for the tips, Adam! I'll give the higher temp/shorter cook a try. Thank you!

Penny Robinson

Sunday 19th of September 2021

Former The Fresh Market Deli Manager here. The exact ingredients are all flavors of rotisserie chicken, Hellman's mayonnaise, white pepper and celery. End of list. No real quantities, though however much mayo you think you need, add a little more. Any kind of chicken can make it good, but rotisserie chicken makes it better.

Courtney

Monday 20th of September 2021

This is fantastic, Penny! I wouldn't have even thought about the fact that they'd use all the flavors of rotisserie combined. Thank you so much!

Cheryl

Thursday 25th of February 2021

I love the Fresh Market Chicken Salad. It’s the BEST! You gave me a great idea to use my food processor to shred the chicken. I cheated on this recipe and bought a $5 rotisserie chicken (a weekly Thursday special at the Fresh Market). While it was still warm, I pulled it off the bone and pulsed a few times in my food processor. No further seasoning needed. I just added finely diced celery and Duke’s mayo, of course! Choose your favorite flavor from the Fresh Market and make 2 lbs of chicken salad for only $5. Or, slice half for sandwiches and use the rest for chicken salad. Tastes just like the Fresh Market Chicken Salad. Yum!

Love your Blog. Thanks for all the helpful gardening tips and delicious recipes!

Courtney

Thursday 25th of February 2021

What a great use of one of their roasted chickens! Thanks for stopping by and for the encouraging words!

gina

Friday 4th of December 2020

so sorry but you are going to think I am dumb but usually I follow the recipe exactly because I am not a very good cook. When you say season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder while skillet is heating up on medium high heat do you mean you use 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper or do I add those seasonings when I am putting the shredded chicken in with the mayo and celery? I am just trying my best to make this is as exactly like Fresh Market as I can because my son loves it from Fresh Market. Thank you.

Courtney

Friday 4th of December 2020

Hi Gina! No worries! I do season the chicken breasts with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder prior to cooking. I do find it easy to mix them together, then sprinkle them on the chicken breasts. I hope this helps!

I'd love to hear from you

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