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This is the Best Southern Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans you’ll ever make! The fresh salad ingredients, small pieces of tender chicken breasts, and creamy dressing are irresistible!
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My grape chicken salad is a pretty salad that would make any Southern woman proud!
It’s a delicious lunch, light dinner, or the perfect contribution to a baby shower, graduation party, or any other gathering.
And it’s even better when it chills for a while in the fridge, making it the go-to chicken salad for meal prep.
It only takes about 20 minutes to put together and will outshine all other traditional chicken salad recipes!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Key ingredients & substitutions for Curried Chicken Salad with Fresh Grapes
- Chicken | Before starting the southern chicken salad recipe, ensure you have cooked chicken cut into bite-size pieces. Grilled, baked, or pan-fried will work. It’s also the perfect recipe for leftover chicken from another night or store-bought rotisserie chicken.
- Pecans | Add texture to this easy meal with chopped pecans. Keep them fresh or toast them. If preferred, substitute with almonds or walnuts.
- Apple | Bring some tart flavor and texture with a chopped Granny Smith apple.
- Celery | Chopped celery lends subtly bitter notes to balance the sweeter and creamier taste. If you’re not a fan of celery, you can omit it.
- Grapes | I like to use red seedless grapes, but you can swap them for dried cranberries, depending on your preference.
- Mayonnaise | Use light or regular mayonnaise for the creamy mixture that binds all the ingredients of the easy chicken salad recipe. As a healthier alternative, use plain Greek yogurt instead.
- Lemon juice | Bring a bit of tangy flavor with fresh lemon juice. Use the store-bought bottle of lemon juice if needed.
- Curry powder | The secret ingredient for the delicious sauce is a pinch of savory curry powder. If you don’t have it, the best way to replace this seasoning is to mix cumin and allspice.
- Salt and pepper | Sprinkle in salt and ground black pepper to taste.
How to make this Creamy Chicken Salad Recipe
Delicious chicken salad is a classic recipe that’s easy to throw together and has the perfect balance of flavors.
STEP 1 | Mix the Sauce
Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl until the ingredients are nice and smooth.
STEP 2 | Chop the ingredients
Now, take out a large bowl and prepare the ingredients. Add the cooked chicken, chopped pecans, diced tart apples, halved juicy grapes, and chopped celery.
STEP 3 | Combine the sauce with the chicken
Add the dressing to the chicken mixture and stir until all ingredients are well-coated.
STEP 4 | Chill and serve!
Finally, cover the bowl of homemade chicken salad and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve it up!
Must-Have Tupperware Bowl
Keep leftovers fresh and flavorful with Tupperware’s iconic vintage pink bowl.
- 5.25 cup nesting bowl with sunburst lid
- instant, air-tight seal
- holds up use after use
Frequently asked questions
As long as you store the recipe properly in an airtight container in the fridge, it will last up to five days. And it’s even better after the flavors meld for a day or so!
Can you freeze chicken salad with grapes?
Sure! Store leftovers or prep ahead by keeping the chicken salad in a freezer-safe bag or another container. The recipe should last for up to three months.
Remember to stir the dish once it thaws, and you’re ready to serve it again. That way, any mayonnaise or dairy component combines again because they tend to separate when frozen.
Make your favorite chicken salad recipe healthier by swapping the mayo for Greek yogurt or replacing half. Using a little less fruit will also cut the sugar some.
If you bring your homemade chicken salad to a picnic, party, or family get-together, you’ll want to protect it from the heat by keeping it chilled. While it can sit out for a short period, you should limit it to keep it safe to eat and fresh.
The most traditional and simple ways to serve your freshly made pecan chicken salad is over a bed of lettuce leaves or for making the best chicken salad sandwich!
But you can also serve chicken salad with another dish. For instance, this Southern Tomato Pie Recipe with cheesy Parmesan crust is a great one to pair with cold chicken salad.
Behind the recipe: Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans
Never would I have imagined grapes and chicken go together so well. Mayonnaise and chicken? That makes sense. But juicy and sweet grapes with freshly cooked chicken sounds a little odd. But you’d be surprised at how delicious it is!
The first person to combine the two unlikely ingredients was Liam Gray from Rhode Island in 1863. He was the founder of a meats company, and through his experimentation with flavors, Gray tossed together grapes, mayonnaise, and tarragon.
Little did he know, this mix would become a popular Southern staple, even though he was from the northeast United States.
Best Southern Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans
- 4 cups cooked chicken cut into bite-size pieces
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup chopped tart apple Granny Smith
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 ½ cups seedlesss grapes halved
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Add the chicken, pecans, apple, and celery to a large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder, salt, and black pepper until smooth.
- Add the dressing to the chicken mixture and stir until all ingredients are well-coated.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Make your favorite chicken salad recipe healthier by swapping the mayo for Greek yogurt or replacing half. Using a little less fruit will also cut the sugar some.
Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.
About Sheila Thigpen
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.