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Mcalister’s Chicken Salad Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

Last Updated on August 19, 2023

Mcalister’s chicken salad is a classic comfort food that is easy to make and delicious. It has the perfect balance of creamy mayonnaise, crisp celery, sweet raisins, and crunchy pecans, all mixed together with shredded chicken.

In this recipe guide , I will show you how to make the perfect mcalister’s chicken salad! We’ll start by talking a bit about what it is and what it tastes like. 

Then, we’ll discuss how to get all the ingredients ready before giving step-by-step instructions for making it. I’ll also talk about storage tips, nutritional information, and serving suggestions.

So, you’ll be able to make the perfect mcalister’s chicken salad every time with the help of this guide!

Mcalister's Chicken Salad Recipe

What is mcalister’s chicken salad? 

Mcalister’s chicken salad is a one of the popular dishes of Mcalister’s Deli which opened its door in 1989. This delicious salad is made from shredded chicken, mayonnaise, celery, raisins, and pecans. It’s perfect for a light lunch or as a side dish.

This salad has a mix of creamy, savory, and sweet flavors. The mayonnaise brings creaminess while the celery adds crunch and a hint of bitterness. 

The raisins bring a touch of sweetness, and the pecans add a nutty flavor. All these flavors combine to make this classic chicken salad!

How did I first get introduced to the mcalister’s chicken salad? 

I first got introduced to McAlister’s chicken salad when I was on a road trip with my family. We stopped at one of the many McAlister’s Deli restaurants located across the country and decided to give it a try.

I remember the moment that I bit into the sandwich; it was like nothing else I had ever tasted before. The combination of the crispy romaine lettuce, juicy chicken, and creamy mayonnaise was absolutely delicious. I knew right then that this was something that I would have to try again.

From that day forward, McAlister’s chicken salad has been one of my favorite meals. Whenever I’m in the mood for something quick and tasty, McAlister’s is the place I turn to first. 

However, it was not possible to always go to a restaurant so, I had to try to make this dish at home. After tweaking and experimenting, I was able to get it just right.

Now, I’m sharing my recipe so you can enjoy this delicious dish at home too!

How to make mcalister’s chicken salad? 

Making mcalister’s chicken salad is incredibly easy. Just follow the instructions below and you’ll have a delicious meal in no time.

You can also read the following lunch recipes:

Ingredients :

  • Shredded rotisserie chicken : This succulent, juicy chicken is packed with flavor and perfect for sandwiches, salads, or other recipes.
  • Mayonnaise : A creamy emulsion of oil, eggs, and an acid (usually vinegar or lemon juice). It adds moisture and creaminess to the dish.
  • Celery salt : Combines ground celery seeds with regular table salt creating a unique and flavorful seasoning.
  • Garlic powder : A fragrant and spicy dried form of garlic that adds a delicious zesty flavor to dishes.
  • Salt and pepper : The classic, all-purpose seasoning combination perfect for adding just a hint of flavor to any dish.
  • Celery : A crisp vegetable with a mild, earthy taste that adds crunch and texture to salads.
  • Craisins : Sweet, tart dried cranberries that add a burst of flavor and color to dishes.
  • Pecan pieces : Pieces of roasted pecans for adding a crunchy nutty flavor to salads or other dishes.
Mcalister's Chicken Salad Recipe

Step by step instructions

Step 1

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, mayonnaise, celery salt, garlic powder and salt and pepper.

Step 2

Gently fold in the craisins and pecans.

Step 3

Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Step 4

Serve over greens or in a sandwich or wrap.

Tips 

  • If you don’t have rotisserie chicken, use cooked and cooled chicken breasts or thighs.
  • To make the salad a bit spicier, add a few tablespoons of diced jalapenos or hot sauce.
  • Use light mayonnaise for a lower calorie version.
  • For an even more flavorful version, mix in 2 tablespoons of finely diced red onion.
Mcalister's Chicken Salad Recipe

Mcalister’s Chicken Salad Recipe

Mcalister's chicken salad is a classic comfort food that is easy to make and delicious. It has the perfect balance of creamy mayonnaise, crisp celery, sweet raisins, and crunchy pecans, all mixed together with shredded chicken. In this recipe guide , I will show you how to make the perfect mcalister's chicken salad! We’ll start by talking a bit about what it is and what it tastes like.
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Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 301kcal

Equipment

  • Hand mixer

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken skin removed
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • pinch celery salt
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup craisins
  • ¼ tablespoons pecan pieces

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, mayonnaise, celery salt, garlic powder and salt and pepper.
  • Gently fold in the craisins and pecans.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • Serve over greens or in a sandwich or wrap.

Notes

  • If you don’t have rotisserie chicken, use cooked and cooled chicken breasts or thighs.
  • To make the salad a bit spicier, add a few tablespoons of diced jalapenos or hot sauce.
  • Use light mayonnaise for a lower calorie version.
  • For an even more flavorful version, mix in 2 tablespoons of finely diced red onion.
Keyword: mcalister’s chicken salad recipe

Nutritional Information 

Serving: 1serving

Calories: 301kcal

Carbohydrates: 12g

Protein: 33g

Fat: 14g

Saturated Fat: 3g

Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g

Monounsaturated Fat: 3g

Cholesterol: 116mg

Sodium: 652mg

Potassium: 52mg

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 9g

Vitamin A: 25IU

Vitamin C: 0.2mg

Calcium: 8mg

Iron: 0.2mg

Note : Nutritional Information is estimated only.

What to serve with mcalister’s chicken salad?

Mcalister’s chicken salad is the perfect meal for lunch or dinner. Serve it over a bed of greens, stuffed in a wrap or sandwich, or paired with crackers and vegetables. You can also serve it as an appetizer alongside other finger foods.

Another option is to make mini mcalister’s chicken salad croissants – just fill individual croissants with the salad and bake in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes. These make the perfect party appetizer!

How to store leftover mcalister’s chicken salad? 

Mcalister’s chicken salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you plan on storing it longer, freeze it for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen container in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for 1 hour.

Can pregnant women eat  this ?

 Yes, mcalister’s chicken salad is safe for pregnant women to eat as long as it is properly prepared and stored. 

Be sure to use pasteurized mayonnaise made with pasteurized eggs and store the leftovers in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days. As always, it’s best to check with your doctor if you have any concerns about eating certain foods during your pregnancy.

FAQS 

How can I make mcalister’s chicken salad healthier?

To make this dish more nutritious, use light mayonnaise, add some fresh vegetables like tomatoes or peppers, and opt for whole grain bread. You can also substitute some of the chicken with canned tuna or salmon for a boost of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Can I make mcalister’s chicken salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can make mcalister’s chicken salad ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you plan on storing it longer, freeze it for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen container in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for 1 hour.

Can I use store bought chicken instead of rotisserie chicken?

Yes, you can use store bought chicken for mcalister’s chicken salad. Just make sure to cook it completely and let it cool before adding it to the salad.

Can mcalister’s chicken salad be frozen?

Yes, mcalister’s chicken salad can be frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen container in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for 1 hour. When ready to serve, let it come to room temperature before serving. Feel free to add more mayonnaise to make it creamier if needed.

Can I add extra ingredients to the recipe?

Yes, feel free to experiment with additional ingredients! Try adding some diced jalapenos or hot sauce for a spicier version, red onion for an even more flavorful kick, or fresh herbs like parsley or dill for a bright, fresh taste.

Can I use light mayonnaise instead of regular?

Yes, you can use light mayonnaise if you’re looking to reduce the calorie content of the dish. The flavor might be slightly different, but it will still taste delicious!

Can I use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise?

Yes, you can use plain Greek yogurt as a substitute for the mayonnaise in mcalister’s chicken salad. Just remember to adjust the amounts accordingly – as Greek yogurt is thicker than mayonnaise, you may need to add more.

Can I use other types of nuts in this recipe?

Yes, feel free to substitute the pecans with any other nut or seed of your choice. Roasted almonds, walnuts or sunflower seeds would all be delicious additions! Just make sure to chop them into small pieces before adding them to the salad.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

Yes, you can make mcalister’s chicken salad vegan by substituting the chicken for your favorite plant-based protein. Tofu, tempeh and seitan are all great options. You can also opt for a vegan mayonnaise or use plain Greek yogurt as a substitute.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, you can easily make mcalister’s chicken salad gluten-free by using a gluten-free bread and checking the labels of all the ingredients to ensure they are certified gluten-free. You can also opt for a lettuce wrap instead of bread if desired.

Wrapping Up  

Mcalister’s chicken salad is the perfect meal for lunch or dinner. You can make it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, so you always have a quick and delicious meal on hand. 

Feel free to experiment with additional ingredients like jalapenos, red onion, fresh herbs, nuts or seeds to make it your own. You can also make this recipe vegan, gluten-free or lower in calories by using alternative ingredients. 

With all that said, there’s no need to be intimidated by the thought of making mcalister’s chicken salad! Once you have all the ingredients gathered and prepped, this dish comes together quickly and easily.

Hope you have loved this recipe and found it useful. Let us know in the comments section if you have tried different variations and how they turned out!

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My name is Lori Walker. I’m a registered dietitian, food blogger and food enthusiast. I share easy healthy, delicious recipes on my blog and review necessary kitchen items. The recipes I share take less… Read more

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