Southern Kitchen Bucket List : Savory Chicken Salad.

There are two kinds of people out there - ones that love sweet chicken salad, and ones that love savory. I am 100% team savory and finding the perfect, basic chicken salad is one of the best skills you can learn.

From there you can always take it and doctor it up or try a few variations, but this is my go-to staple when making chicken salad. As our Southern Kitchen Bucket List continues, I'm sharing my best recipe that includes fresh tarragon, toasted almond slivers and a bright touch of lemon.

Savory Chicken Salad Salad recipe / heirloomed

I'm one of those that doesn't like my "salads" (read : egg, potato, chicken, pasta) too goopy, so the perfect ration of chicken to mayo is essential. I always use Dukes in my kitchen because it has that great tang to it, and for this recipe in particular I use a bit of sour cream to amp up that flavor even more giving it the best base for a savory recipe.

Dukes Mayo for Southern Savory Chicken Salad recipe / heirloomed
Basic southern chicken salad recipe / heirloomed
southern savory chicken salad salad with sour cream / heirloomed

I also love a good chicken salad salad, you know, on a bed of lettuce instead of a big hearty loaf of bread. I think the heaviness of the chicken is usually enough for this lunchtime recipe, so getting my greens in this way is easy peasy. 

Here I dressed a simple mixed super greens blend with my favorite go-to dressing, Garlic Express, which is really just a hefty dose of garlic and a good amount of apple cider vinegar. It's such a wonderful, healthy dressing and tastes just as good as homemade (which I never say about a pre-made dressing) - a staple in our house that even the kids love!

fresh lemon juice brightens chicken salad recipe / heirloomed
toasted slivered almonds for chicken salad recipe / heirloomed

Toasting the slivered almonds for just a minute gives them a rich, nutty flavor and amps up the crunch against the texture of the chicken salad. And a lot of freshly cracked pepper with a hearty splash of fresh lemon juice helps to balance the mayo / sour cream base. I love the flavor of tarragon and always have some growing in my herb garden, but you could certainly sub in your favorite, like thyme or chives.

cracked pepper and chicken salad on railroad stripe tea towel / heirloomed
fresh herbs and tarragon for chicken salad recipe / heirloomed

Savory Chicken Salad

Yield: 3 cups
Whether you prefer sweet or savory chicken salad, this recipe makes the best base to be doctored up. Try with homemade mayo and fresh bread.


  • 4 qty boneless, skinless, organic chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup of Dukes mayonnaise
  • 2 TBSP of sour cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Bunch of fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/4 cup of slivered almonds
  • Cracked pepper + kosher salt to taste


How to cook Savory Chicken Salad

  1. Fill a large pot with water, salt, and bring to a boil. Insert chicken breasts and allow to cook for approximately 15-20 minutes until fully cooked and no longer pink. Remove and pat dry, allowing them to cool completely in the refrigerator.
  2. In a small dry skillet, toast slivered almonds tossing constantly for approximately 1 minute, just long enough to give them a slightly brown color. Transfer into a bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Once cool, take chicken breasts and cut into chunks approximately 1/2 an inch and set aside in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine mayo and sour cream, stirring to together to blend. Stir in fresh lemon and tarragon leaves.
  4. Add creamy mixture to cubed chicken, slowly folding it into the chicken in batches to allow you to get your preferred consistency. Once the texture is to your liking, add toasted almonds and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Set savory chicken salad atop a bed of freshly dressed lettuce greens or enjoy as a sandwich between two pieces of lightly toasted, hearty wheat bread.
  6. Enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator
freshly tossed mixed greens salad / heirloomed
chicken salad salad / heirloomed
detail of selvedge edge railroad stripe tea towel / heirloomed

I think this recipe is so fresh for a beautiful lunchtime spread, and love how it pairs with our Selvedge Edge Railroad Stripe Tea Towels and vintage silverware and enamelware, like the pieces from our Vintage Goods stock.

lunchtime perfect savory chicken salad salads / heirloomed
detail of personalized vintage silverware / heirloomed
best savory chicken salad recipe with tarragon and slivered almonds / heirloomed

Love to know if you're team "sweet" or "savory" and what other ways you like to doctor up your own chicken salad! #HEIRLOOMED



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