Italian chicken salad

Classic Italian chicken salad is an inviting dish suitable for summer, but excellent all year round for a delicious lunch break. It is essentially characterized by the presence of pulled chicken – generally boiled, but roasted or grilled is also good – dressed with a mayonnaise-based sauce. The Italian chicken salad is complemented by delicious pickled vegetables, typically peppers, but alternatively you can use your favorite ones: pickles, eggplants, artichokes, mushrooms or even a mix of vegetables, what in Italy is called also “giardiniera”. As for the type of salad, the most suitable for the classic Italian chicken salad is certainly lettuce, to which you can add a little rocket if you like. Instead, I chose to enrich this fresh chicken salad with green olives and carrots. Finally the sauce: as I was saying, mayonnaise cannot be missing from the classic Italian chicken salad, which makes it pleasantly creamy. To accentuate the acidity of the dish, I always add a little apple vinegar or white wine vinegar to the mayonnaise.

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classic italian chicken salad with mayo olives pickled vegetables lettuce by tasty corner

Video recipe of the day

  • DifficultyVery easy
  • CostVery cheap
  • Preparation time15 Minutes
  • Cooking time10 Minutes
  • Serving4 servings
  • Cooking methodBoiling
  • CuisineItalian
  • SeasonalityEvergreen

Ingredients for the classic Italian chicken salad

If you are gluten intolerant, check that the mayonnaise has the wording “gluten-free” on the label.

For the chicken salad

1 chicken breast (600g – 21oz)
6 oz lettuce (170 g)
2 carrots (3 oz – 85 g)
1 oz green olives (30 g; pitted)
2 oz pickled peppers (60 g; or other pickled greens, drained)
q.s. salt

For the dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise (5 oz – 140 g)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple vinegar
288,06 Kcal
calories per serving
Info Close
  • Power 288,06 (Kcal)
  • Carbohydrates 12,10 (g) of which sugars 2,81 (g)
  • Proteins 37,55 (g)
  • Fat 10,64 (g) of which saturated 1,62 (g)of which unsaturated 1,79 (g)
  • Fibers 2,50 (g)
  • Sodium 301,93 (mg)

Indicative values for a portion of 205 g processed in an automated way starting from the nutritional information available on the CREA* and FoodData Central** databases. It is not food and / or nutritional advice.

* CREATES Food and Nutrition Research Center: ** U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019.


1 Pot
1 Chopping Board
1 Salad Bowl
1 Glass
1 Knife

How to prepare chicken salad according to the Italian recipe

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To prepare the classic Italian chicken salad, start by cooking the chicken. I generally use chicken breasts, but an equally good alternative are thighs. If so, consider about 2.2 pounds (1 kg), as skin and bones will be discarded.

Boil the chicken breast in boiling vegetable broth prepared with celery, carrot and onion. If you don’t have time to prepare the broth, you can also use simple, slightly salted water. Calculate about 10-12 minutes if you use whole chicken breasts, 13-15 minutes if you use chicken thighs, 4-5 minutes if you use sliced ​​chicken breasts.

Don’t overcook the chicken or it will become too dry. Drain it and let it cool, then fray it with your hands, obtaining rather small pieces.

fray the chicken with your hands to prepare the Italian chicken salad

Wash the lettuce, dry it and cut it into strips. Scrape the carrots and cut them into julienne strips. Put the lettuce and carrots in a large salad bowl.

Pit the olives and, if they are very large, cut them in half. Drain the peppers in oil and cut them into strips. Then add the olives and peppers to the salad. Lightly salt everything and mix.

put in a bowl lettuce peppers carrots and olives for the chicken salad

Also add the shredded chicken. Finally, go on to prepare the dressing for the chicken salad: in a cup, combine the mayonnaise with the oil and vinegar. Mix everything vigorously, until you get a sauce that is quite soft and easy to distribute.

Pour the sauce on the chicken salad mixing carefully so that it is evenly distributed over all the ingredients.

pour the mayonnaise-based dressing over the classic Italian chicken salad

You can serve the classic Italian chicken salad right away; if you want to prepare it in advance, keep the lettuce separate from the rest of the ingredients and add it just before serving.

en_V_ classic italian chicken salad with mayo olives pickled vegetables lettuce by tasty corner

How to store chicken salad

The classic Italian chicken salad can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days if you have used canned mayonnaise. If, on the other hand, you have used homemade mayonnaise, it is better to consume the chicken salad within a few hours.

It would be a good thing, however, to always keep the lettuce separate from the other ingredients because the salt contained in them makes it wither over the hours.

Tips and variations

If you prefer, instead of boiling the chicken breast, you can grill it and then cut it into thin strips.
The classic chicken salad is a great way to reuse leftover chicken, for example the one used to prepare the broth, but also roasted or barbecued chicken.

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