Chicken salad recipes are a simple yet fantastic way of transforming leftover chicken. Although there are stated ingredients and procedures, there’s much room for creativity. For instance, you can add more or fewer ingredients or use rotisserie chicken instead of poached, so there’s more flavor.
That same freedom and creativity extend to picking sides or foods so that you can know what to eat with chicken salad. Although it’s typically a whole meal on its own – protein and veggies on a bowl – pairing it with something else elevates it by introducing new flavors, nutrients, and textures.
Potato chips are well-recommended with chicken salad because of the saltiness and crisp textures that they provide. Such qualities help cut through the creaminess of the salad and contrast it as well. Although potato chips are sold in many stores, they’re often unhealthy. As an alternative, make these homemade baked potato chips instead – they’re as crisp, thin, and delicious as the ones in plastic bags but much healthier.
If your salad is too sweet or creamy to your taste, you’ll need to complement it with savory flavors and firmer textures. These potato wedges fit the bill – they have a prominent garlicky and cheesy taste, and the skin is amazingly crisp. However, the interior of each wedge is tender and soft, so your teeth sink into them with every bite.
3. Carrot Fries
Like the chips and wedges, classic potato fries are fantastic with chicken salad. However, some people find them too heavy or starchy for their liking. If you’re one of them, consider these carrot fries instead. They have a crisp exterior and tender interior like the usual fries, but the flavors are sweeter, fresher, and lighter. Plus, they’re made in the air fryer or oven, so they aren’t too oily.
Another healthy alternative to a classic potato treat is baked kale chips. They’re crunchy like the usual chips but much more nutritious, and the flavors are novel. It’s also easy to make, as you only need curly kale, olive oil, kosher salt, and garlic granules. They’re often served with some dip, but condiments are optional as you have creamy chicken salad.
Corn on the cob is a juicy, sweet, and incredible treat with chicken salad. But this grilled recipe brings more, including a smoky taste and enhanced corn flavor and sweetness. They’re perfect if you want to reign a refreshing feel to your meal. Also, it takes only 20 minutes to prepare and grill four ears of corn, so the time and effort are worth it.
Chicken salad recipes almost always recommend serving the salad with croissants. You can get the croissants from a great bakery, but they’re better homemade. Either way, it’s often sliced in half so that you can fill it with delicious chicken salad. The resulting complex of flavors and textures is incredible – buttery, flaky, and creamy, all punctuated by flavorful, tender chicken.
Instead of croissants, you can have pita bread and fill it with chicken salad. It’s soft, fluffy, fragrant, and fresh, but not so much of the buttery taste you get from croissants. They take more than an hour to prepare and cook, but you can make them ahead of time and store them either in the fridge or freezer.
Chicken and waffles are a classic combination, so does that mean chicken salad and waffles go great together? Yes, and you can even serve the salad, so it sits perfectly on top of the crisp-fluffy waffles. In that way, every bite is packed full of crunch and creaminess – a beautiful contrast of textures and flavors. Also, these waffles are quick and easy, especially when you follow this recipe.
9. Garlic Knots
Pop a garlic knot into your mouth, and you’ll get an instant burst of savory flavors and soft and chewy textures. These bite-sized treats are a typical side dish to pasta and salads, including delicious chicken salad. They’re a cute alternative to breadsticks. However, these take some time to make because you must let the dough rise for an hour.
Sweet, buttery, aromatic, fluffy, and golden-yellow cornbread makes a great side dish to chicken salad. You can also use it to absorb the salad’s creamy flavors, helping disperse its richness. Cornbread takes only 30 minutes to make, and you must gather the following ingredients: flour, yellow cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, egg, milk, and vegetable oil.
Chicken salad with a platter of crackers makes a great afternoon snack. The crunch of the crackers pairs well with the creaminess of the salad. Also, the crackers’ plain flavors allow the rich deliciousness of the dish to come through. However, you can’t enjoy regular crackers if you’re on a low-carb diet. Thus, make these flax seed ones instead; they’re also crunchy but have a unique multigrain flavor.
12. Cheese Straws
Cheese straws are bizarre – they’re long and thin like fries, cheesy like cheese sticks, crisp-tender like shortbread, and crunchy like crackers. It’s also a quick and easy treat, although set aside a few extra minutes for cooling. The flavors of these cheese straws are prominently cheddar, but you also get hints of the added spices: salt, cayenne, paprika, garlic, and onion.
Packing your chicken salad between bread slices makes it excellent with creamy, thick, and savory soup, like this butternut squash soup. Such a food set makes a heartwarming and comforting meal perfect for cold, rainy days. The aroma of this soup is also incredible, as you get a whiff of the sweet squash and added herbs, such as sage and rosemary.