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Costco Chicken Salad

Recreate the classic Costco chicken salad with just a few easy steps!

Between the savory shredded chicken, creamy mayonnaise, crunchy pecans, and chewy craisins, this chicken salad is hard to beat.

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Chicken Salad with Celery, Pecans and Grapes

Served cool with croissants or dinner rolls, it’s a hearty yet refreshing dish. 

This recipe is a pretty on-point copycat, but you’re also free to make it your own. There are endless add-ins and dressing options to choose from.

Because it’s such a breeze to make, you can enjoy it any day of the week.

It keeps well, too, so you can whip up a big batch, refrigerate it, and serve it on busy days.

Ready to give Costco a run for its money? Let’s get started.

Costco Chicken Salad 

Costo chicken salad is a well-loved classic. There’s nothing spectacular about the ingredients, but together, they create an addictive, irresistible treat.

Apart from the savory and sweet flavor, the texture contrast is also a winner.

It’s soft, creamy, moist, and crunchy all at the same time. You’ll also get a bit of chewiness from the cranberries.

This salad is perfect for barbecues and picnics, but because it’s such a snap to make, you can serve it any day.

What Are the Ingredients in Costco Chicken Salad?

The dressing and the chicken are the key components here.

It’s best to use leftover or rotisserie chicken, so there’s no cooking needed. I have a neat shredding technique below, too, so watch out for that!

For the Dressing

  • Mayonnaise – The key to a rich and creamy chicken salad. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – A bit of tang to contrast the rich mayo.
  • Honey – Sweet and savory always work well together.
  • Poppy Seeds – For crunch!
  • Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Salt, and Pepper – To season and flavor.

The Protein

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts You’ll bake the chicken for this recipe, but you can also boil it on the stove.

The Add-ins

  • Pecans – For nuttiness and crunch. Toast the pecans for several minutes to bring out their flavor.
  • Dried Cranberries – For a sweet and chewy contrast.
  • Celery – For a nice color and crunch.

Tips for the Best Salad 

  • Serve chicken salad on croissants, dinner rolls, baguettes, crackers, or even white bread. For a more wholesome, low-carb dish, make lettuce wraps. You can also serve it on top of sliced cucumbers and bell peppers for a healthy snack.
  • Instead of mayo, use a blend of pureed avocado and sour cream. It’s so good, and the green hue makes it extra appetizing. 
    • For a healthier dressing, opt for Greek yogurt instead of mayo.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of BBQ sauce to replace some of the mayo to make chicken BBQ salad. It’ll give it a lovely zing!
  • Add paprika, mustard, cayenne, or curry powder to the dressing. Or I like it with a splash of lime juice for a citrusy tang.
  • Prepare the salad dressing up to 2 days in advance. It’ll give time for the flavors to marry.
  • Let the chicken cool completely before dressing. Warm chicken will absorb too much of the dressing, resulting in a dry salad.
  • Serve the salad right away, or keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Don’t add the dressing if you plan to freeze chicken salad because it’ll split when thawed. Instead, freeze the ingredients minus the dressing for up to 3 months.
Chicken Breast Salad with Celery, Chicken and Grapes

What Type of Chicken is Best for Shredding?

Boneless skinless chicken breast is most commonly used. I also like chicken thighs, though, because they’re really moist. 

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You can also use leftover or rotisserie chicken so there’s no need to cook. It also adds a nice flavor to your salad.

You can also use canned chicken in a pinch. 

There are two ways you can shred chicken.

First is the traditional fork method, where you place the chicken on a plate and separate the meat with two forks.

My preferred method, though, is much easier and faster. Just pop the chicken in the bowl of your stand mixer.

Beat it with the paddle attachment for 15 seconds, and voila! It’s perfect especially when you’re shredding a lot.

If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer works well, too.

If you’re okay with chunks instead of shredded chicken, use the food processor.

It yields small chicken chunks that give your salad a nice texture. Use the dough blade attachment for the best results. 

Add-Ins For Chicken Salad 

There is a wide array of things you can add to the classic chicken salad to make it more colorful and flavorful. Here are some of my favorites:

  • For crunch: chopped roasted walnuts, almonds, or cashews
  • For flavor and color: scallions, olives, pickles, diced carrots, bell peppers
  • For a sweet, fruity twist: mandarin oranges, diced peaches, seedless grapes, dried fruits

Costco Chicken Salad



Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 cup 1 mayonnaise

  • 4 teaspoons 4 apple cider vinegar

  • 5 teaspoons 5 honey

  • 2 teaspoons 2 poppy seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 onion powder

  • Seasoning salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 pounds 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 water

  • 3/4 cups 3/4 pecans, toasted

  • 1 1/4 cups 1 1/4 dried cranberries

  • 3 stalks celery


  • For the dressing, stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, garlic and onion powders, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Refrigerate the mixture until the salad is ready to dress.
  • For the chicken, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour water into a shallow baking dish. Place the chicken breasts in the baking dish in a single layer and cover with foil.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove it from the pan and cool at room temperature for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate it to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, dice or shred the chicken and place it in a large bowl. Toss in the pecans, dried cranberries, celery, and dressing. Enjoy!
Costco Chicken Salad

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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