Hellmann’s Chicken Salad Copycat Recipe


Hellmann’s chicken salad recipe is a wonderful chicken salad that uses only 4 ingredients for the base recipe. After you have that, just load it up with all of your favorite add ins. Or if you prefer it plain, it’s delicious to enjoy that way too.

Hellmann's Chicken Salad Recipe.  Photo by CookThink.
Hellmann’s Chicken Salad Recipe. Photo by CookThink.

Ingredients Needed for Hellmann’s Chicken Salad Recipe

Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
Hard Boiled Eggs

Optional Add-ins: nuts, berries, fruit, herbs, seasonings, bacon etc.

How To Make The Best Chicken Salad Using Hellmann’s

To make the best chicken salad, use regular fresh chicken breast meat. Cook it with the goal of maintaining moisture. This is best achieved in a slow cooker or cooked in the oven in a covered pan.

Using full fat mayonnaise is also an aspect to consider. We think the best chicken salad is made with full fat mayonnaise. However, if your diet requires a lower fat or a lower calorie version, this can also be achieved by using low fat mayonnaise and substituting part of the mayonnaise with plain Greek yogurt.

The third way to make the best chicken salad is to load it up with goodies. If you like crunch, why not add some fresh celery or almond slices? For a bit of sweetness, add dried cranberries or cherries. For a burst of color you can add grapes or apples. For a savory aspect, add some bacon pieces.

How To Cook Chicken for Hellman’s Chicken Salad

There are a variety of ways that chicken can be cooked for chicken salad. But the goal is to maintain moisture in the chicken for the best outcome. Here are some ways to cook the chicken:

slow cook

Place thawed chicken breasts with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil in the crockpot. Cook on high for 3 hours or cook on low for 6 hours or until done


Poach chicken until an internal temperature of 165F is reached.


Bake chicken breasts at 400F in a baking pan that is covered with foil for about an hour or until an internal temperature of 165F is reached. This is the method that I usually choose because I’ve got down how to achieve perfection baking chicken in the oven.

pan sear

You can also choose to cook chicken in a frying pan on the stovetop to prepare it for chicken salad. To do so, apply some cooking oil in the bottom of the pan and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165F. You might consider cutting the chicken into smaller pieces to speed up the cooking process with this method. If choosing this method, be sure to maintain the moisture so that the chicken doesn’t dry out.


Chicken can be grilled on a charcoal grill or a gas grill. Again, the key is to be sure that moisture is maintained. You don’t want to achieve dried out tough chicken. Grill until an internal temperature of 165F is reached.

instant pot

Place the chicken on the trivet. Add a bit of water or oil. Close the lid and seal. Set it on high pressure and cook for 10 – 15 minutes.

Hellmann's Chicken Salad Recipe.  Photo by CookThink.
Hellmann’s Chicken Salad Recipe. Photo by CookThink.

What to Serve Chicken Salad On?

How you serve your Hellmann’s chicken salad recipe adds to the versatility. You might even like to make a bit larger batch than needed for one meal and then serve the leftovers completely different the next day to change things up. Here are some ideas:


Chicken salad goes great as a sandwich on your favorite bread such as wheat, oat, rye, white, sourdough. It really doesn’t matter. Add some lettuce and tomato for an extra touch.


Give your chicken salad a bit of a Mexican flair by serving it on a tortilla. Crispy corn tortillas, fried tortillas or even soft tortillas taste great. Add some shredded lettuce and chopped tomato and avocado to dress it up.


You can often find chicken salad served in a wrap at restaurants or grocery store deli. It’s a great option to eat chicken salad on the go and not have to use a fork or knife to do so.


Eating chicken salad on a fresh croissant is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it. There’s something about the buttery, soft freshness that melts in your mouth that is completely wonderful. You can usually find fresh baked croissants in a grocery store bakery.


Pita bread is a fun way to change up the way your chicken salad is served. Just cut a slit in a piece of fresh pita bread and add your chicken salad mixture. Enjoy!

Lettuce leaves

If you’re trying to cut carbs, are low on bread or just plain want to change things up, try serving your Hellmann’s chicken salad recipe on lettuce leaves. Romaine is a favorite at our house to accompany chicken salad. Or Bibb lettuce and Iceberg lettuce are also possibilities.

Tortilla chips

If you’re looking for a more casual way to serve chicken salad, consider serving it with a bowl of tortilla chips. This makes the chicken salad act more like a dip than a salad. Those tortilla chips that are bowl or scoop shaped work perfectly.

Can I Use Canned Chicken?

Yes. You can use canned chicken in place of the chicken breast in this recipe. My only advice is to use a good quality chicken and drain it well. If you don’t drain it well, you’ll likely end up with chicken salad soup because there will be too much liquid. Using canned chicken can be an ideal way to cut preparation time off because this totally eliminates having to cook.

Hellmann's Chicken Salad Recipe.  Photo by CookThink.
Hellmann’s Chicken Salad Recipe. Photo by CookThink.

Tips for Perfect Chicken Salad

1. Chill.

Make sure the chicken has adequate time cool before mixing it all together. And then allow the mixture to completely cool in the refrigerator before serving it. The flavors will be more delicious as it allows them to meld together.

2. Add fruit.

We’ve mentioned grapes, apples, cherries or cranberries as possible fruit add-ins in our list of ideas. But what other fruits do you like to add to your Hellmann’s chicken salad recipe?

3. Nuts.

Adding sliced almonds or roasted pecan pieces gives a bit of an extra crunch and savory flavor. If you like nuts, be sure to add them in your recipe.

4. Herbs.

Herbs such as dill or parsley seem to be the perfect fit and add that bit of garnish flair. But if you want to add more of a flavorful punch, you can even add chives, rosemary, basil, oregano or thyme.

5. Full fat mayo.

To make the perfect chicken salad, we suggest using full fat Hellmann’s mayonnaise. That gives a deep rich flavor to this dish.

How Can I Make it Healthy?

I realize that using full fat mayonnaise can chock unwanted fat and calories into this dish if you’re someone who needs to be careful in your diet. But it is possible to make a healthier version.

If you’re watching your diet and require a lesser fat version, you can substitute the full fat mayonnaise for light mayo. And you can even use ¼ cup Greek yogurt to substitute a portion of the mayonnaise.  – sub light may and ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt.

What Sides to Serve With It?

There are a variety of sides that pair well with Hellmann’s chicken salad recipe. Here are our favorites:


Summertime fruit such as cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, raspberries or blueberries all make a great side for chicken salad. Or why not serve them all as a fruit salad?


There’s something about the sweet and sour combination of lemonade that goes so well with chicken salad. Or use pink lemonade to add a visual interest and more colors to your presentation.


Potato chips, corn chips or even pretzels are always a welcome side. It adds some carbs and a bit of texture to the table.

Tomato soup

There are some things that tomato soups just pairs well with. That’s all there is to it. And this is one of those things. Heat up your favorite kind of tomato soup to serve with Hellmann’s chicken salad recipe and enjoy!

How Long Does Chicken Salad Last?

Knowing how long chicken salad will last is important. You don’t want to let your chicken salad spoil. Here are the facts.

In the refrigerator, chicken salad can be stored in an airtight container and last up to three days.

If left out at room temperature, chicken salad is only good for 2 hours, according to parameters conveyed by the FDA

If chicken salad is left out at picnic or potluck where the temperature is above 90F, the previously mentioned 2 hours gets cut to 1 hour, according to the FDA.

How Much To Serve Per Person

Let’s imagine that you’re planning a meal with some guests and you’re trying to decide how much chicken you’ll need to serve those guests. Here are some estimations:

If chicken salad is the main dish, plan on 8 oz per person.
If you’re serving chicken salad in lettuce cups, as a side, plan on 4 to 6 oz per person.
If you’re serving chicken salad in a sandwich or in wraps, plan 4 to 6 oz per person.

Recipe Variations

You might also like to try some of these recipe variations for Hellmann’s chicken salad recipe. Finding the right ingredient combination that fits your taste preferences perfectly is such a wonderful thing. Read on to see recipe variations.

Homemade Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe

Homemade chicken salad sandwich recipe is of course as it says. It’s homemade chicken salad served as a sandwich. Use your favorite whole wheat bread, or any flavor of bread for that matter and serve it up with toppings such as a slice of fresh tomato and leaf of romaine lettuce. It makes for a hearty lunch.


Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
Hard Boiled Eggs
Lemon Juice


The method for making chicken salad sandwich recipe is identical to the Hellmann’s chicken salad recipe. The only difference is you’ll use a bit of lemon juice in place of the relish and serve it up as a sandwich.

Chunky Chicken Salad

Chunky chicken salad is made as larger chunks of bite sized meat. When preparing the chicken cut it in chunky chunks rather than shredding it or dicing it in tiny pieces. The whole essence of this variation is the chunky aspect.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

When you think about chicken salad sandwiches, try to think outside the box. If you’re like us when you think about a sandwich your mind naturally goes to thinking that means bread. But there are so many choices for sandwiches such as: croissants, pita, wraps, tortillas, even crackers. Use your creativity and have fun making sandwiches.

Fast and Fabulous Chicken Salad

Most chicken salad is fast and fabulous, at least it is in my opinion. But if you want to make it even faster, try using precooked chicken like what you can buy in the can or even pre-cooked chicken in the grocery freezer section. As long as it’s a good quality white meat, it will most likely make a fabulous chicken salad.

Simple Chicken Salad Recipe

To make the simplest chicken salad possible, you’ll need 3 ingredients: chicken, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Everything that’s added after that is just like icing on the cake. Those 3 ingredients are the basics that will send you on your way to a delicious meal.

Hellmann's Chicken Salad Recipe.  Photo by CookThink.
Hellmann’s Chicken Salad Recipe. Photo by CookThink.

Harvest Chicken Salad

You might have heard of Harvest Chicken Salad. To make it you’ll need mayonnaise, chicken, or turkey, celery and grapes. This delicious combination lends itself to a delightful flavorful dish.

How To Make The Best Chicken Salad Recipe Ever

In our personal opinion, the best chicken salad recipe ever is the one that is your favorite. Not my favorite, not my sister’s favorite, but your favorite. So to make the best chicken salad recipe ever, start out with the base for chicken salad using chicken, mayo, and lemon juice. Then go from there with your favorite add-ins.

Hellmann’s Extra Special Chicken Salad Recipe

Hellmann’s extra special chicken salad recipe includes the base of chicken, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Then add chopped cooked bacon, chopped red grapes and you’ve got yourself a delicious dish.

Hellmann’s Chicken Salad Recipe Add-ins:

Everyone loves a custom salad that’s made just how they like it. We’re sure you do too. Here are some ideas for add-ins to this delicious recipe to make it even more wonderful. Pick and choose what you like and load it up.

chopped grapes, red, green or black
dried cherries
diced apples
dried cranberries
roasted pecan pieces
sliced almonds
chopped celery
sunflower seeds
pumpkin seeds
mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
seasonings such as salt mixtures and salad blends
herbs such as parsley, dill, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary

How To Make Hellmann’s Chicken Salad Recipe

Hellmann’s Chicken Salad Recipe is one of those go to recipes that become a main stay in your rotation. It’s relatively easy to make and can be done quickly. Use chicken that you cook or chicken from a can that is already cooked. Add the main ingredients and then load it up with extra add-ins that customize it to what you like.


1 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
2 cups diced cooked Chicken Breast
¼ cup Relish
4 Hard Boiled Eggs

Optional Add-ins: nuts, berries, fruit, herbs, seasonings, bacon etc.


1. Cook Chicken Breast pieces until thoroughly cooked. Let cool.

2. Dice chicken into small bite sized pieces.

3. Mix chicken with Hellmann’s mayonnaise, relish and diced hard boiled eggs.

4. Incorporate any desired add-in ingredients such as nuts, dried cherries, seasonings or bacon. Mix well. Chill, serve and enjoy!

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Hellmann’s Chicken Salad Copycat recipe is a recipe I came up with to replicate the real thing.

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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