Turning up the fancy with this apricot thyme and bacon chicken salad recipe. Elevate a classic with these flavors and it will be your new favorite way to make chicken salad!
I don't mean to brag or anything but I make a pretty epic chicken and tuna salad. Like the kind you dream about from your favorite local small grocery store that has the best deli salads ever.
I can steal your heart with my recipe too, just like that local deli. I promise.
This recipe has saltiness, sweetness and crunchiness with a fresh burst of flavor from thyme. If you are in the mood to switch things up or are looking for that perfect chicken salad recipe for your next party, this is it.
Don't stop at just dinners for this recipe. If you haven't hopped on the chicken salad for meal prep you are truly missing out on meal prep life. It is the kind of meal that lasts for days and you can make it super cheap per meal if you use a whole chicken you cook yourself!
The secret ingredient to a really killer chicken salad
There are a few tricks to make your chicken salad really stand out. I go through more of how to make it the absolute best, but do you want to know what the secrent ingredient is that really makes it work?
Apple cider vinegar....don't leave it out, do not pass go, do not sub for another ingredient. Use it and love it and you will be happy you did.
Ingredients and substitutions
The ingredients you need are super easy to find and you will not have a problem getting them at any grocery store.
- dried apricots
- fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- apple cider vinegar
Chicken- you can use any type of cooked chicken you prefer. A rotisserie works well, all chicken breast or a mix of both light and dark meat. I cooked a small whole chicken and used all the meat.
Apricots- I do not recommend subbing in fresh apricots for dried. That will make for a soggy situation that will not be very appetizing. You can find dried apricots with all the other dried fruit at your grocery store.
Onion- white, yellow or sweet onion will all work for this recipe.
Thyme- for the freshest most aromatic experience I do not recommend subbing in dried thyme.
Apple cider vinegar- please do not sub this ingredient. Also be sure to get a real apple cider vinegar with the mother, not the kind that costs $0.97 cents.
Bacon- if you must you could sub in a turkey bacon.
Mayo- Let's chat about mayo. I am confident that out there someone is going to tell me mayo is bad for you. I will strongly disagree to that statement and counter with that it is actually the type of mayo that you are using that is probably bad for you.
First of all if you want the best flavor don't sub in anything like miracle whip. Second find a mayo that is "clean" meaning no soy, no high inflammatory oils. I like these two mayo's if I don't make my own. Sir Kensington's Avocado Mayo and Primal Foods Mayo.
Expert tips and how to store
Time to share how to make this the best it can be.
Obviously everyone has their own taste preference but in my experience more mayo = a better chicken salad.
- So tip number one is to add at least ½ cup and if I were you I would add the full amount suggested.
- Let the chicken salad rest in the fridge after you make it! It will taste so much better 1) cold and 2) after it has been in the fridge for at least an hour. Overnight is even better. After resting I like to add a touch more mayo because if you were skimpy on it in the beginning you will notice some has absorbed into the chicken.
3. Use real mayo. Worth saying it again. Don't use low fat or weird stuff like miracle whip.
How to store
Always keep your chicken salad in the fridge. It will be good up to 3 days in a sealed container in the fridge!Print