Experience a taste of Italy with our irresistible Italian Chicken Salad recipe. Bursting with flavors reminiscent of the Mediterranean, this salad is a delightful combination of tender chicken, vibrant vegetables, and zesty herbs. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing lunch option or a crowd-pleasing appetizer, this dish is sure to satisfy your cravings.
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Salad
- Meal Prep: This chicken salad will stay fresh for up to 3 days after mixing. Perfect for meal prep.
- Customizable: Add in extra veggies for a more nutrient packed meal!
- Filling: Chicken salad is such an underrated meal option. It’s loaded with protein which makes it incredibly filling!
I am obsessed with finding ways to use a rotisserie chicken. It’s become my sole mission in life to create as many meals as I can with the precious $5 rotisserie. So far we’ve had soups, casseroles, and pastas… But THIS chicken salad is by far the easiest/best. I make it every week, and there is no doubt in my mind it’s about to become your favorite find.
When you take a bite of this sandwich, you’ll experience a mix of juicy chicken, tanginess of the balsamic vinegar, and the burst of flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes. The balsamic vinegar complements the chicken and adds a pleasant acidity, while the sun-dried tomatoes provide a robust and slightly fruity taste. Overall, the combination of these ingredients creates a well-rounded flavor profile with a balance of savory, tangy, and slightly sweet that cannot be missed.
Italian Chicken Salad Ingredients
- Balsamic Vinegar: Hear me out, this is a KEY ingredient. Don’t skip it! The vinegar adds a tang that makes this out of this world incredible.
- Sun Dried Tomatoes: Specifically, sun dried tomatoes that are packed in oil. You can find this in the tomato section of most grocers.
- Salt and Pepper: Classic seasoning staples that help to elevate the overall flavor of the salad.
- Garlic: I like to measure this with my heart, but for the sake of everyone else that doesn’t live for garlic I kept it to just one clove.
- Chicken: Leftovers are king when it comes to time saving recipe tips. OR you can use a rotisserie chicken or bake your own.
- Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes are a must for that extra freshness.
- Parmesan: Adds a sort of nutty and creamy finish that is perfection.
- Basil: Optional, but fresh basil kicks this up ten notches and pulls everything together.
- Lettuce or Spinach: Again, optional. However, this brings in the texture and crunch that makes this *chefs kiss.*
How To Make Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Are you ready for what might be the easiest recipe on this site? Let’s dive in:
- PREP: Whisk together the vinegar, sun dried tomatoes, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.
- MIX: Toss in the chicken, tomato, cheese, and basil.
- ENJOY: Fill your pita with your greens and chicken mixture and serve.
Wrap your pita halves, or bread, in parchment and you’ve got a ready to go packed lunch that is perfect for the park, pool, beach, or wherever your travels take you. The dressing is actually one of my favorite chicken marinades as well. It has the right kind of summer flavor. Pair this with some mint fruit salad or baked onion rings and you’ve got a light lunch that’s fit for a king.
- Airtight Container: Planning to travel with this recipe? Test out this set of bowls with lids (affiliate). Perfect sized and one of my most-used kitchen items!
- Silicone Spatulas: I am beyond obsessed with my set of silicone spatulas (affiliate). Perfect for mixing and can be used on hot or cold dishes.
- Cutting Boards: Having a good set of knives (affiliate) and cutting boards (affiliate) can make things go by much quicker!
Yes, you can absolutely use pre-cooked or leftover chicken for chicken salad sandwiches. In fact, using pre-cooked chicken is a convenient and time-saving option. Leftover chicken, such as grilled, roasted, or poached chicken, works particularly well for making chicken salad.
Yes, you can make Italian chicken salad ahead of time. In fact, making it in advance allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a more flavorful and well-marinated salad.
Ultimately, the best bread for an Italian chicken salad sandwich depends on your personal preference. Consider the texture, flavor, and overall experience you desire, and choose a bread that complements the flavors of the chicken salad while meeting your preferences.
We really enjoy pita and ciabatta.
I have never attempted this specifically, but I’m sure you could potentially make a vegetarian version of Italian chicken salad by omitting the chicken and replacing it with vegetarian-friendly ingredients.
Italian Chicken Salad
- 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped sun-dried tomatoes the packed in oil kind
- 1½ tablespoons of the sun-dried tomato oil
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and salt
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 cups sliced or shredded chicken
- 1 diced tomato
- 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 2 pitas
- Lettuce or spinach
- Whisk together the vinegar, sun dried tomatoes, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.
- Toss in the chicken, tomato, cheese, and basil.
- Fill bread of choice with the greens and chicken mixture and serve.