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Contest-Winning Hot Chicken Salad

After I tasted this chicken salad at a women's luncheon, I left with the recipe in hand. I was our city clerk several years, and on election days I often brought it as lunch for our poll workers. It got everyone's vote of approval! I've found it is also delicious stuffed in a tomato. —Ruth Glabe, Oronoco, Minnesota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups diced celery
  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cans (2.8 ounces each) french-fried onions
  • Chopped green onions, optional

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place chicken in a Dutch oven and cover with water; add bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until chicken juices run clear. Remove chicken and cut into 1/2-in. cubes; place in a large bowl. Stir in the next 11 ingredients.
  • Transfer to a 13x9-in. baking dish (dish will be full). Sprinkle with cheese and onions. Bake, uncovered, until heated through, about 30 minutes. Garnish with green onions, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1.5 cups: 1003 calories, 83g fat (23g saturated fat), 112mg cholesterol, 1697mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 5g fiber), 36g protein.

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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Nicole
    Oct 25, 2020

    I just made this. I second the opinion that the sour cream and mayo should be halved, and wish I had come upon the recipe here before making it. (I was using a recently purchased Taste of Home magazine of 9x13 pan recipes instead). It's not even just the calories and fat content; the texture is overly soupy as if the cook was short on one of the solid ingredients and failed to adjust the recipe. The taste is fantastic, but right now I am hoping my family will actually eat the casserole and it won't go to waste, because it's just that creamy/soupy.

  • Jim
    Sep 14, 2020

    This was amazing!! "Lynne" - why do you even leave a nasty comment if you didn't try it and don't plan on it. Do you think you look better than everyone else on here who has b/c you want to call out the fat and calories per serving?? Really, your life is that sad that you had to leave an ignorant comment like that? Try this out then "Lynne" maybe we don't need to watch our fat and calories like you and your family does!! OK???

  • destine
    Sep 13, 2020

    @Lynne - It isn't difficult to lower the fat content on this recipe. Just substitute fat-free for the mayo, sour cream and soup.

  • Adele
    Sep 13, 2020

    This looks like a good bass recipe, but I would make a few changes. I would cut the amounts of mayonnaise and sour cream in half. Also, I would use leftover cooked chicken, which I often have on hand. For those of you who insist that this is not a salad, what do you think goes into chicken salad? Cooked chicken; mayonnaise, chopped green onion; chopped celery.

  • Elle
    Jul 5, 2020

    Good grief Lynne that's what "chicken salad" is!!!

  • Lynne
    Jun 3, 2020

    This really is in no means a “salad.” It had far too much mayo and sour cream for family to eat it. Too fatty. Topping out at over 1,000 calories per serving, we didn’t think it was worth the effort.

  • Ellen
    Jun 2, 2020

    I worked at a hospital where this was served at Auxiliary and Volunteers luncheons. It’s delicious. The whopping 1000 calories plus can be reduced by slightly reducing the amounts of mayo and sour cream (or use plain non-fat yogurt), using fat free soup, and eliminating the cheese altogether. It doesn’t make the yummy rich product of the fully fatted recipe, but you won’t feel guilty having a smidge more!

  • griffinsgramma
    Jun 2, 2020

    Very good, as others have stated, the amount of mayo and sour cream needs to be reduced. The name is a misnomer though, no way is this a “salad”. Good casserole, but definitely not a salad

  • Debglass11
    Mar 28, 2019

    Yummy casserole! I used about 1 1/2 lbs of chopped cooked chicken that I had in my freezer, and since I used fresh mushrooms instead of canned, I sauteed them along with the onion and celery until translucent and then added them to the chicken mixture. After reading the reviews, I used half the amount of mayo, sour cream and water chestnuts and it came out perfect. I added some of the french fried onions and cheese to the chicken mixture as well as on top. The lemon juice is a nice touch. I will definitely make this again!

  • danadeal
    Dec 16, 2012

    Much better with rotisserie chicken. I once made the chicken the way the recipe said and didn't like the flavor. I also use more chicken and less water chestnuts.