Deli-Style Chicken Salad

Looking for a tasty and versatile dish that’s perfect for lunch, dinner, or as a delightful snack? Look no further than this delightful deli-style chicken salad recipe! Packed with tender chicken, sweet cranberries, crunchy celery, and toasted pecans, this chicken salad is a flavor explosion waiting to happen. Plus, with a creamy dressing made from a blend of mayonnaise and Miracle Whip, every bite is sure to be creamy and delicious. Whether you enjoy it on its own, as a sandwich filling, or atop a bed of fresh greens, this chicken salad is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings.


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Miracle Whip
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 4 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, dried cherries, or grape halves
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ¾ cup chopped green pepper or apple
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, paprika, and seasoning salt. Mix well until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the mixture is creamy.
  2. Add the cooked chicken, dried cranberries, chopped celery, chopped green onions, chopped green pepper or apple, and toasted pecans to the bowl with the dressing mixture.
  3. Gently toss all the ingredients together until everything is evenly coated with the creamy dressing. Season with ground black pepper to taste.
  4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the chicken salad for at least 1 hour, preferably 4 to 6 hours, to allow the flavors to meld and intensify.
  5. Just before serving, give the chicken salad a quick stir to ensure all the flavors are well distributed. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  6. Serve the deli-style chicken salad on its own, as a delicious sandwich filling, or over a bed of crisp salad greens. Enjoy the satisfying flavors and textures of this delightful dish!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 4 hours and 20 minutes Servings: 10

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Enjoy the deli-style chicken salad on its own as a satisfying meal.
  2. Use it as a delicious filling for sandwiches or wraps for a hearty lunch.
  3. Serve it over a bed of fresh salad greens for a refreshing and nutritious salad.
  4. Pair it with your favorite crackers or bread for a tasty snack or appetizer.
  5. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or dill, for an extra burst of flavor.

Storage Tips:

  1. Store any leftover chicken salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  2. Consume within 3-4 days for the best quality and freshness.
  3. Before serving leftover chicken salad, give it a quick stir and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  4. Avoid freezing the chicken salad as the texture may change upon thawing.
  5. If making ahead of time, wait to add any delicate ingredients, such as toasted pecans, until just before serving to maintain their crunchiness.


  1. Greek-Inspired Chicken Salad: Substitute dried cranberries with chopped kalamata olives and add diced cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise for a tangy twist, and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese before serving.
  2. Curry Chicken Salad: Add a teaspoon of curry powder to the dressing mixture for a flavorful curry twist. Include diced mango, golden raisins, and chopped cashews for a sweet and spicy flavor profile.
  3. Buffalo Chicken Salad: Toss the cooked chicken with buffalo sauce before adding it to the dressing mixture. Mix in diced celery and crumbled blue cheese for a zesty and bold flavor combination.
  4. Avocado Chicken Salad: Mash ripe avocado into the dressing mixture for a creamy texture. Add diced avocado, diced tomatoes, and chopped cilantro for a fresh and vibrant variation.
  5. Mediterranean Chicken Salad: Mix in chopped sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and roasted red peppers. Use a combination of olive oil and lemon juice for the dressing, and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh basil before serving.
  6. Asian-Inspired Chicken Salad: Incorporate grated ginger and soy sauce into the dressing mixture. Add shredded carrots, sliced water chestnuts, and chopped peanuts for a crunchy texture. Drizzle with a sesame oil and rice vinegar dressing before serving.


  1. Can I use leftover chicken for this recipe? Absolutely! Leftover roasted, grilled, or poached chicken works great in this recipe. Simply shred or cube it before adding it to the salad.
  2. Can I substitute Miracle Whip with regular mayonnaise? Yes, you can use all mayonnaise instead of a combination of mayonnaise and Miracle Whip if you prefer. Adjust the quantity to 1 cup of mayonnaise in total.
  3. How can I make this recipe vegetarian? You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by substituting the chicken with cooked chickpeas or cubed tofu. Adjust the seasoning to suit your taste.
  4. Can I make this recipe ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the chicken salad ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Just make sure to give it a stir before serving.
  5. How can I make this recipe gluten-free? Ensure that all ingredients used, including the seasoning salt and Miracle Whip, are gluten-free. You can also serve the chicken salad on gluten-free bread or crackers.
  6. Can I omit the nuts from this recipe? If you have a nut allergy or prefer not to use nuts, you can simply omit them from the recipe. The salad will still be delicious without them.
  7. What other fruits can I use instead of dried cranberries? You can use dried cherries, raisins, chopped apples, or grapes as alternatives to dried cranberries in this recipe.
  8. Is this recipe suitable for meal prep? Yes, this recipe is perfect for meal prep. You can make a batch ahead of time and portion it into individual containers for easy grab-and-go lunches throughout the week.
  9. Can I freeze this chicken salad? It’s not recommended to freeze chicken salad as the texture may become watery and the ingredients may lose their freshness. It’s best enjoyed fresh or stored in the refrigerator.

With its perfect blend of flavors and textures, this deli-style chicken salad is sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy meal or a dish to impress guests, this recipe has you covered. So gather your ingredients and whip up a batch of this delicious chicken salad today!