Creamy Lemon Basil Chicken Salad is the perfect lunch dish and takes just a few minutes in the food processor and some pre-cooked chicken.
Creamy Lemon Basil Chicken Salad is a recipe I found in an old pile of handwritten recipes when looking for tea sandwich recipes for my first baby shower. It sounded so delicious, light and easy I figured my friends would enjoy making it and it wouldn’t take up too much of their time.
Since that baby shower this Creamy Lemon Basil Chicken Salad has become a go to picnic/lunch staple for us. Since it is just a matter of putting a few ingredients in a small food processor and mixing it with grilled chicken it’s easy enough for my husband to make for his own work lunches.
Chicken salads are a healthy easy way of having fun and quick lunches you don’t have to heat up and aren’t as boring as deli meat (or expensive! Have you ever done a cost analysis on how much deli meat -especially pre-packaged- costs?).
If you’d like to keep the recipe a bit healthier, it is January after all, you can cut down on the mayonnaise, or swap part of it for greek yogurt or even some light sour cream.
Please note you have to keep greek yogurt/sour cream refrigerated more carefully than mayonnaise. I know a lot of people who leave sandwiches with mayonnaise at room temperature until lunch (or with just a small cold pack). I’d prefer you keep this sandwich refrigerated regardless, but I know sometimes that can be difficult.
I’ve used this recipe a few different ways in the past to mix things up:
- Classic style in sandwich form
- Topped on a salad
- Cored out a tomato and filled it with the salad in smaller chunks
- topped onto or tossed into a cold small shaped pasta that I pre-mixed with olive oil and Parmesan cheese
- baked with shaped pasta in a casserole dish (350 degrees for 15-20 minutes uncovered and topped with just a bit of Parmesan Cheese)
Tools used in the making of this Creamy Lemon Basil Chicken Salad:
Mini Food Processor: This recipe doesn’t need a lot of ingredients so I use my mini processor for the creamy dressing, but if you’re making a larger batch I highly recommend…
My Favorite Food Processor: This is one of my favorite kitchen items and the cost/reviews on it are so stellar I could never recommend an alternative (as long as this one is still available via Prime) even though this is an older model than the current lineup. I’ve had mine for probably 10 years? and it is still going as strong today as ever.
- 2 grilled chicken breasts cut into thin slices
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground if possible
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- If your chicken is not cooked, you can sear it in a skillet on medium-high with a tablespoon of oil for 4-6 minutes on each side or roast at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
- In a food processor, add the salt, pepper, mayonnaise, basil, garlic, and lemon juice and combine until creamy but just a few little pieces of basil show.
- Add the chicken, creamy dressing, celery and Parmesan cheese together in a bowl and stir to combine before serving.
- If possible, refrigerate for an hour or more, the flavors are better as the chicken has some time to soak up the creamy dressing.