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3 Ingredient Chicken Salad

3 ingredient chicken salad

This super easy 3 ingredient Chicken Salad is perfect in a sandwich or as a cracker topping for busy families. A perfect no-cook lunch or snack using just 3 simple pantry ingredients!

My friend introduced me to this amazingly delicious chicken salad recipe that has just 3 ingredients: cooked chicken, mayo, and salsa.

It's absolutely brilliant and you wouldn't think to mix these ingredients together, and would NEVER guess that this is actually an amazing flavor combination. 

But it's true. This easy chicken salad ROCKS. It's a super kid-friendly recipe, too.

3 ingredient chicken salad

The ingredients

OK OK, I already mentioned the ingredients: chicken, mayo, and salsa. But let's talk about them some more.

First off, I find that I don't need to add any salt or pepper to this recipe because the canned chicken and the salsa add enough salt and flavor. But feel free to add some!

What kind of chicken to use for chicken salad?

You can use any kind of cooked chicken for a chicken salad, but my favorite is really soft canned chicken. It's just the easiest thing ever and mixes really well with the dressing to make a chicken salad without any chunks.

But feel free to use shredded rotisserie chicken, diced grilled chicken, or shredded Instant pot chicken.

What kind of salsa to use?

Again, you can use any kind of salsa. If you're making this for kids who can't tolerate spicy foods, then make sure to use super mild salsa, or a homemade salsa with no spice. You can even experiment with some fruit salsas, such as a peach-tomato salsa, or a mango-tomato salsa for a hint of sweetness.

The recipe calls for about 2 tablespoons of salsa, but feel free to adjust it to taste.

3 ingredient chicken salad

Chicken salad add-ins

Of course, this recipe is an easy 3-ingredient chicken salad recipe, but that doesn't mean you can't switch things up some days by adding a few more ingredients to the mix for some extra flavor or crunch. Some of my favorite chicken salad add-ins are:

  • Finely diced parsley or scallion
  • Finely diced celery
  • A teaspoon or two of Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • A squeeze of lemon or lime juice
  • Diced tomato
  • Diced cucumber
  • Diced bell pepper
  • Halved grapes
  • Dried cranberries
  • Slivered toasted almonds
  • Toasted crushed walnuts
  • A dash of hot sauce
  • Paprika or smoked paprika (mild or spicy)

An easy snack or lunch idea

Serve this chicken salad on crackers, pita chips, or tortilla chips for a quick 5-minute snack, or in a salad or wrap for a quick lunch. If packing this chicken salad for lunch, I would recommend packing the bread or wrap separately from the chicken salad so the bread doesn't get soggy. Then assemble it all when you're ready to eat!

Looking for more crazy easy recipes?? Check these out:

Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know with a comment and a star rating below! And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it for later on Pinterest:

3 ingredient chicken salad graphic

3 ingredient chicken salad
Print Recipe
4.92 from 24 votes

3 Ingredient Chicken Salad

This 3 ingredient Chicken Salad is perfect for in sandwich or as a cracker topping for busy families. Pack it for lunch or for a picnic or enjoy a quick snack!
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 (enough chicken salad for 4 sandwiches)
Author: Kate


  • 4 (4.5-oz) cans cooked chicken breast - (Or 1 - 1.5 cups cooked chicken or turkey, chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons salsa (medium heat is ideal)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon parsley leaves - , chopped
  • Optional: Freshly ground black pepper - , to taste


  • Drain the canned chicken in a colander. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Serve in a sandwich or as a topping for crackers, or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


Calories: 245kcal (12%) | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 35g (70%) | Fat: 9g (14%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) | Cholesterol: 3mg (1%) | Sodium: 44mg (2%) | Sugar: 1g (1%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.


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Little Cooking Tips

Wednesday 12th of July 2017

Fantastic idea for a busy weekday (or a very busy mom like you!) :):) We'll be trying this out with leftover rotisserie chicken ourselves, sounds really delicious!:) Again, congrats on the new member of your family may he be blessed with health and happiness throughout his life!:) xoxoxo


Wednesday 12th of July 2017

Thank you for all your kind wishes! Yes, simple recipes like this is all we have time for lately, and we definitely pick up a rotisserie chicken once in a while for easy dinners - that would be great in this recipe!


Tuesday 11th of July 2017

Chicken salad is one of my favorite meals. It's so refreshing and full of flavor. #client

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