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Crunchy Spicy Chicken Salad

This Crunchy Spicy Chicken Salad is the ULTIMATE chicken salad, with an addicting combination of flavors and textures in every bite. Serve in a sandwich or a wrap, or with crackers and tortilla chips for dipping!

This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Tabasco, and I am so excited to share it with you!

crunchy spicy chicken salad on a cracker

Do you know what is a totally underrated food?

Chicken salad.

Most people think of chicken salad as a boring lunch idea. It's usually served in a wrap or between two dry pieces of bread. It's something you grab and go and hope it doesn't get soggy by the time you get around to eating.


Enter the ultra flavorful, extra tasty Crunchy Spicy Chicken Salad.

crunchy spicy chicken salad

Related recipe: Spinach Caesar Salad with Air Fryer Chicken

The ingredients

This chicken salad has a few special additions that make it absolutely irresistible and addicting.

For one, the easy 3-ingredient dressing is made with a smoky chipotle hot sauce from Tabasco, which gives it an amazing smoky flavor and just enough spice to wake up your taste buds.

Of course, you can use any hot sauce you have on hand, but I found the smoky mild Tabasco hot sauce perfect for a nice balance of flavor and spice. 

You can get some here if your local store doesn't carry it.

I also add a few finely chopped veggies to the salad - celery, red bell pepper, and scallions. These give the salad a nice crisp texture with every bite.

Toasted chopped or slivered almonds are also mixed into the salad for a wonderful crunch. I prefer using slivered almonds because I feel like they hold their crunch better. You can get them here.

And of course, you will need cooked chicken for this recipe. I like to use either canned chicken, homemade sous vide pulled chicken, or chopped rotisserie chicken for this salad because all 3 of these are always so tender and perfect for chicken salad. 

Other easy recipes using cooked chicken: Savory Chicken Crepes, Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Ciabatta

ingredients for crunchy spicy chicken salad

More healthy low-carb recipes to check out: Low-Carb Cottage Cheese Recipes

Let's talk about when to serve this Chicken Salad:

This crunchy spicy chicken salad is perfect for many occasions!

  • Game Day Meals and Snacks: Make a double batch of this salad for game day and serve it in a bowl. Make sure to grab some tortilla chips to serve with the chicken salad! You'll love the crunchy combination.
  • Easy Holiday Entertaining. Put out a bowl of this chicken salad with some crackers and crudites and let guests munch and mingle while you're getting the rest of the food ready.
  • Packed school lunch or after school snack, if your kids like things spicy. 
  • Packed working lunch. Scoop some on a baby spinach salad, or put it in a wrap or between your favorite sliced bread. If you're going the wrap or sandwich route, I recommend packing the salad and the bread separately and making your sandwich or wrap right before eating, so it doesn't get soggy. Take the extra minute to do that and treat yourself to a much more enjoyable lunch.

crunchy spicy chicken salad on a tortilla chip

However you decide to serve this salad, please take a picture of your recipe and tag me on Instagram or Facebook. You can find me at @babaganoshblog on both. I love seeing your creations!

Looking for more easy snacks and salads?

If you enjoyed this recipe, don't forget to leave a rating below and save it on Pinterest!

spicy crunchy chicken salad pinterest graphic collage of pictures

crunchy spicy chicken salad in a bowl
Print Recipe
4.77 from 42 votes

Crunchy Spicy Chicken Salad

This Crunchy Spicy Chicken Salad is the ULTIMATE chicken salad, with an addicting combination of flavors and textures in every bite. Serve in a sandwich or a wrap, or with crackers and tortilla chips for dipping!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Kate


  • 2 cups cooked chicken - chopped (see notes)
  • ½ bell pepper - seeds removed and finely diced (use red, orange, or yellow)
  • 1 celery stalk - thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions - diced
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds - toasted
  • 3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice - (from ½ lemon)
  • 2-3 teaspoons TABASCO Chipotle Pepper Sauce - (or your preferred hot sauce, use more or less, to taste)
  • Salt and pepper - , to taste (optional)


  • In a medium bow, combine all the ingredients from the chicken breast through the Chipotle Pepper Sauce. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper, if desired (I skipped the additional salt to cut down on sodium).  
  • Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or in a sandwich or wrap. 


You can use another hot sauce for this recipe, but make sure you start by adding a little before adding the full 2-3 teaspoons - I can't vouch for the spice level of your hot sauce!
You can use any shredded or chopped chicken for this recipe - a rotisserie chicken or canned chicken (such as 2 large cans like these) would work great! You'll need about 2 cups of chicken.


Calories: 366kcal (18%) | Carbohydrates: 2g (1%) | Protein: 1g (2%) | Fat: 11g (17%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) | Cholesterol: 4mg (1%) | Sodium: 67mg (3%) | Potassium: 64mg (2%) | Vitamin A: 60IU (1%) | Vitamin C: 2.6mg (3%) | Calcium: 22mg (2%) | Iron: 0.3mg (2%)

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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Wednesday 13th of October 2021

This is amazing! I’ve had many compliments. It’s one of my go to dishes to take to parties.


Wednesday 13th of October 2021

Sandy, thanks so much for letting me know! This made my day!


Wednesday 14th of April 2021

This looks like a super easy and super yummy chicken salad. I agree, chicken salad is underrated. But, it has got me out of lots of last minute need to feed a bunch of teenagers kind of situation!! Can't wait to try it!


Wednesday 14th of April 2021

Enjoy it!!


Friday 11th of September 2020

I didnt have a bell pepper or almonds, used green onions instead of scallions, sriracha instead of tabasco, added a can of corn, and it was delicious!!!


Saturday 12th of September 2020

Sounds good with the corn!! And aren't green onions and scallions the same thing? :)

Rose Martine

Friday 31st of January 2020

This so AMAZING! This is a dish that I would totally make for myself and probably keep for myself. My grandmother used to make something similar when I was a little girl.


Friday 7th of December 2018

I love chicken salad and love experimenting with different versions of it! Definitely have to give this a try! Love the hot sauce! Yes, yes, yes! :)

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