Classic Hot Chicken Salad

Hot Baked Chicken Salad
Oven Chicken Salad. Diana Rattray
  • 32 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 17 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
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This hot chicken salad is a baked casserole made with chicken salad ingredients and a cheese and bread crumb topping. Toasted almonds and toasted bread crumbs give the salad extra texture and flavor. 

Serve this easy hot chicken salad with sliced fresh tomatoes or broccoli salad for a tasty everyday meal. It's a great choice for lunch or dinner menus. 

Use a purchased rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken in this recipe.

What You'll Need

  • 3 cups chicken (cubed cooked)
  • 2 cups celery (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds*
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 2 tablespoons onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese or a cheddar jack combination
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted bread crumbs (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • Garnish: chopped green onion or parsley

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Butter a 2-quart baking dish or baking pan.
  3. Combine the cubed cooked chicken, celery, mayonnaise, the toasted almonds, lemon juice, and chopped onion in a bowl. Taste and add salt, if needed.
  4. Stir 1/2 cup of the toasted bread crumbs into the chicken mixture.
  5. Spoon the chicken salad mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese
  7. Toss the remaining 1 cup of toasted bread crumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle over the cheese layer.
  1. Bake the casserole for 15 to 20 minutes, until the topping has browned and the filling is bubbly around the edges.
  2. Garnish with chopped green onion tops or parsley, if desired.
  3. Serve the chicken hot with cooked rice and a tossed salad, steamed broccoli, or green beans.

Variations

  • Add diced cooked bacon to the chicken salad mixture for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Lighten the salad up a bit with light mayonnaise and lower fat cheese.

Toasted Almonds

  • To toast the almonds spread them out in a single layer in a dry skillet.
  • Place the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the almonds are lightly browned and aromatic.
  • Remove to a plate or bowl immediately so they won't over-brown.
  • See more on How to Toast Nuts

Toasted Bread Crumbs

  • To make homemade toasted bread crumbs, heat the oven to 325° F.
  • Cut or tear fresh or day-old bread into small pieces.
  • Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet.  
  • Sprinkle with a small amount of kosher salt, if desired.
  • Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, or until dry and lightly browned.
  • Crush the dried bread coarsely or finely and use in the recipe.
  • Freeze extra bread crumbs in a zip-close food storage bag.