Yesterday after the short memorial service for my dad at my parent’s church, we had my cousins to my mom’s house for lunch.  Salads were on the menu:  tossed salad, marinated bean salad and hot chicken salad.

Hot chicken salad is an old fashioned, easy recipe that can be modified for many tastes.  The only top 8 allergen is nuts.  It is naturally gluten, dairy, soy and egg free as long as you use an appropriate mayonnaise.  

A few simple ingredients :

  • Cooked chicken cut into bite sized pieces
  • Celery
  • Almonds, pecans or another nut
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Lemon juice
  • Onion or shallot
  • Potato chips or crispy flake cereal for topping and under the casserole.

Ingredients & Substitutes:

Chicken – I have used chicken that I have poached,  rotisserie chicken, chicken left from soup, and for a large crowd, frozen cubed cooked chicken.  

Note:  If you use chicken from making chicken soup, which I often do, the chicken is more shredded than cubes.  The texture is not as good, but for the waste not cook (me!) it is one of the few ways I like to use up my chicken from making stock.

Nuts – I have used almonds and pecans in this recipe, but any tree nut should work.  Try your favorite and let me know how it turns out.

Mayonnaise – Remember to use a mayonnaise that suites your family’s needs.  We use a canola based one as we avoid soy.

Crunch – You want something crunchy to put on top and underneath the casserole.  Potato chips are a traditional favorite however I have used cereal with great success.   Special K is my favorite, but corn flakes works as well.  I imagine any bland flaky cereal would work.  If you use potato chips you will have to crumble them, but if you use Special K you can just pour it on!  Yesterday we used salt and vinegar potato chips and it was yummy!  Use your imagination here!

Adding spices – My family likes this casserole as it is.  However you may wish to add one or more of the following

  • Flavored potato chips
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Fresh or dried herbs like dill
  • Pepper 
  • Worchestershire sauce
  • Flavored mayonnaise like Miracle Whip

Let me know how you modify it!

This casserole keeps well for several days of leftovers, but the potato chips will loose their crunch.

This is an especially good casserole if you have someone in your life who needs a few extra calories.  If you would like to cut calories, make it with cereal instead of potato chips and use lower calorie mayonnaise.

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