Home Dinner Chicken Best Hot Chicken Salad Recipe You’ll Ever Have

Best Hot Chicken Salad Recipe You'll Ever Have

Hot chicken salad is one of those Southern comfort recipes that’s guaranteed to please a crowd!

How can it not be? It’s fully loaded with tender chicken, fluffy rice, and a mix of veggies smothered in a creamy sauce.

Tender, Fluffy and Crunchy Hot Chicken Salad with Veggies and Nuts
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But wait, there’s more! To seal the deal, you sprinkle cornflakes and almonds on top for that irresistible crunch.

Perfect for weeknight dinners or potlucks, hot chicken salad has everything you crave in one bite.

Hot Chicken Salad

Hot chicken salad is the ultimate comfort food. It’s been winning over crowds at family gatherings and potlucks for ages.

It’s like your favorite cold chicken salad got a warm, cozy makeover.

You’ll find familiar ingredients like chicken, slivered almonds, and mayo. But it’s different from your typical cold chicken salad.

First, there’s rice in the mix, making it a hearty, one-dish meal. Then, you add cream of chicken soup for an extra layer of richness and creaminess.

Let’s also not forget the cornflake and almond topping. The crispy layer takes the dish to a new level.

After mixing, it goes into the hot oven to meld all those flavors together. It’s a full-on flavor fest in a casserole dish!

Hot Chicken Salad Ingredients: Chicken, Cooked Rice, Celery and Onion, Mushrooms, Water Chestnuts, Lemon Juice, Pepper and Cream of Chicken Soup

Ingredients

Simple ingredients combine to create a knockout chicken casserole. Here’s what you need:

  • Chicken – Rotisserie from the store works like a charm. You can also boil your own.
  • Cooked rice – The cushion for all the other ingredients. It also makes the casserole extra filling.
  • Celery and onion – These aromatics give a flavorful kick and a nice crunch.
  • Mushrooms – They add a nice, earthy tone.
  • Water chestnuts – For that unexpected but oh-so-welcome crunch.
  • Lemon juice – A splash brightens up the whole dish.
  • Pepper – Just a sprinkle for a little heat.
  • Mayonnaise and cream of chicken soup – The dream team for a creamy, dreamy filling.

For the topping:

  • Slivered almonds – They add a nutty crunch to the topping.
  • Cornflake crumbs – They make the top layer extra crispy and crunchy.
  • Butter – A little fat to bring it all together.

How to Make Hot Chicken Salad

My best advice for this recipe is to prepare all the ingredients before you start.

That way, you avoid last-minute scrambling, which can mess up timing and quality.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 2-quart baking dish. Cook the rice, chop the chicken and vegetables, and juice the lemon.

2. Combine the casserole ingredients. Toss the chicken, rice, celery, mushrooms, water chestnuts, onion, lemon juice, and pepper in a large bowl. Be sure everything’s well combined.

3. Whisk the mayo and cream of chicken soup in a separate bowl. Mix it with the chicken mixture. Spread the chicken mixture into the bottom of the dish.

4. Make the topping. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the cornflakes and almonds, and toast them until they turn light brown. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the casserole.

5. Bake it for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

A casserole dish with a delicious blend of rice and tender chicken, cooked to perfection.

Tips for the Best Hot Chicken Salad

Spice up your hot chicken salad game with these tips and tricks.

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  • Take a shortcut. Use rotisserie chicken for a quick recipe. It’s a major time-saver!
  • Change up your chicken. Have turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving? Swap it in for the chicken.
  • Try topping twists. Ritz crackers, potato chips, breadcrumbs, and French-fried onions make awesome toppers.
  • Make it a little extra. Add broccoli, peas, and diced pimentos for a fun twist.
  • Herb it up! Season the casserole with some basil, oregano, or tarragon to amp up the flavor.
  • Crank up the cheese. Mix in some shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or Swiss for an extra rich dish.
  • Ditch the mayo. Sour cream or Greek yogurt makes great stand-ins.
  • Make it pretty. For a quick pop of color and zing, sprinkle some sliced green onions on top.

How to Store

Proper storage of leftover chicken salad is crucial for both taste and safety. Here’s how to make hot chicken casserole ahead, store it, and reheat it like a pro.

To Make Ahead: Assemble the casserole up to 24 hours in advance and keep it covered in the fridge. Before baking, let it sit on the counter for 30-60 minutes to reach room temperature.

To Store: Leftover chicken salad will stay good in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Be sure to cover it well to keep it moist.

To Reheat: If you’re reheating the whole casserole, cover it loosely with foil and place it in a preheated 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes.

A quick 1-2 minutes in the microwave will do the trick for individual servings.

More Chicken Salad Recipes You’ll Love

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
Cranberry Chicken Salad
Ina Garten Chicken Salad
Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

Best Hot Chicken Salad Recipe

Course: Main CourseCuisine: American
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

272

kcal

No one can possibly resist this hot chicken salad! The Southern staple is full of tender chicken, rice, veggies, and an irresistible sauce. You’ll love it!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken

  • 2 cups cooked rice

  • 1 cup diced celery

  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

  • 1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

  • Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cup cornflake crumbs

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, rice, celery, mushrooms, water chestnuts, onion, lemon juice, and pepper until well combined.
  • In a separate container, whisk together the mayonnaise and chicken soup. Pour it over the mixture and stir it well to coat. Spread the mixture into the greased baking dish.
  • Melt the butter in a small skillet. Cook and stir the cornflakes and almonds until they’re light brown in color. Sprinkle the mixture over the casserole.
  • Bake it uncovered for 30-35 minutes.
  • Serve it and enjoy!
Hot Chicken Salad

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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