Chicken Salad Without Celery Recipe

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by Maggie Turansky

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Do you have some leftover cooked chicken and are thinking of whipping up a quick and easy chicken salad for lunch? Does every recipe you find for it include ingredients you either don’t have or don’t want to put in your salad like celery, grapes or eggs?

Well, I’ve developed an extremely easy recipe without celery, eggs or any kind of fruit!

Chicken salad is an easy way to use up leftover chicken and it is quick to throw together and makes for an excellent lunch. Piled upon toast or in a sandwich, there is nothing better than digging into a delicious and flavourful salad that requires absolutely minimal effort.

How to Make Chicken Salad Without Celery

Making this recipe couldn’t be easier. In total it will take you about five minutes and you will be all set for lunches for a couple of days, at least, much like my tuna salad recipe (that also doesn’t call for celery!).

Chicken salad on crusty bread
Chicken salad on crusty bread

First off, you need to start with shredding your chicken. If you have some cooked chicken leftover, that works great, if not, I recommend poaching some chicken breasts (you can see how I recommend doing that in my satsivi recipe).

Many recipes will recommend shredding chicken with two forks but I actually find it much easier and quicker simply to do it by hand. Once I’ve finished shredding the chicken, I run my knife through it a few times to get the pieces nice and small. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl.

Shredding chicken
Shredding chicken

Now, you need to finely dice half of a red onion. I recommend using red onion here because it’s sweeter and milder than a yellow onion and, therefore, a bit more pleasant to eat raw.

If you don’t have a red onion, go ahead and use a yellow onion, your chicken salad will still be good. If you want, you can even use some green onions instead, if that’s what you have on hand. This recipe is meant to be more of a guideline rather than something you need to follow to the absolute letter.

Next, finely dice a small red pepper. If you’re not going to be using celery in this chicken salad, you probably do want something with a bit more texture and flavour and a red pepper works wonderfully in this.

Next, chop a bit of parsley to add a vegetal and herbal note to the salad — dill is also a great alternative if you have it on hand! Add all of these to the bowl with the chicken!

Main ingredients of this chicken salad recipe
Main ingredients of this chicken salad recipe

Now, all you have to do is add a few tablespoons of mayonnaise to the bowl. Add this along with a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar for a bit of brightness and acidity. A mild apple flavour works well in this dish even if you’re keen on making a chicken salad without fruit.

I also say to add a bit of whole-grain mustard to the mix, but if you don’t have it, dijon mustard will do fine in a pinch. I would avoid yellow mustard or English mustard as the flavours aren’t quite right.

And finally, add a few dashes of Tabasco hot sauce for a bit of heat. All that you need to do now is add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper to taste and mix it all to combine.

Mixing your chicken salad ingredients
Mixing the ingredients

Make sure to taste everything to see how it works together and more of any of the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, tabasco salt or pepper if you need to. It’s always best to be conservative when you start and taste to adjust to get your salad just right.

All that’s left now is to eat! This chicken salad is great on a piece of toast or as a sandwich. It will also keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days so it’s perfect if you’re meal-prepping your lunches for the week!

Chicken salad without celery on crusty bread

Chicken Salad Without Celery

This is one of the easiest and most delicious lunches to throw together and is super delicious. If you're not a fan of celery, then you're sure to love this.
4.4 from 36 votes
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 500 g (1 lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and shredded
  • ½ medium red onion finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 45 g (3 tbsp) mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp whole grain mustard
  • 2-3 dashes tabasco sauce


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days.
    Mixing your chicken salad ingredients



Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 555mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1061IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe or have questions?Click here to leave a comment!

You can make a fantastic chicken salad with ingredients you likely have knocking about in your fridge even if they’re not in most recipes you’ve found!

Are you looking for the perfect easy chicken salad recipe? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frills Kitchen. She is a world traveller, home cook and recipe developer who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Read More

4.39 from 36 votes (36 ratings without comment)

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