This shredded chicken salad recipe tastes so much like the best chicken salad ever, you know – the one from Costco! With only a few simple ingredients and a quick and easy tip for shredding chicken, this healthy recipe is great for meal prep, brunches, and picnics. It’s great made with rotisserie chicken, too. Naturally Whole30, paleo, keto, and low carb friendly.
I’d never lie to you about this: we love the chicken salad from Costco.
The chicken is tender and shredded, creating this lovely texture that’s rich and moist. The sauce is creamy and flavorful but not overbearing with any strong ingredients.
But there’s a whole bunch of weird ingredients in that chicken salad! Not only that, there’s actually been outbreaks of e.coli linked to their chicken salad in the past. Anytime you’re eating a portion of prepared food, you’re getting extra ingredients and extra risks that aren’t usually worth it.
Don’t worry, though, babe! This shredded chicken salad does Costco right, and you’ll want to make this recipe weekly.
Why This Shredded Chicken Salad Is So Good
- It’s really easy to make and uses only a few simple ingredients.
- My trick for shredded chicken breasts makes it quick.
- You can use rotisserie chicken to make it easier than ever.
- The sauce is rich and creamy, but it’s dairy-free, paleo, Whole30, and low carb friendly.
- The sweet onions and celery bolster this flavorful chicken salad in a subtle way.
- It’s perfect for bridal and baby showers, picnics, and meal prep, and it makes a lot!
Can you use rotisserie chicken?
Totally! You’ll want to use 2 1/4 pound worth of rotisserie chicken meat to replace the chicken breasts in this recipe. You can also use the shredded rotisserie chicken from Costco. That stuff is good, right?!
Whole30 note: Both the rotisserie chicken and the packaged, shredded rotisserie chicken are not Whole30-compliant. Like, not at all. Don’t go there!
How to Shred Chicken Breasts Easily
There are four different methods you can use for easily shredding chicken breasts.
- Two forks: Old school and analog but super simple. Take two forks and shred the chicken breasts, working the forks on the chicken in small strokes away from each other. This method takes the longest but is the simplest.
- Stand mixer: The easiest. Break up the cooked chicken breasts into chunks (With your hands is fine) and place them in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment affixed. Mix on medium-low speed until the chicken breast chunks are all shredded.
- Hand mixer: Follow the same method as the above, using the standard attachments on your hand mixer and working at medium speed.
- Food processor: The best texture. This method results in shorter pieces of chicken than the other three, and it’s my favorite for shredded chicken salad. Break up the cooked chicken breasts into chunks and, working in about 2 batches here, add to the food processor with the dough blade attached. It’s plastic and will not turn your chicken into mush as the metal blade will. Process for about 30 seconds or until uniformly shredded. Repeat with remaining chicken.
How to Make This Shredded Chicken Salad Recipe
Cook the chicken: place the chicken breasts in a wide skillet and cover with chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer; cover and cook about 20-25 minutes or until chicken breasts are cooked through and reach 160º F internally. Remove from skillet but reserve broth.
Alternately, use 2 1/4 pounds (36 ounces) cooked chicken with the skin removed.
Shred the chicken using your selected method from above.
Place all ingredients but chicken broth in a large bowl (mayonnaise, celery, sweet onion, salt, and black pepper) and stir together. Add chicken broth, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the mixture until the desired texture and creaminess is reached. I use about 4-6 tablespoons of chicken broth.
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Chicken Salad Add-Ins
Want to fancy your shredded chicken salad recipe up? So many options!
- Add 1/4 cup minced fresh tarragon and a couple of handfuls of sliced almonds, like my Tarragon Chicken Salad.
- Stir in 2 cups of sliced red grapes and 2 cups of diced green apple for a flavorful crunch.
- Try 1 cup dried cranberries and 1 cup chopped walnuts for a fall twist.
- Sprinkle in 1 cup cooked, diced bacon and replace some of the sweet onion in the recipe with chopped green onions (use 1/2 cup minced onion instead of 3/4 cup, and add 1/2 cup chopped green onions) for a really flavorful take.
- Use chipotle mayonnaise instead of plain for a smoky, spicy variation.
- Stir in 3-4 chopped hard-boiled eggs for a Southern chicken salad.
Other Recipes You’ll Love:
- The Best Shredded Chicken
- Quick Chicken Brine for Perfect Chicken Every Time
- Easy Sous Vide Chicken Breast Recipe
- Tarragon Chicken Salad with Almonds
- Lemon Pepper Chicken
- Whole30 Immersion Blender One Minute Mayonnaise
- Top 30 Shredded Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Salad with Grapes
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Shredded Chicken Salad Recipe (Costco Style)
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or 2 ¼ pounds cooked chicken, see Notes
- 1 32-ounce carton chicken broth or chicken stock
- 1 ¼ cup mayonnaise plus more to taste
- 2 cups finely diced celery
- ¾ cup finely minced sweet onion
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or use 2 teaspoons Everything Seasoning, see Notes
- 1 ½-2 teaspoons salt
- Cook the chicken: place the chicken breasts in a wide skillet and cover with chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer; cover and cook about 20-25 minutes or until chicken breasts are cooked through and reach 160º F internally. Remove from skillet but reserve broth.Alternately, use 2 ¼ pounds (36 ounces) cooked chicken with the skin removed.
- Shred the chicken using your selected method from Notes.
- Place all ingredients but chicken broth in a large bowl (mayonnaise, celery, sweet onion, salt, and black pepper) and stir together.
- Add chicken broth, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the mixture until the desired texture and creaminess is reached. I use about 4-6 tablespoons of chicken broth. Add more mayo to taste, if desired.
- If you use cooked chicken, make sure the skin is removed. You’ll need 2 ¼ pounds chicken meat cooked. Costco’s shredded rotisserie chicken can be great for this.
- If you’re on a Whole30, you cannot use Costco’s rotisserie chickens or shredded rotisserie chicken. Make sure you use Whole30-compliant chicken stock or broth, as well as Whole30-compliant mayonnaise.
- If you use Everything Seasoning, replace the black pepper with 2 teaspoons Everything Seasoning and start with ½ teaspoon salt. Add more of both salt and pepper to taste.
- To make this super low carb, use regular white onions instead of sweet onions.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.