This chicken salad appetizer situation looks pretty fancy, doesn’t it? It’s actually super simple to make, can mostly be ahead of time, and we all deserve a little fancy in our get-togethers these days, don’t we? I think so.
We’re slowly eeking back into more social engagements and possibly more entertaining in our home. While I’m still not able to go all in on hosting (due to kiddo watch, I want to have some tasty recipes up my sleeve that aren’t difficult or expensive, but are still full of flavor.
Chicken salad is often a salad topping or a sandwich stuffer. This take on the salad is an appetizer, but the best part is that you can take the recipe and enjoy it however you like! As a rice cake topping for lunch sounds pretty tasty (and a great way to use up leftovers too)
Chicken Salad Appetizer
This recipe calls for a can of shredded, organic chicken – talk about easy, right? My go to brand for canned tuna (see this canned tuna pasta recipe) and chicken is Wild Planet. They’re widely available and are concerned about sustainability!
Can you Use Shredded Chicken (not canned)?
Of course. We tend to eat up our chicken leftovers, so I rarely have shredded chicken. Because I don’t always have tons of time to prep or plan, I’m opting for easy these days, so the canned, shredded chicken was an easy choice.
If you want to use your own shredded chicken, please do so. You’ll want to make sure the chicken isn’t overly seasoned or flavored as that will throw off the balance of flavors.
I’d also recommend shredding the chicken finely so that it’s easier to eat, but that’s up to you of course.
What Goes into Chicken Salad?
Traditionally, chicken salad (like tuna salad) uses mayonnaise to make it creamy, but I’m not always big on mayo. Since it’s hard to know about guests’ mayonnaise preferences, try adding goat cheese instead!
You’ll have a creamy chicken salad appetizer that’s PACKED with flavor. And I’m yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like goat cheese!
You’ll want to make sure the goat cheese is at room temperature when you make the salad, however. Goat cheese softens, so it will incorporate much more easily.
Besides that, you want to add some consistency variety. Here, I used chopped, dried apricot, finely chopped red onion, and pecans.
As you eat this appetizer, you’ll have hints of sweet chewiness, a crunchy tang, and an earthy crunch. It’s such a fabulously tasty combo!
How to Serve Chicken Salad Appetizers?
These chicken salad appetizers are in endive leaves. They’re usually a few inches long, so they’re great for getting a good serving of the chicken salad without having to eat 7 small bites or feel as though you’re eating a small meal.
Endive season is roughly fall to early spring (so it fits right in with our seasonal winter recipes these days).
If you’re making this another time of year and have trouble finding endive leaves , feel free to try any kind of lettuce leaf. The structure of these leaves is ideal, but a butter lettuce leaf would be fine.
Or if you want a heartier appetizer, try a crostini with this on top!
More Appetizer Recipes
Want more appetizer recipes perfect for entertaining? Right now these blood orange crostini and asparagus crostini would be PERFECT seasonal fare! As would these sweet potato appetizer cups! These vegan appetizer fritters are also a great finger food to set out.
Or if you just love a good grazing board (we know I do), try these basic cheese board ideas, my Trader Joe’s Charcuterie spread, or a kids appetizer board that all the adults will nibble on too. Should life be on the verge of getting out of control, this last minute fruit appetizer board usually does the trick!
CHICKEN SALAD APPETIZERS
- 5 oz can organic roasted chicken breast without salt
- 6 dried apricots diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons diced red onion
- 2.5 oz herb-coated goat cheese* at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 head Belgian endive 8 to 10 leaves
- Add the chicken to a medium bowl. Reserve 1 tablespoon of diced apricots and 1 teaspoon of chopped pecans for garnish, then add the remaining to the chicken. Place the red onion in the bowl. Use a fork to stir ingredients, breaking the chicken into small pieces.
- Stir in the goat cheese until all ingredients are incorporated into a chicken salad. Stir in the salt and pepper.
- Set the endive leaves so that they curve up, creating a space to hold the chicken salad. Divide the chicken salad among 8 to 10 endive leaves. Sprinkle the reserved apricots and pecans over each filled leaf. Serve right away.