May 24, 2024


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Green Goddess Chicken Salad | Cookies and Cups

6 min read


Green Goddess Chicken Salad is the protein-filled twist you never knew you needed! An easy meal idea made with tender chunks of chicken tossed in a fresh and creamy, vibrant green goddess salad dressing.

If you’re looking for an absolutely delicious classic Chicken Salad recipe, make sure to try mine! I use a secret ingredient that makes it out of control delish!

Green goddess chicken salad in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.

Green Goddess Chicken Salad Recipe Is So Good!

You NEED to try this green goddess salad recipe! I have seen lots of fun salad ideas all over TikTok…do you follow me over there? (Spoiler Alert I also made a TikTok for THIS recipe so definitely check that out!) Anyhow, I have been on a MAJOR salad kick lately. I’ve seen tons of versions of Green Goddess Salad recipes there, but I thought it would be fun to add in some chicken and make it a full blown MEAL! I’m telling you it was such a good idea…the flavors…SO GOOD!

This is how I wound up with this protein-packed twist on a green goddess salad. All the flavors of a green goddess dressing, tossed into a tasty, nourishing, healthy chicken salad. The herbaceous, tangy, and creamy dressing gives major Caesar salad dressing meets green pesto vibes, and I can’t get enough.

What is Green Goddess Salad?

A green goddess salad gets its name from the gorgeous, vibrant green tint of the dressing! The original dressing recipe hails from San Francisco and is made with sour cream, mayo, anchovies, and green onions, usually blended up with a mix of parsley, tarragon, and chives. 

Just about any salad tossed in green goddess dressing qualifies as a green goddess salad. My recipe takes many ingredients from a traditional green goddess dressing, plus a few tweaks here and there. The result is a crispy, tangy, fresh and creamy chicken salad that’s easy to whip up in minutes!

Green goddess chicken salad in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.

The Ingredients

My version swaps out green veg for protein-rich, hearty chunks of chicken. Below is an overview of what you’ll need for the salad as well as the creamy green goddess salad dressing. I’ve included the full amounts in the recipe card!

For the Salad

  • Onion: Red onion, or another sweet onion like shallot.
  • Lime: A spray of lime juice for acidity and freshness.
  • Walnuts: I love the mild, earthy flavor and subtle crunch of toasted walnuts in this chicken salad. You can use other kinds of nuts if you prefer, such as almonds, cashews, pecans, pine nuts or pistachios.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: Even more crunch! Sunflower seeds are also a good option.
  • Chicken: Preferably chicken breast, cooked and cubed. I used a Rotisserie chicken breast, but this is also the perfect healthy recipe to use up any leftover chicken you may have in the fridge!
  • Celery: Diced celery brings a fresh and crispy greeness.
  • Salt & Pepper

For the Dressing

  • Mayonnaise: A classic chicken salad is usually made with mayo, for a rich and creamy flavor. If you’d like to lighten up this recipe, feel free to use an alternative like plain Greek yogurt. Just note that the flavor will have a bit more tang!
  • Sour Cream: For a nice, creamy tanginess. 
  • Herbs: Fresh parsley, cilantro, green onions, and garlic bring the greens as well as the aromatics to the chicken salad dressing,
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt & Pepper

How to Make Green Goddess Chicken Salad

Chicken salads are one of the easiest meals to pull together for quick lunches and light dinners. Here’s how to make your own version tossed in a homemade green goddess dressing.

Prep: First, toss and marinate the diced red onion in lime juice, along with salt and pepper. Next, use a skillet to lightly toast the walnuts and pumpkin seeds so that they’re browned and fragrant. 

Combine: Get a large salad bowl and combine the chicken salad ingredients, including the red onion and nuts.

Make the Dressing: Combine the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until the consistency is smooth.

Toss: Finally, pour the dressing over the chicken salad mixture and give it a good stir. You can serve this salad immediately, but if you have the time you can pop it into the fridge to really let the flavors mingle!

Top view of a green goddess chicken salad in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.

Tips for Success

Here are some simple ways to make the most of your chicken salad recipe:

  • Marinate the Onions: I like to do this while I’m preparing the other ingredients, as marinating softens the flavor and texture of the onions. But you can also skip it if you prefer the stronger flavor. 
  • Adapt the Amount of Dressing: How creamy you like your chicken salad is up to you! Feel free to use less or more dressing depending on the consistency you prefer.

Add-Ins & Variations 

This green goddess chicken salad is perfect as is, or you can make it your own! Like any chicken salad recipe, it’s easy to customize with even more tasty add-ins:

  • Cooked and crumbled bacon
  • Sunflower seeds or sesame seeds
  • Diced cucumber, carrots or radishes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Diced apples or seedless grapes
  • Chickpeas or lentils
  • Chopped cabbage

Or mix it up with one of these easy chicken salad variations before adding on the green goddess dressing:

  • Avocado Chicken Salad: Chop up avocado to stir into the chicken salad ingredients.
  • Spicy Chicken Salad: Mix in a couple of diced jalapeños, green peppers, or sprinkle in some chili powder.
  • Cranberry Chicken Salad: Toss in a handful of dried cranberries and make it a greener twist on a classic.
  • Pasta Chicken Salad: Make this recipe into an all-in-one meal or easy side dish by combining it with a cup of your favorite al dente pasta.
Green goddess chicken salad in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.

Serving Suggestions

There are SO MANY ways to enjoy chicken salad! This green goddess chicken salad can be served up between slices of bread for sandwiches, rolled up into wraps, stuffed into pitas, or served over a bed of greens for a light and easy meal. 

This recipe is also great to serve as a dip for corn chips, pita chips, or Seasoned Crackers. 

On its own, green goddess chicken salad also makes a wonderful side next to summer dishes like Bruschetta, Beach Bread, Potato Salad, or Greek Quinoa Salad. 

Or try serving it alongside more summery salads and appetizers:

How to Store Leftovers

Keep this chicken salad stored airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days.

I wouldn’t recommend freezing this chicken salad once it’s fully prepared, as mayo tends to separate when frozen. However, you can always prepare the chicken on its own, freeze it airtight, and thaw it before adding in the rest of the ingredients as well as the dressing.

More Healthy Side Dish Ideas


Green Goddess Chicken Salad

Green goddess chicken salad in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.


Green Goddess Chicken Salad is the protein-filled twist you never knew you needed! An easy meal idea made with tender chunks of chicken mixed into a fresh and creamy, vibrant green goddess salad dressing.




  • 1/2 cup small diced red onion (about 1/2 large red onion)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 4 cups cooked and cubed chicken breast (I used a Rotisserie chicken breast)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 green onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  1. Salad: In a small bowl mix together red onion, juice of 1 lime, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and allow to marinate for at least 10 minutes while you prep the other ingredients. *see note
  2. Place the walnuts and pumpkin seeds in a medium skillet over medium heat and toast the nuts until browned and fragrant about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl combine cubed chicken, celery, diced red onion and liquid, and nuts. Set aside.
  4. Dressing: In a blender or food processor blend the mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, cilantro, green onions, garlic cloves, lime juice, salt, and pepper until smooth. 
  5. Pour the dressing on top of the chicken mixture and stir to coat.
  6. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate to allow the flavors to combine.


* marinating the onions in the lime juice softens them slightly as well as giving them a more mild flavor. You can skip this marinating step if you prefer a stronger onion taste.

Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Keywords: green goddess dressing, green goddess salad recipe, easy chicken salad recipe

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