Sunday, December 19, 2010

Recipe for Shredded Chicken Salad with Green Olives, Celery, and Green Onion

Shredded Chicken Salad with Green Olives, Celery, and Green Onion
I first made this colorful chicken salad with sliced green olives when I had leftover rotisserie chicken, but since then I've made it three more times, adjusting the recipe a little bit each time to get a combination that seems just right to me.  What makes this a hit with green olive lovers is the little bit of green olive brine added to the dressing.  The salad has just enough red and green that you could serve it as a Christmas salad, especially if you serve it plated with dishes that bring out the red and green colors in the salad.  And if you're getting tired of sweets and want a savory dish for a holiday pot-luck, this might be just the thing. 

I've made this twice with leftover rotisserie chicken and once with this shredded chicken from two chicken breasts that I poached in plain water.  I prefer the chicken pulled apart rather than cut, although sometimes I cut strips and then pull the strips apart.

Cut celery in half or third lengthwise, then slice into small pieces.

The last two times I made this I realized that if I used the larger green olives I could slice them crosswise, and this made the salad look prettier.

I'm a huge fan of green onions, but if you aren't as big on it you could use a bit less.

Mix together the mayo, green olive brine, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, celery seed, and season the dressing with a little salt and fresh ground black pepper.  I use a combination of mayo and light mayo to reduce the amount of fat.   (This is a one-cup measuring cup, and if you only use 2 cups of chicken you may not need all the dressing.)

Mix together the chicken pieces, celery, and green onions.

Stir in enough dressing to moisten the chicken pieces and veggies.

Apparently I forgot to take another photo after I gently mixed in the green olives, but here is how the salad looked when it was done.  This will keep in the fridge for several days, but you may not have any leftovers! 

Shredded Chicken Salad with Green Olives, Celery, and Green Onion
(Makes 6-8 small servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

2-3 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded into bite-sized pieces
(you can cook 2 chicken breasts following the instructions below)
1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks celery)
1 cup large green olives with pimento, sliced into crosswise slices
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (or less if you're not that fond of green onion)
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup light mayo
2 tsp. green olive brine (liquid from the jar)
2 tsp. fresh or frozen lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. celery seed (optional, but good)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I didn't use much salt because the olives are salty)

If you're cooking chicken breasts to make this salad, trim all fat and tendons from two chicken breasts, put  them in a small pan with enough water to cover, bring to a low simmer and cook about 15 minutes, or until chicken feels firm to the touch.  Let chicken cool in the water, then drain. 

Use your fingers to shred enough cooked chicken breast to make 2-3 cups.  (I like to cut the chicken breasts into long strips and then shred the strips apart.)  Slice olives and green onions and chop celery.

Combine mayo, light mayo, green olive brine, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, celery seed, salt and pepper and use a whisk to mix together.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine chicken pieces, diced celery and sliced green onions.  Stir in enough dressing to moisten all the ingredients.  (You may not need all the dressing, especially if you only have 2 cups of chicken pieces.)  Then gently fold in green olives, mixing just enough to distribute them among the other ingredients.  Serve immediately or chill slightly.

This will keep in the fridge for a few days, although you might not have any leftovers!

South Beach Suggestions:
Everything here is a low-glycemic ingredient, and green olives have much less fat than black ones, so this salad may be more healthful than it seems at first glance.  Using all light mayo would be best if you're making this salad for the South Beach Diet, but even with the combination of mayo I used, I think this could be a "once-in-a-while-treat" for any phase of the diet. 

More Salad Ideas with Chicken:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Southwest Chicken Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen
Leftover Chicken Chopped Salad with Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chicken Salad with Tarragon from Simply Recipes
Waldorf Chicken Salad from Eclectic Recipes
Curried Chicken Salad from Pete Bakes!
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. Okay, Kalyn - you have hit the mark with this chicken salad. Chicken, mayo, green olives - absolutely perfect!

  2. What a festive green-red palette, perfect for the holidays!

  3. Yum! I have been wishing for a "not sweet" chicken salad lately. Can't wait to try this one!

  4. I just made this for lunch, and it's absolutely delicious. Thank you for posting this recipe!

  5. Wow, that was fast! So glad you enjoyed it.

  6. Looks so fresh and inviting. Delicious! And I love your new blog look- I know I've said that before, but- just wanted to give you props again on your re-design.

  7. Just stopped by to tell you how much I love that the feed posts have an image in them now - thank you!

  8. Erika, isn't that a great new feature. So glad you're enjoying seeing the photos All credit goes to the team at Blogger. I did write to them about it, but they did all the work of making the change. I'm not sure how many people know about it yet, but I am loving it!

  9. Karina, we were typing comments at the same time. (How I wish I could reply directly in the comment.) Thanks for the nice thoughts about the new design. I am loving it!

  10. I am a HUGE fan of briny flavors and I would love to make a sandwich or wrap out of this!

  11. This is definitely my kind of recipe - especially since I always seem to have a forgotten half jar of green pimento olives in the fridge or a dusty jar languishing in the pantry. Thanks for the inspiration on what to do with green olives besides eat them straight out of the brine! (Great idea putting a little into the salad. I love to do that with kalamata olive juice.)

  12. So glad people are liking this idea. And yes, I can imagine eating this in a tortilla or even as a lettuce wrap.

  13. Now my mouth is watering, nice one.

  14. I made this today. We are loving the taste. It was great with a fresh tomato.

  15. M- So glad you liked it. (And how I wish I had a fresh tomatoes here!)

  16. When I saw this yesterday, I knew I had all the ingredients and rushed home to make it for my mom and me. We loved it, just as a salad. But as a wrap (suggested by someone else) would be wonderful, too!

  17. So glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  18. I am a sucker for anything with olives. This salad recipe sounds delicious!

    I use celery seed often in dressings too. With that hit of dijon and lemon and the briny tang of the juice. Oh yum!

    I know it wouldn't be South Beach friendly, but I think this would make a gorgeous potato salad for a summer picnic too. Kalyn, I love writing and your recipes. And, as you can see, you also give me recipe inspiration.

  19. CJ, thanks so much. (And I agree, this would make a great potato salad. My mom always put celery seed in potato salad, which is where I learned to like it so much.)

  20. I just know that I am going to love this. Merry Christmas!!

  21. Just made it and love it, thanks.

  22. One of the best chicken salads I've ever made! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe

  23. You are so welcome; and thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it so much!

  24. Hi Kalyn, made this tonight and loved it. It was hard not eating it all at once (let alone not just eating all the olives before they made it into the dish). I'm going to leave out the onion next time so the olives really shine through the most. Thank you!

  25. Dara, so glad you liked it! And yes, you could definitely leave out the onions or use less for more olive flavor!

  26. We love this recipe. Easy to make quickly for lunch if you come home for lunch. I have made it twice and this time I added some extra protien to it with a rinsed can of chickpeas and then we ate it overtop some sliced tomato. Really Yummy!! My husband doesn't like things made with mayo really but he loved this!


  27. Ranee, so glad you enjoyed it!

  28. I have been looking for a really good chicken salad that included green olives. This one is by far my favorite! My husband (a chicken salad junkie)and I make it all the time now. Thanks so much for sharing!

  29. So glad you're enjoying it. It's definitely one of my favorites too.

  30. Yum, I think I may try this tomorrow for lunch! Has anyone tried subbing Nonfat plain Greek yogurt for part of the mayo? (not all of it but maybe half?) I have some FAGE 0% in the fridge and some Kirkland Canned Chicken (the best!) but don't want to ruin my chicken if anyone has tried the yogurt and it hasn't worked out.

  31. Cindy I haven't made it with yogurt, but I can't see why it wouldn't work.

  32. Thank you for this website and this recipe. I have learned alot from you and have taken to heart your advice about getting the book. As we embark on this journey, my hubby and I spent a lot of time on your site. This recipe was really good!
    When I set it in front of him for our lunch, he says, we can have this???

  33. Sissy, glad to hear that the blog has been helpful for you guys.

  34. I love this recipe! I tried it with 1/3 cup light mayo, and 1/3 cup Fat Free greek yogurt and it was just as delicious!

  35. I have made this and I love it. It is one of the last meals I made for my mother before her Alzheimer's Disease got too bad, so it has meaning for me.

  36. I made this several times for my dad too, before her died so we are sharing a connection to the salad. Glad you liked it.


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