apple tarragon chicken salad scooped over a bowl of lettuce

Nothing makes me happier than having a healthy, pre-made lunch ready to go in the fridge. What that says about me I’m not sure. But seriously, to have to think up two separate lunch ideas for the boys then turn around and decide what I’m going to make myself gives me a major case of decision fatigue.

That’s why I always aim to have leftovers, egg salad, or chicken salad in the fridge to grab and gobble for lunch, and this fall-inspired Apple Tarragon Chicken Salad is a new lunch time favorite!

apple tarragon chicken salad scooped over a bowl of lettuce

A Twist on Classic Chicken Salad

Baked chicken, crisp apples, green onions and fresh tarragon are mixed with mayo and lemon juice for a seriously quick and easy chicken salad recipe that’s fresh and filling. I like to roll mine inside a GF wrap (love Mission GF tortillas!) though it’s also fantastic scooped into mason jars then topped with mixed greens for an instant healthy salad when lunch time rolls around. Just dump, mix, and eat.

I have a ton of Honeycrisp apples on hand so that’s what I’ve been using in this recipe, but of course use whatever apple you love. And if you’ve never tried tarragon, it’s a wonderful fresh herb. Every time I eat it I think, why don’t I use this more often?? You’re going to love this fresh and updated twist on classic chicken salad!

apple tarragon chicken salad layered with lettuce in a mason jar

How to Make This Recipe

Start by cooking 2 chicken breasts (14oz) any way you like – you could even use leftover roast chicken or rotisserie chicken. My favorite, easy cooking method is to pound the chicken to an even thickness, season both sides with salt and pepper, then place on a silpat or nonstick sprayed foil-lined half sheet pan. Spray or mist the tops with extra virgin olive oil or cooking spray then bake for 15-17 minutes, or until cooked through. Chop into cubes or shred once cool. EASY. You can even do this a day ahead of time.

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Add the cooled chopped chicken to a large bowl with 1 chopped red apple, 2 chopped green onions, 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, salt, and pepper.

ingredients for apple tarragon chicken salad in a mixing bowl

Next add 1/3 cup mayonnaise and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice then mix to combine. Taste then add more mayo, lemon juice, salt and/or pepper if needed. I really think the addition of lemon juice makes this chicken salad taste more like a chicken salad with dressing versus chicken mixed with mayo. You’ll see what I mean!

That’s all she wrote! Like I said, I usually scoop the Apple Tarragon Chicken Salad on top of greens or use it to make a wrap, though chicken salad is of course great as a sandwich or stuffed inside a pita. Plus, don’t forget about that handy mason jar idea! However you eat it – enjoy!

apple tarragon chicken salad scooped over a bowl of lettuce

Apple Tarragon Chicken Salad

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Description

Apple Tarragon Chicken Salad is an easy lunch recipe that's full of fresh flavors. Serve with lettuce or in between slices of bread.

Ingredients

serves 4

  • 2 chicken breasts (14oz), pounded to an even thickness
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 red apple, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
  • bread, wraps, or lettuce, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees then line a half sheet pan with a silpat or nonstick sprayed foil. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper then place on prepared sheet pan and spray or mist tops with extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through, then let cool. Once cool, chop into bite-sized pieces. Can be done a day ahead of time.
  2. To a large bowl add chopped chicken and remaining ingredients then stir to combine. Taste then add more lemon juice, salt, and/or pepper to tate then refrigerate until chilled. Serve between bread slices, in a wrap, or on a bed of lettuce.

Notes

  • Rotisserie chicken would be a great substitute in here.
  • This chicken salad makes a great mason jar meal. Scoop the chicken salad into the bottom of a mason jar then top with the lettuce of your choice. Will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

photo collage of apple tarragon chicken salad