How to make Spicy Chicken Salad

5 from 1 vote
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Spicy chicken salad is creamy, crunchy and a little bit spicy. The perfect combination for a delicious chicken salad for lunch and meal prep.  

Quick lunch recipes are always helpful, especially for meal prep. Some of my other favorites are this Keto Snack Box, Tuna Salad and Egg Salad

Sandwich on a table.


You will love this Spicy Chicken Salad

One thing I have been trying to do this year is pack Jay a lunch for work. He used to go out to eat everyday and started becoming tired of the heavy food and spending the extra money.

Many nights he would come home and not be hungry for dinner because he had gone out to a late lunch and ate too much. Sooooo I have been going through my old recipes and cookbooks to find things that are easy to pack for lunch and something that will get him through the work day so that he can come home and eat my dinner 🙂

Shredded chicken, water chestnuts, red onion, bell peppers and celery in a bowl

This easy chicken salad is a recipe a friend of mine shared with me several years ago. She made spicy chicken salad sandwiches for a baby shower we attended and I fell in love with the crunchiness and the hint of cayenne pepper.

I am a sucker for a little spicy in my food. It is kinda sad the thing I remember most about the shower was the sandwiches but that just tells you how DEEElicous they are.

Chicken Salad Recipe (Spicy) ingredients

  • Chopped
  • Cooked chicken
  • Bell pepper
  • Onions
  • Water chestnuts
  • Celery
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt


Scroll to the bottom for full printable recipe and ingredient list. 

  1. In a large bowl combine chicken, peppers, water chestnuts, celery and onion. 
  2. In another bowl, mix together mayonnaise, cayenne pepper and salt. 
  3. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over chicken mixture and stir to combine. Store covered in the refrigerator. 
Spicy chicken salad mixed up in a glass bowl with spoon

How to serve this Spicy Chicken Salad Recipe (with Mayonnaise)

I like serving my chicken salad on bread, usually whole wheat or sourdough but of course it would be so good on some butter croissants or even a bagel.

For Low-Carb options you can also serve a scoop on some salad greens if you are cutting the carbs.

How to store Spicy Chicken Salad


This salad will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to store in an airtight container and don’t leave at room temperature for longer than 2 hours to make sure it’s safe to eat. 

Can you freeze this Spicy Chicken Salad Recipe?

I would not recommend freezing since this recipe contains mayonnaise. Mayonnaise will separate when frozen. 

Sandwich on parchment paper on a cutting board

Tips on How to make Spicy Chicken Salad

  • Add smashed avocado for extra creaminess.
  • Don’t want the spice? Replace the cayenne with seasoned salt. 
  • You can use shredded rotisserie chicken, baked chicken or air fryer chicken. If you are really in a hurry, try drained, canned chicken. 
  • Want a little extra crunch, add your favorite chopped nuts. 

Spicy Chicken Salad meal prep

This recipe is also great to use for meal prep. Simply divide the spicy chicken salad mixture into meal prep containers. Add your favorite greens, veggies and or fruit for a nice lunch for the week. 

Spicy Chicken Salad Recipe FAQs


This recipe is Low-Carb and Keto chicken salad friendly. If you want to lower the carbs even more, switch the color peppers out for green bell peppers. 

More Easy Chicken Recipes

*** If you have made this recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below. 

Sandwich on a table.
5 from 1 vote

Chicken Salad Recipe (Spicy)

By Adapted from Southern Living
Spicy chicken salad is creamy, crunchy and a little bit spicy. The perfect combination for a delicious chicken salad.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 cup chopped celery about 3-4 stalks
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


  • In a large bowl, combine chicken, celery, water chestnuts, red and yellow pepper and onion.
  • In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
  • Combine mayonnaise mixture and chicken mixture and chill in refrigerator.


You can serve the chicken salad on bread or on top of salad greens.
Also, the recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, if you like things a little more spicy, 1/2 teaspoon works great.
You may also substitute Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise if you prefer.


Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 873mg | Potassium: 224mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 825IU | Vitamin C: 59.2mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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