Ranch Chicken Salad has lots of fresh, crispy romaine lettuce, tender chicken, and crunchy cucumbers dressed in a tangy dill dressing and topped with savory croutons.

This chopped chicken salad is the perfect recipe on its own, or it can be transformed into other delicious sides and even entire entrees. Everyone loves a cold, crisp chicken salad recipe made with ranch dressing, but this one has a dill dressing alternative that we think makes it unique and a crowd favorite!

Chicken Salad on a plate with a bowl full in the background

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We Love This Salad

Who doesn’t love a freshly prepared, chilled salad with only 5 ingredients and two easy steps? A chicken salad made with ranch dressing can be a quick side dish, or it can be loaded with other ingredients to make it an entrée.

Make extra to take to a picnic or a potluck and let the compliments fly! Serve with a slice of freshly baked no knead bread and make a ranch chicken salad sandwich.

Ingredients and Variations

CHICKEN is obviously the first ingredient, but we tried it with grilled turkey and it was amazing! We also like to add bacon bits for extra protein and flavor. 

salad dressing being poured over Chicken Salad

DRESSING We think the best dressing for chicken salad is either dill or ranch, but a bright vinaigrette will work in a pinch as well! Or, make a chicken curry salad by mixing plain yogurt with yellow curry powder. Add some cashews and raisins for a fancy, Indian inspired dish!

OTHER VARIATIONS Use leftover Thanksgiving turkey or rotisserie chicken for another fresh take! This recipe as a turkey salad is just divine, or make a turkey cobb salad with hard-boiled eggs or even smoked eggs! Why not add in some diced avocados or even pasta like macaroni shells or penne!

How to Make Ranch Chicken Salad

This is the easy part!

  1. Simply mix all of the ingredients together and add half the dressing.
  2. Add extra dressing as desired.
  3. Season with pepper and serve immediately.

salad dressing to make Chicken Salad

Tips and Tricks for Salad Perfection

  • The key to the best salad is to always start with fresh, crispy, clean lettuce.
    • Rinse whole heads of romaine and hold the stem end in one hand on a cutting board.
    • Using a sharp knife, slice lengthwise from the base all the way to the top of the bunch. Rotate a quarter turn and slice from the bottom to the ends.
    • Rotate and cut twice more and then cut from the top in 2-inch increments until you reach the bottom. This ensures even-sized pieces.
    • Place cut pieces into a salad spinner until pieces are ready to use.
  • Meat should be cold and cut uniformly as should the cucumber.
  • Even using cold dressing will keep all the ingredients crispy and crunchy!

top view of ingredients in a bowl to make Chicken Salad

Make Ahead Options

To keep chicken salad super fresh when making ahead, follow these steps:

  • Prep the lettuce, chicken, and cucumber and keep it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
  • Add the dressing and croutons and mix just before serving.

Chicken Salad in a bowl with dressing

Leftovers and Storage

  • Keep chicken salad made with ranch dressing or dill dressing covered in the refrigerator and it will last about two days (if you use romaine lettuce).
  • Make it new again by adding freshly prepared lettuce, extra dressing, a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper, and no one will ever know it was leftovers!
  • To keep the salad longer than a couple of days, add dressing to the portion of the salad you’ll eat that day. Store dressing separately from the remaining salad ingredients, and refrigerate for about five days.
Turkey Salad in a bowl with wooden spoons
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Ranch Chicken Salad

This Ranch Chicken Salad is crisp, fresh, and flavorful!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Candace

Ingredients  

  • 8-10 cups romaine lettuce cleaned & chopped
  • 4 cups cooked chicken chopped (or turkey)
  • ½ long English cucumber sliced
  • 1 cup croutons
  • ½-⅔ cup creamy dill dressing or ranch dressing, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Add lettuce, chicken, cucumber, and croutons to a large bowl. Add about ½ cup of dressing and toss the salad. Add additional dressing as desired.
  • Sprinkle with pepper and serve immediately.
5 from 2 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 156 | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4145IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American

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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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