This Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad recipe is healthy and makes an easy lunch! It's made with a tangy mayo dressing and sliced almonds.
I have decided that during the summer I will celebrate tarragon; an under-utilized herb by enjoying this Chicken Salad with Tarragon.
A couple of weeks ago my husband and I took a road trip to North Carolina. He was attending a conference in Durham which is approximately 3 hours from the ocean.
After a 21 hour drive from Minnesota to North Carolina I thought, 'Hey, what's another 3 hours?' - 3 hours (well, 6 hours total) is nothing for the chance to sit on the beach and splash around in the surf.
Minnesota is a completely land-locked state and if there's a chance to visit the ocean I take it - No questions asked. A few glorious hours (and some seriously sunburned shoulders) later I realized I was getting hungry.
I was looking for something kind of light and refreshing so I stopped off at a Trader Joe's and picked up a tarragon chicken salad wrap. As I sat in the parking lot wolfing it down I thought, 'Where's this been all my life?' Tarragon and chicken are basically made to be together.
This Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad officially became a thing in my world.
Which Chicken Is Best For Salad?
Chicken salad is meant to be a no-fuss dish that works great for lunch, to take on-the-go, or maybe to eat for high tea if you're really fancy.
It's shouldn't take too much time or effort. You can whip up a batch and keep it covered in the refrigerator for a few days if you like. You can use any type of chicken you like for this recipe.
I used chicken breast tenderloins for this recipe but you can use regular chicken breasts, slow-cooked, or rotisserie chicken.
- To bake your own chicken breasts simply heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place 1 lb. of tenderloins on a baking sheet and drizzle them with a tsp. or so of olive oil.
- Sprinkle them with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, 1 tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. onion powder, and ½ tsp. smoked paprika.
- Bake for 20 minutes (chicken breasts take longer to cook - more like 25-30 minutes). Once the chicken is fully cooked through remove it from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Then dice the chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside.
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How To Make Lemon Tarragon Dressing
Of course you can't have something like a chicken or egg salad without some type of dressing. I like to keep things on the lighter side when it comes to dressings like this.
That way the dressing doesn't drown out the flavor of the actual ingredients and instead enhances them.
This dressing is really simple:
- Add ¼ cup mayo, 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, ¼ tsp. sugar, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a small bowl.
- Mix until smooth with a fork or one of these little whisks (seriously, these things are awesome!).
What Does Tarragon Taste Like?
I decided to use shallots in this recipe instead of onions. You can certainly use onion and/or garlic if you like. Shallots are similar to an onion but the flavor is slightly more mild and earthy.
- Mince 1 small shallot (or onion). It should equal about ¼ cup.
- Next, mince ¼ cup or so of tarragon. Dried tarragon will do but I recommend the fresh stuff if you can find it. Mince about ¼ cup of it.
- Place the shallots and the tarragon into a bowl along with the chopped chicken.
- Add ½ cup of sliced almonds.
Tarragon has a flavor that tastes like anise or licorice. The two varieties of tarragon that are used in cooking are French and Russian - French tarragon has a much stronger flavor so I would recommend that variety for this dish!
It's great for adding flavor to sauces and pairs well with lighter meats like fish and chicken.
If you like tarragon I think you'll love this Creamy Lemon Tarragon Sauce and Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Tarragon Sauce!
How To Make Chicken Salad Wraps
Add as much or as little of the lemony mayo dressing to the chicken as you like! Add all of it if you like a really creamy salad or less if you like the chicken to come through more.
I added about ¾ of the dressing to this recipe and was happy with the results.
Mix the chicken, shallots, tarragon, almonds, and dressing together and add another pinch of salt and pepper.
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What To Serve With Tarragon Chicken Salad
You can serve this chicken salad in a wrap (gluten free or regular), on a sandwich, with crackers, or just eat it out of the bowl.
Lettuce wraps can be substituted for a low-carb version. There's really no 'wrong' way to eat it. The wraps were then topped with some chopped tomato and fresh lettuce.
It's great paired with a light salad like this Italian Tomato Salad, Fresh Pea Salad, Marinated Green Bean Salad, Pickled Beet Feta Salad, or Grilled Corn Avocado Salad.
I love dishes like this with a summery side dish like Mediterranean Potato Salad, Spanish Potato Salad, Classic Coleslaw, or Kohlrabi Coleslaw.
I don't know about you but this is my idea of the perfect summer meal. And now every time I eat this tarragon chicken salad I'll think of my glorious day at the beach.
How Long Does It Last In The Fridge?
This chicken salad lasts 3-5 days stored in a covered airtight container in the fridge. I do not recommend freezing it as it is meant to be eaten fresh or within a few days.
If you like this Tarragon Chicken Salad I think you'll love this Lemon Basil Chicken Salad and Wild Rice Chicken Salad!
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Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad
- 1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins or regular chicken breasts
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- pinch kosher salt
- pinch pepper
- ¼ cup mayo
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- ¼ tsp. sugar
- ¼ cup minced shallots
- ¼ cup minced tarragon
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 4 gluten free wraps or sandwich bread or any wraps or bread if not gluten free
- tomatoes and lettuce optional
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place chicken breasts on baking sheet. Drizzle chicken with 1 tsp. olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle 1 tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp. smoked paprika, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper on the chicken. Toss to coat.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes (bake for 25-30 minutes if using regular chicken breasts). Remove the pan once the chicken has fully cooked through and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Once the chicken has cooled a bit dice into bite-size pieces and set aside.
- For the dressing: Add ¼ cup mayo, 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, ¼ tsp. sugar, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a small bowl. Mix together until completely combined.
- Mince 1 small shallot (or onion) and mince ¼ cup fresh tarragon.
- Add the chopped chicken to a bowl along with the shallots and tarragon. Add ½ cup sliced almonds to the bowl and mix together.
- Add desired amount of dressing to the chicken salad (you can add as much or little as you like) along with another pinch of salt and pepper. Mix completely.
- Serve the chicken salad in a wrap, on a sandwich, as an appetizer, or on its own. Add tomatoes and lettuce or spinach (optional).
Definitely having for a high tea. Thank you for a great chicken salad recipe with new flavour Tarragon for me 😀
This would be perfect with tea - Great idea!
I love this wrap...the chicken has such great flavor and the crunchy almonds are perfect!