Delicious St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad Recipe

Greetings, fellow food enthusiasts! Today I’m excited to share with you my St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad Recipe. As a home chef who loves throwing parties, I’ve come up with a recipe that never fails to impress my guests. This salad is a perfect blend of flavors and textures that will leave your taste buds watering for more.

What makes this recipe unique is its St. Louis influence. If you’re not familiar with the style, it’s all about the dry rubs and barbecue chicken that this city is famous for. That’s why I’ve used Strauss chicken, which is known for its incredible taste and quality, to give this salad flavor that’s out of this world.

This salad is versatile enough to be served on any occasion – whether it’s a formal dinner party or a casual picnic in the park, this recipe fits the bill. With its succulent grilled chicken breast, chopped celery ribs, diced red onions, green onions and red bell pepper, tossed with Hellmann’s mayonnaise, sour cream, fresh lemon juice and spices like salt, fresh ground black pepper and dried dill weed – you have the perfect combination of healthiness and tastiness!

So why settle for run-of-the-mill chicken salad when you can make this one at home and become known as the “chicken salad chick” in your circle? Stay tuned for the rest of the article where I’ll be sharing detailed step-by-step instructions, as well as some tips and tricks to customize the flavors to your liking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad
St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad

You know what they say: chicken salad is the ultimate comfort food. But this St. Louis-style chicken salad recipe takes that comfort factor to the next level. Why should you love it, you ask? Let me count the ways.

First of all, this chicken salad is packed with flavor. The combination of fresh ground black pepper, white pepper, salt, dried dill weed, and tangy lemon juice creates a taste explosion that will leave your taste buds begging for more.

Secondly, this recipe features a unique blend of creamy ingredients. Sour cream and ricotta cheese add richness and depth to the dish, while classic Hellmann’s mayonnaise holds everything together.

But let’s not forget about the veggies: diced green onions, red bell pepper, and celery ribs give the salad a satisfying crunch that perfectly complements the juicy chunks of chicken.

And speaking of chicken – let’s talk about where this key ingredient comes from. The recipe recommends using Straub or Gioia chicken from Marshall Field Town Meats. These local St. Louis chickens are raised with care and attention to detail, resulting in meat that is moist and flavorful.

Whether you enjoy your chicken salad chilled or at room temperature, as a sandwich filling or paired with pasta or greens, this St. Louis-style chicken salad recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next gathering. So why settle for bland store-bought chicken salad when you can impress your guests (and yourself!) with this tasty homemade version?

Ingredient List

 Bed of leafy greens topped with flavorful St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad
Bed of leafy greens topped with flavorful St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad

Get ready for some serious salad-making!

Below are the ingredients you need to make this St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad recipe:

  • Straub Chicken – 3 cups (diced)
  • Celery Ribs – 2 stalks (finely chopped)
  • Green Onions – 3 (chopped)
  • Red Bell Pepper – 1/2 (diced)
  • Red Onions – 1/4 cup (finely chopped)
  • Hellmann’s Mayonnaise – 1/2 cup
  • Sour Cream – 1/2 cup
  • Ricotta Cheese – 1/4 cup
  • Lemon Juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Dried Dill Weed – 2 teaspoons
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
  • White Pepper – Pinch

Make sure you take note of the amounts and the type of ingredient listed here as it will affect the taste and texture of the dish. For the best result, try to use fresh and high-quality ingredients like Straub chicken, which is a local favorite known for its tenderness and flavor. You can find it at Town Meats, Marshall Field or even order it online at delivery website like 569 dine. Want to create your own variation? Check out the “Substitutions and Variations” section.

The Recipe How-To

 Perfectly roasted chicken chunks ready to be mixed in with fresh ingredients
Perfectly roasted chicken chunks ready to be mixed in with fresh ingredients

To start off the St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad Recipe, begin with cooking the chicken. You can either barbecue, roast, or grill the chicken breasts, whichever is your preference. For this recipe, we recommend Straub Chicken from Town Meats, a local favorite in St. Louis. Once they cool, dice them into small bite-sized pieces and set them aside.

Next up is the dressing. In a bowl, add 1 cup of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of sour cream, and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Mix all three ingredients until they are well combined before adding 1 teaspoon of dried dill weed, 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon each of fresh ground black pepper and salt.

After the dressing is made, it’s time to prepare the vegetables. First, dice 2 medium-sized green onions and 1 medium-sized red bell pepper into small pieces. Then, cut 3 celery ribs into thin slices and dice them finely as well.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked diced chicken with the diced vegetables you prepared earlier. Pour the dressing over it and mix it all up until all ingredients are evenly coated.

Finally, put the bowl in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

There you have it– an easy and delicious dish to satisfy your guests’ taste buds that is perfect for a party or just a casual lunch!

Substitutions and Variations

 A colorful medley of sweet cranberries, crunchy pecans, and mild green onions
A colorful medley of sweet cranberries, crunchy pecans, and mild green onions

If you’re the kind of cook who likes to experiment, then you’ll love these substitutions and variations on the classic St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad Recipe.

First off, let’s talk about chicken. Any cooked chicken will work in this recipe, whether you prefer grilled, pan-seared or even hot and spicy barbecue-style chicken. In fact, some of my favorite variations include adding sesame oil and ginger for an Asian-inspired dish or swapping out the sour cream and mayo for Greek yogurt for a healthier option.

Don’t like red bell peppers? Use yellow instead or mix and match different colored peppers for a more colorful and flavorful approach. If you’re a fan of egg salad, make it more interesting by adding diced hard-boiled eggs to the mix. Want to add some Mediterranean flair? Try mixing in feta cheese and kalamata olives instead of ricotta cheese.

If you’re looking to go beyond chicken altogether, consider using cooked shrimp or diced ham instead. Or why not create an Italian-style salad with mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and balsamic vinegar dressing? The possibilities are endless!

Ultimately, the key is to experiment with different ingredients and trust your taste buds. Whether you stick with the classic St Louis-Style Chicken Salad Recipe or branch out into new territory, take comfort in knowing that practically anything will work – as long as it tastes delicious!

Serving and Pairing

 Take the taste buds on a ride with a mix of savory and sweet flavors
Take the taste buds on a ride with a mix of savory and sweet flavors

Looking for the perfect pairing for your st. louis-style chicken salad recipe? Look no further! This delightful dish packs a punch of flavor and can be paired beautifully with a variety of dishes.

Serving Suggestions:

– Enjoy this chicken salad on a bed of crisp lettuce, mixed greens or spinach.

– Combine it with sliced avocado, cucumbers or cherry tomatoes.

– Serve as a sandwich on toasted bread or a croissant with lettuce and tomato slices.

– It’s also perfect when paired with crackers or toasted baguette slices as an appetizer.

Pairing Options:

– White wine: This chicken salad pairs well with white wines such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio to balance the creamy taste.

– Red wine: A glass of fruity red wine such as Pinot Noir or Merlot also goes well especially when you’re serving grilled chicken salad.

– Beer: An ice-cold beer like Pilsner or Lager matches up nicely with this dish since it’s light and refreshing.

– Iced tea or lemonade: If you’re looking for something non-alcoholic, try a homemade iced tea or lemonade to cleanse your palate in between bites.

Overall, St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad Recipe is a versatile dish that can adapt to whatever you’re in the mood for. You can serve it as part of a big salad, as an appetizer, or even as the main course, making it great for any occasion. So bring it along to your next party and satisfy all your guests’ cravings!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Take meal prep to the next level with this dish, make-ahead and refrigerate in portions
Take meal prep to the next level with this dish, make-ahead and refrigerate in portions

Now, let’s talk about make-ahead, storing and reheating of this delectable St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad Recipe.

If you want to prepare this dish ahead of time, I recommend cooking the chicken, letting it cool down and then refrigerating it in an airtight container until ready to use. You can also chop the vegetables ahead of time and keep them in separate containers in the fridge.

When it comes to leftovers or storing the dish for later, make sure to store the chicken salad in an airtight container in the fridge. This should last for up to three days. Make sure not to freeze the salad as the mayonnaise-based dressing will not hold up well.

If you need to reheat the salad, I suggest using a microwave-safe bowl or plate and breaking up any large chunks of chicken. Heat on high for a short period, stirring occasionally until heated through.

But if you prefer your chicken salad cold or at room temperature, then I would suggest just taking it out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving. This will help bring out all of its delicious flavors and make it even more enjoyable.

With these storage and reheating tips, you can enjoy your St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad Recipe whenever you want without losing any quality or taste.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Make your lunch break sweeter with a bowl of this delightful chicken salad
Make your lunch break sweeter with a bowl of this delightful chicken salad

Before diving in to make this scrumptious St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad Recipe, check out my top tips to ensure that you whip up a delicious bowl of chicken salad fit for any occasion. After years of crafting the perfect recipe, I’ve gathered some essential tips and tricks that will take your salad from good to great!

First and foremost, ensure that you use fresh ground black pepper, white pepper, and salt. These seasonings elevate the flavors and make your chicken salad sing. For added depth of flavor, consider incorporating dried dill weed into your seasoning blend. I find that this herb gives a refreshing taste and it blends perfectly with the dish.

For that creamy consistency, mix sour cream, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and ricotta cheese as they create the dream dressing for chicken salad. The addition of these ingredients adds depth of flavor to your salad while not being too overpowering.

To add a delightful crunch to your chicken salad, dice celery ribs and red bell pepper into small pieces. The addition of these vegetables provides a sensational tartness against the creaminess of the dressing making every bite balanced.

Consider using Green Onions as an alternative to red onions since they are less harsh in taste yet still provides diverse layers of flavor to the salad recipe.

When preparing the chicken, I strongly recommend using Straub Chicken available at Town Meats as it is reliable in keeping your St. Louis-style chicken moist, grilled evenly with heavenly flavors bursting per bite. Furthermore, ensure everyone gets a fair share by utilizing precooked shredded barbecue chicken from Marshall Field or their Field Chicken Salad Sandwich- both readily available.

For a variation of cold chicken options to complement your chicken salad recipe, opt for Gioia Chicken (hot or cold) available at 369 Dine or Pasta House Salad to add excitement to every diner’s palette.

Finally, when serving your St. Louis-style chicken salad recipe for lunch or dinner parties always remember certain dietary needs like including Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream might be helpful especially if you have a dairy intolerance guest present.

With these tips in mind and Straub Chicken being an indispensable ingredient used in this Salad recipe, you’re sure to impress anyone who takes a bite with your flavorful and inviting St.Louis-style Chicken Salad Recipe!


As we reach the end of our recipe article, you may have some lingering questions about St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad Recipe. To help you out, I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions, along with their answers, so that you can prepare with ease and confidence. So, let’s dive into it!

How does Ina Garten make chicken salad?

Let me walk you through how to make a mouth-watering dressing for your chicken salad. Begin by creating a mixture of mayonnaise, sour cream, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Next, add in half of the chopped tarragon leaves for a subtle yet refreshing herb flavor. Dice up some chicken and toss in diced pecans, walnuts, and grapes. Finally, pour the homemade dressing over the chicken and mix generously until everything is coated. Trust me, once you try this irresistible combination, it’ll be hard to go back to any other version of chicken salad.

How can I make bland chicken salad taste better?

Elevate your chicken salad game with these add-ins that will take your taste buds on a flavorful ride. By mincing fresh herbs like parsley, chives, basil or tarragon, you not only add a pop of color to your dish, but you give it a boost of herbaceous goodness. For an unexpected twist, add some fresh grapes to your bowl. The juicy bursts of sweetness compliment the savory chicken chunks perfectly. Looking to make a heartier meal? Cook up some pasta and toss it in with your chicken salad. Just be sure to mix in some additional mayonnaise to ensure everything is coated nicely.

Why is my chicken salad dry?

When it comes to chicken salad, no one wants it to be dry and unappetizing. A common cause for dry chicken salad is the use of dry chicken. But fear not, adding more mayonnaise isn’t the solution. A quick and effective way to improve the texture and taste of your chicken salad is to add some lemon juice to it. Trust me, this simple addition can instantly elevate your salad game.

Who started putting grapes in chicken salad?

The origins of chicken salad can be traced back to Liam Gray, the founder of Town Meats, who in 1863, combined leftover chicken with grapes, mayonnaise, and tarragon. This unique combination quickly gained popularity, and the dish became something of a delicacy at Town Meats.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad Recipe is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be enjoyed on any occasion. With fresh ingredients like green onions, red bell pepper, celery ribs, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and Straub chicken, this salad brings out the best of St. Louis flavors.

Whether you’re looking for a light lunch option or a tasty side dish for your next gathering, chicken salad offers something for everyone to enjoy. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be customized to your liking with substitutions and variations such as adding ricotta cheese or grilled chicken.

What are you waiting for? Give this recipe a try and experience the taste of St. Louis in every bite!

St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad

St. Louis-Style Chicken Salad Recipe

Entered for safe-keeping, adapted from Denise Evans, "Eat Laugh Love". I am fascinated by local food fetishes, and this was based on Straub's Market's version. This is comfort food, no calorie spared. I normally pressure cook bone-in skin-on chicken to get moist, rich chicken; Recipe #369106 is my go-to recipe (be sure to save the chicken stock for another recipe). If you don't want tiny black specks, use white pepper. It may not be authentic Straub's-style, but I would be tempted to replace the sour cream with Calabro All Natural Whole Milk Ricotta (if available) or Galbani Sorrento Original Ricotta Cheese (whole milk) -- these are premium ricottas, a world apart from the standard supermarket ricotta.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 12 mins
Course Appetizer/Salad
Cuisine American
Calories 227.3 kcal


  • 3 cups cooked chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 large celery ribs, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 green onions, finely diced
  • 6 tablespoons Hellmann's mayonnaise ("Real" Mayonnaise)
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream or 6 tablespoons premium ricotta cheese
  • 4 ounces feta with sun-dried tomato and basil, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 pinch salt
  • fresh ground black pepper or white pepper, to taste


  • In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, celery, bell pepper, and green onions.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, feta cheese, and dill weed.
  • Pour sauce over the chicken and stir to blend. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • This is best refrigerated for 4 hours or more before serving, covered with plastic wrap.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 133gCalories: 227.3kcalCarbohydrates: 5.6gProtein: 21.6gFat: 12.8gSaturated Fat: 3.6gCholesterol: 68.9mgSodium: 208.6mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 2.3g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Chicken, Chicken Breast, From Scratch, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Meat, Poultry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You