Go Back
+ servings

Hot Chicken Salad

A classic Southern dish, Hot Chicken Salad is a cozy and flavorful casserole that combines chicken, cheese, vegetables, and toasted almonds in a creamy sauce. Top it off with crushed potato chips!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Southern
Keyword chicken casserole, hot chicken salad, hot chicken salad casserole recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 - 6 people
Calories 492kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon dried chives (or 1 ½ teaspoons fresh minced chives)
  • 1 cup lightly crushed potato chips
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley; chopped scallions


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish; set aside.
  • In a dry skillet, toast almonds over low heat just until fragrant and golden brown. Stir frequently, and keep a close eye on them, because the nuts can burn quickly. Transfer toasted almonds to a plate.
  • In the same skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the celery and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the almonds, onion, celery, garlic, chicken, salt, and pepper.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together ½ cup of the cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and chives.
  • Add the mayonnaise mixture to the chicken mixture; stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheddar cheese and the crushed potato chips.
  • Bake, uncovered, until the cheese melts and the filling is hot, about 20 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley or sliced scallions and serve.


  • Use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken for a shortcut.
  • If you prefer to cook your chicken at home, use about 1 ½ lbs. of raw boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs. Boil the chicken for about 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. When cool enough to handle, chop or shred with forks and use in the recipe.
  • Cooking Just for Two? Cut the ingredients in half and prepare the casserole in a small 1-quart baking dish. The assembly instructions remain the same, but you may need to reduce the baking time to about 15 minutes.
  • To serve a larger crowd, double all of the ingredients and prepare the casserole in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. You may need to increase the total baking time to about 25 minutes, tenting the top of the casserole loosely with foil if the chips start to get too brown.


Serving: 1/6 of the casserole | Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 474mg | Potassium: 568mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 352IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 194mg | Iron: 2mg