Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayonnaise

Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayo ~
Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayonnaise (from scratch) is unexpected and absolutely delicious!

Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayonnaise is an unexpected delight — everybody is going to beg for the recipe for this fun twist on a lunchtime classic, and the mayo is made completely from scratch!

Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayonnaise is fabulous and everybody will want the recipe --- the may is made from scratch! |

This Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayonnaise will become your go-to recipe when you’ve got company coming and you want to impress with very little effort. I served it on top of lettuce —but it would also make a killer sandwich on some fabulous thick sliced bread. Why not spoon it into a scooped out tomato, or half an avocado, the possibilities are endless.

Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayonnaise made from scratch! |

The poppy seed mayo is made entirely from scratch, and it’s another one of my 30-second dressings that I make quick and easy with my immersion blender and a mason jar. Two eggs, a cup of olive oil, a touch of lemon juice, mustard, and good dose of poppy seeds get blended up instantly into a creamy thick mayonnaise. This will be the star of all kinds of salads, (think baby shrimp!) sandwiches, and dressings, but I think it makes an especially luxurious chicken salad.

Poppy seed mayonnaise made from scratch for Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayonnaise |

It’s no secret that I love poppy seeds. Poppy seeds are extremely nutritious (really!) and they’ve been used in cooking for thousands of years, all over the world. They have a crazy crunch, and they look beautiful, too.

TIP: The rumor is true — eating poppy seeds can create a false-positive drug test result, but poppy seeds in food will not get you high, the concentration of opiates in them is far, far, too low.

chicken salad with poppy seed mayonnaise-494

Your mayo will vary in taste according to the type of oil you use. I like the richness of an extra virgin olive oil, but you can use a lighter oil like safflower, canola, or even a nut oil like almond or walnut.

TIP:  The mayo method should work with just one egg, so you can start with that. If your mixture doesn’t thicken, just add the second egg and re-blend, it will thicken up like magic.

Ingredients for Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayonnaise ~

Once you’ve got your mayo made, the chicken salad comes together quickly. I like freshly poached chicken, along with the inner ribs of celery, (don’t forget those leaves!) for flavor and crunch. I like red onion for its color and bite, and dried fruit for some sweetness, I used golden raisins and cranberries. And finally, toasted pecans.

TIP:  I freshly poach boneless skinless breasts for chicken salad because I think the meat is super tender when it’s cooked that way. Cover the breasts in a few inches of cold water, and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer the chicken for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and refrigerate until chilled. Then chop. You’ll get moist chicken that cuts in perfectly clean cubes.

Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayo is a fun take on a classic lunch! ~

3 from 8 votes

Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayonnaise

Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayonnaise is an unexpected delight --- everybody is going to beg for the recipe for this fun twist on a lunchtime classic, and the mayo is made completely from scratch!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Yield 4 -6 servings
Author Sue Moran


poppy seed mayonnaise

  • 2 large pasteurized eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil any type you like
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt

chicken salad

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts poached, cooled, and chopped.
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery stalks plus leaves
  • 1/3 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried raisins cranberries, or a combination
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans chopped
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste


  • To make the mayo, put everything in the bottom of a wide mouthed mason jar or other similarly shaped jar, just wide enough to fit the blade of your immersion blender. Put the blender blade at the bottom of the jar and blend, moving the blade up and down gently until the mixture emulsifies. This should happen almost instantaneously. When the mayo is thick enough, give it a stir and taste to adjust the seasonings.
  • Put all the chicken salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add enough mayo to coat but not drown the salad. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. You will have mayo leftover, so store in the refrigerator and use within 10 days.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


  • Use pasteurized eggs for recipes that involve uncooked eggs. Pasteurized eggs are eggs that have been briefly heated to destroy any potential harmful bacteria. Find them next to the regular eggs in large supermarkets.
  • Homemade mayo does not contain any preservatives, so use with 10 days.
  • Almonds or walnuts can be used in place of the pecans, but be sure to toast them.


don’t forget to pin it!

Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Mayonnaise pin

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2019 at 11:33 am

    This is an old posting, I know but just had to say that I love chicken salad with a few pieces of fresh pineapple and just a touch of sweetener in the Mayo. I grew up in the era when grapes were also very popular in the salad. I salute you on the poppy seeds!

    • Reply
      June 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks so much Lu! I love your idea of adding pineapple, it’s on the list for next time 🙂

  • Reply
    October 1, 2016 at 6:51 am

    I made this dressing last night, did it in the food processor worked great. I thought the taste was messing something so I added one garlic clove and found it much better. Should have added two. Loved the salad.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Can you put all the ingridents for the mayo in a mini blender and get the same results as the mixer

    • Reply
      September 24, 2016 at 11:58 am

      You could try, but I’m not sure it will work, the immersion blender puts much more power into a smaller space and that’s why it works. If you want to do it in a blender you would have to do it the traditional way, I think, and drizzle the oil in, while blending, VERY slowly.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Oh em gee. Gimme allllll of this, please! Not only does the chicken salad look amazing as a whole, but I’d put that poppy seed mayo on everything!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    September 14, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Gorgeous! I’d love to add some sliced apples too, and serve this on croissants for lunch!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Oh it looks delicious.When I was 16-17-18 I worked in a mall to help w/ school expenses etc..I would spoil myself once a month and get the chicken salad at the mall resto.
    I will try this.

  • Reply
    September 12, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Can u use evoo in place of veggie oil?

    • Reply
      September 12, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Yes, that’s what I used.

  • Reply
    September 12, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Gorgeous dressing, gorgeous plate of salad! Now, Sue… you blend the poppy seeds also, right? I thought maybe the blades would crush them, but I guess they are so small they kind of escape them…

    very nice dressing – such a coincidence too, I was going to make yesterday a salad with raw zucchini that had poppy seeds in it, but believe it or not there were NO zucchini in our grocery store.

    I am pinning this recipe for the future….

    • Reply
      September 12, 2016 at 11:58 am

      Right, the poppy seeds stay whole, I guess they must be too small. I can’t believe your store was out of zucchini ~ that’s hard to believe!

  • Reply
    kathi @ LaughingSpatula
    September 12, 2016 at 10:34 am

    This sounds lovely! I am a huge fan of all your recipes and can’t wait to try this one!

  • Reply
    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    September 12, 2016 at 10:24 am

    What a creative spin on chicken salad. I have to say I’m not a huge fan of mayo but your version looks delicious!

    • Reply
      September 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Homemade mayo might just convert you Karen 🙂

  • Reply
    September 12, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Love how you dressed this chicken salad up with the poppy seed dressing. Beautiful!, great tips too!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    September 12, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Delish! I think poppy seeds make everything taste better – and prettier too. Love the combination of ingredients you’ve got in here, sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy – YUMMY!

  • Reply
    Tracy | Baking Mischief
    September 12, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Oh man, that poppy seed dressing is gorgeous! Dressings that you can make at home completely from scratch are my favorite. And I love your tip about poaching the chicken. I will have to try that!

  • Reply
    Tina Dawson | Love is in my Tummy
    September 12, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Oh this mayo sounds super interesting! I love poppy seed flavour!

  • Reply
    Annemarie @ justalittlebitofbacon
    September 12, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Chicken salad is fall favorite of mine and this looks like a good one. Great idea with the poppy seeds! They add some fun color and crunch to the salad.

  • Reply
    Platter Talk
    September 12, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Looks absolutely divine! Looking forward tossing this one together. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Andrea @ Cooking with Mamma C
    September 12, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I just made basil-garlic mayo this morning and would love to try your version with poppy seeds! I’ve had chicken salad on my mind for a while, so this is perfect timing. I don’t have pasteurized eggs, so I microwave the yolk for a bit before using it.

    • Reply
      September 12, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Hi Andrea! I haven’t done it myself, but I think you can pasteurize your own eggs in the micro or on the stove, and the stove method seems easier to me: put your eggs in a pan and cover with water, heat, and once the pan reaches 140° to 150° F, remove from heat and allow the eggs to rest in the water for 3 minutes.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    September 12, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Oh I love this! Great salad and love the addition of poppy seed 🙂 Perfect for this time of year.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    September 12, 2016 at 7:02 am

    The color is beautiful Sue! I need to try this mayo – it looks so creamy and the addition of poppy seeds is brilliant. Those tender chunks of chicken are calling to me!

    • Reply
      September 12, 2016 at 7:33 am

      That color comes from the olive oil, it is pretty!

  • Reply
    Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners
    September 12, 2016 at 5:36 am

    I love that you make your own mayo, Sue, ad this looks delicious. You have so many great dressings!
    I’m a lover of poppy seeds as well and this salad is heavenly!

    • Reply
      September 12, 2016 at 7:34 am

      I love making mayo, Robyn, we always have waaay too much around because I’m always whipping up another variation 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    September 12, 2016 at 5:13 am

    So delicious! The dressing sounds great with poppy, Sue.

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