This retro casserole dish of creamy baked chicken “salad” with a crunchy potato chip topping is one of our family’s favorites!
This post is sponsored by Diamond of California.
You may be tempted to skip over this casserole recipe, but don’t! This baked chicken salad is a legend in my family. It’s a completely retro, mid-century recipe from my great grandma Faye. My mom remembers her bringing it to family gatherings when she was a child and now my mom makes it for us whenever we’re all together.
We gobble it up in minutes, and at Thanksgiving it’s almost more popular than the turkey and mashed potatoes. So simple, yet so scrumptious.
This dish is exactly what is sounds like— a creamy mayo-based chicken “salad” filled with scallions, celery, lemon and slivered almonds. It originally included a can of cream of chicken soup, but since many of us don’t cook with it much anymore I swapped it out for a quick and easy homemade sauce. I’ve included instructions for both though, just in case you wanted to save a step. Other than that I left the recipe alone. The cheesy potato chip topping is a must, as are the toasted slivered almonds. Don’t skimp on either.
This hot chicken salad, as we like to call it, is one of my faves. Not only does it taste great— because it does!— but there’s also a bit of nostalgia in every bite. Sometimes you just need a comforting throwback casserole, you know?
Great Grandma Faye served this casserole as a side dish but my mom and I both serve it over rice as a main dish. Either way, I hope you love it just as much as we do.
Chicken Salad Bake
- 1 cup slivered almonds (114 grams)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup chicken stock (180 ml)
- ¼ cup milk , any percent (60 ml)
- 4 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts (520 grams, about 2 large breasts)
- 1 cup chopped celery (142 grams)
- 3 scallions , chopped (white and light green parts only)
- ½ cup mayonnaise (128 grams)
- 1 lemon , juiced
- 1 cup potato chips , crushed (35 grams)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (113 grams)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the slivered almonds onto a sheet pan in a single layer. Toast in the oven until lightly golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and cool completely.
- In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until it forms a thick paste (roux) with the butter.
- Add the chicken stock a little at a time, while whisking constantly, and waiting until it is fully incorporated before adding more. Stir in the milk. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes until thickened and smooth, stirring frequently.
- Combine the creamy chicken sauce, chicken, celery, green onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice and toasted almonds and dump into a medium or large greased baking dish. Combine the crushed potato chips and cheese and spread on top.
- Cover with foil and bake in the oven until sauce is bubbling around the edges, about 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until topping begins to brown, about 10 minutes more.
- Serve immediately. Spoon over steamed rice, if desired.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Diamond of California as part of a long-term culinary ambassadorship. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands I love and believe in, which make Completely Delicious possible. All opinions are always 100% my own.