Everyone calls her Auntie Norma—she’s one of my mother-in-law’s best friends. We love Auntie Norma, and we love her cooking, too! Today is our lucky day, because I get to share her amazing chicken salad recipe with all of you. Thank you, Auntie Norma!

Chicken salad

Auntie Norma is a genius: she serves her Chicken Salad with Croissants! 

When Norma brings her chicken salad (always with a generous bag of fresh croissants), it gets devoured immediately. It’s that good. It’s got nuts and grapes in it, which add a touch of crunchy sweetness—it really takes the flavor of the dish up a notch! And who doesn’t love a sandwich on a croissant? I’ll tell you a little secret… Before Auntie Norma’s Chicken Salad, I had no idea how to use a croissant for anything other than breakfast. Boy, was I missing out!

This chicken salad recipe is simple to make which makes it a favorite for summer entertaining.

Like so many of my favorite recipe shares, this chicken salad is perfect for summer entertaining. If you serve it with mini croissants, it’s the perfect share for your next high tea, ladies’ lunch, or summer picnic. Served with my Favorite White Wine Sangria or Summer Strawberry Lemonade, oh, I’m getting hungry! Did I mention it makes good leftovers?

If it’s not broken, DON’T fix it!

While I’m a huge fan of customizable recipes, I NEVER make changes to this one. It is absolutely perfect the way it is. I wouldn’t dare experiment with it. Seriously—we don’t even mess with the type of mayonnaise Auntie Norma uses. 

Chicken salad sandwich

In fact, I remember making one of her potato salads once (incorrectly), and my friend called me out: I hadn’t used the exact ingredients. It might seem like it doesn’t matter, but Norma uses half Hellmans’ and half Miracle Whip. Believe it or not, it makes a difference. Suffice it to say, Norma’s recipes stay as-is… and that’s the way it should be! Be on the lookout for more Auntie Norma specials—I might just share her potato salad recipe too.

Pro tip: make it simple by using a rotisserie chicken in this chicken salad recipe!

Yield: Serves 8
Auntie Norma’s Chicken Salad Recipe with Grapes and Walnuts

Auntie Norma’s Chicken Salad Recipe with Grapes and Walnuts

This recipe starts with cooking your own chicken, but you’ll get good results with a whole rotisserie chicken, too. Other than that, do not—I repeat, do NOT—mess with Auntie Norma’s recipe! Trust me on this one!


  • 6 bone-in chicken breasts or thighs (or a combination!)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup walnuts (or more to taste)
  • ½ cup craisins (or more to taste)
  • ½ cup sliced red or green grapes (optional but highly recommended)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (Norma’s blend: ½ cup Hellman's + ½ cup Miracle Whip)
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange the chicken on the pan, skin side up. Roast in the oven until the chicken is cooked through. Use a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken to test the temperature. Your chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Depending on the size of the chicken pieces, this should take 22 to 25 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it cool. When it’s cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Pull the cooked chicken from the bones and coarsely chop the meat. Transfer the chopped chicken to a mixing bowl.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, mixing to combine. Serve with croissant or on its own. Enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @blameitonbiscotti on instagram and hashtag it #AuntieNormasChickenSalad
June 08, 2022 — Mary DiSomma