This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure form more information.

Lemon Chicken Salad Recipe with Apples is an easy chicken salad with fresh ingredients in a light lemony dressing. Perfect for a light lunch or dinner! Serve over fresh salad greens, in a sandwich or in wraps.

lemon chicken salad with apples in a croissant roll on plate

Lemon chicken salad with apples is our favorite chicken salad recipe. It’s made with chicken breast meat and apples in a creamy dressing with a touch of lemon for extra flavor. If you want a change from classic chicken salad, this easy recipe is for you!

I’ve been making this lemon chicken apple salad for awhile now. The first time, I needed a way to use up leftover chicken, but it changed over the years.Sometimes, I use my favorite oven baked chicken breast recipe whenever I need cooked chicken for chicken salad. Sometimes, I use cooked rotisserie chicken. I also started making the dressing lighter by using Greek yogurt.

It’s a super simple recipe with minimal prep and lots of fresh flavors. There’s no celery, nuts or onions, so you don’t have a lot of chopping to do — just the apples.

This easy chicken salad recipe makes a delicious dinner on hot summer nights or a light lunch anytime. You can find Chinese Ramen Chicken Salad, Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad and more delicious salads on my salad recipes page.

leftover chicken, mayo, yogurt, apples, lemon, dijon mustard and seasonings


You only need a few simple ingredients for this lemon chicken salad recipe. If you don’t have what you need at home, you can find them in your grocery store. Here’s a quick rundown with details in the recipe card below.

  • Cooked chicken — leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken or baked chicken breasts or chicken thighs
  • Granny Smith apples — These tart apples go well with lemon, but you can use another variety of apple if you like
  • Lemon — juice of a fresh lemon and fresh lemon zest for added flavor if you like
  • Mayonnaise — adds creaminess found in traditional chicken salad dressing
  • Yogurt — plain Greek yogurt or regular plain yogurt to lighten the dressing up
  • Dijon mustard — for subtle flavor
  • Seasonings — sea salt, black pepper and optional dried parsley

How to Make Lemon Chicken Salad with Apples

First, slice chicken into bite-sized pieces using a cutting board or large plate. Then, mix the salad dressing ingredients in a large bowl.

It’s super simple — just a mix of Greek yogurt, mayo, a little bit of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

I like to add dried parsley flakes for extra flavor, but you can skip this if you don’t have any. Fresh parsley works, too!

mayo with greek yogurt and mustard in mixing bowl

Then, throw in some chopped apples, lemon juice and lemon zest — optional. I used Granny Smith this time, but you can use any apple.

Sometimes, I even do a combo of different apples.

The lemon juice adds flavor and keeps the apples from turning brown. The zest isn’t totally necessary, so if you don’t have a zester, it’s fine.

mix apples and dressing in large bowl

Mix in your chopped cooked chicken, and that’s it! You can also zest some lemon peel over the top and add fresh herbs like fresh parsley, fresh dill or fresh tarragon for even more flavor.

How to Store

Store chicken salad in an airtight container or in the mixing bowl in your refrigerator. It’s best to let it chill for at least an hour for best flavor. You can also make this easy salad a day ahead of time.

lemon chicken salad with apples and lemon slices over iceberg lettuce

Recipe Variations

If you don’t like yogurt, you can make the dressing with all mayonnaise. You can also make the dressing without mayonnaise and do all yogurt.

Sometimes, I make this chicken salad with cranberries. And since the kids love grapes, sometimes I make this chicken salad recipe with grapes just for them.

You can add chopped red onion, chopped green onions, bell peppers, chopped crunchy almonds or chopped walnuts for extra crunch.

I love to use fresh ingredients, but you can use canned chicken, as well.

lemon chicken salad in creamy dressing in a croissant roll


What do you serve with chicken salad

This easy recipe makes the best chicken salad sandwich, especially on a croissant roll! You can also serve chicken salad over fresh greens or romaine lettuce or make wraps using tortillas. My aunt once served chicken salad stuffed in tomatoes at a ladies’ lunch!

How long does chicken salad last in the fridge

Since this chicken salad has apples, it’s best to eat it within a day or two. Otherwise, the apples start to brown. Without the apples, chicken salad should last 3 days.

5 from 11 votes

Lemon Chicken Salad Recipe with Apples

By: Dee
Lemon Chicken Salad Recipe with Apples is an easy chicken salad with fresh ingredients in a light lemony dressing. Perfect for a light lunch or dinner! Serve over fresh salad greens, in a sandwich or in wraps.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8


  • ½ cup Greek yogurt plain
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 diced Granny Smith apples washed, cored and diced
  • 3 cups cooked chicken cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest optional
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley optional
Save this recipe!
Enter your email and get this recipe sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • Add yogurt, mayo and mustard to a large bowl, and mix until well combined
  • Stir in the sea salt and pepper and optional parsley
  • Add the chicken, apples, lemon juice and zest (if using) and mix well. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to eat


Recipe can be made with leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken breast or thighs.
Use a different variety of apple for different flavor. You can use all yogurt or all mayo in the dressing.


Calories: 235kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 296mg, Potassium: 237mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 60IU, Vitamin C: 3.1mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 0.8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

I hope you enjoy this easy lemon chicken salad recipe as much as my whole family does. It’s such an easy meal made with minimal effort, and it’s absolutely delicious!

If you do try this simple recipe, please leave a star rating and/or comment.

For more easy recipes and easy dinners anyone can make, sign up for the weekly newsletter and follow on social media.

lemon chicken salad with apples over lettuce on a white plate

This easy chicken recipe was first published in 2015 and updated in 2023.

ebook cover.
Download my free eBook!
Fill out the download form to get this collection of easy dessert dips. You'll also receive free recipes each week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Claude says:

    This was awesome! Had leftover rotisserie chicken to use up! Guests loved this too!5 stars

  2. Toby says:

    Made this for Easter brunch and everyone loved it!5 stars