Here’s a blast from the past for you: Hot Chicken Salad. This was a big hit in the 80s and was the perfect potluck dish. It’s gaining popularity again now, and with so much flavor in it, it’s easy to see why everybody wants seconds!

potato chips on Hot Chicken Salad

This is my mother’s recipe. It seemed like she made this salad for every potluck we ever went to – it is just that good! It’s creamy, chunky, has bacon in it, and who can resist the potato chip topping?

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Hot Chicken Salad

Hot Chicken Salad was all the rage back in the day, and it’s gaining in popularity again now. I’ve updated the recipe a bit to make use of a few shortcuts that weren’t available back then, like using rotisserie chicken instead of baking or grilling the chicken first.

Read more: Hot Chicken Salad
baked hot chix salad with potato chips

You’ll make this Hot Chicken Salad recipe in a 9×13-inch baking dish, so there’s plenty to go around. It’ll serve 8-10 people, or a few more if there are lots of dishes to share. And, you can prep it all ahead of time and then just bake it when you’re ready.

Loaded with flavor and nostalgia, grab your ingredients and give this vintage recipe a try – it’s delicious! Just don’t forget the potato chips on top!

chix salad

Why I love this recipe

  • You can use a rotisserie chicken and pre-shredded cheese to take a lot of the work out of making this dish.
  • Prep the whole thing ahead of time and pop it into the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
  • You can serve it hot or cold! To serve it chilled, bake it and then let it cool on the counter for 30 minutes and then pop it into the fridge to chill before serving.
ingredients to make Hot Chicken Salad

Gather these ingredients

  • Cooked rotisserie chicken – You’ll need about 5 cups of chopped chicken.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese – Grated. About 2 cups.
  • Celery – Finely chopped.
  • Bacon – Cooked and crumbled.
  • Dill pickles – Finely chopped.
  • Potato chips – Slightly crushed. Use plain chips.
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour cream
  • Dry ranch mix
  • Lemon juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Onion powder
  • Salt and pepper – To taste.
how to make Hot Chicken Salad

How to make the best Hot Chicken Salad

  1. Preheat your oven to 350-F and lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Add the chopped chicken, shredded cheese, celery, bacon, and chopped pickles to a large bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Whisk together the mayonnaise, ranch mix, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and onion powder in a separate bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Toss the chicken mixture with the mayonnaise dressing and stir until coated.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and top with the crushed potato chips.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated 350-F oven for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
sauce for baked chicken casserole

Tips & substitutions

  • Rotisserie chicken is perfect for this Hot Chicken Salad recipe, but you can also use leftover baked or grilled chicken.
  • Dill pickles are my first choice for this recipe, but you could also use sweet pickles or a mix of both. 
  • It’s all about the sauce! Use mayonnaise, not Miracle Whip, as it is too sweet for this recipe. But, you can use any kind of mayo.
  • Use regular potato chips for the topping, not kettle-cooked. Kettle-cooked chips can get too crunchy! We love Lay’s ruffle potato chips.
a serving of chicken salad

Serving suggestions

This is such a great recipe. It can be served as a main dish like a casserole, in which case you could serve it with a fabulous salad and a tasty dessert like Lemon Cream Tartlets. You can also serve this dish as a dip with dippers like pita chips. It’s so easy and so delicious no matter how you serve it! 

chicken salad with ruffle potato chips

Storage

Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. They can be reheated in a low oven or in the microwave.

chix salad with chips

Check out these awesome chicken recipes while you’re here

potato chips on Hot Chicken Salad
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Hot Chicken Salad

Hot Chicken Salad is the blast from the past that is making a comeback! It’s meaty, chunky, and delish and so easy to make! Make in 9×13 pan for a great potluck dish!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 12
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Ingredients
 

  • 5 cups cooked Rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups celery, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup finely chopped dill pickles, or sweet pickles if you prefer
  • 2 cups Ruffle potato chips, slightly crushed

Make the sauce:

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons dry ranch mix
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, add the chopped chicken, cheese, celery, bacon, and chopped pickles in a large bowl. Mix until combined.
  • Whisk together mayonnaise, ranch mix, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and onion powder in a smaller bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the mayonnaise mixture into the chicken mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated, then transfer everything to a greased baking dish.
  • On top of the casserole add the crushed potato chips. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until mixture is hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.
  • Remove from the oven and serve hot!
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
Calories: 681kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 55g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 145mg, Sodium: 1.188mg, Potassium: 302mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 376IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 165mg, Iron: 0.5mg
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Hot Chicken Salad