Prairie Rose Chicken Salad

Red serving bowl loaded with chicken salad.

Are you always on the look out for a good chicken salad recipe like I am? Prairie Rose Chicken Salad is sure to please if you enjoy chicken salad recipes that boast a creamy texture and dressing, yet have some good crunch along the way, too.

We love a healthy chicken salad that is made from chicken thighs (instead of chicken breasts) and this easy chicken salad recipe is one of our favorite summer meals.

**This recipe is adapted from a chicken salad that The Prairie Rose Tea Room, Holton, KS, served back in the day. The owner of the boutique/cafe, Judy Olson, shared it with me and I’ve been making it for years and years! This is a tried-and-true chicken salad recipe you can rely on.

Prairie Rose Chicken Salad Recipe

A serving of Prairie Rose Chicken and Wild Rice Salad on a plate.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We?? 🙂

Summer salads. I’m all over it! Especially when it’s a chicken salad recipe that’s easy, creamy, and stores well in the fridge for a few days.

What can be better than reaching for a nice cool salad when the summer is long and hot?? Even if you just need a small bowl for some sustenance, it’s a down right delicious and satisfying little meal.

I love having a good assortment of salad recipes here on my blog for you. Two super favorite-favorites for hot weather are Fresh Corn Salad and Crunchy Corn Salad with Fritos – both with mayonnaise-based dressings.

If you need to take a good salad to picnic or outdoor potluck gathering, consider my Zesty Potato Salad with Broccoli. It is made with a tangy oil-based dressing which makes it a safer option when summertime temperatures soar.

Another chicken salad recipe that my family adores is Healthy Chicken Salad with Red Grapes and Walnuts. To keep the calorie and fat content down, the dressing is made mostly with Greek yogurt, along with the addition of a bit of mayonnaise.

And whatever we do, we cannot forget Grandma Lucille’s Easy Ham Salad recipe. Sometimes you just need a little ham salad and some crackers….or a small ham salad slider!

3 good reasons to love this recipe –

  1. I don’t consider it to be a typical chicken salad recipe since it includes rice – a nice twist!
  2. Creamy. Cold. Perfect.
  3. This salad keeps well in the fridge.

What ingredients do you need to make Prairie Rose Chicken Salad?

  • Cooked, chopped chicken (thighs or breasts, or both!)
  • Wild rice blend (this is mainly long grain rice with a bit of wild rice included in the box)
  • Sliced water chestnuts
  • Seedless red grapes or green grapes (or both)
  • Green bell pepper, optional
  • Cashew halves
  • For the Dressing: mayonnaise, sugar, red wine vinegar, milk, fresh lemon zest!
Chicken and Wild Rice Salad and the ingredients needed to make it.

How to Make Easy Chicken Salad in Just 4 Steps –

  1. In a large mixing bowl or serving bowl, combine the cooked chopped chicken with the cooked and cooled rice; fold in the water chestnuts, bell pepper, and grapes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a mason jar or dressing cruet, combine the dressing ingredients, shaking well to combine until smooth; add milk as needed to get the dressing to the desired consistency. Reserve a bit of the prepared dressing back.
  3. Dress the salad ingredients with the prepared dressing; chill well, for at least 6-8 hours.
  4. Just before serving, stir in the cashews and reserved dressing. Sprinkle a few cashews of the top of the salad as garnish, if desired.

Common Questions Asked About
This Recipe

This recipe says to prepare the dressing then reserve some. Why?

  • Pasta and rice salads have a big tendency to absorb all the dressing you will give them! I always reserve some of my prepared dressing back so that I can freshly dress the salad right before serving – this makes it extra creamy and moist.

What is a good way to serve chicken salad?

  • Great question! We typically eat chicken salad, as is, right from a small plate or bowl. Or, we make mini chicken salad sandwiches from cocktail buns or baby croissants, too – always really good.
  • Or, if you’re trying to lessen your carb intake, you can opt out of bread all together and make a lettuce wrap with this chicken salad as the filling. Delicious and no guilt!

Which is better in this chicken salad – the white meat from chicken breasts or the dark meat from chicken thighs??

  • So glad you asked this question. I used to be chicken breasts only, all-the-way. UNTIL, boneless, skinless chicken thighs came on the scene and became so readily available, not to mention such budget-friendly chicken!
  • Once I began cooking the boneless, skinless chicken thighs, there was no going back for me. Yes, the meat is darker in color than the chicken breast meat, but what it lacks in color more than makes up for the succulent and tender chicken you get out of the deal.
  • Now, I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in lots and lots of my recipes!

Can I use rotisserie chicken to make chicken salad?

  • Absoslutely!! A good rotisserie chicken on hand is a girl’s best friend for speedy meals. Just pull the cooked meat from the carcass and give it a chop before stirring it in with other ingredients in this recipe. Easy peasy!!

What about canned chicken? Can I used cooked, canned chicken to make chicken salad?

  • Totally. Sometimes I forget how important keeping canned chicken in the pantry is – talk about super fast, easy, and convenient when you have a chicken recipe that you need to get on the table RIGHT NOW.
Overhead shot of a bowl full of Chicken and Wild Rice Salad.

More Favorite Salad Recipes Your Family Will Enjoy –

Printable Prairie Rose Chicken Salad Recipe –

Red serving bowl loaded with chicken salad.

Prairie Rose Chicken Salad

Always on the look out for a good chicken salad recipe like I am? Prairie Rose Chicken Salad is sure to please if you enjoy chicken salad recipes that boast a creamy texture and dressing, yet have some good crunch along the way, too.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Typical cooing time for wild rice blend: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 1680kcal


  • 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cooked and chopped, may substitute chicken breast, if preferred, can also use the meat pulled from a cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 4.3 oz. box of long grain and wild rice blend such as Rice-A-Roni brand (cannot use just plain wild rice for this recipe very well), cooked according to package directions, cooled
  • 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts drained well and cut into quarters
  • 2 cups red grapes halved lengthwise, may substitute half green grapes and half red grapes, if desired
  • 1 green bell pepper seeds and membranes removed, diced, optional (gives good crunch to this salad)
  • 1 cup cashew halves


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2-3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • milk as needed


  • n a large mixing or serving bowl, combine the chopped, cooked chicken with the wild rice; gently fold in the water chestnuts, grapes, and diced green pepper, if using.
  • Meanwhile, prepared the dressing by placing all ingredients into a mason jar or dressing cruet; shake well to blend until smooth, adding enough milk as you go to make the dressing a nice consistency. Reserve some of the dressing.
  • Dress the salad ingredients with the prepared dressing; refrigerate for 6-8 hours or until well chilled.
  • Right before serving the salad, toss the remaining dressing with the salad ingredients, then fold in the the cashews. Sprinkle a few cashews over the top of the salad as a garnish, if desired.
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken salad recipe easy, chicken thighs, easy chicken salad, healthy chicken salad


Calories: 1680kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 250g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 696mg | Sodium: 752mg | Potassium: 4358mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 8mg

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Chef Alli

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

Blog Comments

5 stars
im all about chicken salad. Sometimes I use canned chicken in a pinch. Love the cashews !

Hi –
Thanks for the reminder of the canned chicken….sometimes I forget how easy that can make things, especially when you need to make chicken salad really fast. I’m actually going to edit the recipe to include this tip!!
Thank you, Kellie!!
Chef Alli

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