Recipe for Cape Cod Chicken Salad: A Culinary Delight

The recipe for Cape Cod chicken salad is a testament to the culinary heritage of the region, showcasing a unique blend of flavors that has captivated taste buds for generations.

This delectable dish, originating from the shores of Cape Cod, is characterized by its succulent chicken, crisp celery, sweet grapes, and a tangy mayonnaise dressing, creating a harmonious balance of textures and flavors.

Cape Cod Chicken Salad

Cape Cod chicken salad is a popular and beloved dish that originated in the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts. It is a variation of the classic chicken salad but has unique characteristics that set it apart.

Cape Cod chicken salad is typically made with cooked chicken, mayonnaise, celery, red onion, and cranberries. The cranberries give the salad a slightly sweet and tart flavor that balances out the richness of the mayonnaise. Another distinctive feature of Cape Cod chicken salad is the use of fresh herbs, such as dill or parsley, which add a bright and flavorful touch.


  • Cooked chicken, diced
  • Mayonnaise
  • Celery, diced
  • Red onion, diced
  • Cranberries, dried
  • Fresh herbs, such as dill or parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, mayonnaise, celery, red onion, cranberries, and herbs.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly combined.
  4. Serve on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich.

Ingredients and Variations

Recipe for cape cod chicken salad

Cape Cod chicken salad is a beloved New England classic, known for its simplicity and refreshing flavors. The traditional recipe calls for a combination of cooked chicken, celery, red onion, mayonnaise, and seasonings.

While these core ingredients remain the backbone of the dish, there are countless variations that can enhance the flavor or cater to dietary preferences.


  • Mayo Variations: For a lighter option, substitute Greek yogurt or sour cream for mayonnaise. For a tangy twist, use Dijon mustard or lemon juice in place of mayonnaise.
  • Veggie Variations: Add chopped walnuts, cranberries, or grapes for a touch of sweetness and crunch. Shredded carrots or bell peppers can add color and texture.
  • Herbs and Spices: Fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or tarragon add a burst of flavor. Ground mustard, paprika, or cayenne pepper can provide a subtle kick.
  • Dietary Substitutions: For gluten-free options, use gluten-free bread crumbs or almond flour. For dairy-free alternatives, use dairy-free mayonnaise or plant-based milk.

Step-by-Step Recipe

Recipe for cape cod chicken salad

Making Cape Cod chicken salad is a straightforward process that can be completed in a matter of minutes.

Preparing the Ingredients

Begin by gathering all the necessary ingredients. Ensure the chicken is cooked and shredded, and the celery and onion are finely chopped. Measure out the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

Combining the Ingredients

In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, chopped celery, and onion. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly combined.

Adjusting Flavors

Taste the salad and adjust the seasonings as needed. If desired, add additional mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, or pepper to achieve the desired flavor profile.


Serve the Cape Cod chicken salad immediately or refrigerate for later use. It can be enjoyed on its own, with crackers, or as a sandwich filling.

Serving Suggestions

Cape Cod chicken salad is a versatile dish that can be served in a variety of ways. Whether you’re hosting a casual gathering or a formal event, this salad can be tailored to suit your needs.

Here are a few ideas for serving Cape Cod chicken salad:

On a bed of greens

  • For a light and refreshing meal, serve the chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. This will add a bit of extra crunch and freshness to the dish.
  • To make the salad more substantial, add some cooked quinoa or rice to the greens.

In a sandwich or wrap

  • For a quick and easy lunch, pack the chicken salad into a sandwich or wrap. You can use any type of bread or tortilla that you like.
  • Add some sliced cheese, avocado, or sprouts to your sandwich or wrap for extra flavor.

As a dip

  • Serve the chicken salad as a dip with crackers, chips, or vegetables. This is a great option for parties or gatherings.
  • For a more festive presentation, serve the dip in a hollowed-out pineapple or avocado.

Garnish, Recipe for cape cod chicken salad

To enhance the presentation of your Cape Cod chicken salad, consider garnishing it with fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, or dill. You can also add a sprinkle of paprika or a drizzle of olive oil.

Nutritional Information

Cape Cod chicken salad is a delectable dish that offers a well-rounded nutritional profile. Let’s delve into its nutritional composition and explore the health benefits associated with its consumption.

A typical serving of Cape Cod chicken salad provides approximately:

  • Calories: 250-300
  • Protein: 20-25 grams
  • Fat: 15-20 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 10-15 grams

In addition to these macronutrients, Cape Cod chicken salad also contains an array of essential vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Potassium

Health Benefits

Consuming Cape Cod chicken salad offers several health benefits:

  • Protein-rich: Its high protein content contributes to muscle growth and repair, promoting satiety and reducing hunger.
  • Heart-healthy fats: The fats in Cape Cod chicken salad are primarily monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals: The vitamins and minerals present in Cape Cod chicken salad support overall health and well-being, including immune function, bone health, and energy production.
  • Low in carbohydrates: The low carbohydrate content makes Cape Cod chicken salad a suitable option for individuals following low-carb diets.

Food Safety Considerations

Ensuring food safety is paramount when preparing Cape Cod chicken salad to prevent foodborne illnesses. Proper handling, storage, and consumption practices are crucial for a safe and enjoyable culinary experience.

Handling and Storage

Handle raw chicken with care, using separate utensils and surfaces to avoid cross-contamination. Cook chicken thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before adding it to the salad. Store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Consume the salad within 3 days of preparation. Discard any leftovers that have been left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Reheat any leftover salad to 165°F (74°C) before consuming.

Potential Allergens and Dietary Restrictions

Cape Cod chicken salad typically contains mayonnaise, which is made with eggs. Individuals with egg allergies should avoid consuming this dish. Additionally, the salad may contain celery, which is a common allergen. Consider these potential allergens when serving the salad to guests.

Last Word

Recipe for cape cod chicken salad

Whether enjoyed as a light lunch, a refreshing snack, or an elegant appetizer, Cape Cod chicken salad continues to enchant food enthusiasts with its timeless appeal. Its versatility and adaptability make it a staple in many kitchens, offering endless possibilities for culinary exploration.

Answers to Common Questions: Recipe For Cape Cod Chicken Salad

What is the origin of Cape Cod chicken salad?

Cape Cod chicken salad traces its roots to the seaside communities of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where it has been a beloved dish for over a century.

What makes Cape Cod chicken salad unique?

Cape Cod chicken salad stands out with its distinctive combination of flavors and textures, featuring tender chicken, crisp celery, sweet grapes, and a tangy mayonnaise dressing.

How can I enhance the flavor of Cape Cod chicken salad?

To elevate the flavor of Cape Cod chicken salad, consider adding chopped walnuts or pecans for a nutty crunch, or a dash of Dijon mustard for a touch of piquancy.