I was shocked at how much I loved Panera’s Napa Almond Chicken Salad! Originally, I thought of myself as a chicken salad traditionalist – just chicken, celery and mayo – but this version has some add-ons that I loved! I made it for myself and think it’s spot-on!
What makes this Napa Almond Chicken Salad different? First of all, there are grapes and almonds in it, plus the dressing is a little fancier than just mayo! I loved it! The grapes really added a nice sweetness that I really didn’t expect to love.
What is in Panera’s Napa Almond Chicken Salad?
The chicken salad has chicken, grapes, almonds and celery along with a really light dressing. The dressing includes:
- Duke’s mayonnaise
- cider vinegar
- dry mustard
I really love the seasonings in the dressing. When I first tried the sandwich at Panera, I loved how light the dressing was! The addition of the honey adds a touch of sweetness, the vinegar lightens it up a bit and the rosemary is always delicious with chicken!
How long is chicken salad good for?
Chicken salad is best when you refrigerate in an air-tight container and I really like these glass ones with snap-on lids I got on Amazon. I have to say, I thought I was happy with my plain old rubbermaid plastic ones – but these glass dishes are so much better! They seal tighter and keep things fresher longer – plus they always clean out! No worries if I have red sauce in them or anything. Chicken salad will stay fresh and safe in a container like this for 3-5 days.
If you get tired of having it on bread – you can always top some romaine lettuce with your chicken salad and add a few more grapes and maybe some cheese to make a salad out of it like I did!
Other Panera Copycat Recipes
What other Panera dishes do you love? I need some new ones to try!
Panera Napa Almond Chicken Salad Recipe
- 2-3 chicken breasts
- 1/3 bottle mojo criollo marinade (or any citrus-based marinade)
- 1/2 cup Duke's mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp diced fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup red grapes sliced
- 1/3 cup celery finely diced
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 8 slices rustic country bread
- 1-2 tomatoes thinly sliced
- 8 lettuce leaves
- Marinate chicken breasts overnight in mojo criollo marinade in refrigerator
- Bake or air fry chicken breasts (bake at 350 for 30 min, air fry at 375 for 15 min) – temp check to 165 degrees
- Remove and let cool for 30 minutes
- In separate bowl, mix together dressing ingredients (mayo thru rosemary) and whisk together
- Refrigerate dressing until chicken is cooled
- With two forks, shred chicken breasts into bite sized pieces
- Remove dressing from refrigerator and fold chicken, grapes and celery into dressing mixture with spatula
- Refrigerate until ready to serve
- When ready, heat small skillet to medium high
- Add almonds and shake in pan for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted, set aside
- Build your sandwich with rustic country bread (or whatever you like), leaf lettuce, thinly sliced tomato, chicken salad and top with toasted almonds