Newks Chicken Salad

Newks Chicken salad is the perfect combination of tender white chicken, pecans, juicy grapes, and more. This chicken salad is great for a sandwich or even enjoyed alone.  Your taste buds will be delighted with the copycat recipe from the Newk’s eatery.

This easy copycat recipe can be made in a short time. This homemade chicken salad can be enjoyed for dinner or lunch. 

chicken salad sandwich on a plate

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Favorite Newk’s Salad

Some people can’t get enough chicken salad, and others have never had a good chicken salad. This easy chicken salad recipe is inspired by the version served at Newks restaurant, which is a real treat!

Thousands of Newks customers would never dream of walking out of the restaurant without picking up a container or two of this famous chicken salad to enjoy at home — it is that good! The creamy chicken salad has a crunch from pecans and celery and a fruity taste with grapes.

So, if you can’t make it to a local Newks, do yourself a favor and whip up a batch of Newks chicken salad recipe to see what all the fuss is about.

Chicken Salad Ingredients

Want a delicious chicken salad? Start with easy-to-find ingredients. This recipe can be made in no time at all, and you will need:

  • boneless chicken breast or chicken tenders
  • lemon juice
  • pecans
  • red onion
  • celery
  • red seedless grapes
  • mayonnaise
  • seasoned salt
  • salt & pepper
  • sugar
Newks chicken salad ingredients

How to Cook Chicken for Chicken Salad

For the best-tasting chicken salad, you must prevent the flavor of the chicken from getting lost among all the other ingredients. That means the method you use for cooking the chicken is essential.

Many recipes suggest the best way of preparing the chicken is by poaching. While this method can help ensure the chicken stays moist, it tends to leave the meat soggy and tasteless. A better option is this unique (but simple) method that combines careful sauteing and steaming.

Start by removing the chicken from the fridge. Lay a cling wrap on a cutting board while it is coming to room temperature. Place the chicken on the cutting board and lay another sheet of cling wrap on the top. Use a meat pounder or rolling pin to pound the chicken into a uniform thickness gently. Don’t hit too hard, or you will tear the meat and spray chicken juice all over your kitchen!

Heat a saute pan large enough to cook all the chicken in a single layer over medium-high heat. While the pan is heating up, season the chicken generously with salt and pepper on both sides. When the pan is hot, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom and place the chicken in the pan.

Cook for exactly one minute, turn the chicken over, and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer beeps, turn off the stove, but leave the cover on the pan for another 10 minutes. When the time is up, remove the lid, and the chicken should be perfectly cooked without being dried out.

Let the chicken cool, then pop in the fridge for at least an hour before making the chicken salad. Once cooled, you can slice it into small strips and cut them into small pieces.

How to Make Newks Chicken Salad

Here are the simple steps for preparing this copycat Newks chicken salad recipe:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine lemon juice, mayo, sugar, and spices (ground black pepper, salt, and seasoned salt) to make the dressing.
  2. Place the chicken, pecans, onion, and celery in a separate bowl. Stir everything together.
  3. Add the dressing to the chicken mixture and stir well to coat it all with the creamy dressing.
  4. Cut the grapes in half or leave them whole. Gently fold in the whole or halved red grapes.
  5. Place the salad in an air-tight container and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before serving.
homemade Newks chicken salad in a sandwich and a wood bowl

Tips for Serving Chicken Salad and Recipe Variations

Here are a couple of great ideas for serving chicken salad with grapes and pecans:

  • Toasting or grilling the slices of bread you use to make a sandwich will help prevent them from getting soggy.
  • Serve chicken salad over lettuce and garnish it with fresh chopped parsley.
  • You can substitute the seasoned salt with your preferred spice blend to give the salad a unique flavor.
  • Turn the chicken salad into a pasta salad by adding any cold, cooked short pasta.

How to Store Chicken Salad

Store any leftover chicken salad in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge.

homemade Newks chicken salad in a sandwich and a bowl

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chicken salad sandwich on a plate

Newks Chicken Salad

Newks Chicken Salad with grapes, pecans, onions, and celery has the best combination of flavors and texture. Make it at home with this easy copycat recipe.
5 from 10 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Salad, Newks Chicken Salad
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 505kcal


  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2.5 pounds cooked white chicken
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/8 cup diced red onion
  • 3/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup sliced red grapes


  • In a medium-sized bowl combine lemon juice, mayonnaise, ground black pepper, sugar, salt, and seasoned salt.
  • Stir the salad dressing very well.
  • Add in the cooked white chicken, chopped pecans, diced red onion, finely diced celery, and stir well. After the salad is well combined, gently fold in the sliced red grapes.
  • Placed the salad in an air-tight container, and allow the salad to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Additional tips for making chicken salad. 
Want super tender chicken salad, start with cooked chicken tenders. 
Toast the pecans so their flavor really pops. 


Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 771mg | Potassium: 511mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 107IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Arpita Patel

    5 stars
    Great recipe. I made it for my wife before she got back from work and she really like it, thank you

  2. Agnelina

    I always only made basic Chicken Salad for sandwiches, and never quite got around to trying this type, but always wanted to. THIS one sounds very tasty, so I’ll give it a try. I will however, use a combo of light & dark meat, & only use the seasoned salt (eliminating the other 1/2 tsp). A good quality mayo is always the key to an amazing mayo-based salad. Duke’s or Hellman’s are always my choices, but I understand that when it comes to mayo, everyone has their favorite. Thanks for posting this recipe. 🙂

5 from 10 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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