In a pinch, quick and easy chicken salad makes for the perfect midday sandwich or a simple snack when paired with crackers. At its core, it's usually just shredded or chopped chicken combined with some kind of mayonnaise mixture; add-ons like fruit, nuts, and seasonings are often introduced, too. But if you're only mixing your chicken with mayonnaise and no other creamy ingredients, you're missing out on major flavor. Next time you whip up a batch, offset the savory chicken and fatty mayonnaise with something you probably hadn't thought of: a sweet ingredient like Cool Whip.
Cool Whip, which is similar to whipped cream, is a chicken salad add-on that will offer just a touch of sweetness; it's even better when paired with tangy sour cream or Greek yogurt in addition to the mayonnaise, as the flavors work so well together. It's also the perfect substitute if you don't have any other sweet elements (like fruit) to add to the salad, or it can be used in addition to them.
Sweet And Savory Is The Best Chicken Salad Combination
Most recipes for chicken salad have ingredients that offer some kind of sweet addition, with many using grapes, dried berries, or chopped apples. Of course, these options are still recommended as they not only add sweet flavor but also enhance the salad's texture -- but if you happen to have some Cool Whip on hand, don't hesitate to use it. Add the Cool Whip in as an equal part to the mayonnaise (and Greek yogurt or sour cream, if you're using it). Cool Whip will also help keep moisture in the chicken salad, meaning it won't dry up as it sits in the refrigerator.
Cool Whip has a pretty long shelf life, meaning adding it into your salad doesn't mean you have to eat it right away; this sweet topping lasts up to two weeks. Since cooked chicken lasts around four days, make sure to consume the salad within that time frame.
Other Ways To Add Flavor To Your Chicken Salad
Cool Whip makes an excellent sweet add-on, but it doesn't hurt to balance it with savory flavors in addition to that mayonnaise. Nuts, like almonds or pecans, offer an earthy flavor that pairs well with anything sweet. You can also add chopped red or sweet onions, which are a little pungent and will make for a great flavor contrast.
For a sweet and spicy blend, chiles or chile powder are both a great way to bring some heat to the salad; paprika is a milder spice that works well, too. But for added texture, chop up some fresh jalapeños. Fresh peppers have more of a crunch than pickled, so choose the former if you want a nice bite. As for whether you choose Greek yogurt or sour cream, both will add the tang you're looking for, but Greek yogurt has less fat and calories, so it's generally a more nutritious alternative.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.