Home » By Course » Appetizer » Simple and Unique Twist on Chicken or Fish Salad

Simple and Unique Twist on Chicken or Fish Salad

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Do you love leftovers? We do! Repurpose your leftover chicken or fish by making this simple chicken or fish salad. It is great as a snack or even for your next party. But this is not your typical chicken or fish salad. I’ll guide you to put a unique twist on it to make it your own.

I love whole roast fish in the oven. Roasting it whole makes it less likely to overcook and keeping the fish moist on the inside. I have a simple one-pan roast whole fish recipe you can find here

Fish is great to eat right after cooking, but it is not the best as leftovers. Reheating can dry it out and stink up the microwave. The same goes for reheating chicken breast. It just gets drier as it gets reheat. 

So whenever I have leftover fish or chicken, especially when I get a whole rotisserie chicken from Costco, I turn it into a creamy salad. This salad is a great way to use up the leftover chicken or fish and you can easily make it your own.

eat leftover chicken or fish salad with crackers
We like eating this fish salad with chips and crackers.

Joe loves it when I make this salad and it never lasts long in the fridge. We usually eat it like a dip with some chips and crackers or put a heaping scoop on top of a salad. The kids love to eat it as a dip too, only if I make it with salmon and depending on their mood (visualize an eye roll gif here). 

eating leftover chicken or fish salad with veggies
Or you can eat it with peppers and carrots too.

Party Ideas

This salad is great for a get-together or a party.

Slider Bar – make this salad with chicken for a build-your-own chicken salad sliders as an option for your slider bar.

Taco Bar – make this salad with fish for a taco bar and put a twist to fish tacos for your guests.

Salad Bar – make this salad with chicken and/or fish for a salad bar with a variety of fixings that I suggest below.  

My Twist

I have to confess. I am not a big fan of mayo. Never ate it growing up (not a fridge staple in a Chinese household) and not a fan as an adult until I discovered Japanese mayo. 

I discovered Japanese mayo when I learned how to make California sushi rolls. I’ve always wondered why mayo tasted so much better in a CA roll verse in a sandwich. I’ve always thought it was because of the imitation crab meat, but it is actually the mayo used. 

Instead of regular mayo, I use the Japanese mayo as my twist on the chicken or fish salad. You can definitely use regular mayo or Miricle Whip for your chicken or fish salad. There are other options to make a healthier version of this salad that I listed below. 

I use the Japanese mayo to make a sushi bake that is like a CA roll casserole. Check out the recipe here.

Make Your Own Twist

I love putting my own twist on a recipe and make it to the way I like it. I don’t always like the same things in my salad as Joe either. Sometimes, I would make a simple salad and put fixings on the side to dress up our own. 

You can do the same with this simple chicken or fish salad and put your own unique twist on it to make it the way you like it. Follow the simple recipe below to make a chicken or fish salad base and put your own twist with fixings you like. 

Serving it as a meal or for guests? Set it up like a salad bar and have the fixings on the side for everyone to make their own twist. 

Fixings to try:

  • Avocado
  • Cranberries
  • Chopped nuts
  • Seeds
  • Chopped olives
  • Chopped egg
  • Diced pickles 
  • Diced peppers


*Use this as a guide to starting your salad. Depending on how you like your salad, play around with the ingredients to your liking. If you like it creamier, use an equal part of mayo to meat. If you like it less mayoish, use less mayo per cup of meat or use a substitute listed below.

  • Chicken or Fish meat – 1 cup
  • Red or sweet diced onion – ½ cup
  • Celery, diced – ½ cup
  • Red wine vinegar – ½ tablespoon
  • Your choice of mayo – ½ cup to every cup of meat
  • Olive oil – ½ tablespoon
  • Garlic salt – ½ teaspoon to every cup of meat
  • Paprika – ¼ teaspoon (optional)


  1. Dice onions and put them in a salad bowl. Add red wine vinegar and mix it together. Let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients. The vinegar helps mellow out the raw onions so it will not be overpowering in the salad. 
  2. Diced celery and chop the chicken or fish into small pieces. Add it all to the bowl.
  3. Add olive oil, mayo, garlic salt, and paprika (if you choose to use it) and mix it together.
  4. Salt and pepper, add more mayo if needed, to your liking.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving for the best result. 
leftover salmon for chicken or fish salad
I used leftover salmon for this batch of fish salad.
veggies for leftover chicken or fish salad
I added orange peppers here since I had it on hand.
half mayo half yoghurt for chicken or fish salad
Using half Japanese mayo and half greek yoghurt.


Mayo – For a healthier version, you can substitute half the mayo with greek or regular yogurt. You can substitute with sour cream too if you don’t like that much mayo. You can also smash up an avocado or hard-boiled egg to substitute half the mayo and keep it creamy, but it will slightly change the flavor.

Chicken/Fish – No leftovers? You can still make this salad with can tuna or salmon. Make it meatless by using fingerling potatoes instead of meat. 

Red Wine Vinegar – If you don’t have red wine vinegar on hand, you can use any other kind like apple cider vinegar. It is usually more tart, so add a drop of honey to the vinegar will help balance it out. 

Pin this to your Pinterest Board for easy access to the recipe.

P.S. Other recipes you may want to try

Simple Roast Whole Fish – One Pan Meal

Sushi Bake – Not Your Typical Casserole

By on January 7th, 2021

35 thoughts on “Simple and Unique Twist on Chicken or Fish Salad”

  1. Ive made something similar with leftover chicken. I add pears or grapes for a little sweetness. I have never heard of Japanese mayo… may have to give that a try!

  2. I love this kind of salad. Make it all the time. The vinegar and onion thing is new to me though. I usually just wash the veggies in vinegar solution, so that’s a tip I’m taking away from this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I can’t wait to try the Japanese Mayo! What a unique idea! I love mayo regardless but I love new ideas. We eat our fish dips like you.


Leave a Comment