If You're Not Adding Eggs To Your Chicken Salad, You're Missing Out

Hard-boiled eggs are a popular addition to many iconic salads, from tuna nicoise to cobb salad. Of course, they play a leading role in their own mayonnaise-based salad and can also be a key texture and flavor enhancer for tuna salad. While less ubiquitous, hard-boiled eggs also make the perfect upgrade to chicken salad.

A common ingredient in Southern-style chicken salad, hard-boiled eggs provide more heft, depth of flavor, and a creamy, chewy texture. The yolks will offer a buttery richness to the savory chicken while the whites bring a burst of springy chew and more filling protein. You can chop hard-boiled eggs into large chunks or shred them into the salad, depending on the textural contrast you're looking for.

To ensure the egg yolks fully emulsify into the mayonnaise-based dressing, you might want to add more liquid ingredients. This will give you an opportunity to compliment the creamy richness of eggs and mayo with a tangy kick by using apple cider vinegar, pickle juice, or freshly squeezed lemon.

More tasty tips for the best chicken salad

Eggs have a versatile flavor that enriches sweet and savory chicken salad ingredients. So, you can add them along with grapes or cranberries and chopped pecans for an upgrade to classic chicken salad, or change things up with more savory and spicy ingredients like celery, olives, Cajun seasoning, diced bell peppers, or paprika. Meanwhile, Southern traditions opt for a tangy and crunchy sweet pickle relish with spicy red onions for added crunch. Even if you want to keep things simple, hard-boiled eggs boost this crisp and creamy chicken salad recipe from Tasting Corner.

For a twist on deviled eggs, add hot sauce, paprika, and pickle relish to a mayonnaise and dijon-mustard-dressed chicken salad. You could also put a Southwestern spin by blending shredded leftover Mexican al carbon rotisserie chicken with hard-boiled eggs, kerneled corn, diced pickled jalapeños, red onions, and chopped cilantro, and using a chipotle mayo and lime juice dressing.

While roasted or store-bought rotisserie chicken is more flavorful than boiled chicken, it also runs more of a risk of drying out. Add pasty egg yolks to the mix and you'll be choking on your chicken salad. The best way to rescue dried chicken is to shred it and warm it up with some broth before incorporating it into the salad. If you're making chicken from scratch, try slowly poaching it in broth for the most tender and juicy results.