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Chicken in Basil Cream

Sweet grapes, crunchy celery and red onion adorn this herb-packed, elegant chicken salad.

My 3-year-old loves to help me pick out cookbooks from the library. Whereas I like to spend some time perusing the shelves, he usually makes a beeline for a book, picks it in less than 5 seconds, and is absolutely POSITIVE that he has chosen the perfect book for me to cook from.

And what can I say? He’s been on a pretty good roll so far. And when he picked this book from Anna Pump, it ended up being a real winner! I wasn’t so sure about the book at first, but I’ve made several delicious dishes from it now!

Chicken in Basil Cream

This chicken dish is beautifully simple and delicious. I love the sweetness of the grapes with the slight heat of the red onion, and the basil cream is packed with fresh flavor.

It was wonderful on top of lettuce that I picked up from the Farmers Market alongside some homemade ciabatta from one of the members of our Supper Club.

This held up well for a few days in the fridge. It was a big hit with both me and my husband, and was super light and fresh – perfect after some of the heavy eating we’ve been doing lately.

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A plate of chicken salad with grapes and sliced bread.

Chicken in Basil Cream

  • Author: Summer on a Plate
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Sweet grapes, crunchy celery and red onion adorn this herb-packed, elegant chicken salad.


  • 2 large whole chicken breasts (about 2 pounds), skin and bones removed
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced paper thin
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes, halved

Basil Cream:

  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small head red leaf lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed, and dried


  1. Place the chicken breasts in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breasts. Drain and cool.
  2. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the onion, celery, and grapes.
  3. For the basil cream: combine the garlic, basil, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Add the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and sugar, and pulse a few times to blend. Pour over the chicken and mix well, to coat all.
  4. Distribute the lettuce among four serving plates. Top each with a scoop of the chicken in basil cream and serve.


Recipe from Summer on a Plate – Anna Pump and Gen LeRoy


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 650
  • Sugar: 11.7 g
  • Sodium: 1077.8 mg
  • Fat: 46 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Fiber: 2.1 g
  • Protein: 40.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 147.2 mg

Keywords: chicken salad, basil, chicken salad sandwich

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Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


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