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Kalyn's Kitchen

Tarragon Chicken Salad

The interesting flavor of French Tarragon is something I’ve loved since the first time I tried it, and it’s amazing in this Tarragon Chicken Salad.

PIN Tarragon Chicken Salad to try it later!

Tarragon Chicken Salad finished salad in serving bowl

Last week I shared the new photos for Grilled Chicken with Tarragon Mustard Marinade and talked about how the French Tarragon is thriving in my herb garden. And today I’m updating the photos for this Tarragon Chicken Salad that’s one of my long-time favorite recipes to make with tarragon. In fact, even though I first tried this salad over ten years ago I vividly remember how it was the recipe that introduced me to French Tarragon!

At that time fresh tarragon was something I’d never used in a recipe and certainly hadn’t grown in my herb garden, but this salad definitely started me experimenting with tarragon and soon I was growing it. And if I’d ever imagined how I’d fall head-over-heels in love with the flavor of fresh tarragon, I’d have tried growing it much sooner! Now cooking with tarragon is something I look forward to every summer, and this plant has a permanent place in the garden, even in the much smaller herb garden at my new house.

Once you try French Tarragon, you’ll learn it should be used sparingly or the strong flavor will overcome the dish. And it’s probably an acquired taste, but if you’re a fan of the the slightly anise flavor that’s so distinctive and are lucky enough to get your hands on some French Tarragon, this salad is a wonderful way to use it!

Is French Tarragon hard to grow?

I’m happy to report that French Tarragon is a hardy plant that comes back year after year and literally grows like a weed (even at my house that’s on the side of the mountain where it gets really cold!) There are several types of Tarragon, but you want to be sure to buy French Tarragon, and if you want to plant some you’ll need to buy a plant because it can’t be grown from seed.

What does French Tarragon taste like?

French Tarragon has a flavor that’s similar to basil with but with more licorice flavor, and it’s stronger than basil so you only need a small amount of chopped fresh tarragon to add a lot of flavor to a recipe.

Tarragon Chicken Salad process shots collage

How to Make Tarragon Chicken Salad:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Remove peas from the freezer about 30 minutes before you plan to make the salad.
  2. Strip tarragon leaves from the stems and wash and dry in a salad spinner (affiliate link) if you’re using garden tarragon. 
  3. I needed one tablespoon, but since I know you can freeze tarragon I chopped up a bit more and put the extra in this little zip-lock bag to go in the freezer.
  4. Whisk together mayo, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, poultry seasoning, and chopped French Tarragon to make the dressing.
  5. Drain the frozen peas in the same salad spinner.
  6. Finely chop a little red onion, and chop up a cup of chopped celery.
  7. I used rotisserie chicken breast that comes in a package from Costco to make this salad extra easy to prepare. (See the recipe below if you need to cook the chicken.)
  8. Chop up enough chicken to make 4 cups of diced chicken breast.
  9. Combine the chopped chicken, chopped celery, and chopped red onion.
  10. Then mix in enough dressing that all the ingredients are lightly coated with dressing. Gently mix in the peas.
  11. If you can refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes to let flavors develop, that will give best results.
  12. Serve slightly chilled and enjoy!

Tarragon Chicken Salad close-up of finished salad in bowl

More French Tarragon Recipes to Wake Up Your Tastebuds:

Grilled Chicken with Tarragon Mustard Marinade ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Grilled Chicken with Tomato-Tarragon Sauce ~ Simply Recipes
Green Goddess Salad Dressing ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Salmon with Dijon Tarragon Sauce ~ Life’s Ambrosia

Tarragon Chicken Salad close-up of finished salad in bowl

Tarragon Chicken Salad

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

The interesting flavor of French Tarragon is something I've loved since the first time I tried it, and it's amazing in this low-carb Tarragon Chicken Salad.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups diced cooked chicken (see notes if you need to cook the chicken)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained well
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 T finely chopped fresh French Tarragon

Instructions

  1. Remove one cup frozen peas from the freezer about 30 minutes before you plan to make the salad.
  2. Strip the tarragon leaves from the stems and wash in a salad spinner (affiliate link) and spin dry if needed. (Since you can freeze tarragon I like to chop up several tablespoons at a time and put the extra in the freezer in a small Zip-loc bag.)
  3. Whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, poultry seasoning, and chopped French Tarragon to make the dressing.
  4. Drain the frozen peas in the same salad spinner you used to wash the tarragon.
  5. Finely chop a little red onion and chop up a cup of chopped celery.
  6. Chop up enough chicken to make 4 cups of diced chicken breast.
  7. Combine the chopped chicken, chopped celery, and chopped red onion.
  8. Then mix in enough dressing so all the ingredients are lightly coated with dressing. Gently mix in the peas.
  9. If you can refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes to let flavors develop, that will give best results.
  10. This salad will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two if you can manage to keep it around for that long.

Notes

If you don't have precooked rotisserie chicken, you can poach chicken to make the salad. Start with three large or four small chicken breasts. Trim visible fat and undesirable parts from chicken breasts, then place in a pan where they can fit in a single layer. Put in enough chicken stock to cover the chicken and a pinch of poultry seasoning, then bring chicken to a boil, turn down until it's at a low simmer and cook on very low heat about 6 minutes. Turn off heat and let chicken sit in the hot stock for about 15 minutes more. Let chicken cool and cut up to use in the recipe.

This recipe was originally adapted from Lemony Chicken Salad with Tarragon at Champaign Taste but that recipe is no longer online. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 365mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 24g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Tarragon Chicken Salad large thumbnail image of finished salad

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Tarragon Chicken Salad is a great dish for low-carb diets. If anyone is wondering about the peas, there are 18 carbs from peas in 6 servings of salad, and you can surely use less peas if you prefer. This salad is only for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet, due to the peas, and South Beach would prefer light mayo.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Salad Index to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
Tarragon Chicken Salad was first posted in 2007, as a contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted that week by a blog that’s no longer online! The recipe was updated with new photos and slightly-easier instructions in June 2020.

Tarragon Chicken Salad Pinterest image

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    19 Comments on “Tarragon Chicken Salad”

  1. Candice, so glad you liked it!

  2. Thanks for the recipe. My tarragon plant is ginormous and I'm always on the lookout for a great recipe. I made this salad for dinner and it was Awesome! Thanks!

  3. Hehe! Kalyn, you’ve crossed over as well! I owe tarragon a sincere apology for all the times I bad-mouthed it and called it names.

    Your chicken salad looks wonderful and incredibly fresh tasting.

  4. oh love the chicken salad, so good for summer, YUM!

  5. I love tarragon with chicken, fish and in cream sauces. I mistakenly planted Russian Tarragon, (which is is often in the nurseries) and it is very light on flavor. Now I buy the ‘live’ herbs in the supermarkets and plant them – much better flavor although not as pretty as a plant!

  6. Rob, thanks for sharing that information. It sounds like the Russian tarragon is definitely to be avoided.

  7. This looks like a wonderful addition to the recipe file!

    Be aware too if you have Russian tarragon in your garden – it spreads about as rampantly as mint does if left unchecked.

  8. Sarina, I think it’s pretty easy to use too much. When I saw the original recipe using only 1 T of chopped tarragon in this recipe, I was sure I’d want to add more. But I thought this was the perfect amount. Try it!

    Elise, yes, it was such a perfect combination.

  9. Hi Kalyn,
    I too recently made this discovery, when I found a chicken salad sandwich at Starbucks that had tarragon in it. Isn’t it just a great pairing?

  10. tarragon is a flavour that still puzzles me.. maybe it’s that overpowering thing that you mentioned. I’d love to try it in a dish where it’s in perfect balance to see how I feel about it then 🙂

  11. Lydia, lucky you having a tarragon plant that big!

    Astrid, glad you like the idea, and I will definitely have fun!

    Ulrike, so glad to hear your tarragon came back to life. Duh, I should have used that banner.

    Tanna, do buy some, it will be worth it.

    Sher, I agree completely. You were one of the ones who inspired me to try it!

    Katerina, have you posted that recipe? It sounds wonderful.

    Pille, hope you like it. Sounds like everyone but me already knew about fresh tarragon.

    Lis, ditto to everything I said to Pille. I think I’m the last one to find out how good it tastes, but now that I know, there’s going to be lots of tarragon recipes coming I have a feeling.

  12. That looks sooooo good! I have fresh tarragon in my herb garden this year – I can’t wait to try this salad. =)

    xoxo

  13. I’m so bookmarking this. I love chicken, and I’ve got a rather healthy-looking tarragon plant in my garden 🙂

  14. You know, I didn’t plant tarragon. I can’t believe I overlooked it! I have made a French mustard sauce for pork that included fresh tarragon and it was divine. One of those classic combinations – mustard and tarragon.

  15. Fresh tarragon! I wish everyone could try it just once. They would be so amazed at how wonderful it tastes. I love your recipe!

  16. And I couldn’t find any this spring at the garden centers! I do enjoy the fresh (dried isn’t worth a penny). And chicken salad sounds just perfect now . . . guess I’ll have to buy some, tarragon that is.

  17. How funny, my tarragon recovered and I served linguine with tarragon today! And I used your tarragon banner!

  18. *wow* now I know whats going to be our lunch tomorrow.
    Thank you for that delicious suggestion.
    Hope you have fun in SF!

  19. Hooray — a recipe for fresh tarragon! My tarragon plant is the size of a small bush, or a small town, and I’m desperate for new ideas for how to use it. Thanks, Kalyn.