Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sonoma Chicken Salad {A Whole Foods Copycat Recipe}

I recently fell in love with the Sonoma Chicken Salad from the deli at Whole Foods. I brought a container of it home - along with a round loaf of their sourdough bread - and was so sad when I finished up my last sandwich. I have been craving it ever since - big time.

My nearest Whole Foods is well over an hour away, so I don't get there as often as I'd like. In an attempt to satisfy my yearning for their chicken salad, I went in search online for a copycat recipe. I figured I might find one or two on a food blog out there. Instead, the top search result was the exact recipe itself provided directly on the Whole Foods' website.

Could it be ? Could this really be the real thing ?

Off to the kitchen I went to try out the recipe. Holy moly, friends, this is it. It's the real deal.

Not only will I get to enjoy this chicken salad more often, but it will save me a bundle. {I believe I paid around $12.00 a pound for it at Whole Foods.}

Don't leave out the poppy seeds, by the way. They are crucial {imo}. I love that little bit of crunch and pop.

I, too, like the {extremely simple and uncomplicated} way the chicken is cooked in this version ... the result is perfectly moist and super tender meat.

I urge you to give this one a whirl. It will be a great addition to your summer recipe repertoire. It's divine on a couple of slices of good-quality bread, but would be just as good on top of a bed of salad greens or in lettuce cups.



2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Kosher salt
Black pepper

1 cup mayonnaise
5 teaspoons honey
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


3/4 cup lightly-toasted pecan pieces
2 cups red seedless grapes, cut in half
3 - 4 ribs celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced red onion {optional}


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place chicken breasts in a single layer in a baking dish. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup warm water to dish.  Cover with foil. Bake 25 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through {do not overcook}. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool for twenty minutes, then cut chicken into bite-size cubes. 

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. 

Once chicken is cooled and cut, add to dressing along with the pecans, grapes, celery and onions {if using}. Stir gently to combine.

Refrigerate any leftovers and use within five days.

The original recipe can be found on Whole Foods' website. 

April 12, 2021:  Updated post and made clarifications to recipe.


  1. Oh my goodness - I love a good chicken salad! Trying this soon - thanks!

  2. This is similar to one that I make- but without the poppy seeds. I add a few sprinkles of white pepper for that tangy kick. I serve it on a flatbread that we get at the Corner Bakery. I have no idea what it's called but it's thin and crispy like a cracker but it's made with grains and nuts and, I think, raisins. It's topped with a sprinkle of sugar and OMG it is heaven with the chicken salad!

  3. Linda I want to hear more about that cracker bread!!