Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad- Jason’s Deli Copycat Recipe

Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad recipe- Just like Jason's Deli! Recipe from the @Kikiverde blog.

Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad recipe- Just like Jason's Deli! Recipe from the @Kikiverde blog.

Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad recipe- Just like Jason's Deli! Recipe from the @Kikiverde blog.

Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad recipe- Just like Jason's Deli! Recipe from the @Kikiverde blog.

Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad recipe- Just like Jason's Deli! Recipe from the @Kikiverde blog.

Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad recipe- Just like Jason's Deli! Recipe from the @Kikiverde blog.

Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad recipe- Just like Jason's Deli! Recipe from the @Kikiverde blog.

So it’s Souptember, but what goes better with soup than a sandwich?

One of my favorite things about Jason’s Deli (besides the salad bar and the fact that they’re ΓΌber allergy-friendly) is the sweet and crunchy pineapple almond chicken salad spread. What I order 9 times out of 10: chicken salad sandwich, salad bar + a scoop of chicken salad, half chicken salad sandwich + a cup of tortilla soup. Notice a trend? Yes, I go through the motions of looking through the gluten-free menu but more often than not I get the chicken salad. And if I order turkey instead? I usually say to hubby about half-way through the meal “I should have gotten the chicken salad.”

So it should come as no surprise that I have upon numerous occasions tried to recreate the delectable pineapple almond chicken salad at home. And by golly, I think I’ve finally got it. Without doing a side-by-side taste test, it’s impossible to say if they’re identical twins, but I feel confident in saying that they could definitely be cousins. Dare I say that I even like my version a little bit better? (Note that Jason’s Deli chicken salad does not contain onions, celery, or parsley. I’ve added them to my version to improve upon the classic and make it more to my tastes. I’ve you’re looking for an exact replica or don’t like those ingredients, you’ll want to leave them out.)

So do you want the recipe? Of course you do, that’s why you’re here!

Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad recipe- Just like Jason's Deli! Recipe from the @Kikiverde blog.

Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad

Yields: 6-8 servings-- depending on how willing you are to share!

Sweet and tangy Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad, in the style of Jason’s Deli.

Pile it on a sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes and thinly sliced red onions, serve on crackers or a green salad platter with sliced apples, (Yum!) or open-faced style with toasted bread and a fork, which is my preferred way to enjoy it.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken (I pack my cup pretty densely)
  • 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained, but keep that juice-- we're gonna use it!
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (this is about 3 ribs)
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced red onion
  • scant 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • finely minced parsley for garnish, completely optional


If you haven't already shredded your chicken, do that now. You can use white meat, dark meat, or a mixture of both. Leftover rotisserie chicken is perfect for this. (I used chicken leftover from the batch of stock I made earlier this week.)

Drain the pineapple but keep the juice. I use a spoon to gently press the excess juice from the crushed pineapple. You don't want to wring it dry but you also don't want a lot of excess moisture. We'll add it back in later so we get just the right amount. The amount of pineapple that the 20 ounce can yields is about 1 dense cup.

Cut your celery. I've mentioned before that I like to gently run my vegetable peeler over the outer curve of the celery to remove the tough stringy parts. (You only want to take off a paper-thin amount-- maybe more like card stock.) Then cut the celery in half lengthwise and cut into thin slices. (I do a little slimmer than 1/4 inch so they are thin but still have some crunch.)

Add the celery, pineapple, onions and slivered almonds to a medium-size mixing bowl. It's really important that you use slivered almonds here and not sliced almonds. Slivered almonds will retain their crispness but sliced almonds will not. And you want that crunch! If you can't find them in the snack nuts section of your grocery store, you may be able to find them in the baking section where they have the specialty cuts. (I usually get mine at Trader Joe's.) Stir everything together until combined.

Add the chicken to the bowl with the celery, pineapple, and slivered almonds and give it another stir before adding the mayo, salt, and pepper.

Add the mayo-- I use a little bit less than 1/2 cup. (You can always add a bit more later if you need.) Add the salt and white pepper and stir really well to combine.

The chicken salad should be really thick at this point. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of the reserved pineapple juice, one at a time, and stir in between each addition until you get the desired consistency and sweetness. I usually start with 3 tablespoons and then let it sit in the fridge for an hour and then add another one after some of the moisture has been absorbed. (Just keep the pineapple juice in the fridge in a small container and add more if/when you need it.)

Garnish with a pinch or two of fresh parsley, if desired, and enjoy!

The chicken salad is best after sitting and allowing the flavors to develop for 2-3 hours, but you can enjoy it right away if you must!


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  1. Pingback: Dairy Free Recipe Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich Spread

  2. thanks for this post! my favorite from Jason’s deli too. I’m gonna try this πŸ™‚

  3. you know, I clean and get my celery ready then I break it in half and
    then pull the stringy part off,

  4. THank you for the recipie it sounds exactly the same. I just wish you would fix it on your website to JUST copy the receipe. It would same me a lot of ink and things I didn’t want.

    • Hi Rita, I hope you enjoy the recipe! I am working on getting a print option for just the recipe portion. Hopefully soon, but I’m just one person. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • Just highlight the recipe and hit control and p. Your print option should come up. Change the PAGES to selection and hit print at the bottom. Sometimes I play with the print size to make sure it will fit on one page. Good Luck.

      • Thanks for the tip, Susan!

        Just an FYI for anyone who has asked about/suggested a better print option, new recipes will have a print option as well as an option to save to a Big Oven recipe box. I’m working on updating the existing recipes to that platform for ease of sharing, saving, and printing, but it will take some time. πŸ™‚

    • Rita, if you highlight the recipe and then right click and hit COPY, you can then paste it in an email or WORD doc.

  5. FYI- I wasn’t mentioned or included in the instructions when to add the red onions.
    I added it with the celery almonds and pineapple.

    It’s absolutely delicious!


    • Hi Marg,
      Thanks so much for the heads up on the onions. You added them at the correct time and I’ve updated the instructions. So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I had Jason’s Deli delivery last night. I am hopelessly addicted to their chicken salad and have been for years! I’ve tried to recreate it but never got it just right. Thank you so much for doing all of the legwork and sharing the fruits of your labor with us. I’m catching a ride to Walmart later today and have all of the ingredients on my list.
    Now if I can just find the copycat version of Jason’s fruit dip. That stuff is wicked good and perfect with good, crisp Fall apples.

    • I hope you enjoy the recipe! I’ve never had their fruit dip before but I’m game for anything with apples πŸ™‚

    • 1 cup sour cream
      1/2 cup light brown sugar
      4 tsp Grand Marnier liqueur

      Wisk together all the ingredients in a medium bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
      Chill 1 hour. Stir once before serving. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
      It’s the bomb!

  7. I’m in the midst of making this yummy salad. One cup of shredded chicken does not seem like nearly enough, so I’m poaching additional chicken breasts. Might that be a typo, one cup of shredded chicken? I think I’ll need at least 3 cups of shredded chicken, tightly packed. As it is right now, I would call it a pineapple salad with a bit of chicken; it is tasty, though πŸ™‚

    • i am sure by now Bonnie knows that the one cup is plenty! once you add the other stuff, it really makes a good sized bowl of chicken salad.

      I just posted it for others like me who wondered the same thing about the chicken. πŸ™‚

  8. Jason’s deli Chicken salad does not have celery, onions, or parsley in it.

  9. Michelle Campbell

    Jason’s deli Chicken salad does not have celery, onions, or parsley in it.

    • maybe it should coz this stuff is delishus!

      thanks for the recipe….i just made it and it’s good now…i can’t wait til it chills for a little while. <3

      • ok..sorry but i am going to have to recant. I don’t like the onion…the celery is ok but i won’t use the onion next time.

        still delicious, tho. πŸ™‚

        • Hi Suzy,

          I’m so sorry it took me so long to respond! Your comments had me cracking up! Onion can be a polarizing thing for some people. I like that it balances out the sweetness a bit and I often sneak it into my food because it’s a good natural anti-inflammatory. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe πŸ™‚

    • Hi Michelle,

      I updated the post to clarify that I have added those ingredients and they aren’t in the original Jason’s Deli version.

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