Copycat Willow Tree Chicken Salad

Willow Tree Chicken Salad copycat

A few years back when I was pregnant with my daughter, I had food cravings like most pregnant woman do.  One of my cravings was for Willow Tree chicken salad.  Almost every day for lunch, I went to a little sandwich shop about a block away from my office and I’d get the exact same thing to eat: a Willow Tree chicken salad sandwich (and this sandwich shop specifically stated it was Willow Tree for good reason!) on sourdough bread, milk, and a piece of fruit.

Willow Tree Farm is a New England-area food company famous for their deli chicken salad and chicken pot pies.  According to the Willow Tree website, they credit their chicken salad as one of the reasons the company has flourished over the years and their products are now sold at grocery chains in 14 states primarily in the eastern US.

My husband learned of my Willow Tree chicken salad craving, and being the sweetheart that he is, set out to recreate it at home just for me.  He started with the recipe found online here (someone else must have had a similar craving) but tweaked it further after reading the ingredients which the folks at Willow Tree were nice enough to list on their website as well.  I think Jack has come pretty close with the recipe we’ve listed below.

Copycat Willow Tree Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Copycat Willow Tree Chicken Salad

A copycat recipe of the famous Willow Tree chicken salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced celery
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper

Instructions

  1. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, blend chicken breasts until thoroughly shredded, or shred by hand. (Note: Shredded chicken rather than diced chicken pieces will help recreate the original Willow Tree chicken salad texture.)
  2. Remove bowl from the stand mixer and add in all other ingredients. Stir by hand to mix well.
  3. Serve over lettuce leaves or in sandwiches.
http://www.afamilyfeast.com/copycat-willow-tree-chicken-salad/

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Comments

  1. This looks delicious! Definitely trying this recipe. Visiting and pinning from The NY Melrose Family’s Pinfest 2012 party. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Laurie! Happy New Year!

    • The brown sugar ! This is basically the same as mine, EXCEPT for the brown sugar.(mine calls for 1Tbsp curry….cause I love the stuff !) I am eager to try this recipe .Thanks ;-)

    • the secret to willow tree’s chicken salad is OJ concentrate. i was told this by someone who used to work there.

      • Very interesting Robbin! Thanks for sharing!!

      • Is that oj orange juice??? How much???

        • Hi Shar! Hopefully Robbin will reply back with some more info – I’m curious to know too!

        • Well… I’m not too sure about that orange juice! The REAL secret to our Chicken Salad is a closely (and I mean closely) guarded family recipe. Although you will not find OJ in our chicken salad, a tall glass of this refreshing drink would go so well with our Chicken Salad on a crusty Ciabatta Roll…. Oh, and there’s big news on the horizon. We are now making Willow Tree BUFFALO Chicken Salad! Watch for it in your local retailers this spring! Trucchi’s Supermarkets in Massachusetts, along with Select Hannaford Markets are already selling it.

          Thanks so much (and keep guessing)
          Steve Genuario – Willow Tree

  2. Just dropping in from Serendipity and Spice to pin this. I am not pregnant but I crave a good Chicken Salad Sandwich!!

    Have a Happy New Year!!

  3. Thank you for this recipe. I saw it on Pinterest and made it tonight for dinner with some chicken noodle soup. The chicken salad us delish! I used 2 cans of chicken breast in water and it worked great.

  4. What brand of mayonnaise do you use?

  5. Fantastic!! Thank you for posting it! :-)

  6. I am so excited to find this, and cannot wait to try it out! I grew up in RI where Willow Tree is readily available. When I moved to northern Maine, I would make excuses to drive several hours south – as it was nowhere to be found nearby.
    Kim @ Soliloquy Of Food & Such recently posted…Buttermilk Buried Chip PancakesMy Profile

    • I hope you like it Kim! We think it’s pretty close to the original – and in fact, it’s our most popular recipe ever! Thanks for stopping by! Martha

  7. Hello Everyone, well we are all flattered that you enjoy our chicken salad enough to duplicate its taste. We are working very hard to push Willow Tree’s brand outward and into new areas. Just keep tuned to our facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/willowtreefarm and ‘like us’. We always announce when our Chicken Salad is available in new areas. As for the actual recipe, well…. it’s just a lot of love, care, and great ingredients that goes into every container. Feel free to tell everyone! :)

  8. Made this for dinner this evening and it was a big hit! This will be my new “go to” recipe for chicken salad. Thank you so much for sharing it!!!!

  9. Jean Carpenter :

    Hi Martha, I made this yesterday. Wow! I like it better that WT (don’t tell them LOL). Its nice to have a readily available alternative. My DH just loved it. We love to go to the Willow Tree store and have a “picnic” in our car LOL. Now we won’t have to leave the neighborhood. Needless to say, it was gone in one meal. I’m making more this weekend for my hungry man
    ( and me too!) Thanks again for a great recipe.

  10. This looks great! How far in advance can you make and store this?

  11. Hi. I am also a fan of Willow Tree. Any chance you have ever considered trying to do a copycat of their Chicken Pot Pie? It’s a family favorite for us and I have been trying for years to make one like it at home with no luck. You got their chicken salad just right! We loved it.

    • Funny you should ask that – we have tried but still don’t have it quite right so never published it! We have a turkey pot pie recipe on our site that we also make with chicken – that is the recipe we usually make! We’re glad you enjoyed the chicken salad recipe!

  12. I have never tried Willow Tree, but I LOVE chicken salad. (I’m from Texas and Florida…now living in Birmingham, AL). Hopefully, they will open a store down here someday. So, I’ve GOT to TRY your copycat Willow Tree Chicken Salad.

    • We hope you like the recipe Trish! You might be able to find it sold at the deli of your local supermarket too – if you would like to try the original recipe! Thanks for visiting our site!

  13. Not sure how I missed this recipe? I like Willow Tree and buy it frequently as chicken salad is one of my favorites! I wish you could copy the Trader Joe’s chicken salad with the pecans and cranberries. I’ve tried several recipes but none match it. Look forward to trying this recipe.

  14. The recipe was terrific. I used more like 4 or 5 tablespoons of celery, which was helpful, I think.

  15. Hi! Just wondering what kind of onion you use and also what kind of brown sugar, light or dark? Thanks in advance! Can’t wait to try this recipe ASAP! :)

    • Hi Ruth – We usually use a Vidalia onion (but a red onion might be another good choice) and light brown sugar. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  16. This is an awesome chicken salad recipe although I don’t use mayo (miss my Hellman’s) use yogurt, and extra herbs, but this is my to go to recipe from now on, great job :).

  17. Hello Everyone,
    I just wanted to chime in and thank you for all the great comments on our Chicken Salad. We take great pride in producing a product that is made fresh, without all those nasty additives that make the product stable beyond it’s intent. As we all know, these stabilizers affect the overall taste and appeal of any product. Our chicken salad has the cleanest label of any branded product of its type and we intend to keep it that way. Again, thanks for all your comments. We appreciate all your topics and all conversations. Like many of you, I grew up on Willow Tree as I live in Rhode Island.

    Sincerely,
    Stephen Genuario
    VP – Sales & Marketing
    Willow Tree Poultry Farm

  18. Just made a batch of this – very, very close to Willow Tree! Well done, I’m excited to make more in the future. :)

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