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Ensalada de Pollo is a Mexican recipe that’s a party favorite – a fiesta for your mouth and your guests as well. It consists of chicken and vegetables dressed in a creamy mayonnaise dressing. It’s easy, delicious, and perfect for any gathering.
Every birthday party. Every quinceañera. Every gathering that involves half a dozen Mexicans and a good mariachi, you will find Ensalada de Pollo.
It is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser and comes together in a snap.
A little kitchen magic at your fingertips. What is not to love about that!
This salad is a great way to use up what you already have in the fridge.
You will need leftover chicken. You can also use a rotisserie chicken but remove the skin.
Then chop it up into tiny pieces or shred it. Whatever method you prefer.
Seriously, I can’t tell you how much I love this recipe. It is the BEST dish to take to potlucks.
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From here, the Ensalada de Pollo varies.
You can add peas, carrots, green beans, potato, or corn. You can add a few of these ingredients or all of them, then combine.
You can use canned corn, canned peas and carrots, canned green beans, canned diced potatoes. Or, you can use the fresh kind.
Again, it depends on you, your imagination and what you have hanging out in your kitchen.
I have even seen people add pickled cauliflower and pickled carrots in the Ensalada de Pollo. It was very tasty!
This recipe is very forgiving and very adaptable.
The dressing is very simple: sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon, and yellow mustard.
You can add as much sour cream or mayo as you like.
I personally like to do equal parts sour cream and mayo, but if you are not a mayo fan, you can also use more sour cream, or swap it out for crema mexicana or plain yogurt.
A mixture or use just one. It really depends on you, your taste, and what you have in the fridge. Speaking of fridge…
How Long Can Ensalada de Pollo Last without Refrigeration?
I’ve been to parties in Mexico where things were left out for hours… Please don’t do that.
If it has been out at room temperature for more than two hours, don’t eat it. You can get sick.
If it has been a hot day (we’re talking 90 degrees F and up), you should only let it out for 1 hour.
You really want to dress the chicken (not for a red carpet appearance). 🙂 So, start by mixing the chicken and the dressing first.
I like the chicken to be fully coated with the dressing. That is why I do this first.
You can use chicken breast, chicken legs, chicken thighs. Whatever part of the chicken you have is good to use.
The other thing: please notice the container. I am not transferring to a fancy container for serving.
This is literally the bowl that I took to my potluck party.
Then add your veggies and mix well.
Origins of Ensalada de Pollo:
My gringo husband said Ensalada de Pollo reminded him of his grandmother’s cooking, and potlucks where little old ladies meet to play bridge, gossip and drink urns full of coffee.
His comment made me look up the history of this “traditional” Mexican recipe.
It turns out to be American! Say what?!! Yup! We adopted it from our amigos in the north.
The chicken salad using homemade mayonnaise was published in 1847. It can be found in the 19th-century Southern cookbooks, The Carolina Housewife: Or, House and Home. First noted author was someone named Sarah Rutledge.
Well, every culture takes a dish or two from other cultures and make them their own.
That’s the same situation here. Somehow, we heard about it in Mexico and have been making it ever since.
Serve your Ensalada de Pollo along with plenty of saltine crackers, on top of a crunchy tostada, or a leaf of lettuce.
You also can’t forget a few pickled jalapeño slices. Something about that brine and spice that is sooooo yummy. It’s a perfect topping for the Ensalada de Pollo.
Some people will even put them or the jalapeño juice from the container into the dressing itself.
If you are serving this dish to a large crowd, you do NOT know who doesn’t like spicy food… best to leave it as a topping for people to add on their own as I have here with this recipe.
Hope you enjoy!
Watch Video How To Make Ensalada de Pollo
Ensalada de Pollo
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- Juice of ½ lemon or 1 lime
- 4 cups cooked chicken
- 1 cup cooked potato diced
- 1 cup cooked carrots diced
- 1 cup cooked peas
- ½ cup cooked corn
- In a container, add the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, lemon, salt.
- Mix until combined.
- Add the chicken and mix well.
- Then add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Taste for salt.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Serve along with saltine cracker, tostada, or lettuce and top with jalapeños.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
More Mexican Chicken Recipes:
Entomatadas de Pollo (Chicken Entomatadas)
Enmoladas de Pollo (Chicken Mole Enchiladas)
Chicken in Creamy Poblano Sauce (or Pollo en Crema de Chile Poblano)
Chicken Tinga Tostadas
Mexican Deviled Chicken, or Pollo a la Diabla
Chicken Drumsticks in Tamarind Chile Sauce
Mexican Chicken Torta
Chicken in Creamy Chipotle Sauce, or Pollo al Chipotle
Caldo de Pollo, or Mexican Chicken Soup
Milanesa de Pollo (Chicken Milanese)
Pollo Adobado (Chicken in Adobo Sauce)
Pozole Blanco, or White Chicken Pozole
Pollo en Crema
Love this recipe; it’s the reason I keep canned veggies on hand, usually prefer fresh or frozen. I make it with tuna for my husband, but next time I will try chicken!
Yes! Definitely agree. With chicken, it’s great. Hope you like it.
Yum Yum..what a combination of wonderful flavors! Love it
I’m so glad I was able to find this recipe! I work at a high school and last night our students put on a Festival of Nations to represent all of the cultures and nationalities that make up our student body. The table representing Mexico served this with homemade tortillas and it was seriously the best thing I tasted all night. I cannot wait to make it at home!
This looks so delicious! I love the addition of potatoes and peas. I need to make this for my next get together!
We are huge Mexican food lovers. This looks so good. I would love this for dinner any night of the week. Looks like a great side dish for a bbq party too.
Looks delicious. I am a Mexican food lover and I always search for food. Glad I found this. Absolutely cooking this for my family.
I need nothing more for my Dinner with this colorful and healthy and yummy combination to this salad. A meal by itself.
Yum! Reminds me of a potato salad but with Mexican flavors.
Heather @ US Japan Fam
Oohhhhhh my goodness this looks absolutely delicious! So refreshing in this hot weather, gonna make with my kids for lunch today! Thanks for the inspiration!
Oooo this looks delish! I’m def going to have to make this soon. Yum!
I love ensalada but I don’t know how to make it so I always end up ordering it which is a little expensive. Time to make my own now, thanks for the recipe!
I haven’t tried putting con and peas in my chicken salad. This looks delicious and I’ll try it next time I make chicken salad.
Thank you for giving me a simple faster
Simple is sometimes better
Ha! I love it. Food is the language of people…and it travels with them, wherever they go. I find these kind of cherished recipes that transcend borders so very interesting.
Thanks for your comment.
Ha! I am with your gringo husband. This recipe is pretty close to typical midwest potluck fare. The kind where old ladies meet and play bridge… or where I am hanging out with them. No matter where it is from, this is a great recipe and tastes great. It is a perfect party recipe and glad I found your interpretation of it.
So glad you enjoyed this!
SO easy to make! This recipe is awesome, and something I’m going to make regularly when we get to have guests over again. Would be so good as a dip! We enjoyed it on sandwiches as an easy lunch.
Right? So easy and delicious. Glad you enjoyed it