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Tropical Island Chicken Salad Recipe

This delightful tropical island chicken salad recipe is perfect for those times when you want something a little different. It’s perfect for lunch, dinner, or even an afternoon snack!

You can eat it either as a salad on a bed of your favorite lettuce or as filling in a sandwich. Either way, it’s delicious, filling, satisfying, and budget-friendly.

island chicken salad in a bowl on a bed of lettuce

At our house, we enjoy all types of chicken salad. I make a lot of this basic chicken salad and keep it in the fridge for those times when we need something fast.

This island chicken salad is one of the special versions I make when we want to really treat ourselves. 

This time I made it with canned chicken. However, if you have leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken, you can use that. It really doesn’t matter.

Island Chicken Salad

plate of almond chicken salad on a bed of lettuce

This island chicken salad is refreshingly light, and you can enjoy it any time of year.

In fact, when I’m sick of winter weather, I make it so at least my taste buds can enjoy the feel of a tropical vacation. The flavors come together in such a delightful way!


All of the ingredients in this delicious recipe are available at any grocery store. Stock up on them when they go on sale so you can make it whenever you’re in the mood for something yummy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken (canned, rotisserie, or leftover cooked chicken)
  • Crushed pineapple
  • Chopped celery
  • Softened cream cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sliced almonds or other nuts (optional)
ingredients for island chicken salad

For the exact measurements and complete directions, please either scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page or click on the jump-to-recipe button beneath the title.

How to Make Island Chicken Salad

Before you begin assembling the chicken salad, gather all of the ingredients and tools. You really don’t need much, so that part should be super easy.

Drain the chicken and pour the meat into a large bowl. Using a fork, break up the chunks.

chicken in a mixing bowl

Add the rest of the ingredients except the nuts.

Stir until everything is well mixed.

all of the island chicken salad ingredients in a bowl

Cover with plastic wrap and put the bowl of chicken salad in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

When it’s time to serve, scoop it onto a bed of lettuce. Sprinkle sliced or chopped nuts over the top.

forkful of island chicken salad with sliced almonds

Or you can spread it on bread and add lettuce for extra crunch.

Tips for Perfecting Island Chicken Salad

This is such an easy recipe to make, and it’s hard to mess up. But there are still some things you can do to make it as good as it can be.

almond chicken salad on a bed of lettuce

Here are some tips:

  • Use chicken breast for the best results. You can use other parts of the chicken, and it’s good, but the breast is milder and allows the pineapple flavor to be the star.
  • If you want more flavor, don’t be afraid to add other seasonings. I recommend testing something different on a small amount. Taste it before you add it to the rest.
  • If you want more color, chop up some red and green peppers or tomatoes and add them to the mix.
  • Make the presentation attractive. Placing the chicken salad on a bed of lettuce adds to the appeal.
bowl and plate of island chicken salad on beds of lettuce

More Delicious Salad Recipes

We love salads at our house. And we often make them for a quick lunch or dinner when we’re hungry but don’t feel like cooking.

Here are some of our favorite salads:

Chickpea Tuna Salad – Enjoy all of the nutrition along with delicious flavors of this chickpeas tuna salad. It’s a great main dish, but you can also have it as a side salad.

plate of chickpea tuna salad

Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing – If you’re like me and enjoy spicy food, this may become your favorite salad. It’s a full meal that the family will request over and over.

catalina taco salad with cheese

Salmon Macaroni Salad – Salmon is so good for you, so add some to a macaroni salad. This recipe is super simple, and it’s absolutely wonderful!

salmon macaroni salad on a plate with tomatoes and lettuce

Pork ’n Bean Salad – Here’s a unique salad from Julia’s Simply Southern. If you enjoy pork and beans, you’ll love this delicious dish!

Southern Style Egg Salad – I grew up eating a lot of egg salad that my southern mama used to make. I put it on lettuce or between 2 slices of bread. I’ve even put some in a bowl and eaten it with a spoon. 

bowl of egg salad with lettuce

Mediterranean Salad – You’ll absolutely love the flavor of these heart-health ingredients that are mixed together to create one of the most satisfying salads you’ll ever eat!

Mediterranean salad with peppers and feta cheese

Fun and Delicious Island Chicken Salad

This dish is seriously delicious! Make it according to the recipe the first time, and then experiment with some additions that sound good to you. You just might discover your favorite salad!

plate of island chicken salad on a bed of lettuce

Tropical Island Chicken Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Every bite delivers a burst of tropical flavor with this delicious island chicken salad.


  • 1 can chunk white chicken (10 ounce can)
  • 1 can crushed pineapple (8 ounce can)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, or pecans (optional)


  1. Drain chicken and pour into large bowl. Break up the chunks.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients except the nuts in the bowl. 
  3. Stir until all of the ingredients are well mixed.
  4. Cover and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Serve on a bed of lettuce. Sprinkle sliced or chopped nuts over the top.
Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 287Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 52mgSodium 222mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 2gSugar 11gProtein 9g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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