Aug 3, 2014

Chicken Salad Pinwheels

We love Chicken Salad sandwiches at home, including my little 3 yr old. My younger sister, Maya is an ardent fan of chicken salad sandwiches and I must say she's the gal who introduced my family to this creamy and yumm sandwich when we were kids :-) 
I had absolutely no interest at all in cooking when I was a teenager….hehe.  Maya used to be the food experimenter at home, I preferred to be the taste-tester and mummy used to reluctantly agree to her wishes of trying something new now and then. She happened to eat a chicken salad sandwich from a friend’s house one day, got the recipe from the friend’s mom and instantly wanted to try it at home as it seemed very easy. She must have been in 6th grade then.

We did not even know this sandwich was called chicken salad sandwich back then. Maya’s sandwich recipe was simple, it had chicken pieces that was boiled in water with ginger-garlic paste, salt n pepper and pulled apart, grated carrots, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, but it was the tastiest sandwich we had ever eaten. 
Creamy, chunky and really good.  Every time daddy brought home chicken to make chicken curry we would reserve a few pieces to make our favorite chicken sandwich and I happily helped her while she made it ;-)

I learnt how to make chicken salad sandwich the way it's made here in the US after watching it on some show on Food Network. Along with cubed chicken and mayonnaise, celery, cranberries, walnuts or even grapes, herbs like dill or cilantro or parsley, sometimes even a dash of hot sauce is added in the mix and it's usually served cold.  I've tried it several times at home and must say Manish & I very much enjoy it every time and of-late our lilAppu too.

These sandwich pinwheels were just a fun idea of mine one day after I came back home from work. It was a long day and I needed to rejuvenate myself. My favorite way to de-stress is try out something new in the! I decided to make chicken salad sandwiches as that would keep me busy for a while, but then while taking out the bread I thought why not roll out the bread with a rolling pin, add the chicken salad and cut them into 1” sized pieces.

Turned out to be a fun dinner and lil’Appu and Manish totally enjoyed it and had no clue how many sandwiches they actually ate that night in the form of pinwheels  ;-) I did not trim out the crust of the bread, but you can for a better presentation and I've used whole wheat bread.

This is a fun idea for a tea-party or as an appetizer for any gathering.  Serve it cold or at room temperature. I love adding walnuts and dried cranberries for extra crunch and flavor but was out of those the day I made these, but I’ve included that in the recipe below which is how I usually always make.

You can even use tortilla or chapatis for filling the chicken salad in and roll them up and cut into pinwheels. Stick a toothpick at the end to hold it together and serve as appetizers. Bread easily sticks together at the end.

Chicken Salad Sandwich
Makes 2-3 regular sandwiches or 3 pinwheels per slice of bread ;-)

You’ll Need
2 cups boiled and diced or shredded Chicken
2 celery stalks (chopped)
½ of a Red Onion or White Onion (minced into small pieces)
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 Tblsp of finely chopped Cilantro or Dill leaves
1 cup Mayonnaise
½ cup thick Yogurt or Sour cream
2 Tblsp Lemon juice
Salt – to taste
Fresh ground black pepper – to taste
Red chilli powder or Paprika or Cayenne Pepper or Hot sauce – a pinch or a dash for flavor
Sandwich Bread – toasted or not as needed

1. Boil the chicken pieces (leg, thigh or breast pieces) in  water enough to immerse the pieces. Add salt and pepper and cook until the chicken is bone tender and pulls apart easily. (Occasionally I also add fresh grated ginger-garlic while boiling for more flavor)
2. In a large bowl, mix together all the other ingredients : celery, onion, walnuts, dried cranberries, cilantro/dill, mayonnaise, yogurt/sour cream, chilli powder/hot sauce and lemon juice.
3. Toss in the chicken pieces once cooled and mix everything together, add more salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste and refrigerate until the flavor sets, about 2 hrs.

For the pinwheels
1. Take a slice of bread, roll it out with a rolling pin to become thinner.
2. Spread the chicken salad on top, roll the bread slice, trim off the ends (or not) and cut into 1” thick pieces. Enjoy!

For a basic chicken salad sandwich
Serve on artisan bread or regular sandwich bread  with some lettuce and sliced tomatoes with the chicken salad spread on top, make a sandwich and enjoy with some chips and a pickle.

1. The Chicken can be boiled in chicken broth if preferred.
2. I like to use bone-in chicken as it has more flavor and pulls apart easily. If using only chicken breasts cut into small cubes.
3. Some recipes include adding Dijon mustard paste either in the chicken salad or on the bread slice , but that's your choice.
4. You can even use Rotisserie chicken.

It's a super easy recipe and trust me kids will love it as it is creamy and not spicy. I had included chicken salad sandwiches as appetizer for Appu's Dino b'day party in the shape of dinosaurs ;-) The kids loved it and it was all gone... For more flavor I spread a little ketchup on one slice, chicken salad on the other and sandwiched them up and cut into dino shapes :)



  1. wow so delicious and beautifully made....

  2. Super tempting pinweel sandwich . Thanku for sharing

  3. wow..very tempting sandwich,nicely made :)

  4. Am ready to finish that whole platter rite now.

  5. I make a version of your recipe, never thought about adding Dill & Hot Sauce!

  6. Lovely sandwiches.... I always liked dainty pretty sandwiches like this.

  7. They are soo pretty to eat :) Lovely sndwich and the filling looks just perfect for a moist sandwich ...We dont buy mayonaise at home otherwise I would have tried it this week for our picnic lunch..Since its summer hols we r out and about and takes picnic outside maybe its a good idea to buy one bottle for next week :)


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