Instant Pot Chicken Salad Sandwiches

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Instant Pot Chicken Salad Sandwiches with sour cream, celery, grapes, and buttery pecans make the perfect lunch, brunch, or appetizer for Mother’s Day or any day. 

two chicken salad sandwiches on croissants

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: This versatile, flavor-packed chicken salad comes together quick and has the perfect texture and flavor you’re looking for, thanks to red grapes and toasted pecans in a tangy mayo and sour cream dressing.

Jenn here! We’re bringing back an old favorite from the Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook today, just in time for Mother’s Day. Not only are these creamy chicken salad sandwiches perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch, but the cookbook makes an ideal gift for mom!

(Mom doesn’t often brag about her cookbook, but I’m happy to brag for her. It’s been through several printings now and has a zillion 5-star reviews. We both still cook from it all the time. Read more about it here.)

overhead of an instant pot with diced chicken breast cooking inside

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Salad Sandwiches

This is a classic chicken salad recipe that’s easy to make your own with ingredient swaps and substitutions. 

  • For starters, you can omit the grapes. I love the pop of fresh flavor and texture they give the chicken salad, but you could also use dried cranberries for a similar effect. 
  • If you love the crunchy mix-ins, feel free to double the celery, grapes, scallions, and pecans. 
  • You can also skip the pecans to make the chicken salad nut-free or sub a different nut, like walnuts or pine nuts. 
overhead of a bowl with dressing for instant pot chickensalad

Toasting Pecans for Chicken Salad

Toasting the pecans helps them stay crisp in the chicken salad mix. It also gives the nuts a better flavor. I highly recommend taking the extra time.

To toast your pecans, you can use your oven. Some say to toast the nuts at 250°F for 5 to 10 minutes to make sure you avoid burning. Others say 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes. Do what works for you!

The key with toasting any kind of nut is to remove them from the oven just as they start to turn brown. The nuts will continue to toast from the residual heat, so it’s best to pull them early to prevent burning. 

overhead of a white bowl with chicken salad and grapes, pecans and croissant rolls

Serving Instant Pot Chicken Salad 

This is a perfect recipe for a light springtime lunch, including Mother’s Day.

If I’m serving this salad for an occasion, I love to dress the sandwiches up by using mini croissants. You can also use your favorite rolls or toast. 

You can also top a green salad with a scoop of chicken salad for a lighter take. 

After making this pressure cooker chicken salad, I recommend giving the ingredients several hours to chill. I often make the salad right after breakfast if I want to serve the sandwiches for dinner. 

💡 Tip: Don’t forget to hold the pecans until right before serving, otherwise they’ll turn soggy!

chicken salad sandwich on a plate in front of an instant pot pressure cooker

More Instant Pot Recipes for Mother’s Day Lunch

If you’re planning a menu to treat mom, add these other favorite springtime recipes to the list:

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two chicken salad sandwiches on croissants

Instant Pot Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Yield: 6 sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 19 minutes

Instant Pot Chicken Salad Sandwiches with grapes, pecans and a tangy sour cream-mayonnaise dressing are a classic lunch or dinner any time of year.


  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken base
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup quartered grapes
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 6 sandwich rolls or mini croissants, halved and toasted.


  1. In the pressure cooking pot, combine the diced chicken. water, and chicken base. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 4 minutes cook time. 
  2. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool and discard water.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the cooled chicken, celery, grapes, and green onions, and toss gently to combine.
  4. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Stir in the toasted pecans just before serving.
  5. Serve on toasted sandwich rolls or mini croissants. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 597mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 18g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.


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originally published April 27, 2021 — last updated October 4, 2021
Categories: Chicken