Caramelized Onion, Walnut, and Cilantro Chicken Salad Sandwiches

This creamy chicken salad recipe is served between slices of sourdough bread. Start with our slow cooker chicken to make this sandwich recipe a lunchtime masterpiece.

Caramelized Onion, Walnut, and Cilantro Chicken Salad
Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
16 mins
Slow Cook Time:
7 hrs
Total Time:
51 mins


  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion (1 large)

  • 2 cup Shredded Chicken Master Recipe (see recipe below)

  • ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

  • ¼ cup sliced green onion (2)

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • Salt and ground black pepper (optional)

  • 10 slices sourdough bread, toasted

  • 10 slices tomato

  • ¾ cup baby spinach leaves

  • Pimiento-stuffed green olives (optional)

Shredded Chicken Master Recipe

  • 4 ½ pound chicken thighs, skinned

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 4 parsley stems

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 cloves garlic, halved

  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 1 32 ounce box chicken broth


  1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion. Cook, covered, for 13 to 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover; cook and stir over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes more or until golden.

  2. In a large bowl, combine onion, chicken, walnuts, and green onion. Add mayonnaise, cilantro, and lime juice; toss to coat. If desired, season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. Place about 1/2 cup chicken salad on each of five bread slices. Top each with two slices tomato and some of the spinach. Top sandwiches with the remaining bread slices. If desired, secure each sandwich with a skewer and garnish with an olive. Makes 5 servings.

Shredded Chicken Master Recipe

  1. Place chicken thighs in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. For bouquet garni, cut an 8-inch square from a double thickness of 100 percent cotton cheesecloth. Place thyme, parsley, bay leaves, garlic, and peppercorns in the center of the cheesecloth. Bring up corners of the cheesecloth and tie with 100 percent cotton kitchen string. Add bouquet garni to slow cooker. Pour chicken broth over all. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Remove bouquet garni and discard. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a large bowl. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones. Using two forks, shred meat. Add enough of the cooking juices to moisten meat. Strain and reserve cooking juices to use for chicken stock. Place 2-cup portions of chicken and chicken stock in separate airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Makes 6 cups.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

518 Calories
32g Fat
36g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 5
Calories 518
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 555mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 11.8mg 59%
Calcium 60.6mg 5%
Iron 3.2mg 18%
Potassium 466mg 10%
Folate, total 116.9mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.2mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.4mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.