Chicken-Salad Pitas

chicken salad on pita on a plate

Mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, and celery enliven chicken salad with bursts of wonderful color and flavor.


  • 3 stalks celery, 1 coarsely chopped and 2 thinly sliced

  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning

  • 2 (12 ounces total) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

  • 1 cup (from one 11-ounce can) canned mandarin orange segments

  • 8 (6- or 8-inch) pita breads

  • 8 lettuce leaves


  1. Bring 2 cups water, chopped celery, onion, carrot, thyme, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add chicken; cover and simmer until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a bowl; let cool, then shred with 2 forks. Discard contents of pan.

  2. Stir together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and mustard in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chicken, sliced celery, and almonds. Gently fold in orange segments.

  3. Cut 1 inch from top of each pita to open pocket. Fill each pita with 1 lettuce leaf and 1/2 cup chicken salad.

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