Chicken Salad in Puff Pastry Cups

Impress your guests with chicken salad in puff pastry cups. They’re easy to make ahead and a real crowd pleaser! They’re light yet satisfying and an ideal appetizer or main course for parties, showers and ladies luncheons. 

chicken salad in puff pastry cups on white serving tray.

I’m showing you how to make “homemade” puff pastry cups, plus a scrumptious chicken salad filling. Serve them as a finger food appetizer or make them larger for a main dish.

While you can buy pre-cut puff pastry shells at the grocery store, I find the minis to be too small, and the large ones to be too big for most occasions. Plus, they’re not always in stock when you need them.

It’s better to make your own puff pastry cups from scratch using frozen puff pastry sheets!

Why You’ll Love It

  • In a word, delicious! Add them to the menu at baby and bridal showers, or a bridesmaids luncheon
  • They’re easy to make ahead so hostess is stress-free. Perfect for cocktail parties.
  • It’s versatile. Use the shells for other fillings, or use the chicken salad in other vessels.
  • You can customize it. Make them larger to serve as a main dish for a ladies luncheon, or smaller to serve as an appetizer.
  • The pretty presentation is so appetizing.
chicken salad in puff pastry cups on white serving tray.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Puff pastry sheets: I typically use a package of Pepperidge Farms puff pastry sheets. There are 2 sheets per package. Let it thaw according to package directions before you unroll it to prevent cracking.
  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour to dust the surface when preparing the puff pastry sheets. This will prevent it from sticking to the worktop and rolling pin.

Sesame Chicken Salad

This is an Asian-style chicken salad that’s a guest favorite!

  • Premium canned chicken breast. Use a 10-oz can of high quality chicken breast meat. Look for the large cans in the grocery store, or use freshly cooked chicken breast and shred it yourself. Do not use small cans of chicken, as they tend to have poor quality and taste.
  • Mayonnaise. Use your favorite brand, either light or regular. I like to use Duke’s or Hellman’s. 
  • Honey. To add sweetness and balance to the Asian flavors.
  • Soy sauce. I always use reduced-sodium soy sauce to keep salt in check.
  • Sesame oil. This provides richness and depth to the flavorful filling. 
  • Ground Cayenne pepper. Feel free to adjust the amount depending on your preference.
  • Cilantro. Select fresh cilantro and chop finely.
  • Sesame seeds. To garnish if desired.


Use the cups as a vessel for any of these filling ideas.

How to Make Puff Pastry Cups

To make cleanup easy and to prevent sticking, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

rolling pin rolling over puff pastry.
Step 1: Roll out puff pastry
small glass cutting circles into pastry dough.
Step 2: Cut out large circles
  1. Thaw the pastry according to the package directions, then unfold it on a floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the pastry slightly in all directions, making it thinner and larger.
  2. Cut out large circles from the pastry using a cookie cutter or a glass rim.
small biscuit cutter cutting into pastry dough circles.
Step 3: Make indentions with small cutter
cooked puff pastry cups with middle scooped out.
Step 4: Remove center of puff pastry to create a cup
  1. Use a smaller cutter to press halfway into the center of each circle, creating an indentation. Place the circles on the prepared baking sheet and bake.
  2. Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly. You should see the indented circles on top of the pastry cups. Use a paring knife to cut and lift off the tops. Scoop out some of the pastry inside to form a hollow cup.

Chicken Salad Filling

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the filling, until well combined. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or over night.
  2. When you’re ready to serve, use a small scoop or spoon to add filling to pastry cups. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds, diced scallions or chopped herbs and enjoy!

PARTY TIP: For an even quicker and easier appetizer, use mini phyllo shells to hold the chicken salad.

chicken salad in puff pastry cups lined up on white platter, overhead.

Make Ahead & Storage

  • You can bake the puff pastries and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. 
  • Prepare the chicken salad and keep it covered in the fridge for up to three days. When you’re ready to serve, give it a good stir since liquid can settle to the bottom as it sits, and fill the puff pastries. 
  • Leftover chicken salad cups can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days, however the inside of the shells will start to get soggy over time.
  • The puff pastry shells can be frozen after baking. Transfer them to a freezer bag or storage container and freeze for up to three months. Thaw and reheat in the oven to freshen them up.

Expert Party Tips

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  • Make the chicken salad at least 2 hours ahead so the flavors have time to marry.
  • These pastry cups are the perfect size for an appetizer for girls night in or cocktail parties.
  • For a luncheon, I suggest making enough for 2 ½ pastry cups per person, as some people may have a bigger or smaller appetite.
  • Use a mini scoop to fill the cups. It’s a great size and so easy to use.
  • Sparkling wine or Riesling are excellent choices for wine pairing with this dish. To serve wine at a party, you should consider the following tips.
Do I need to cook puff pastry before adding the filling?

Yes, this will ensure that the pastry is crispy and prevent it from being soggy.

More Puff Pastry Recipes

If you love this chicken salad in puff pastry cups as much as I think you will, check out these other recipes using puff pastry.

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chicken salad in puff pastry cups on white serving tray.

Chicken Salad in Puff Pastry Cups

Yield: 12-16 pastry cups
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Easy and customizable puff pastry cups filled with a delicious sesame chicken salad. Perfect for appetizer parties, showers and ladies luncheons.


Puff Pastry Cups

  • 1 package puff pastry sheets (2 sheets)
  • flour
  • rolling pin
  • 1 larger, and 1 smaller biscuit cutters, or round glass

Sesame Chicken Salad

  • 1 (10-oz can) premium chicken breast meat, finely chopped; or use fresh cooked chicken breast shredded and chopped
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise, light or regular
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground Cayenne pepper
  • Fresh cilantro, finely chopped (about 1-2 Tablespoons to taste)


  • Sesame seeds, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro or parsley


Let the pastry thaw according to package directions, then unfold onto a floured surface.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Using a rolling pin, roll over pastry dough to smooth out seams and to stretch it slightly in all directions.

Cut out a larger circle (about 2 ½ inches diameter) from the dough, using a cookie or biscuit cutter, or the rim of a glass.

Using the smaller cutter (about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches diameter), press into the center of the dough circle about half way through, but DO NOT press all the way through.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.

Remove from the oven and let cool to touch. You should see the circle indentation on the top of the pastry cup.

Use a paring knife to help cut and lift off the top. Scoop out pastry filling to form a “cup.”

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine all chicken salad ingredients until well mixed. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or over night.

Use a mini scoop to fill pastry cups with chicken salad or other filling and serve.

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