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Chicken salad finger sandwiches are two-bite-sized savory sandwiches that are as easy to make as they are elegant, so don’t wait for afternoon tea to make them! Also, if you struggle with soggy sandwiches, read on for tips to prevent that.

fancy finger sandwiches for afternoon tea on red and white flowered plate

Whether you’re planning an afternoon tea party, special occasion brunch, Mother’s Day luncheon, or just want a fun way to enjoy chicken salad, these finger sandwiches are perfect.

What Are Finger Sandwiches?

Finger sandwiches (or tea sandwiches) are dainty two or three-bite sandwiches traditionally served with English afternoon tea. They’re usually not meant as a full meal, more so as a snack to keep you going until the main meal later.

Ingredients

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

chicken salad finger sandwich ingredients
  • Chicken salad – I like to use my favorite curried chicken salad recipe, also called coronation chicken salad! (It’s the perfect balance of savory, salty, and sweet! And if it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s good enough for me, lol.) For the best tea sandwiches, use your personal favorite chicken salad recipe. Or if you’re pressed for time, go with store-bought!
  • Unsalted butter – We butter the bread on the insides of the sandwich. This not only adds flavor, but more importantly, acts as a moisture barrier to help prevent the bread from getting soggy.
  • Bread – Any type of bread will work here, so feel free to use whatever you like. Thinly sliced soft white bread results in classic-looking dainty finger sandwiches. Here I used a rustic farmhouse-style hearty white bread. Just make sure to trim off the crusts (you can save them for breadcrumbs or croutons, or make bread crumb salad).

Instructions

  1. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter on 1 side of each slice of bread.
  2. Spread 1/4 to 1/3 cup chicken salad on top of the butter on 4 slices of bread.
  3. Put the remaining buttered bread slices (butter-side-down) on top of the chicken salad to form sandwiches.
  4. Trim off the crusts, and cut the sandwiches into rectangles or diamonds. You want each finger sandwich to be 2 to 3-bites; depending on the size of your bread, you should get 2 to 4 finger sandwiches from each regular sandwich.
top view of chicken salad finger sandwiches on english china plates with tea cup

What Kind of Chicken Salad Works Well For Tea Sandwiches?

Go for a cold chicken salad. It should have a creamy dressing and tons of flavor. If you like a bit of texture, crunchy nuts, crispy chopped fresh fruit, or chewy dried fruit are all good options.

Creamy Chicken Salads That Work Well For Finger Sandwiches

Storage

You can store these tea sandwiches layered between pieces of parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Chef’s Tips

  • If curry isn’t your thing, you can use any type of creamy chicken salad to make sandwiches. Just make sure your chicken salad is packed with flavor and texture because it’s the star of the show!
  • If you make your own chicken salad, it’s helpful to shred the chicken instead of dicing or chopping it. This is because shredded chicken is a lot neater to eat as finger sandwiches. (I diced the chicken here, so this definitely is a do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do situation, lol!)
  • Resist the urge to over-stuff these sandwiches. We’re going for a dainty sandwich that’s easy to pick up and bite without the filling spilling out. For regular-sized sandwich bread, I only use about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of chicken salad to make a sandwich that will be cut into finger sandwiches.
  • Don’t get creative and add other things. Things like lettuce and tomato are great in other sandwiches, but not here, friends. With finger sandwiches, it’s best to keep it simple so they’re not messy. Otherwise you run the risk of the fillings slipping out when you pick the sandwich up or go to bite it; and that’s just not proper afternoon tea etiquette, lol!
chicken salad finger sandwiches on flowered english plate with cup of tea in background

Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches FAQs

How Do You Keep Chicken Salad Sandwiches From Getting Soggy?


In general, it’s best to make sandwiches as close to eating them as possible to avoid the bread getting soggy. But I do have a few tricks to help avoid soggy sandwiches when you have to make them in advance! If you follow these tips, your sandwiches should keep well for up to four days in the fridge.

The first trick is to spread a thin layer of unsalted room temperature butter on the inside of each piece of bread before making the sandwiches. Butter acts like a barrier and repels moisture from the bread. As a bonus, it adds a bit of rich flavor! (And if butter isn’t your thing, you could use a thin layer of mayo or cream cheese instead.)

Additionally, make sure that you’re not using a watery chicken salad. If your salad looks like it’s on the watery side, I recommend straining it in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl to catch the liquid for about 20 minutes. Also, don’t add watery ingredients (such as tomatoes).

Lastly, the final tip is to store the sandwiches in an airtight container layered between pieces of parchment paper.

How Many Finger Sandwiches Per Person?


If you’re serving finger sandwiches as an appetizer or as part of an afternoon tea spread, two per person is good. On the other hand, if you’re serving finger sandwiches as the main course for lunch, you’ll need about four per person.

close up top view of chicken salad finger sandwiches

What Goes with Chicken Salad Sandwiches?

That depends on how you want to serve them!

To Serve Them As Part of Afternoon Tea

Start with scones, which typically includes clotted cream and assorted jams.

After the scone service, you’ll serve an assortment of finger sandwiches.

Last but not least comes the mini desserts as a sweet ending.

And don’t forget to serve a variety of tea options throughout the entire meal.

To Serve Them As A Main Dish

On the other hand, if you’re serving the sandwiches on their own for lunch or a light dinner, go with any of the usual sandwich side dishes. Some good options include:

Desserts to Serve with Finger Sandwiches

the best curried chicken salad sandwiches with mango chutney

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Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches Recipe

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Chicken salad finger sandwiches are two-bite-sized savory sandwiches that are as easy to make as they are elegant, so don’t wait for afternoon tea to make them!

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Ingredients
 

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 slices rustic white bread or any kind of bread you like
  • 1 1/3 cups curried chicken salad or your favorite creamy chicken salad (see Notes)

Instructions
 

  • Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter on 1 side of each slice of bread.
  • Spread 1/4 to 1/3 cup chicken salad on top of the butter on 4 slices of bread.
  • Put the remaining buttered bread slices (butter-side-down) on top of the chicken salad to form sandwiches.
  • Trim off the crusts, and cut the sandwiches into rectangles or diamonds. You want each finger sandwich to be 2 to 3-bites; depending on the size of your bread, you should get 2 to 4 finger sandwiches from each regular sandwich.

Notes

  • Storage: You can store chicken salad tea sandwiches layered between pieces of parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Serving Size: If you’re serving finger sandwiches as an appetizer or as part of an afternoon tea spread, two per person is good. On the other hand, if you’re serving finger sandwiches as the main course for lunch, you’ll need about four per person.
  • Filling the Sandwiches: You might need a bit more or less chicken salad filling depending on the size of your bread.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25of recipe | Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 518mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 492IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Appetizer, Lunch
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches, Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches, Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Curried Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches, Curried Chicken Sandwiches

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best curried chicken salad sandwiches recipe pin
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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