This cranberry pecan chicken salad is full of flavor and crunch topped with a homemade dressing that is creamy and delicious! Perfect for a salad, sandwich or lettuce wrap it is a versatile and tasty dish!
This is our favorite chicken salad recipe to make on a busy week night or to serve at parties and gatherings. It is a terrific recipe for entertaining or feeding your family!
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Why we love this recipe-
It is full of flavor and texture– This amazing cranberry pecan chicken salad recipe isn’t a basic boring chicken salad. It starts with tender chicken and then crunchy pecans, sweet dried cranberries, green onions, crunchy celery and fresh apples are added! The whole thing is coated with a creamy sweet and tart dressing that is as easy as it is tasty. The sweet and savory flavors of this cranberry chicken salad blend together beautifully!
It is versatile! Serve this chicken salad on a bed of lettuce, in tortilla wraps, on a sandwich bun or croissant, sandwich bread, or even with a variety of crackers! It is an easy lunch a quick dinner, and a great make ahead meal for a delicious meal prep option or to have on hand for busy weeks. It is also an amazing recipe to add to a holiday luncheon buffet or holiday party, it is great for a party like a bridal or baby shower! Basically it is the best festive dish recipe for any occasion!
It is easy! This easy recipe comes together with simple ingredients are easy to find in any grocery store and that everyone loves. To make it super easy you can use leftover chicken, or a rotisserie chicken so that you don’t even have to cook! You can use chicken breast or a whole chicken, whatever you prefer!
FAQ & TIPS
Make sure your chicken is cooled-
I love using leftover chicken for this recipe or cooking extra ahead of time but you can also cook your chicken before making this recipe. If you’re cooking your chicken before making this salad for best results make sure to let the chicken cool completely before assembling the salad. If your chicken is warm it may soften the veggies.
Season your chicken-
If you are starting with raw chicken and cooking it for this recipe make sure to season it well. I like to keep it simple and season it with a little salt, and pepper and some garlic powder. You want the chicken to be delicious as a base for this great recipe!
Use leftover turkey instead of chicken– this recipe is a great way to use up leftovers from holiday meals
Use your favorite apple– I like to use granny smith apples for this recipe but you can use your favorite. If you want to use sweet apples you can or you can go for a more tart apple.
Use other nuts– If you don’t like pecans you can swap out the nuts in this recipe. Chopped walnuts are a great option and so are slivered almonds.
Swap out the vinegar- Don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand (or don’t love it?) You can use lemon juice instead!
Use pre-made dressing– This homemade dressing is easy but if you prefer bottled dressing you can use it in this recipe. A great choice is poppy seed dressing or coleslaw dressing. They both have the sweet and tart elements that taste amazing in this salad.
Here’s what you’ll need for this chicken salad
3 Cups Chopped Cooked Chicken
¾ Cup Dried Cranberries
½ Cup Chopped Pecans
½ Medium Size Granny Smith Apple
3-4 Green Onions
2 Stalks Celery
½ Cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Here’s how to make this chicken salad-
Finely dice celery. Peel apples if desired, and finely chop. Finely slice green onions including the white and about half of the green part.
Place the cooked chicken in a large bowl.
Add in cranberries and chopped pecans, chopped veggies and apples.
Toss together to mix well.
Place mayonnaise in a medium mixing bowl and add in apple cider vinegar. Whisk until well blended.
Add in honey and continue whisking until blended.
Pour dressing mixture over the chicken mixture and stir to evenly coat.
Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.
Serve on sandwiches with your favorite rolls, or on a bed of greens .
Store any leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container.
- 3 Cups Chopped Cooked Chicken
- ¾ Cup Dried Cranberries
- ½ Cup Chopped Pecans
- ½ Medium Size Granny Smith Apple
- 3-4 Green Onions
- 2 Stalks Celery
- ½ Cup Mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- Finely dice celery. Peel apples if desired, and finely chop. Finely slice green onions including the white and about half of the green part.
- Place the cooked chicken in a large bowl.
- Add in cranberries and chopped pecans, chopped veggies and apples.
- Toss together to mix well.
- Place mayonnaise in a medium mixing bowl and add in apple cider vinegar. Whisk until well blended.
- Add in honey and continue whisking until blended.
- Pour dressing mixture over the chicken mixture and stir to evenly coat.
- Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.
- Serve on sandwiches with your favorite rolls, or on a bed of greens .
- Store any leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container.