Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

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Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad is a sweet and savory recipe featuring dried cranberries, crunchy pecans, green onions and diced chicken in a flavorful dressing.

It's a quick and easy chicken salad to stuff in croissants, spread on a cracker, or scoop on top of mixed greens with fresh veggies. It goes great with other sides like Green Pea Salad and Egg Salad with Pickles!

scoop of cranberry pecan chicken salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots on a white plate.
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Why You'll Love It

  • Easy recipe: this simple recipe uses only 7 ingredients!
  • Great flavor: delicious taste from the flavor of sweet and tart cranberries
  • Quick dinner or lunch: great way to make a fast meal in only 10 minutes!
  • Perfect for parties: stuff in a lettuce wrap or serve as a dip with crunchy celery sticks
  • Versatile: make this favorite chicken salad recipe many different ways!

This cranberry pecan chicken salad recipe is a great way to toss a meal together in just 10 minutes!

There are only a few ingredients, and since the dried cranberries are ready to serve, it's a good meal prep option without a lot of work.

If you're looking for a chicken salad with almonds and grapes, try my Rotisserie Chicken Salad recipe. Or enjoy this Alabama White Sauce Chicken for a tangy barbecue dinner entree!

Cranberry pecan chicken salad stuffed into a flaky croissant.

Equipment

  • large mixing bowl
  • spoon
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife

Ingredients

There are only 7 simple ingredients in this easy salad recipe, and all of them can be found at your local grocery store. See recipe card for quantities.

  • cooked chicken - feel free to use rotisserie or pulled chicken to save time
  • dried cranberries - purchase sweetened dried cranberries for best flavor
  • chopped pecans - creates the perfect texture and taste
  • diced celery - a great way to add crunch to this salad
  • green onions - provides a savory twist
  • mayonnaise - use Duke's or Hellman's mayonnaise for best results
  • garlic salt - gives a hint of garlic which adds depth of flavor
ingredients needed to make cranberry pecan chicken salad.

Instructions

1 - CHOP cooked chicken breast, pecans, celery and green onions into small pieces and add to a large mixing bowl with dried cranberries.

celery, chicken, pecans, onions and cranberries in a white bowl.

2 - MIX all ingredients together well. Add mayonnaise and garlic salt.

mayonnaise added to chicken salad.

3 - STIR chicken mixture until well blended. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container until time to serve.

chicken salad mixed with mayonnaise.

Variations

If you can dream it up, it's probably a great addition to this cranberry chicken salad recipe! Try these variations...

  • leftover turkey - perfect way to use diced leftover turkey after the holidays
  • plain Greek yogurt or sour cream - lighten up the dressing with these choices
  • celery seed - a great option if you don't use fresh celery
  • sweet apples - fresh apples add even more crunch and sweetness
  • poppy seeds - a few poppy seeds create a unique taste and texture
  • lemon juice or apple cider vinegar - add a little if you like even more tang in the dressing
  • dried blueberries, pineapple or cherries - change dried fruits to go with the seasons
  • fresh herbs - add oregano, rosemary or thyme for a robust flavor
  • pickles - include spicy pickles, pickled onions, or refrigerated bread and butter pickles
  • pickled jalapeño - toss in a few jalapeños to spice it up a little!

What to Serve with Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

Here are a few ideas to get you started...

  • Lettuce Wrap - pack it into lettuce leaves and roll it into a tasty low-carb snack
  • Blue Plate Special - serve with other creamy salads as a cold plate for an easy lunch
  • Sandwich or Croissant - spread it on two slices of bread, or stuff inside mini croissants
  • Open Face on Toast - serve this recipe on toast with sliced avocado and sprouts on top
  • With Fruit or Veggies - include a bowl of fruit or veggies as delicious side items
  • As a Dip with Crackers or Celery Sticks - snack away with your favorite dippers!
bowl of chicken salad with crackers dipped into it.

Party Serving Ideas

During the holidays, enjoy chicken salad croissants with a cup of Non-Alcoholic Thanksgiving Punch, a glass of Easy Crockpot Wassail or Non-Alcoholic Christmas Punch.

For a great party spread, this chicken salad with cranberries and pecans is a terrific recipe for ladies' luncheons, a bridal brunch, a baby shower, or all types of holiday parties. It's versatile enough to wrap in butter lettuce leaves, spread on a sandwich, or serve in a flaky croissant.

You can also enjoy Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad as a cold plate alongside Egg Salad with Pickles, smoky Old Fashioned Ham Salad, and a big a scoop of Southern Tuna Salad. Provide plenty of crackers and veggies...then dig in!

Top Tips

  • If you want the most tender chicken, use a purchased rotisserie chicken and dice the white meat into small chunks.
  • Mix all of the ingredients together well before adding mayonnaise.
  • Chill for at least 1 hour before serving at an event. Add a little more mayonnaise right before serving to freshen.

Recipe FAQs

Is cranberry chicken salad healthy?

Since there's mayonnaise in this dish, it has a good amount of fat per serving. To make this recipe more healthy, substitute plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for half of the mayonnaise, or use a light mayo instead. You can also use reduced sugar dried cranberries if desired.

How can I make chicken more flavorful?

Roasting a whole chicken in a dutch oven with lemon and herbs will create a tender and flavorful chicken. Or, try purchasing a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store that has different spices injected inside.

Can chicken salad be made ahead?

Yes, you can make this recipe up to 2 days in advance. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator until time to serve. Stir in a little more mayo right before serving.

A scoop of cranberry pecan chicken salad on a bed of lettuce with fresh vegetables.

Storage and Freezing

Make Ahead up to 2 days in advance and keep in the refrigerator until time to serve.

Store Leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Freezing is not recommended since this recipe is made with mayonnaise.

More Salad Recipes

Looking for more salad recipes that make quick and easy meals when it's too hot to cook? Try these other dishes that are sure to please...

Recipe Card

A scoop of cranberry pecan chicken salad on a bed of lettuce with fresh vegetables.

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad is a sweet and savory recipe featuring dried cranberries, crunchy pecans, green onions and diced chicken in a flavorful dressing.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salads and Sides
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings8
Calories: 336kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast meat (diced)
  • ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • ½ cup celery (diced)
  • ½ cup pecans (chopped)
  • ¼ cup green onions (chopped)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I use Duke's)
  • teaspoon garlic salt

Instructions

  • CHOP cooked chicken breast, pecans, celery and green onions into small pieces and add to a large mixing bowl with dried cranberries.
    3 cups cooked chicken breast meat, ½ cup celery, ½ cup pecans, ¼ cup green onions, ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • MIX all ingredients together well. Add mayonnaise and garlic salt.
    1 cup mayonnaise, ⅛ teaspoon garlic salt
  • STIR chicken mixture until well blended. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container until time to serve.

Notes

  • Make Ahead up to 2 days in advance and keep in the refrigerator until time to serve.
  • Store Leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • Freezing is not recommended since this recipe is made with mayonnaise.
  • See Blog Post for tips and variations. 
  • View the Google Web Story for Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad!

Nutrition

Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 399mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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5 Comments

    1. Thanks so much Corinne! So glad you liked this chicken salad recipe with cranberries and pecans!

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