Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad is an easy recipe. Loaded with pieces of tender chicken, cranberries, crunchy pecans, and sweet apples. It’s great as a sandwich, as a salad, on crackers, and fantastic for parties and potlucks.
Chicken, cranberry and pecan salad is such a simple recipe, yet the flavor and textures are amazing.
The addition of celery and pecans makes for a lovely crunch and flavor combined with the creamy chicken.
This is a great salad recipe to serve as a main meal or to have as party food, or appetizers, perhaps with lettuce wraps, crackers, sandwich bread... the list is endless!
This is always a popular dish at pot lucks and parties, and of course, not forgetting the holiday times, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, when you could also use up some left over turkey. How flexible!
For this easy Chicken Salad, I've added some lovely dried cranberries to add another texture dimension, and of course, we know cranberries are really good for you too!
For the chicken, I have used chicken legs, simply roasted them in the oven with a Piri Piri marinade.
You can, of course, buy ready roasted chicken, or indeed roast chicken yourself with your favorite marinade to add an extra flavor to your salad.
We've found a lovely recipe to make your own Rotisserie chicken if you'd like to do that. It's delicious!
For this recipe, I've used regular pecan nuts. However, I've also thrown in a few of our very own Maple Roasted Pecan Nuts which I had leftover from a Christmas baking session.
Try them too! They're really delicious!
The recipe is incredibly flexible, so feel free to add or omit some items, and also, depending on your budget and how many people you're feeding, you could bulk it out by adding some extra cucumber, cooked pasta etc.
You just make it exactly how you like it most! So please enjoy our Chicken Pecan and Cranberry Salad!
Recipe inspired from Sally's delicious Tasty Chicken Salad.
Ingredients you'll need
- Cooked chicken - any cooked chicken you like. We've used chicken legs and thighs for this recipe as they are sweeter and juicier than breast meat.
- Pecan Nuts - we used regular pecan nuts
- Dried Cranberries - You can also add some raisins, sultanas or chopped dates. It adds a chewy texture and some sweetness.
- Celery - I'm not a fan of celery, however, when it's combined in this salad, I really like it. So if you're not a fan of it either, just try a little and you might be surprised!
- Cucumber - This adds a lovely crisp crunch to the salad and the mayo clings to the cucumber so you get some really lovely flavors in every bite.
- Mayonnaise - we've used a light mayo
- Apple - Granny Smith apples add a little sharpness, but you can use what you have in your pantry already if you prefer.
- Cilantro or coriander and Scallions - these will add a light, refreshing taste to the salad. Be careful not to add too much cilantro as it may overpower the salad. Taste as you go along!
So with all the ingredients combined, this really does make for a wonderful tasting salad, and it's so easy to prepare too.
See the recipe card below for quantities.
To accompany this salad, you can serve this with some lovely warm Aloha Bread Rolls, fresh from the oven, so good!
How To Make Chicken Party Salad
1. Prepare the ingredients by shredding the cooked chicken, and finely chop the onion, scallions, celery, and pecans etc.
For the apple, chop and place in a small bowl, squeeze the lemon juice over and mix so the juice is coating the apple. This will stop the apple from browning and also adds a nice taste to the salad.
2. Add everything to a mixing bowl and combine.
You may need a little more or less mayo, depending on how creamy you like it.
Season with salt and pepper.
3. Refrigerate, preferably overnight so the flavors can develop.
Serve as it is, on sandwich bread, crackers, pitas, and lettuce wraps, the sky's the limit!
Can Chicken Salad be made ahead?
This salad will keep at its best for 3 days if you need to make it ahead.
Make sure it is covered and kept refrigerated. When ready to serve, just give it a stir as some of the liquids may have separated a little.
We'd love to hear from you and what you thought of our chicken salad recipe. Did you make any changes or add some other goodies? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!
- 4 Cooked Chicken Breasts. or 3 Chicken legs
- 1 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 3 Scallions
- 6 Sticks Celery
- 6 Tablespoons Light Mayo
- 1 Cup Pecans
- 1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and diced.
- ½ Cucumber, Diced.
- Squeeze of Lemon Juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Small bunch Fresh Cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Prepare the ingredients by shredding the cooked chicken, and finely chopping the onion, scallions, celery and pecans etc. For the apple, chop and place in a small bowl, squeeze the lemon juice over and mix so the juice is coating the apple. This will stop the apple from browning and also adds a nice taste to the salad.
- Add everything to a mixing bowl and combine. You may need a little more or less mayo, depending on how creamy you like it. Season with salt and pepper.
- Refrigerate, preferably overnight so the flavours can develop.
- Serve as it is, on sandwich bread, crackers, pitas, lettuce wraps, the sky's the limit!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 471Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 176mgSodium: 297mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gSugar: 18gProtein: 44g