Cranberry Chicken Salad

4 cups
20 min

Cranberry Chicken Salad is the perfect way to use up leftover rotisserie or roasted chicken. It’s creamy, slightly sweet, and has a satisfying crunch.

This twist on a classic chicken salad is chunky and full of flavor. Whether you serve it over greens or as a sandwich filling, you’re going to love how quick and easy this recipe is to make. You’ll also love that it’s made healthier by swapping out much of the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt. Trust me, it totally works.


I made this a wintery version of chicken salad by using dried cranberries, pecans, and thyme. BUT, you can definitely brighten it up for the summer months by subbing in chopped apples or grapes. You can also use any fresh herbs you like such as: dill, parsley, or basil.


However you decide to make it, this chicken salad is perfect for lunch or a snack. Heck, you can even eat it straight out of the bowl with a spoon.

FAQS:

How do I store extra chicken salad?Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Freezing is not recommended.

What seasonings go in chicken salad?You definitely need a bit of salt and pepper. Beyond that, you’re only limited by the flavor profiles you like. Add in any variety of fresh or dried herbs that you enjoy.

Can I use canned chicken to make chicken salad?While I believe using fresh or leftover chicken will provide a better taste and texture, in a pinch, you can substitute canned chicken. Do make sure to drain the chicken well before using.


HEALTHIER CHICKEN SALAD INGREDIENTS:

You will need these ingredients ⇧
  • Chicken: Use leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken to save time. Or, you can bake or poach two chicken breasts.
  • Celery: Adds a great crunch to the salad.
  • Dried cranberries: Adds a little sweetness to the salad.
  • Greek yogurt: It cuts back on the calories while still keeping the dressing nice and creamy.
  • Mayonnaise: I like to use avocado mayo.
  • Red wine vinegar: Adds acid to brighten up the recipe.


HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN SALAD:

Note: If you’re not using leftover chicken, you’ll need to cook about 2 chicken breasts ahead of time. You can poach, bake, or slow cook the breasts.


  • Begin by chopping or shredding the chicken depending on the texture you like for your chicken salad. I happen to like a chunkier salad, but feel free to chop yours smaller if you want a smoother texture.
  • Next, chop the onion, celery, and pecans.
  • Add the chicken, celery, onion, pecans, and cranberries to a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme. Taste for seasoning adjustments.
  • Pour the dressing over the dry ingredients, and gently fold together. Refrigerate until ready to serve—a minimum of a few hours is best.
Add chopped ingredients to a large bowl.
Whisk together dressing.
Fold dressing into the chopped ingredients.
Enjoy!

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

  • Serve as a sandwich or wrap.
  • Try serving in a lettuce wrap as a low-carb option.
  • Spread on crackers or crostini for a delicious snack or appetizer.
  • Use the chicken salad as a salad topper.
  • Explore all the salad recipes from Inspired Fresh Life.


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INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Chicken: Turkey
  • Celery: Chopped water chestnuts
  • Dried cranberries: Chopped apples or grapes
  • Red onion: Any onion you like
  • Pecans: Chopped walnuts, almonds, or pine nuts
  • Greek yogurt: Sour cream or extra mayonnaise
  • Apple cider vinegar: Lemon juice, red wine or white wine vinegar
  • Dried thyme: Any dried or fresh herbs


RECIPE NOTES:

  • Make it Whole30 approved: Omit the Greek yogurt and sub in extra approved mayo or avocado.
  • Make it vegetarian: Substitute chopped chickpeas for the chicken.
  • These stainless steel bowls nest inside each other for easy storage.
  • Avocado mayonnaise tastes great and has no added sugar.
  • Pink Himalayan salt is lower in sodium than regular table salt and contains more minerals.


Did you make this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card and/or a review in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Are you following along on Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook?


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Recipe details

  • 4  cups
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 0 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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Ingredients


  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions


Begin by chopping or shredding the chicken depending on the texture you like for your chicken salad.
Next, chop the onion, celery, and pecans.
Add the chicken, celery, onion, pecans, and cranberries to a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme. Taste for seasoning adjustments.
Pour the dressing over the dry ingredients, and gently fold together. Refrigerate until ready to serve—a minimum of a few hours is best.

Tips

  • If you’re not using leftover chicken, you’ll need to cook about 2 chicken breasts ahead of time. You can poach, bake, or slow cook the breasts.
  • Make it Whole30 approved: Omit the Greek yogurt and sub in extra approved mayo or avocado.
  • Make it vegetarian: Substitute chopped chickpeas for the chicken.
  • INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS:
  • Chicken: Turkey
  • Celery: Chopped water chestnuts
  • Dried cranberries: Chopped apples or grapes
  • Red onion: Any onion you like
  • Pecans: Chopped walnuts, almonds, or pine nuts
  • Greek yogurt: Sour cream or extra mayonnaise
  • Apple cider vinegar: Lemon juice, red wine or white wine vinegar
  • Dried thyme: Any dried or fresh herbs

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Comments

  • Anne Anne on Dec 16, 2021

    What is pink Himalayan salt

    • Inspired Fresh Life Inspired Fresh Life on Dec 16, 2021

      It' a variety of salt that has more minerals in it, and your body aborbs less of the sodium from it. You can substitute whatever salt you have on hand to taste.

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