Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe

Hey friends, today we’re whipping up a super tasty and easy recipe with simple ingredients – a Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe! Imagine juicy chicken mixed with sweet cranberries, crunchy pecans, and creamy mayo – yum, right?

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad on a croissant

This salad is not just delicious but also a colorful, fun mix of some really awesome flavors and textures. It’s perfect for sandwiches, salads, or just to enjoy with a fork! Whether you’re a kitchen pro or a cooking newbie, this recipe is for everyone.

Spoon scooping up some Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe

The savory chicken, the sweet-tart cranberries, the crunch of celery, and the richness of pecans, all bound together by the creamy mayo. This really is one of the best chicken salad recipes that is versatile and is always a crowd-pleaser recipe.

Ingredients you’ll need. Measurements is recipe card at the bottom or post.

  • cooked chicken (shredded or diced) – Cooked chicken, whether shredded or diced, provides a hearty, protein-rich base for the salad.
  • dried cranberries – Dried cranberries add a tart sweetness element, providing a chewy texture and vibrant color.
  • crunchy celery – Celery adds a fresh, crisp texture and a slightly peppery, earthy flavor.
  • pecans – Chopped pecans add another layer of crunch and a depth of flavor that complements the sweetness of the cranberries.
  • shallot – Shallots offer a mild, slightly sweet onion flavor with a hint of garlic.
  • mayonnaise – Binds the ingredients together, providing a creamy consistency and enhancing the salad’s richness.
  • salt – It’s used to elevate the flavors of the ingredients and provide a balance to the sweetness of the cranberries and pecans.
  • pepper – adds a subtle spicy kick 

VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Swap out the chopped chicken breast for leftover or deli-sliced turkey for a Thanksgiving-inspired twist. Turkey and cranberries are a classic combo.
  • If you have nut allergies or prefer a nut-free option, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds can replace pecans, adding a delightful crunch without the allergen risk.
  • Experiment with different fruits like diced apple or grapes.
  • Instead of shallots, try sliced green onions or pickled red onions for a tangy and colorful twist.
Can I make this pecan cranberry chicken salad in advance?

This salad actually tastes better when it’s had some time to chill in the fridge, so making it in advance is a great idea. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

Can I use leftover Thanksgiving turkey for this recipe instead of leftover chicken?

Yes, leftover turkey works wonderfully in this recipe. It gives the salad a seasonal twist and pairs perfectly with cranberries.

Is there a way to make this salad healthier?

You can make this salad healthier by using a lighter mayonnaise or a mix of mayo and Greek yogurt.

Can I freeze this Cranberry Chicken Salad?

It’s not recommended to freeze this salad as mayonnaise-based dressings tend to break down and become watery when frozen and thawed.

What’s the best way to shred or dice the cooked chicken?

You can shred the cooked chicken easily with two forks or dice it into bite-sized pieces with a sharp knife. It’s all about personal preference and what texture you prefer in your salad.

Recipe Notes:

  • If you’re short on time, you can use store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken. 
  • Feel free to substitute dried cranberries with other dried fruits like raisins or apricots if you prefer a different flavor profile.
  • Pecans are a classic choice, but you can experiment with other nuts like walnuts or almonds for a different texture and flavor.
  • If you’re looking for a lighter option, you can use Greek yogurt or a combination of Greek yogurt and mayo. It’s a healthier twist without sacrificing creaminess.
  • Store any leftover cranberry chicken salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s great for enjoying over a couple of days, making it an excellent meal prep option.

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe

  1. *If you don’t have leftover cooked chicken, no worries! Simply cook some chicken breasts by seasoning them with a little salt and pepper and baking them at 350°F for about 25-30 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe Ingredients
  2. Once cooked, let the chicken cool, and dice it into bite-sized pieces.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked chicken, dried cranberries, diced celery, shallot and chopped crunchy pecans. ingredients for Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad ingredient in a bowl
  4. Add 3/4 cup of mayonnaise to the bowl and gently fold it into the mixture. You can adjust the amount of mayo to your preferred level of creaminess.ingredients mixed in a bowl
  5. Season your cranberry chicken salad with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, or to taste.Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe in a bowl
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate your cranberry chicken salad for at least an hour before serving. 
  7. Once it’s chilled, serve your Cranberry Chicken Salad as a sandwich filling, on a bed of greens, in a lettuce wrap or simply on its own for an easy lunch or light dinner. Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad on a roll

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Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad on a croissant

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe

This Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe has juicy chicken mixed with sweet cranberries, crunchy pecans, and creamy mayo – yum, right?

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chicken shredded or diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup pecans chopped
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • *If you don’t have leftover cooked chicken, no worries! Simply cook some chicken breasts by seasoning them with a little salt and pepper and baking them at 350°F for about 25-30 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

  • Once cooked, let the chicken cool, and dice it into bite-sized pieces.

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cooked chicken, dried cranberries, diced celery, shallot and chopped pecans.

  • Add 3/4 cup of mayonnaise to the bowl and gently fold it into the mixture. You can adjust the amount of mayo to your preferred level of creaminess.

  • Season your cranberry chicken salad with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, or to taste.

  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate your cranberry chicken salad for at least an hour before serving.

  • Once it’s chilled, serve your Cranberry Chicken Salad as a sandwich filling, on a bed of fresh greens, or simply on its own.

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Nutrition Information:

Calories: 285kcal (14%)Carbohydrates: 16g (5%)Protein: 15g (30%)Fat: 18g (28%)Saturated Fat: 3g (15%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 47mg (16%)Sodium: 794mg (33%)Potassium: 231mg (7%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 11g (12%)Vitamin A: 99IU (2%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 24mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Nutrition Disclaimer

Family Fresh Meals is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.



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