Cranberry Chicken Salad is a delicious filling salad that is easy to make as well. This creamy salad has a nice crunch from pecans and slight sweetness and tang from dried cranberries. Here is how to make its recipe.
There are days when you just want to prepare something that is easy, tasty, and wholesome.
There are many recipes that you can make, but high protein Salads are my go-to meals for such days, as they are filling and quick at the same time.
And when it comes to high protein salads, Chicken is my favorite ingredient.
Therefore I am sharing one such salad which is perfect with the sweetness of cranberries and crunch of toasted pecans.
Chicken Salad can be made in different ways, but I like the hint of sweetness in this one and therefore I often make it for my weekday meals.
This salad is one of those healthy salads that doesn’t need to be eaten warm, so you can also pack it for your office lunch, picnics, and potlucks.
Here’s how to make Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad, which can also be served as a quick snack in between your meals or whenever you are hungry.
What is Cranberry Chicken Salad?
It is a delicious combination of chicken, cranberries, pecans, celery, and onions.
To enhance the flavor of this chicken salad, a delicious dressing is used which is made of mayonnaise, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Easy and yum, right?
This tender, juicy and creamy Cranberry and Chicken Salad makes for a great light dinner as well as snacks.
This Deli Style Salad Recipe is
- Gluten Free
- Paleo Friendly
- Protein Rich
If you don’t have pecans, you can substitute them with walnuts or almonds.
You can use chicken cubes to make this salad or can even shred the chicken to use in this salad.
Well, if you want to make it more filling, even cooked quinoa is a great addition to this salad.
Kale, Pineapple or Strawberry can also be added if you want to experiment with the taste of this dish.
If you don’t want to use Mayonnaise, there are many substitutes available such as plain yogurt, greek yogurt, hummus, pesto, or even avocado.
You can add some sour cream along with mayonnaise to make the dressing lighter.
All these substitutes will give your salad a creamy texture, just like mayonnaise.
Can I use fresh cranberries in this salad?
Yes, you can use fresh cranberries in this salad. It adds a great freshness and tangy-sweet taste to this salad.
But if they are not in season, you can always use dried cranberries like I have used to make this recipe.
How to cook chicken for this salad?
Poached Chicken – To cook poached chicken for this salad, add chicken breast in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add required water to cover the chicken and season it with salt and pepper.
Switch on the heat and bring it to boil. Once it comes to boil, cover it and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat.
Once done, remove the chicken and shred it using a fork or cut it into small pieces to add in the salad.
Make sure you don’t overcook the chicken, as it will get chewy and will not taste great when added to salads.
Oven Roasted Chicken – Drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper over chicken breast. Bake at 350 degrees f for 30-40 minutes. Turn the breast midway once while baking.
Store-Bought Rotisserie Chicken – Get your favorite rotisserie chicken from the store and use it in this salad.
You can dice or shred the chicken to make this chicken salad recipe with dried cranberries.
Can you freeze this salad?
Chicken freezes well, but there are other ingredients such as Celery and Mayonnaise which is not recommended to freeze.
So freezing this salad is not recommended.
But there is good news!
If you have leftovers, you can store it in the fridge for about 5 days in an airtight container.
It can be made ahead of time and refrigerated if you want to make it beforehand.
If you still want to freeze it, avoid using these ingredients or you can add them whenever you want to serve it.
But I will recommend making this salad fresh, as it tastes the best.
However, make sure to refrigerate it for at least 2-3 hours before serving.
This healthy Cranberry Chicken Salad tastes great on its own and is a perfect light dinner for your gluten-free weekday meals.
You can also fill it in between your bread or croissant to make a high protein sandwich.
A Cranberry Chicken Wrap will also taste great, you just have to stuff it in your Tortillas and the filling will do its magic.
Stuff it inside lettuce to make lettuce wraps or cups.
Serve it on apple slices and it makes for a great appetizer or you can also fill this salad in between lettuce and make lettuce cups.
You can even serve it as a side dish along with a steak and some potato wedges.
Top some on crackers for a filling evening snack.
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Step by Step Recipe
Add cooked chicken, cranberries, celery, and onion in a bowl.
Add mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in another bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.
Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Sprinkle chopped pecan just before serving.
Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe
It is a delicious filling salad which is easy to make as well. This creamy salad has a nice crunch from pecans. Here is how to make it.
- 2 cups Cooked Chicken
- 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/4 cup Celery Chopped
- 1/4 cup Onion Sliced
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 cup Pecans Chopped
Mix cooked chicken, cranberries, celery and onion in a bowl.
Mix mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper in another bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.
Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
Sprinkle chopped pecan just before serving.
You can add apple, pineapple, strawberries etc in this salad.
Replace pecans with almonds or walnuts if you wish.
Make this salad healthy by replacing mayonnaise with greek yogurt.
Refrigerate the salad for at least 2-3 hours before serving for the flavors to come together.