Cranberry And Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe

It's always a good idea to have some chicken salad on hand. Not only does it make a fast and filling lunch between slices of bread, it is also a great snack when piled onto crackers. It's easy to make, too, and can be stored for up to five days, making it a good option for quick meal prep. A classic chicken salad typically includes celery, red onion, and plenty of mayo. Some might include grapes for a touch of sweetness, while others have almonds for extra crunch. 

This chicken salad recipe written with developer Michelle McGlinn utilizes tart dried cranberries and nutty pecans for a wintery spin on the classic. Dried cranberries aren't as bitter as they are fresh, and instead add a subtle sweetness to the chicken salad that works well with the salty, crunchy pecans. The best part of this recipe is that it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, thanks to a finely shredded rotisserie chicken. Lunch (or dinner) in less than 10 minutes? Yes please.

Gather the ingredients for cranberry and pecan chicken salad

To bring this chicken salad together, you'll need rotisserie chicken, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, celery, scallions, salt, pepper, dried cranberries, and pecans. Look for pecans that are toasted and salted for a better, deeper flavor, and be sure to grab the raisiny, wrinkled dried cranberries to avoid an overly tart (and alarmingly red) chicken salad.

Step 1: Add ingredients to a bowl

Add all ingredients to a large bowl.

Step 2: Combine

Mix thoroughly until well combined.

Step 3: Season and serve

Season with extra salt and pepper as desired, then serve.

What can I use in chicken salad if I don't have rotisserie chicken?

Rotisserie chicken is a great thing to have on hand if you value convenience — it can be pulled apart and used for sandwiches, salads, soups, and stir fries, and you can even use the bones to make stock afterwards. This saves you some time during dinner prep, offering a shortcut that saves you from cooking any chicken. For a similar shortcut, you can also buy pre-cooked chicken strips and cut them into small pieces to use for chicken salad.

Premade chicken, while convenient, isn't the only option for this chicken salad. For that similar juicy texture, we love roasting a whole fryer chicken, then using the breast meat for chicken salad and saving the rest for other recipes like chicken noodle soup. You can also make a quicker homemade version by browning cubed chicken breasts in a skillet or boiling until easily shreddable.

What can I serve with cranberry pecan chicken salad?

Our favorite way to enjoy chicken salad is piled onto crackers, especially during the holidays when appetizers are on the mind. This chicken salad works well on plain water crackers, but is especially delicious on crackers that have dried fig, cranberry, or grape and a hint of seeds or nuts. The texture and subtle sweetness works well with the creamy cranberry chicken salad. You can also serve this chicken salad as a sandwich between slices of bread or spooned into an open croissant. 

If you're serving this as part of an appetizer spread, pair it with similarly sweet-but-rich snacks like stuffed dates, caramelized onion dip, and goat cheese pinwheels. If serving chicken salad as a sandwich for lunch, pair with crispy homemade potato chips (great for scooping extra chicken salad with), or make it a soup-and-salad combo and pair with a creamy autumnal soup like butternut squash or roasted garlic.

Cranberry And Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
Liven up your chicken salad with rotisserie chicken, dried cranberries, and crunchy pecans.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chicken salad in a bowl
Total time: 10 minutes
  • 1 pound shredded rotisserie chicken
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 3 chopped scallions
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly until well combined.
  3. Season with extra salt and pepper as desired, then serve.
Calories per Serving 531
Total Fat 44.6 g
Saturated Fat 8.7 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 96.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Total Sugars 8.0 g
Sodium 434.3 mg
Protein 22.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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