Sweet cranberries, toasted pecans, Dijon mustard and Greek yogurt are the secret ingredients that make this Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad recipe a fall favorite! It’s perfect for special occasions, lunch or even dinner!
Chicken salad is one of my go-to lunches. It’s easy to make, incredibly flavorful and lasts for days. It’s also a good excuse to swing by the bakery and pick up some artisan bread or rolls! I whipped up another fall-inspired recipe and immediately fell in love. It’s got so much going on, every bite is as good as the last. My secret? Lots of texture from fruits, veggies and nuts, fresh parsley and a little bit of Dijon mustard & Greek yogurt.
We usually have a few chicken breasts in the freezer that we season and grill, but the other day we just happened to have a handful of pulled rotisserie chicken leftover from the night before. I made soup with a good portion of it, so I thought using the rest in this chicken salad would be perfect. Plus that meant lunch for the next three days would be taken care of!
How to Make Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad
In a large mixing bowl you’ll want to add the pulled chicken (or leftover turkey ).
Add in some dried cranberries, apples, celery and toasted nuts. If you’re feeling extra fancy you can use candied pecans! <- They really make this salad amazing!!
If you plan on eating the chicken salad within a few hours go ahead and toss the nuts in, but if you’re saving it for later, I’d suggest leaving them out so they don’t get soggy.
Then, mince up some fresh parsley and combine that with some onion powder, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard and a combo of Greek yogurt and light mayonnaise.
P.S. I find that using a little plain Greek yogurt helps lighten things up and adds even more protein to this salad. I like to add a little extra to keep things moist (plus it’s Greek yogurt, so it’s healthy right?), but you can add as much or as little as you like.
Instead of full-fat mayo I prefer light or mayonnaise made with olive oil. Of course if you prefer homemade you can definitely use that too.
Whisk together the creamy base and pour it into the mixing bowl with all of the prepped ingredients. Toss it, chill it and then serve it nice and cold!
Serve it piled high on croissants, challah, multigrain rolls, or roll it up in tortillas and make a wraps! This cranberry pecan chicken salad is perfect for fall and tastes great with leftover Thanksgiving turkey too!
Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe
- 3 cup cooked chicken breast - OR rotisserie chicken, pulled*
- 2 celery stalks - cut down the middle and sliced
- 3 tbsp red onion - minced
- 1/2 apple - chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries - chopped
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt - OR light sour cream, (more or less depending on personal preference)
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp fresh parsley - minced
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup pecans - toasted or candied, chopped
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, celery, red onion, apple and cranberries.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt (or sour cream), mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, onion powder, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the bowl and toss to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then fold in the nuts before serving.