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Pecan Cranberry Chicken Salad

Cranberry pecan chicken salad on lettuce.

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5 from 1 review

This bright and tangy cranberry chicken salad with pecans is easy and full of crunch. Use baked, grilled, poached, or rotisserie chicken.

Ingredients

Units Scale

Toasted pecans

  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Other salad ingredients

  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast, diced or shredded*
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced

Instructions

  1. First, toast the pecans: Toast the pecan pieces in a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until they’re fragrant. This will only take about 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. Then, pour pecan pieces on a plate and wait for them to cool to room temperature.  
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: Add all the dressing ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until a creamy dressing forms.
  3. Make the cranberry chicken salad: Add the cooked chicken, cranberries, diced celery, and toasted pecans to the bowl of dressing. Stir to combine and coat all the ingredients.

Notes

What kind of chicken to use: The chicken to use in this cranberry chicken salad is very versatile. You can use shredded rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken breast for a quick and easy salad. If you want to make it using freshly cooked chicken breast, you can poach, bake, slow cook, or grill chicken.

How to store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-5 days. 

Variations: 

  • Use other nuts: This salad is good with chopped walnuts or sliced almonds. Toast them the same way you would pecans.
  • Make it dairy-free: I love the tanginess that using half-sour cream adds to this salad. If you’re avoiding dairy, you can use more mayo instead of the sour cream.
  • Make turkey cranberry salad: Looking for a way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey? The cranberries and pecans in this salad also go well with leftover turkey! Make this cranberry pecan salad with turkey instead of chicken!

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