We make this almost every week in the spring, eating it on sandwiches or on top of salad greens. It’s fresh-tasting with a little sweetness…delicious.
Table of contents
❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe
- Quick and easy to make. Prepping the chicken is the hardest part, but if you can boil water, you can poach chicken!
- The perfect balance of sweetness and crunch. Red onion, celery, pecans, and cranberries might seem like an odd combo, but they are perfection in this recipe.
- Makes a great lunch or snack option. Lots of protein makes this a great way to fuel a busy day, whether it’s served on its own, in sandwiches/wraps, or atop salad greens.
This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this yummy, make-ahead lunch
- cooked, chopped, plain chicken
- mayonnaise (we use full fat, but light works fine too)
- red onion
- black pepper
- dried cranberries (like Craisins)
- chopped pecans
Step One: prep chicken
If you’re poaching your chicken, it’s fine to do it immediately before making the salad. It will cool down quickly once you chop it.
Get a bowl. Put all of the ingredients inside it. Stir them together until they are mixed. Pretty simple!
Step three: cool
Refrigerate for two hours to allow the flavors to mix. Serve on its own or as part of a sandwich.
🥫 Storage instructions
Store any leftovers in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to five days.
This does not freeze well.
Poaching! This is super easy. You’ll be cooking the chicken in a few inches of water. Simmer until cooked through, about 20 minutes on the stovetop or 9 minutes in a pressure cooker. It will not brown but will cook through to be soft and plain. Gross for eating plain, but perfect for this recipe.
You can try other nuts, or try raisins instead of cranberries. You can also add herbs like dill or parsley if you’d like.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- Use plain, cooked chicken for the best flavor and texture.
- Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow flavors to mix together.
- If you’re serving this at a party, garnish the top with chopped parsley and extra cranberries and pecans.
📘 Related Recipes
🍽 Serve it with
- Homemade chicken salad on homemade bread? A gold star for you! This honey wheat sandwich bread is just the thing.
- Cucumber onion salad is another light, refreshing dish.
- Any spring party is better with some beautiful blackberry lemonade
- And an easy, fluffy pink lemonade cake is the perfect finish.
📖 Here’s the recipe
Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad
- Large mixing bowl
- 2 cups cooked chicken chopped
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- ¼ cup red onion minced
- ¾ tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- Mix. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Cool. Chill 2 hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve plain or in sandwiches.