Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

This Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe makes a quick Thanksgiving-inspired lunch in just 10 minutes. Pack it into a sandwich made with this semolina bread or pita pockets, or go light with just a bit of lettuce.

Making chicken salad with pecans and dried cranberries is the perfect way to use up leftovers from these juicy cast iron chicken breasts or Dutch oven pulled chicken. Of course no one will fault you if you cook chicken specifically to make this recipe!

a plate of cranberry chicken salad surrounded by celery, cranberries, pecans, and chicken.
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Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Quick and easy.
  • Great way to use up leftover cooked chicken.
  • Will remind you of Thanksgiving dinner!


a cutting board with cubed cooked chicken, chopped dried cranberries, walnuts, and celery.


Tip from the wise quacker: the easiest way to toast nuts is to put them in a small pan in a hot oven for five minutes or so until they start to smell “toasty.” You can also toast them on the stove top, but be careful they don’t burn.

Variations and substitutions

  • Sub in walnuts for a cranberry walnut chicken salad, or use chopped almonds, hazelnuts, or pine nuts.
  • Sub dehydrated cherry tomatoes for the cranberries.
  • Take your chicken salad to the Mediterranean and mix chopped chicken with olives, capers, pine nuts for crunch, and a bit of lemon juice.
  • Make a “Chinese” chicken salad with thinly sliced cabbage and carrots and some slivered almonds.

Recipe tips and tricks

Making the cranberry chicken salad

This cranberry chicken salad recipe is incredibly easy to make. Simply chop your chicken into cubes of the size you prefer. Add in the cranberries, pecans, and celery. Stir together with mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Serve.

How to serve chicken salad

Serve this chicken salad with cranberries and pecans as a sandwich with a challah roll or one of these sandwich breads spread with a jalapeño cranberry sauce or cranberry sauce made from dried cranberries. Or reduce calories with a pita pocket or wrap or even plain over lettuce. Serve with:

a plate with cranberry chicken salad, pita, and half of a plum.

Recipe FAQs

What could I substitute for the dried cranberries?

You can also make chicken salad with grapes or apples. There’s no need to peel them. Just chop the fruit into small pieces.

How do your store nuts?

Nuts and nut oils can go rancid over time. Although nuts can be stored at a cool room temperature for a month or two, they will last up to a year if stored in the refrigerator and even longer in the freezer.

How long can I keep chicken salad?

The USDA says that you should keep cooked chicken in the refrigerator for no more than three or four days.

Can I freeze chicken salad?

Once the chicken salad has been combined, it shouldn’t be frozen. If you want to save this recipe for later, you can freeze the cooked chicken breast for several months.

a bowl of cranberry chicken salad.

Check out the best chicken recipes from the Ugly Duckling Bakery archives like:

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.


Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

5 from 1 vote
Category: Main Course
Cuisine: Unspecified
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 320kcal
This cranberry pecan chicken salad recipe makes a quick Thanksgiving-inspired lunch.
Print Recipe


  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and cubed see note
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • ¼ cup pecans, walnuts, or other nuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Put the chopped chicken, cranberries, nuts, and celery into a medium bowl.
    1 chicken breast, cooked and cubed, ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped, ¼ cup pecans, walnuts, or other nuts, toasted and chopped, 1 celery stalk, chopped fine
  • Add the mayonnaise, salt, and pepper and adjust seasonings to taste.
    1 tablespoon mayonnaise, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to five days


  • Check out this cast iron chicken breast recipe to learn how to make perfectly cooked chicken breasts every time.
  • Toasting the pecans makes them crispy and brings out their nutty flavor.
  • This cranberry chicken salad recipe recipe calls for a small amount of mayonnaise just to hold the ingredients together. Feel free to increase the amount if you like a chicken salad full of mayo.
  • Serve as a sandwich, in a pita, or with just a bit of lettuce on the side.


Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 759mg | Potassium: 499mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Love this recipe?Mention @Uglyducklingbakery or tag #uglyducklingbakery!

This cranberry pecan chicken salad recipe was first posted August 26, 2021. It was last updated April 13, 2013.

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