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.

Read on for all the tips and tricks for making an easy cranberry chicken salad. Or grab your nuts, hit that Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make a chicken salad with cranberries and pecans!

cranberry pecan chicken salad on a plate of baby spinach.
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cooked chicken breast, celery, craisins, pecans, mayo, and bowl of salt and pepper.

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 up some chicken specifically to make this recipe!


Please don’t skip the part where you toast the pecans. Toasted pecans are crispier and nuttier and worth the effort, whether you’re using them in this cranberry chicken salad, to top a feta and kale salad, or baking them into a Thanksgiving turkey meatloaf or sweet treat.

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and substitutions

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

Recipe tips and tricks

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, toasted pecans, 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.

glass bowl with chopped chicken, craisins, celery, and pecans.

Stir your cranberry pecan chicken salad together with mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

bowl of cranberry chicken salad.

How to serve chicken salad

Serve this chicken salad with cranberries and pecans as a sandwich with a pita pocket, challah roll, or one of these sandwich breads spread with a cranberry sauce from dried cranberries. Serve with:

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

Recipe FAQs

How do you store nuts?

Nuts and nut oils go rancid over time. Stored nuts at cool room temperature for a month or two, 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.

cranberry chicken salad on a plate of baby spinach leaves.

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. Serve your chicken salad with cranberries and pecans in a pita pocket or sandwich.
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  • 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 plus more if desired
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Put the chopped chicken, cranberries, nuts, and celery into a medium bowl.
    1 chicken breast, ¼ cup dried cranberries, ¼ cup pecans, walnuts, or other nuts, 1 celery stalk
  • 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
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