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!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Quick and easy.
- Great way to use up leftover cooked chicken.
- Will remind you of Thanksgiving dinner!
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:
You can also make chicken salad with grapes or apples. There’s no need to peel them. Just chop the fruit into small pieces.
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.
The USDA says that you should keep cooked chicken in the refrigerator for no more than three or four days.
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.
Related chicken recipes
Check out the best chicken recipes from the Ugly Duckling Bakery archives like:
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Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad
- 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.
This cranberry pecan chicken salad recipe was first posted August 26, 2021. It was last updated April 13, 2013.
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