This Easy Cranberry Chicken Salad recipe features sweet cranberries, shredded chicken, chopped green onions, celery, and toasted walnuts tossed with tangy mayonnaise for a creamy mixture to serve in sandwiches, lettuce wraps, or as a dip. An elevated version of classic chicken salad, it’s perfect for quick lunches and snacks!
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Cranberry chicken salad is an easy and versatile dish that can be used to make chicken salad sandwiches or served on crackers, croissants, or crispy lettuce leaves. It’s a great way to use up leftover whole chicken but is just as great with store-bought rotisserie chicken if you’re short on time.
From start to finish, this chicken salad can be made in just 10 minutes with a handful of simple ingredients. Make it ahead of time, and store it in the fridge to make dip or sandwiches during the week. The extra chilling time will also allow the flavors to meld together!
Easy Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe
Classic chicken salad is a seriously underrated dish that can be enjoyed as an appetizer dip alongside Spinach Dip and Crack Dip with crackers and pretzels, or used as a hearty and satisfying filling in sandwiches, wraps, and croissants.
While this cranberry chicken salad is already quite healthy, you can reduce the total calories even further by using chicken breast, Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise, and serving it on crispy lettuce leaves instead of carb-rich alternatives.
You can also mix and match the ingredients to suit your taste and dietary preferences. This recipe is one of my favorite ways to use up leftover chicken and other tasty ingredients that I have in the fridge and pantry from holidays or midweek family meals!
Ingredients For Cranberry Chicken Salad
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Chicken – I’ve used rotisserie chicken for convenience. You can also use leftover chicken thighs or chicken breasts.
- Minced Celery – adds crunch and flavor to the chicken salad. You can omit this if you prefer.
- Green onions
- Mayonnaise – Use your preferred brand for this chicken salad. A combination of mayonnaise and Miracle Whip would be delicious, too.
- Dried cranberries
- Toasted walnuts – the nuts add an extra crunchy texture to the salad. You can use chopped pecans, pine nuts, or almonds instead. Nuts can be purchased toasted, or you can toast nuts yourself in a heated pan.
- Salt and pepper – Kosher salt is preferred over table salt.
- Chop the chicken instead of shredding it for a chunkier texture.
- Omit the nuts if you’re serving someone who is allergic to tree nuts. Pecans, almonds, or pine nuts are great alternatives to walnuts.
- For reduced calories, use Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise, or reduce the mayonnaise and add Miracle Whip. Miracle Whip will make this chicken salad taste sweeter.
- Use dried raisins instead of tart cranberries.
How to Make Cranberry Chicken Salad
- Prepare the ingredients: Shred the chicken, mince the celery, chop the green onions, and chop the toasted walnuts.
- Combine: Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl, and mix well to ensure the ingredients are fully coated with the mayonnaise.
- Serve: Use this delicious chicken mixture to make sandwiches, dip, serve on crackers or in a salad.
If you have extra time, cover the mixing bowl, and store the assembled cranberry chicken salad in the fridge for about an hour to allow all the flavors to meld together.
How to Store Cranberry Chicken Salad
Store leftover cranberry chicken salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can make the cranberry chicken salad in advance and store it in the fridge to make sandwiches.
Serve this cranberry chicken salad on toasted sandwich bread, on croissants, on crackers, or on crispy lettuce leaves as a low-carb option.
This cranberry chicken salad is also delicious as a dip!
Chicken salad is considered a salad because of the addition of dressing. By today’s standards, any cold dish that includes pieces of food coated in dressing, such as mayonnaise, is considered a salad.
No. I don’t recommend freezing chicken salad when the recipe calls for mayonnaise as this condiment is susceptible to separating when frozen and thawed.
Absolutely! Cooking a whole chicken for this salad will ensure the best flavor in this dish. Make sure the shredded cooked chicken has cooled completely before you coat it with mayonnaise.
Cranberries are high in antioxidants and improve gut health. This salad also offers a good source of healthy protein!
Easy Cranberry Chicken Salad
- Measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 3 cups rotisserie chicken
- 2 celery stalks minced
- ¼ cup green onions chopped
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup toasted walnuts chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl. Add in the celery, green onions, mayonnaise, cranberries, chopped walnuts, salt, and pepper, and mix well until the chicken is coated in the mayonnaise and all of the ingredients are evenly combined and distributed.3 cups rotisserie chicken, 2 celery stalks, ¼ cup green onions, ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup dried cranberries, ½ cup toasted walnuts, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Serve the salad as a sandwich, on crackers, as a dip, or in a salad. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- You can make your own shredded chicken if you don’t have rotisserie chicken from 2 cooked chicken breasts.
- The salad may be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept in the fridge.