This cranberry chicken salad is an easy and delicious recipe made with shredded chicken, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and crunchy celery all wrapped up in a cream dressing. It's perfect for meal-prep lunches or a quick snack!

For another variation, try our chicken salad recipe made with grapes, almonds, and a little dill. It's delicious, too!

Cranberry chicken salad on a bed of greens.

Tender chicken, sweet cranberries, toasted pecans, and crunchy celery all wrapped up in a creamy dressing. This is good. Really, really good.

It's a classic chicken salad with a festive, wintery vibe. Because cranberries and pecans put all recipes into the holiday category, right? But who are we kidding – this is a recipe we eat year-round.

Whether you're looking for a quick lunch or are meal prepping for the week, this is the recipe you'll want to make!

How to serve cranberry chicken salad

  • On top of salad greens in a bowl.
  • Tucked inside a lettuce wrap.
  • In a sandwich.
  • In a buttery croissant – such a treat!
  • Spooned on top of crackers.
  • In crispy wonton cups for a fun party appetizer.
Two pictures showing the ingredients to make chicken salad then it mixed in a bowl.

How to make cranberry chicken salad

Unless you have some leftover chicken in your fridge, you'll need to cook the chicken first. (BTW this is a great recipe to transform leftovers into something new and delicious!

  1. Simmer chicken breasts in water until they're fully cooked then shred the meat using two forks.
  2. Mix the shredded meat with the other ingredients.

That's it! You've just made yourself lunch!

Full recipe in the recipe card below.

Is cranberry chicken salad a healthy recipe?

Chicken, celery, green onions, cranberries, and pecans are all very healthy. We like to make it with homemade mayonnaise which uses quality oil (healthy fats!) and contains no sugar.

We also like to serve over salad greens or in a lettuce wrap.

So if you make it with a healthy mayo and serve it with greens then this recipe makes a good choice for a healthy lunch!

A close up of chicken salad with cranberries and pecans in a glass bowl.

How long does chicken salad keep

Cranberry chicken salad will keep for 3 days in a covered container in your fridge.

Can I freeze chicken salad

No, chicken salad does not freeze well. The mayonnaise will separate and the flavor and texture will not be the same.

Love cranberry and chicken?

We do, too! For an impressive dinner recipe, try our orange cranberry roast chicken with rosemary butter. It's delicious!

Cranberry chicken salad in a glass mixing bowl with serving spoons.
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Cranberry chicken salad on a bed of greens.

Cranberry Chicken Salad

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: North American

Description

This cranberry chicken salad is an easy and delicious recipe made with shredded chicken, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and crunchy celery all wrapped up in a cream dressing. It's perfect for meal-prep lunches or a quick snack! 

If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star review in the comments!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (or 3 cups cooked shredded chicken)
  • 2 celery stalks, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ½ cup EACH: mayonnaise, dried cranberries, toasted pecans
  • ¼ teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken breasts in a small pot and cover them with water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, until they're cooked through. Remove them from the pot and shred the meat using 2 forks. Let the chicken cool.
  2. Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl. Add the celery, green onions, mayonnaise, cranberries, pecans, salt, and pepper and mix well. 
  3. Serve the cranberry chicken salad over greens, in a sandwich, or with crackers.

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Cranberry chicken salad on a bed of greens with the recipe title on top of the picture.