The best cranberry pecan chicken salad recipe, made with rotisserie chicken and Greek yogurt. The perfect mix of creaminess and crunch, this salad is perfect for sandwiches, dipping with crackers or to make a low-carb lettuce wrap.
One of my favorite lunches and snack foods is a simple cranberry chicken salad, but it’s hard to find premade without a salad without lots of other random ingredients haha. I do enjoy Trader Joe’s Napa chicken salad, but don’t shop there regularly. So when I get a craving, the easiest thing to do is make my own! Let me show you one of the easiest healthy chicken salad recipes.
Why this recipe works
- Quick and easy to make! Just a few simple ingredients to pull together and you have a nutritious lunch!
- Healthy and full of lean protein. Most chicken salads are made with mayo, but I like using half mayo for creaminess, and half nonfat Green yogurt to lighten it up.
- Delicious of course! A perfect mix of textures and sweet and savory.
- 2 cups of rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken, white meat preferred
- ¼ cup mayonnaise and ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup each crunchy celery, dried cranberries and pecans add flavor and texture
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar plus a teaspoon each of salt, pepper and garlic powder
Easy quick steps to make the best chicken salad recipe
There ain’t much to making this easy recipe, but it’s delicious just the same!
Steps 1 & 2
I like to start by first mixing together the mayonnaise, yogurt and apple cider vinegar together with the salt, pepper and garlic powder in a large mixing bowl. This ensures those key ingredients will be more evenly mixed into the chicken.
Stir in the diced cooked chicken till thoroughly mixed with the mayo mixture.
Steps 3 & 4
Lastly, stir in the crunchy pecans, and cranberries and mix till combined. Add the diced celery last.
Serving and other expert tips
A great way to enjoy chicken salad is on a buttery croissant or soft brown bread. But one of my favorite ways to get a quick healthy snack in, is a scoop on a bed of lettuce. Try a crunchy iceberg or a soft and tender piece of butter lettuce.
To keep your chicken salad from getting watery, make sure you add the ingredients in the order listed.
A couple of easy swaps you can make, if you don’t have yogurt on hand, is to use sour cream. This doesn’t ramp up the protein quite as much as Greek yogurt, but it does lend to that lighter, yet tangier taste.
And if you are out of apple cider vinegar, you can swap in lemon juice. Another great option is to use white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar. Of course you can leave out the vinegar all together, but I do find it helps to cut down on the creaminess of the mayo and gives a nice tang.
I love how easy it is to customize ingredients to create your own favorite chicken salad recipe! Some enjoy adding diced up fresh apples, green onions or red onion! And of course don’t forget that you can even swap out the chicken for leftover turkey!
The possibilities are endless, but I do encourage you to start with this great recipe first haha, and then toy around to your liking. I really think you’ll love it!
And I love using cranberries in all sorts of dishes, from breakfast all the way through dinner! You can find a few favorites linked below, but find even more by searching ‘cranberries’ on the blog.
Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad
- 2 cups Cubed/shredded rotisserie chicken
- ¼ cup Mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Salt & pepper
- Combine the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt and apple cider vinegar in a medium mixing bowl and mix well. Stir in the chicken, then the pecans, cranberries and lastly, the celery. Serve on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich.