I never liked the chicken salads of my youth. With few add-ins other than hard boiled egg and celery, then overdressed with bland dressing, they were not a taste sensation.
But this Cranberry Chicken Salad is not your grandmother’s chicken salad. With a fresh dressing that is part yogurt plus a brightness from apple and dried cranberries, it has a very different feel. And it just may win over some chicken salad skeptics!
What Makes This a Winner
Besides being fresh and flavorful, Cranberry Chicken Salad is:
- Versatile. This has an ability to take different forms and can readily go from sandwich to salad.
- A Little Extra Nutrition. I know, the yogurt, cranberries and apple won’t add up to a serving of fruit or calcium alone. But I like to add extra bits of goodness when I can, on the idea it all adds up.
- Great for using leftovers. One benefit of roasting or buying a large chicken is the leftovers and this puts them to good use. Truthfully, if I had chunky cranberry sauce left over, I’d put that in too! And who expects to have leftover Thanksgiving turkey?
Step by Step Directions
Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.
How to Serve
The lightest way too serve Cranberry Chicken Salad is simply top a big lettuce leaf. Or turn it into a full-sized dinner salad by heaping it onto a pile of spring greens.
For an elegant look that’s perfect for a baby shower or nicer luncheon, you can stuff a hollowed tomato or half an avocado. Yum!
Of course a chicken salad sandwich is classic. Here you can use a croissant for a formal look, sliced bread for casual or even a bagel for fun!
What can I serve this with?
For a sandwich, I love the idea of adding coleslaw, especially if you use a mix that has added red cabbage and carrots, A side salad or raw vegetables with dip is another nutritious option.
If serving as a salad, you can add sliced French bread or dinner rolls. Or set out a bread basket filled with bread and muffins or sliced sweet breads.
Cook with What You Have (or Like)
If you are out of apples, feel free to substitute a pear. I use pears instead of apples in my Broccoli Waldorf Salad and always get compliments on the change!
Dried currants or raisins can be used instead of dried cranberries.
Don’t like mustard or allergic to garlic? Simply omit them from the dressing.
No leftover chicken? You can poach a couple chicken breasts pretty quickly. And who’s expecting some leftover turkey this Thanksgiving!
How long does this keep
The FDA suggests eating leftover poultry within 3-4 days and keeping it refrigerated Of course if you are using leftover chicken to make Cranberry Chicken Salad, you will need to count the total time. This means that if you made a Dutch Oven Whole Chicken Sunday night and used the leftovers for chicken salad on Tuesday, your 4 days starts Sunday and is up on Thursday night.
But I’m pretty sure that finishing this up won’t be hard. I had to stop my husband from eating it for breakfast! Okay, I wanted another photo or I’d have let him!
Can I freeze this? Some of the ingredients may suffer from freezing, so that isn’t recommended. If we won’t eat it quickly, I freeze the leftover chicken, then thaw it and make the salad when it’s more convenient. Or I might make a half recipe now and freeze any extra chicken.
And if some more tasty cranberry recipes sound good, keep reading!
Welcome to Cranberry Week!
This week we are celebrating all things cranberry! We have delicious recipes from across the country to celebrate all things cranberry!
#CranberryWeek is an annual blogging event that is hosted by Ashley from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Triple Chocolate Cranberry Brownies from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Cranberry Pecan Paneer Cheese Ballfrom Magical Ingredients
- Nantucket Cranberry Pie from The Fresh Cooky
- Cranberry Relish from Devour Dinner
- Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Cranberries, & Parmesan from The Spiffy Cookie
- Cranberry Orange Scones from Jen Around the World
- Cranberry and Brie Wontons from The Freshman Cook
- Cranberry Chicken Salad from Art of Natural Living
- Chocolate Cranberry Cookies from Daily Dish Recipes
- Cranberry Orange Mimosa from Family Around the Table
- Cranberry Salsa from Kate’s Recipe Box
- 3 cups of cooked chicken cubes
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 1 medium apple, chopped
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or enough to thin to mixable consistency)
- ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper (or to taste)
- ½ t Dijon mustard
- ½ t garlic powder
Chop the chicken, fruit and vegetables as needed.
Mix together the dressing ingredients.
Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl, top with dressing and mix until well combined.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.
- Easy Italian Meatball Appetizer
- Cranberry Apple Crisp