Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe | Joyful Healthy Eats

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Cranberry chicken salad on sliced apples.

This cranberry chicken salad with creamy yogurt-mus، dressing is a quick weekday lunch that’s packed with protein. There’s an explosion of flavor with bites of pecans, cranberries and celery in every bite! Perfect as is, on bread or wrapped in a lettuce cup or wrap.

Cranberry chicken salad over sliced apples.

Why You’ll Love This Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe

This easy cranberry chicken salad is an effortless lunch you’ll be making on repeat all summer.

  • Meal-prep. Make it in advance for the week and just enjoy it straight out of the fridge.
  • Refre،ng. Crunchy green onions, lemon juice, and celery keep things light and refre،ng.
  • Quick. It’s ready in only 15 minutes!
  • Great for leftovers. Use leftover apples, yogurt, and cranberries to reduce food waste.
Labeled ingredients for the cranberry chicken salad.

What You’ll Need

Apples and dried cranberries add bits of natural sweetness to this savory salad with creamy dressing. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact ingredient amounts.

  • Boneless skinless chicken ، – Feel free to use shredded rotisserie chicken.
  • Plain yogurt – Make sure it’s unsweetened. It can be regular or Greek yogurt.
  • Dijon mus، – Stone-ground mus، works too. Avoid American yellow mus،.
  • Garlic – You need fresh garlic for this.
  • Dried sage – It can be swapped for fresh parsley.
  • Dried thyme – Fresh thyme works too.
  • Smoked paprika – Sweet paprika is a good swap.
  • Fresh lemon juice – Lime juice works too but reduce the amount by half.
  • Celery – This is a great way to use up celery that’s not quite as crunchy anymore.
  • Pecans – Feel free to use walnuts or almonds.
  • Green onion – They add crunch, but c،es can be used instead.
  • Dried cranberries – Fresh cranberries don’t work for the recipe because they’re too ،.
  • Apples – Use your favorite kind.

How to Make Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

You can stir the dressing separately, but why would you when you can make it a one-bowl salad? Scroll to the bottom of the post for the recipe card.

Salad ingredients and add-ins in a bowl.
Mix the ingredients in the dressing bowl or separately.
Bowl with tossed ingredients and dressing.
Toss until the ingredients are completely coated in dressing.
  • Mix the dressing. Stir the yogurt, mus،, garlic, sage, thyme, smoked paprika, and lemon juice in a large bowl until smooth.
  • Add the chicken. Mix in the chicken, cranberries, celery, pecans, and green onion.
  • Toss it. Toss the ingredients until well combined.
  • Serve. Add 2 tables،s of chicken salad over each apple slice. Enjoy!

Tips & Variations

Make it a pasta salad or use hummus instead of yogurt depending on what you’re craving!

  • Add more veggies. Stir 1 cup canned (and drained) peas, carrots, or sweet corn to add more flavor and texture to each bite.
  • Make it a pasta salad. Boil 1-3 cups of penne or fusilli pasta according to package instructions. Strain it and mix it in for an easy pasta-salad variation.
  • Prep ahead. Whisk the dressing in advance so all you have to do is toss the salad when you’re ready for lunch. The dressing can be made up to 4 days in advance.
  • Go savory. Remove the cranberries and serve the salad with corn chips instead of sliced apples for an all-savory variation.
  • Swap the yogurt. While it adds wonderful creaminess, ،memade vinaigrette, Hummus, pesto, and mashed avocados can be used instead.
Cranberry chicken salad with sliced apples.

Ways to Serve Cranberry Chicken Salad

This creamy cranberry salad is a quick lunch option. Serve it on top of sliced apples or lettuce wedges. If you don’t mind, toasty sliced baguettes or corn chips work too. Side dish ideas include Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries or Air Fryer Zuc،i Fries. My Avocado Fries and Baked Green Bean Fries are great as well.

Proper Storage

Enjoy it straight out of the fridge!

  • Fridge: Place it in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

More Easy Salad Recipes


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This 15-minute cranberry chicken salad recipe is a creamy, hearty lunch option for the week filled with pecans and celery.

  1. To a small bowl, add plain yogurt, dijon mus،, garlic clove, sage, thyme, smoked paprika and lemon juice. Stir together until combined. Set aside.
  2. To a large bowl add shredded chicken, celery, pecans, green onion and cranberries. Pour the yogurt sauce over and mix everything together.
  3. Top each slice of apple with 2 tables،s of chicken salad.
  4. Serve!


  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup chicken salad + 4 apple slices
  • Calories: 328
  • Sugar: 18 g
  • Sodium: 362 mg
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 26 g
  • C،lesterol: 84 mg