Chicken Salad With Apples and Cranberries

Chicken Salad With Apples and Cranberries recipe, chicken salad on bread

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
429 Calories
23g Fat
16g Carbs
38g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 429
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 111mg 37%
Sodium 320mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 507mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This tasty chicken salad is filled with flavor. The crunchy apples, cranberries, and nuts make it extra special and offer great texture, and the lemon, mayonnaise, and dash of curry powder create a creamy consistency with a bit of zing. This recipe includes basic instructions for cooking chicken breasts on the stovetop, but it's also an excellent way to use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or prepackaged fully cooked chicken breast strips.

Serve this well-seasoned chicken salad on sliced ciabatta or another type of bread as a sandwich, or spoon into lettuce leaves for a lighter luncheon. The salad can be served in tortillas or wraps as well.

"I LOVE the combination of nuts and dried fruit, so this recipe was heaven for me! The toasted walnuts gave the chicken salad a strong and rich aroma and were my favorite part. I would recommend letting it sit in the fridge for few hours so that the flavors blend together." —Tara Omidvar

Chicken Salad with Apples and Cranberries Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 3 to 4 boneless chicken breasts

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Olive oil, as needed, for cooking chicken

  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (or slivered almonds or toasted pecans), optional

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

  • 1/2 cup diced celery

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

  • 1/2 cup diced apple

  • 4 to 6 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to taste

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/8 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste, optional

  • Lettuce leaves

  • 1 avocado, sliced, optional

  • Good-quality bread or sliced sandwich buns, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chicken salad with apples and cranberries ingredients, chicken, celery, onion, apple, oil, cranberries, salt, lettuce, walnuts, bread, curry powder

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Pound the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to an even thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

    Chicken in plastic wrap on a wooden board

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Place a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts to the hot skillet and cook them for about 6 minutes, or until browned on one side.

    Chicken cooking in a cast-iron skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Flip and continue cooking for about 5 minutes longer, or until cooked through. (Do not overcook.) The minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 F. Set aside

    Pan-fried chicken in a cast-iron skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Put the nuts, if using, in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, shaking the skillet, stirring, and turning the nuts constantly until they are lightly browned and aromatic. This should take 3 to 4 minutes.

    Walnuts being cooked in a skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Immediately pour the toasted nuts onto a plate to stop the cooking process.

    Walnuts on a white plate

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Dice the cooked chicken into bite-sized chunks.

    Diced chicken pieces on a white plate

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. In a bowl, combine the chicken, cranberries, celery, red onion, apple, and walnuts, if using.

    Diced chicken, apples, cranberries, walnuts, and celery in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. In a cup or small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise, the lemon juice, curry powder, if using, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

    Mayonnaise and curry-based sauce in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  10. Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the chicken, adding more mayonnaise as needed for moisture and for flavor.

    Chicken salad with apples and cranberries in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  11. Serve the chicken salad on lettuce-lined plates with slices of avocado. Or line bread with lettuce leaves and spread the chicken salad on the lettuce.

    Chicken salad with apples and cranberries in a bowl, with lettuce and avocados

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of curry powder, consider adding a dash of Creole or Cajun seasoning to taste.
  • Halved seedless red grapes may be used in place of the dried cranberries, or you can replace the dried cranberries with raisins or goji berries.
  • If you prefer the chicken salad cold, place it in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving.

How to Store

Homemade chicken salad will last three to five days in the refrigerator when placed in an airtight container. Make sure not to leave it out on the counter for more than two hours; if left at room temperature for too long, there is potential for bacteria growth and food poisoning.

Recipe Tags: