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
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
495 Calories
36g Fat
8g Carbs
35g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 495
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 112mg 37%
Sodium 381mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 35g
Calcium 62mg 5%
*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. This is an excellent way to use leftover chicken—or make the salad with leftover turkey. A fully cooked rotisserie chicken or convenient fully cooked chicken breast strips may be used as well. Below the recipe, you'll find basic instructions for cooking chicken breasts on the stovetop.

Diced apples, dried cranberries, celery, and a dash of curry powder add flavor to this chicken salad. The chopped pecans and walnuts in the salad add some extra flavor and interesting texture, but you can leave them out if you'd like. 

Serve this well-seasoned chicken salad in sliced ciabatta bread or similar bread as a sandwich, or serve in lettuce leaves for a lighter luncheon. The salad can be served in tortillas or wraps as well. Light mayonnaise may be used in this salad.

This Southern chicken salad made with the addition of chopped dill pickle is another excellent choice. For a party or special occasion, try these wonderful chicken and Havarti cheese puffs


  • 3 to 4 chicken breasts
  • Olive oil (as needed, for cooking)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup walnuts (chopped, or slivered almonds or pecans, toasted)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup celery (diced)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup apple (diced)
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons mayonnaise (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Optional: 1/8 teaspoon curry powder (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Optional: good-quality bread or sandwich buns (sliced)

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 3 or 4 chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap to an even thickness.

    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.

    chicken cooking in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Flip and continue cooking for about 5 minutes longer, or until thoroughly cooked. Avoid overcooking. The minimum safe temperature for chicken (USDA) is 165 F.

    pan fried chicken in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Put 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts, slivered almonds, or pecans in a dry skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook, shaking the skillet and stirring and turning the nuts constantly, until they are lightly browned and aromatic. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes.

    walnuts being cooked in a skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Pour the toasted nuts out onto a plate immediately to stop the cooking process.

    walnuts on a white plate

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Dice cooked chicken into bite size chunks.

    diced chicken pieces on a white plate

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. In a bowl, combine the diced, cooked chicken, cranberries, celery, 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, salt, and 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. Line the bread or sandwich buns with lettuce leaves and spread the chicken salad on the lettuce. Or serve the chicken salad on lettuce-lined plates with slices of avocado or tomatoes.

    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.
  • Seedless red grapes, halved, may be used in place of the dried cranberries, or replace the dried cranberries with raisins or goji berries.

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