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Cook’s Note: Cranberry Chicken Salad:
- Although the canned chicken is already cooked, I like to heat it up and season it with salt and pepper. I find this adds more flavor to the chicken.
- Instead of canned chicken, you can use 2-3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken. If you use rotisserie chicken, skip step 1 and go directly to step 2.
- This cranberry chicken salad recipe doubles beautifully. Depending on your pan size, you may need to heat the chicken in batches.
- You can make this recipe up to 2 days in advance. Just make sure you add the pecans and dried cranberries right before serving.
- If you serve this on large croissants, then you can get about 6-8 sandwiches out of this recipe. If you serve it on small croissants, then you can get 10-12 sandwiches out of this recipe.
A healthy dish that can be served year-round? Sign me up! Your friends and family will love this Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe when you bring it to the next get together.
You’ll love having it in your fridge to have for lunches throughout the week. Cranberry Chicken Salad is also a really great option for some beginning of the week meal prep! Add it to your menu plan this week!
Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe Questions Answered:
Can Chicken Salad be frozen for later use?
You betcha! You can place it in an airtight container or Ziploc bag and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How long will homemade chicken salad last in the fridge?
You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Do you have to cook canned chicken?
Although the canned chicken is already cooked, I like to heat it up and season it with salt and pepper. I find this adds more flavor to the chicken.
So technically no, you do not have to cook canned chicken, because it’s already cooked.
How to make Cranberry Chicken Salad with Pecans for Sandwiches:
- First, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil. Drain the chicken and cook in skillet until all the pink is gone. Place cooked chicken in large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until cool.
- Next, in a small bowl mix together cream, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, poppy seeds, and orange zest until combined. Then pour mixture over chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper. Next, add chopped celery and mix together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Next, melt butter in a small pan. Then add nuts and cook until toasted.
- Finally, stir in toasted nuts and dried cranberries just before serving.
Cook’s Tools and Ingredients – Chicken Salad:
More Holiday Lunch-in Recipes:
Here are a few recipes that are perfect for a ladies’ lunch or Christmas Cookies exchange. I love serving these chicken salad sandwiches with my Christmas Cranberry Salad. It’s a delicious fluff salad that is the perfect Christmas color and topped with pomegranate seeds.
What readers are saying about this recipe:
We loved this Jill! Next time I will get the large croissants so I can eat 2 large instead of 2 small ones!
Chicken salad is one of my favorites. Chicken salad with cranberries is decadent, but chicken salad with cranberries and pecans is just overly scrumptious. We grow pecans so I am a little bias but this chicken salad is to die for. Way to go! Love it.
Cranberry Chicken Salad with Pecans
- 2 -12.5 oz canned and cooked chicken drained (I use Costco's house brand, Kirkland)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup dried Cranberries
- lettuce for servings
- 8 croissants for serving
- Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil. Drain chicken and cook in skillet until all the pink is gone (you may have to do this in batches depending on how big your skillet is). Place cooked chicken in large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until cool, about 1 ½-2 hours.
- In a small bowl mix together cream, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, poppy seeds, and orange zest until combined. Pour mixture over chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chopped celery and mix until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- In a small pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add nuts and cook until toasted, about 2-3 minutes (they should be a little more than lightly browned and you’ll begin to smell them).
- Stir in toasted nuts and dried cranberries just before serving. Serve with split croissants.
This recipe first appeared on Food Folks and Fun on December 8, 2011. I have since updated the photos, and one of the originals is below.
The photos you see above have recently been updated. Below is the original picture of this chicken salad recipe. Note: the picture below shows a double batch of this Cranberry Chicken Salad recipe which is enough to fit into a trifle dish!