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Chicken Salad Recipe with Cranberries & Pecans

Occasionally I love to roast chickens.  No, not by insulting them with bad jokes about their looks, BUT actually taking the time to oven-roast a chicken.  Some of you may remember my roasted chicken post from back in September.  I created this chicken salad recipe with leftovers from that bird.  Feel free to use rotisserie chicken if that works better for you.

Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

This chicken salad is great for fall with its inclusion of cranberries and pecans.  Fruit and nuts have been making their way into chicken salad for years, and I couldn’t agree more with that movement.  I really like the chicken salad from Whole Foods with its pecans and red grapes.  Delish!  Feel free to substitute other nuts or fruit in this salad if your preferences differ.  I know dried cherries would sub great in this recipe.

Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

In regards to which parts of the chicken make the best salad, I recommend using a mix of white and dark meat.  The dark meat (from the thighs and legs) is the most flavorful part, but the light meat (breasts, wings and tenderloin) makes up a large part of the chickens we buy these days.  Did you know that chickens are actually bread for bigger breasts?  Sad but true.  I love the dark meat best.  Give me a thigh over a breast piece any day!

Chicken Salad Sandwich

I tried to keep this recipe as simple as possible because I’m of the school that simple is better with these types of composed salads.  The chicken makes a great base, and the mayo and mustard are good binders. The cranberries, pecans and green onions are the proverbial icing on the cake!

Now that you’re hungry, on to the recipe!

Yield: 2 cups (4 sandwiches)

Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe

This quick and easy chicken salad recipe is a perfect use for left over roasted chicken. The addition of cranberries and pecans makes it a special fall treat.


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped leftover roasted chicken or rotisserie chicken
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 8 slices of bread


  1. Combine all ingredients (except the bread) in a mixing bowl. Stir well.
  2. Toast two slices of bread per sandwich. Top with 1/2 cup of chicken salad.
  3. Cut in half on a bias and serve.

Prep:15 min

Total:15 min

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  • Christy Brackenhackenberg

    This sound great. I’m def. going to try it. I like chicken salads that have that hints of sweet and crunchy. I also love that chicken salad from Whole Foods, but it’s $$$$.
    I think it’s gotten ridiculous how big chicken breasts have gotten. I pick through the packages to find the smallest ones or end up cutting them in half.

    • Yeah, I’m in agreement with you there 🙂 Let me know if you end up making this!

  • Kylie

    What type of bread is pictured here?

    • Hi Kylie, The bread pictured is Seeduction bread from Whole Foods 🙂 It’s pretty tasty!

  • Kylie

    Thank you so very much for responding to my message! Unfortunately there is not a whole foods nearby, despite my wishes!! I haven’t even able to wish one
    closer yet! Any suggestions on a similar bread that might be available at a local grocery store or bakery or Panera?

    • Hi Kylie, you can use any type of seeded or multi-grain bread with this chicken salad and I’m sure it would still be great tasting. 🙂 Thanks for asking, I’m happy to help!

  • Kassandra

    I’ve been looking for a recipe for a great chicken salad to match one that I tried once at a cafe at my school and when I found this I was so excited. I just made it but I made two slight changes instead of Dijon mustard I bought sweet and hot honey mustard because I don’t like mustard so I thought I’d try this instead and I added half of a green apple diced just for that extra crunch because I love my food to be crunchy especially sandwiches. It was delicious! I will definitely be making this my go to recipe for potlucks and BBQs! Thanks so much!

    • Hi Kassandra, thanks so much for your comment and feedback. I’m glad you like this recipe! And your changes sound so good. I’m going to try those next time I make this! Crunchy is also one of my favorite textures. It almost always means something delicious is in my mouth! 🙂 I really do appreciate the feedback. It’s so helpful to hear what people think.

  • Angela

    I’m going to try this today but instead of the onion I’m going to use celery & carrots & put on lettuce cups.

    • Hi Angela, thanks for your comment. Also: I love the changes you’ve suggested. I hope that they were as tasty as they sound! 🙂

  • Evelyn

    Just found this on Pinterest and made it quickly to pack up my lunch tomorrow – soo good it’s my new go to! I have extra chicken, omitted the green onions since I had none on hand and just added a few tiny drops of agave just to see how it would turn out. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m so glad you like it, Evelyn! That’s great news. 🙂 It’s one of my favorites as well.