Cranberry Chicken Salad
This simple and tasty Cranberry Chicken Salad is a great fridge staple for a quick, protein-filled snack or sandwich filling. It’s also perfect for picnics and potlucks!
Chicken salad can be made a million different ways, but this is my classic, the one I come back to again and again.
It’s one of the few savory, healthy foods that doesn’t need to be eaten warm, so it can be packed for lunch, picnics, and potlucks.
Also, if you’re the type of person who needs to keep healthy, ready-to-eat dishes in your fridge in order to stay away from the pantry (yes, that’s me!), this is delicious and filing enough to keep me eating well. I just know that if I open the refrigerator door and there’s nothing inside to nibble on, stop #2 is the pantry, hah!
Need a quick lunch? Layer some chicken salad on crusty bread with tomato slices and greens, and you’re set.
Need to nibble on a little bit of protein? I grab a whole wheat cracker, put a spoonful of chicken salad on it, and find that it tides me over for a while.
How to Make Cranberry Chicken Salad:
In a bowl, combine cooked and chopped chicken, chopped celery, finely chopped red onion, dried cranberries, and cut basil:
I use this Crockpot Chicken Breast method for the cooked chicken in all my chicken salads.
I’ve tried pretty much every cooking method with chicken breast: baking at various temperatures, grilling, broiling, poaching, and cooking in the Instant Pot, and making the chicken in the slow cooker is both easiest and results in the most juicy, evenly cooked chicken.
For the chicken salad dressing, combine a great quality mayonnaise, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper:
Whisk to combine, then pour the dressing all over the chicken salad ingredients:
There’s one more very important ingredient for the chicken salad…time!
The chicken salad gets better when it gets a chance to sit in the fridge.
That allows the flavors to meld, and also lets the cranberries plump up and get juicy. The good news is that leftovers keep very well, which is why it’s the perfect fridge staple.
I LOVE all the different types of salads like this, so also check out:
I make those all the time too for picnics, lunches, and general fridge snacking. Happy cooking!
Can you freeze cranberry chicken salad? The celery and basil don’t freeze well, so it’s not recommended. Leftovers will last in the fridge for about 5 days.
Cranberry Chicken Salad
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken breast, celery, red onion, basil, and cranberries.
- In a small bowl, whisk to combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing all over the chicken, then toss well to coat.
- Ideally, refrigerate the chicken salad for an hour or two before serving, so the flavors can meld and the cranberries can plump up. Then enjoy!
Post updated with new photos, writing, and tips in July 2018. Originally published in June 2014. Disclosure: this post contains an Amazon affiliate link.