My new favorite chicken salad

April 10th, 2009 by katie

Chicken salad is another one of those foods I didn’t grow up eating.  My mother hates mayonnaise to the point of nausea.  So any kind of mayonnaisey “salad” was out of the question-no tuna salad, no egg salad, are there more?  Chicken salad was something mrChaos introduced me to because it was a common sandwich filling at his house growing up.  It is ok and occasionally I make it and we eat it and then I don’t make it for awhile.  On the other hand, I do make and take to work with me actual salad (like, with lettuce and stuff) every week.  I love the combination of bits of creamy, salty cheese, pecans, crunchy sour green apple slices and chewy sweet sour cranberries tossed with a tangy vinaigrette, like this.

So when I saw Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad on one of my favorite blogs, I knew I would love the combination.  And I do, very much.  It is slightly sweet and nutty, with a crunch from the celery and shallot.  There is just enough mayonnaise to hold it together, mixed with some red wine vinegar for some tang.  I currently can’t get enough of this stuff!

Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts (or Pecans)

makes 4-6 servings, prep 10 min, adapted from une-deux senses and smitten kitchen
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 small shallot or yellow onion, diced (if you use onion you might want to add a bit of garlic)
  • 1-2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl, to your taste.
  2. Chill before serving.

I love this in a sandwich on some toasted wheat and nut bread, it is absolutely delicious.  I actually like to eat a sandwich for breakfast and it keeps me full and gives me plenty of energy to get going for the day.

Cost Analysis:

  • 1 lb all-natural chicken breasts: $3.99
  • 1 cup nuts: $1.69
  • 1 cup cranberries: $1.25
  • 1-2 stalks organic celery: $0.16
  • 1 shallot:  $0.24
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise: $0.90
  • Total cost for 4 servings: $8.23 or $2.06 per serving
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Posted in Easy, Fast, Salads

16 Responses

  1. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    I’m a sucker for good chicken salad. It does sound wonderful. I’m not into cranberries but I but grapes would be a great substitute.

  2. Nancy

    This sounds delish. I love creamy sandwich fillings, including egg salad which I know we’ll be eating next week as a means of using up the Easter eggs!

  3. jenny

    I love grape halves in my chicken salad. Give it a try!

  4. carmen

    YUM – I love chicken salad and think cranberries is a great addition (sometimes I put raisins)! And pecans too. I’ll have to try this out, sounds like a lovely lunch. :)

  5. Kathy - Panini Happy

    How great! I’m going to try this with my next roast chicken leftovers – I usually have the rest of the ingredients on hand anyway. I’m a huge chicken salad fan – thanks for the recipe!

  6. Melissa

    I too have a thing for chicken salad (I think I mentioned a while back I have one for egg salad as well), and can’t wait to make both of them next week with my new homemade mayonnaise recipe. I’m always up for trying new ones too and I’ve actually never done one with cranberries in it. Looks REALLY good right now!

  7. noble pig

    I love the cranberry addition! I love mayo, so I’m in!

  8. Michelle

    OMG this is my favorite too!!! I just made it like a week ago… how funny!

  9. Gloria

    I loved the recipe… I added a little tarrigon and think it was a nice addition.

  10. Jennifer

    This recipe was exactly what I was looking for…I was about to google ingredients when I saw this recipe with craisins and pecans!The only ingredient not included that I wanted was curry…I do love curry. I’ll give it a try.

  11. Linda

    Delicious. Next time I will use less vinegar though. I added 1/4 cup feta cheese and I like what it did.

  12. Jamie

    I have been looking for a recipe just like this…thankyou!

  13. Bella

    Awesome! I didn’t have walnuts so I substituted almonds and it’s fantastic. I think I’m hooked. Thanks so much for sharing.

  14. lois

    I have tried this on french croissant slightly warn and it is delicious!

  15. Dama

    Just great! I love it

  16. Wendell

    I make this once a week. Sometimes i will add some diced apples to it. Grapes are good too when in season. I used the gala or fugi apples because they are not overly sweet. This recipe lends itself to adaptation really well.

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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