Cranberry Chicken Salad

Cranberry Chicken Salad is easy to make in just 10 minutes and features simple and delicious ingredients! Rotisserie chicken, dijon mustard, toasted walnuts, cranberries and more mix together to create a creamy, filling, and flavorful chicken salad. Enjoy it for lunch or as an easy weeknight dinner! 

There’s nothing better than chicken salad! Whether you choose to just dig in with a fork or slap it between some bread, you should always treat yourself to this easy lunch.

Cranberries are a great addition, but we also love some classic Chicken Salad as well! 

Chicken salad sandwich with cranberries on a plate.

Chicken Salad with Cranberries

We are pretty head over heels in love with this easy Cranberry Chicken Salad! It’s a quick and easy recipe that’s ideal for lunch or as a light weeknight dinner.

Rotisserie chicken is the star of the show and it’s complemented beautifully by sweet dried cranberries, crunchy toasted walnuts, crisp celery, red onions and more!

What gives this chicken salad it’s signature creamy consistency is the simple combination of mayo and dijon mustard. It’s a flavorful and creamy easy recipe that always hits the spot!

How to Make Cranberry Chicken Salad

Scroll to the recipe card below for the ingredient amounts and full instructions. 

This quick and easy chicken salad with cranberries recipe comes together in under 10 minutes! 

  1. Toast the walnuts in a pan over low heat for about 3-5 minutes. Set aside. 
  2. Combine the mayo, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Dressing for cranberry chicken salad.
  1. In another bowl, combine the chicken, cranberries, celery, walnuts, and onions. 
  2. Combine the chicken salad with the dressing.
  3. Serve immediately or store for later.
Chicken, cranberries, celery, walnuts, and onion and dressing in a bowl.

Tips and Variations 

  • You don’t have to toast your walnuts, but it adds so much more flavor when you do! Just keep in mind that as soon as you can start smelling a woody aroma, the walnuts are toasted and should be removed from the heat. 
  • If you plan on serving this on bread or buns, make sure to store the chicken salad separately from the bread! You don’t want the creamy mixture to soak through the bread and make it soggy. 
  • Have any leftover turkey from Thanksgiving? Swap out the chicken for that turkey! This is a great recipe to use around the holiday season because of those cranberries. 

Storage

Storage: In an airtight container in the fridge, any leftovers you have of this cranberry walnut chicken salad will stay fresh for up to 3 days. 

Freezing: We don’t recommend freezing this creamy Cranberry Chicken Salad. It doesn’t thaw very well from frozen. 

Side view of chicken salad sandwich on square plates.

Should I shred or cube the chicken?

Either way works! You can even prepare two chicken breasts yourself if you’d like.

We prefer buying an already cooked rotisserie chicken from the store to save a little time. Shred or cube it to your liking. 

Can I substitute the dijon mustard with plain yellow mustard?

We don’t recommend it. Dijon mustard lends a signature uniquely sweet flavor that really enhances the sweetness of the cranberries perfectly. 

More Easy Lunch Recipes:

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Close up view of a sandwich on a plate.

Cranberry Chicken Salad

4.3 from 7 votes
Print Pin
Author: Kim
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings

Ingredients

  • cup chopped walnuts
  • cup mayonnaise
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • cup thinly sliced celery
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion

Instructions
 

  • Toast the walnuts in a small pan over low heat for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
    ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
    Walnuts in a skillet.
  • In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
    ⅔ cup mayonnaise
    3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
    ½ teaspoon salt
    Dressing for cranberry chicken salad.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the chicken, cranberries, celery, walnuts, and onion. Add the dressing, and stir to combine.
    3 cups cooked chicken
    ½ cup dried cranberries
    ⅓ cup thinly sliced celery
    ¼ cup finely diced red onion
    Chicken, cranberries, celery, walnuts, and onion and dressing in a bowl.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve as-is, on croissants, on sliders, in a wrap, or as a sandwich.

Suggested Equipment

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of ½ cup of cranberry chicken salad only without a bun. Actual calories will vary.

*Kim’s Tips:

  • If you don’t want to toast the walnuts, skip that step and add them straight from the package.
  • This chicken salad tastes great right after it’s prepared, but it’s even better the next day after the flavors have a chance to meld.

*Storage:

  • Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 4gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 242mgPotassium: 73mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 50IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 0.4mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of More Than Meat and Potatoes and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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3 Comments

  1. I love this Cranberry Chicken salad. The roasted walnuts are wonderful in the salad, always use walnuts, for now on they will be roasted. The only thing I had to switch was the salad dressing, not a fan of the mustard. Thank you, Sharon D