An easy recipe for cranberry walnut chicken salad. This chicken salad recipe is not only quick to make but also easily customizable. Leftover turkey can be used instead of chicken!
Why make this cranberry walnut chicken salad?
- It can be made with leftover chicken (or turkey), with breasts, thighs or legs or a combination of these.
- If you are stuck for time you can make this the night before serving
- Looking for a recipe with dried cranberries or salad with chicken and walnuts? This chicken salad recipe has it all!
- It’s tasty on its own but if you serve it with bread, baguette or croissant you can easily turn it into a cranberry chicken sandwich.
This chicken salad is customizable so if you don’t want to use one of the ingredients, simply omit it (apart from mayonnaise).
How to make chicken salad with cranberries and walnuts
First decide what meat to use. After a Thanksgiving dinner the choice would be quite simple. Then either dice or shred the meat. Prep the veggies by cutting them into small pieces, half grapes and roughly chop walnuts.
Get a mixing bowl and mix the prepped ingredients with mayo, salt, black pepper and cranberries.
You can either enjoy this cranberry walnut chicken salad right away or chill it in the fridge before serving. The choice is yours.
Tips for making cranberry chicken salad with walnuts
- You can toast the walnuts, if you like!
- To make this chicken salad lighter, use natural Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or you can use a combination of both.
- If you would like to add fresh herbs to this walnut chicken salad, you can do so. Fresh chives or flat-leaf parsley work the best here.
- Cranberries can be substituted with raisins or sultanas.
This cranberry chicken salad is also naturally gluten-free!
Even though it contains mayo, it is a good source of protein, and nutrients from chicken, cranberries, celery, onion, walnuts and grapes.
Can you freeze chicken salad with mayo?
Some people do but I personally don’t recommend it. The salad will turn watery after being thawed and will not taste as good as the fresh one. Also, the mayonnaise might separate during the defrosting process.
It’s better to prepare it the night before and enjoy it in the following day!
More easy chicken recipes you might like:
- Chicken Bacon Salad
- Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Risotto
- Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad
- 2 cups chicken breasts , cooked, diced, see note 1 (240 grams)
- 2 celery ribs , large, diced, see note 2
- 1 onion , small, minced, see note 3
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries (45 grams)
- ¼ cup walnuts , roughly chopped, see note 5 (20 grams)
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise (70 grams)
- 1 cup seedless grapes , halved (150 grams)
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- In a mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients.
- Give it a taste. Feel free to use more/less of any of the ingredients.
- You can serve this salad right away or chill it in the fridge first.
- Enjoy as is or as a sandwich (sandwich bread, French baguette or croissant will all work well here).
- You can use rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken or fresh chicken breasts that you cook yourself (you will need about 13.5 ounces/380 grams of raw chicken breast). Also, a combination of white (breasts) and dark meat (thighs or legs) can be used. Leftover turkey is also a great substitution!
- Two celery ribs = about 1 cup diced celery.
- Onion – use about ½ cup minced onion.
- Instead of dicing the chicken, you can shred it as well.
- Walnuts can be substituted with pecans.
- This salad can be made ahead. Store it in an air-tight container and keep it in the fridge (up to a day) before serving.