This cranberry chicken salad recipe is a classic that tastes fresh every time!
Healthy chicken recipes are a must-have staple for simple dinner plans or healthy lunch ideas. With this fruity little gem, you’ll be stepping up your salad recipes so no one ever gets bored with their meals! And there are so many ways to serve a chicken salad, so you can easily diversify your meals without hardly any effort!
Full of fruits and veggies, you’ll be doing your health and your tummy a service with this healthy recipes! So let’s get started!
Coming together in just 20 minutes, this cranberry chicken salad recipe is a masterful meal that can fit any busy schedule. Here are some of the best things about this delicious recipe:
- It’s full of healthy nutrients
- It’s a good source of protein
- It can be meal prepped (easily!)
- It’s extremely customizable!
A healthy chicken salad is such a basic foundational recipe to have in your cookbook.
What can make the difference between a “meh” chicken salad and a “that was incredible!” chicken salad is letting it chill in the fridge before you serve. I like to allow at least 30 minutes for it to sit so that the flavors have time to really come together, store it in the fridge overnight for bonus points!
Of course, if you’re working this tasty cranberry chicken salad recipe up for healthy lunch ideas, that shouldn’t be a problem!
Chicken – I use 3 cups of cooked and cubed chicken, but the method of cooking is up to you! You can bake it, boil it, use pre-cooked, or even use rotisserie chicken. Pick whatever is most convenient for you.
Cranberries – I add half a cup of fresh cranberries for the delicious bursts of sweetness. Low carb pals, you can also use raspberries to cut the carbs significantly!
Herbs – Adding mint to a chicken salad might seem surprising, but I love the unexpected undercurrent it provides. It adds a boost of refreshing flavors to this dish.
Dressing – the dressing is made with a combination of mayonnaise, lemon juice, and salt. Easy peasy!
Additional Crunch – I also add celery and sweet onions, along with almonds. Not only do these ingredients give more flavor, but they also add the textural variety needed to make a salad interesting!
Tools To Make
The tools needed to make this cranberry chicken salad recipe are simple, all you need are:
- Two bowls to mix the dressing and the salad ingredients
- Knife for chopping
Make a batch of chicken salad and store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
Can You Freeze This?
Because mayonnaise separates when it freezes, I recommend not freezing this recipe. It’ll sadly ruin the creamy texture. So it’s best to either eat it fresh or keep it stored in the fridge.
Meal Prepping Tips
To meal prep this cranberry chicken salad recipe, make a batch at the beginning of the week. Have different serving options ready, like low carb bread or crackers, so that you can eat it whenever your stomach is rumbling.
Chicken salads are also perfect for picnics and potlucks, so if you have an event coming up, feel free to whip it up the night before! Then you’ll be all set with an amazing crowd-pleaser.
One of the best things about chicken salads is that they’re so easy to customize! Whatever your taste buds want, you can get! So go ahead and try one of my many variations.
How To Serve
You’d have to actually try to get bored serving this salad because there are just so many different ways to eat it.
- You can make a chicken salad sandwich
- Eat it with crackers
- Stuff lettuce wraps
- Serve over greens (or pack as a mason jar salad!)
- Dip it with veggie sticks
Is There Any Other Non-Mayo Based Option?
Mayo makes chicken salad work because it creates a creamy base for all the ingredients to mix in. But if you don’t like mayo, no worries! Try a greek yogurt chicken salad instead.
Just make sure to read the label when you buy your greek yogurt to avoid brands that seem healthy but are actually loaded with sugar.
How Can I Make This Healthier?
To add even more yummy nutrients, swap the mayo out for an avocado chicken salad! This creamy, dense salad is the ultimate recipe for all avocado lovers. Full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, avocados will take your chicken salad to the next level!
What Greens Can I Add?
Serving this cranberry chicken salad recipe over a bowl of kale or arugula is super delicious, but the fun doesn’t have to end there! Toss in some herbs for added flavor and nutrients.
You can throw in homemade paleo pesto to make pesto chicken salad. Feel free to use as much or little as you want, but between ¼ to ½ cup should be perfect!
Tarragon is another amazing herb that pairs beautifully with chicken. Add a tablespoon if fresh, or a teaspoon if dried, and you’ll have a killer tarragon chicken salad!
What Other Fruit Can I Add?
If you’re following a low carb diet, be sure to look at the carbs in your fruits. Some have significantly higher carb content than others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat them at all. Just be mindful of your portion sizes and you’ll be fine!
Cranberry Chicken Salad
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 3 Cups Chicken cooked + cubed
- 1 Cup Celery diced
- 1/2 Cup Sweet Onion diced
- 1/2 Cup Cranberries (if low carb, swap for raspberries! See note on nutritional info below)
- 1 Cup Almonds slivered
- 3 Tablespoons Mint minced
- Combine dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, mix the salad ingredients.
- Toss salad in the dressing to evenly coat.
- Allow salad to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving, and enjoy!
There are endless varieties when it comes to chicken salad, so you can always keep things exciting! To keep the tasty meals coming, try:
- Canned Chicken Salad
- Greek Chicken Salad
- Thai Chicken Salad
- Rotisserie Chicken Salad
- Southwest Chicken Salad
This cranberry chicken salad recipe is a rocking dish that you can depend on time and time again!
Let me know what you think in the comments below! How did you cook your chicken? What’s your favorite chicken salad recipe?