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Salads

Deli-Style Cranberry Chicken Salad

This simple, yet elegant deli-style cranberry chicken salad with tangy cranberries, zesty green onions and toasted pine nuts.

Deli Style Cranberry Chicken Salad | Chicken Salad Recipe | ateaspoonofhappiness.com

I originally got the ingredients list for this deli-style cranberry chicken salad recipe – based on one of our favorite sandwiches at a cute little cafe in Green Bay – from my friend, Erin. The list had no measurements, so we tinkered around with it for a while and eventually started selling the stuff at my parents’ deli where we both worked.

The best part about this little story is that Erin can’t remember how to make it. She calls me every time she wants to make it, and somehow she still manages to mess it up. This post is dedicated to Erin in hopes that she will never again forget how to make it.

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Deli Style Cranberry Chicken Salad | Chicken Salad Recipe | ateaspoonofhappiness.com

I’ve been making this recipe for years now, and it’s one of my favorite things to have for lunch on a hot day. It really hits the spot when served on a croissant, which are in abundance here in France. For some reason, the croissant’s buttery flavor and flaky texture just works with this salad. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Deli Style Cranberry Chicken Salad | Chicken Salad Recipe | ateaspoonofhappiness.com

How do you prepare chicken for chicken salad?

Simple. To cook the chicken for chicken salad, I usually top the chicken breasts with olive oil and salt & pepper and cover the pan with foil. Then I bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes (depending on thickness). You can also boil the chicken until it’s fully cooked. It takes less time and it’s perfectly fine, but I prefer the texture of baked chicken more. Choose whichever method suits you.

Deli Style Cranberry Chicken Salad | Chicken Salad Recipe | ateaspoonofhappiness.com

How to serve cranberry chicken salad:

For the longest time, I served my cranberry chicken salad on a croissant. I love the flaky, buttery texture, but since we are now dairy free, we usually opt for wheat bread or a nice, crusty roll. If you have the choice of using a croissant, I highly suggest it. If not, even a bed of lettuce will be satisfying.

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Deli Style Cranberry Chicken Salad | Chicken Salad Recipe | ateaspoonofhappiness.com

Deli Style Cranberry Chicken Salad

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 cups diced, cooked chicken breast
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1 – 2 green onions, sliced
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder (or 1 – 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl, and stir with a fork to combine.
  2. If necessary, add one tablespoon of extra mayonnaise at a time until you reach the right consistency. Adjust seasonings if needed.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

Nutrition
  • Calories: 0
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg


Deli Style Cranberry Chicken Salad | Lunch recipes, chicken salad, chicken recipes, dairy free chicken salad, dairy free chicken recipes | @simplywhisked
  • Reply
    Theresa
    July 27, 2012 at 2:07 am

    This is such an awesome recipe! I cant wait to make it to bring to my next barbecue!! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Paula Kelly-Bourque (@VanillaBeanBake)
    September 14, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Those croissants look amazing and that is one beautiful and tasty looking sandwich. I envy your ability to walk outside and pick up genuine fresh French breads and pastries!

  • Reply
    carol lacombe
    December 21, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I loved the Sparkly Strawberry cake served at T’s shower and plan to serve it at Libbi’s baby shower! Enjoy your time here and have a Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
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    July 26, 2013 at 10:50 am

    […] sitting in our apartment in Angers debating whether or not to publish my very first post – deli-style cranberry chicken salad, but it’s been an amazing and eventful year since then. I’ve traveled around France and […]

  • Reply
    Debie
    November 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    This looks yummy! I just left a comment on the Mexican quinoa recipe and checked this one out…I live just south of you…in Appleton. I’ve probably been to the same café, and your parents deli! Thanks again for sharing!

  • Reply
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    February 23, 2014 at 11:56 am

    […] Full Recipe […]

  • Reply
    makayla
    March 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Looks….DELICIOUS!! I’m a big sucker for Chicken Salad sandwichs. Would I be able to replace the mayo for greek yogurt instead for a healthier alternative?

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      March 12, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      I haven’t done it myself, but you definitely could. It may change the flavor a bit since the yogurt is a little tangier than mayonnaise. You could also substitute half of the mayo for Greek yogurt if you’re worried about the flavor changing. If you do substitute the yogurt, I would LOVE to hear how it turns out 🙂

      • Reply
        Tara
        March 16, 2014 at 6:55 pm

        I’ve made this a few times now and always use plain non-fat greek yogurt and it’s delicious. I also have used orange-cranberries and the orange gives it a nice kick.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    June 2, 2014 at 6:11 am

    I made this twice. The first time used half mayo and half plain greek yogurt. Very tasty! I did add in some bacon for good measure 🙂 The second time I completely subbed out the mayo for Chobani Greek Yogurt (with black cherries at the bottom) and it was SCRUMPTIOUS! Thank you so much for posting the recipe. Now if only I could get the freshly made croissants! Cheers!

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      June 2, 2014 at 10:03 am

      That was a great idea to use a flavored yogurt! The fruit must have given it a ton of extra flavor 🙂

  • Reply
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  • Reply
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    April 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    […] With some of the chicken that I pre-cook, I make chicken salad and store it in small Ziplock 0.5 cup containers for anyone that might want to carry some in their lunch box to school or work. I don’t know about you but I love all kinds of chicken salad, especially if they have some crunchy ingredients mixed in such as apples, grapes, nuts, celery, etc. Check these out at South Your Mouth, Pioneer Woman, and A Teaspoon of Happiness! […]

  • Reply
    Sriracha Cilantro Chicken Salad - Simply Whisked
    May 11, 2016 at 9:31 am

    […] always been a fan of chicken salads, and one of my most popular recipes is my deli-style cranberry chicken salad (my very first recipe, ever!). But, most recipes are fruity or nutty and not at all like this […]

  • Reply
    Sadie
    April 24, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    i love to make this and put it on apple slices for a refreshing lunch at work. I have made it a couple of times now and I absolutely love it!

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      April 25, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      Oh that sounds so good! I’ll have to try it this weekend!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Rachael
    November 14, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Hi there, I’m very much so still learning. How would I best cook the chicken for cubes? Boil or bake?

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      November 15, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      You could really do it either way. Just make sure it’s cooked, that’s all that’s important.

  • Reply
    Dairy Free Chicken Salad - Simply Whisked
    April 23, 2018 at 8:50 am

    […] like this one. While it’s very similar to the my deli-style cranberry chicken salad, it has a flavor profile of its own, and I love that swapping out different ingredients makes a […]

  • Reply
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    June 12, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    […] sitting in our apartment in Angers debating whether or not to publish my very first post – deli-style cranberry chicken salad, but it’s been an amazing and eventful year since then. I’ve traveled around France and […]

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