Why I love this chicken salad recipe
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.
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.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this chicken salad recipe:
How do you prepare chicken for chicken salad?
Cook the chicken. To cook the chicken for cranberry 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 about 30 minutes. You can also boil the chicken until it’s fully cooked.
Chop the salad ingredients. Slice the celery. Chop the green onion and the chicken. Toast the pine nuts (if you want to, it’s not 100% necessary).
Mix the chicken salad. Combine the chopped ingredients in a mixing bowl with the chicken. Add the rest of the salad ingredients, and stir to combine. Before serving, adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, as needed.
How to serve cranberry chicken salad:
If you have the choice of using a croissant, I highly suggest it. If not, even a bed of lettuce will be satisfying.
FAQs and tips for making the best chicken salad recipe
No. I wouldn’t recommend freezing chicken salad with mayo. The mayonnaise doesn’t freeze well and the texture won’t be appetizing when it’s thawed.
Homemade chicken salad will last for 3 – 5 days in the refrigerator, depending on the freshness of the ingredients used.
You should not leave chicken salad out overnight. Both chicken and mayonnaise need to be kept at food safe temperatures. If you leave chicken salad out overnight, please do not consume it. I recommend throwing it away.
Yes. Chicken salad with mayonnaise dressing is meant to be eaten cold. Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve and don’t leave it out on the counter for too long (see answer above).
More chicken recipes to love:
More dairy free lunch recipes:Print
This easy cranberry chicken salad recipe is filled with sweet cranberries, crunchy celery and toasted pine nuts – swap pecans or almonds if that’s what you have. It can be served on a croissant or bread for a sandwich, or on apple slices for a low carb option.
- 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
- Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl, and stir with a fork to combine.
- If necessary, add one tablespoon of extra mayonnaise at a time until you reach the right consistency. Adjust seasonings if needed.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
Keywords: dairy free, chicken salad, chicken, sandwich, cranberry
Last Updated on December 29, 2020 by Melissa Belanger