Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad — Embark on a delightful culinary journey with this Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad, a dish that promises a burst of flavors and textures in every bite.

Perfectly blending the tender juiciness of chicken with the tartness of cranberries and the crunch of almonds, this salad is a feast for the taste buds and a visual delight.

Whether you’re looking for a refreshing lunch, a light dinner, or a standout dish for your next gathering, this chicken salad offers a harmonious mix of sweet, savory, and nutty flavors, all tossed in a creamy dressing that ties everything together beautifully. Get ready to prepare a salad that’s as nutritious as it is delicious and sure to become a new favorite in your recipe collection! 🥗🍒🌿

Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad Recipe

Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad is a delightful recipe with a perfect blend of flavors and textures, making it an ideal choice for a nutritious and satisfying meal. At its heart, this salad features tender chunks of cooked chicken, which serve as a protein-packed base, complemented by the sweet tartness of dried cranberries.

These cranberries add a flavor and bring a lovely, chewy texture that contrasts beautifully with the chicken. Including sliced almonds is a masterstroke, introducing a nutty crunch that elevates the salad’s texture profile. The almonds’ subtle earthiness pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the cranberries, creating a well-rounded taste experience.

The salad is brought together with the creamy richness of mayonnaise, which acts as a smooth binder, coating each ingredient lightly and enhancing the overall mouthfeel. A splash of lemon juice is key, cutting through the richness with its bright acidity and adding a fresh, zesty dimension to the dish.

Finely chopped celery contributes an additional layer of crunch and a fresh, slightly peppery flavor, balancing the cranberries’ sweetness and the mayonnaise’s creaminess. Green onions or chives can be sprinkled in for an extra kick of flavor and color, lending a mild, oniony essence that complements the other components. Each element of the Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad works in harmony, creating a dish that’s not just a pleasure to eat but also visually appealing, making it a great choice for everyday meals and special occasions.

Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad (1)

Why You Will Love This Recipe!

You’ll find plenty to love about this Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad recipe, a dish that perfectly marries taste and texture for a truly delightful culinary experience:

  • Flavorful Harmony: The combination of ingredients in this salad creates a harmonious blend of flavors. The sweetness of the dried cranberries beautifully contrasts with the savory chicken, while the almonds add a delightful nutty crunch, offering a complex and satisfying taste in every bite.
  • Nutritious and Satisfying: Packed with protein from the chicken and enriched with the healthy fats from the almonds, this salad is both nutritious and filling. It’s a wholesome choice for a meal that’s as good for your body as it is tasty.
  • Versatility: This chicken salad is incredibly versatile. Serve it on a bed of greens, as a sandwich filling, or wrapped in a tortilla for a delicious wrap. It’s perfect for a light lunch, a quick dinner, or even a fancy addition to your brunch table.
  • Easy and Quick to Prepare: With simple ingredients and minimal prep required, this salad comes together quickly, making it ideal for busy weekdays or when you need a quick yet impressive dish for guests.
  • Make-Ahead Convenience: It’s a great make-ahead option, as the flavors meld and deepen when stored in the refrigerator, making it a convenient choice for meal prepping or picnics.
  • Appealing to All Palates: This salad’s sweet and savory profile appeals to a wide range of tastes, making it a hit with adults and kids alike.
  • Perfect for Any Season: While particularly delightful as a spring or summer dish, the ingredients are readily available year-round, making it a perfect choice for any season.

In summary, this Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad recipe is a delightful mix of taste, health, and convenience, making it a must-try for anyone looking for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Ingredients Needed For Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad

You can create this delicious sandwich filling with a few simple ingredients, perfect for a low-carb or diabetic-friendly recipe.

Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • Cooked Chicken: The star of the salad, cooked chicken provides a lean protein base. You can use grilled, baked, or even leftover rotisserie chicken, chopped or shredded.
  • Dried Cranberries: These add a delightful burst of tart sweetness, complementing the savory chicken and adding a chewy texture.
  • Sliced Almonds: The almonds contribute a nutty crunch, contrasting the softer ingredients in the salad.
  • Celery: Finely chopped celery provides a fresh, crisp texture and a subtle earthy flavor that balances the richness of the other ingredients.
  • Mayonnaise acts as the creamy binder for the salad, adding richness and helping to meld the flavors together.
  • Lemon Juice: A squeeze of lemon juice adds a bright, citrusy note, enhancing the overall freshness of the salad.
  • Salt and Pepper: These seasonings are essential to bring out the flavors of the chicken and the other ingredients.
  • Green Onions or Chives (Optional): These add a mild, oniony flavor and a pop of color, enhancing the overall taste and presentation of the salad.

Each ingredient in this Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad is vital in creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures, resulting in a delicious and satisfying salad.

How To Make Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad

Making Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad is a straightforward and enjoyable process that results in a deliciously satisfying meal. Here’s how to whip up this delightful salad:

How To Make Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad
  • Prepare the Chicken:
    • Start with cooked chicken. You can use grilled, air-fried roasted, or even leftover rotisserie chicken. Chop or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. You’ll need about 2-3 cups of chicken for this recipe.
  • Combine the Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped chicken, a generous half cup of dried cranberries, and a half cup of sliced almonds. These quantities can be adjusted according to your taste preferences.
    • Add about a half cup of finely chopped celery for a fresh crunch.
How To Make Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad
  • Add Optional Herbs:
    • Add chopped green onions, chives, or even a little parsley for extra flavor and a pop of color if desired.
  • Chill Before Serving:
    • For the best flavor, cover the salad and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.
  • Serve and Enjoy:
    • Serve the Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad alone, atop a bed of fresh greens, as a sandwich filling, or wrapped in a tortilla. It’s versatile and works well for various meals.

This Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad is easy to make. It offers a delightful mix of flavors and textures, making it a perfect dish for a healthy lunch, a light dinner, or as part of a larger spread for gatherings and special occasions.

Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad (5)

Recipe Variations

Experimenting with variations of the Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad can bring new flavors and excitement to this delightful dish. Here are some creative ideas to try:

  • Greek Yogurt Twist: Substitute half of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt for a tangier and healthier salad version.
  • Add Grapes: Mix in halved seedless grapes for extra sweetness and a more complex texture.
  • Curry Flavor: For an exotic touch, add a teaspoon of curry powder to the dressing, giving the salad a warm and spicy flavor.
  • Pecan Substitute: Swap the almonds for chopped pecans to add a different nutty taste and texture.
  • Apple Crunch: Include diced apples for a crisp, fresh addition that pairs well with the creamy and nutty components.
  • Extra Protein: Add a handful of chopped hard-boiled eggs or bacon bits for additional protein and a savory punch.
  • Spicy Kick: Add a dash of cayenne pepper or some finely chopped jalapeños to the salad for those who enjoy a bit of heat.
  • Herb Freshness: Mix fresh herbs like dill, parsley, or tarragon for a refreshing flavor boost.
  • Cheese Addition: Crumbled feta or goat cheese can add a tangy depth to the salad.
  • Avocado Creaminess: Dice some avocado and gently fold it into the salad for a creamy texture and rich flavor.

Each of these variations brings a unique twist to the classic Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad, allowing you to cater to different tastes and making the dish exciting every time you serve it.

Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad (5)

Pro Tips

For crafting a superb Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad, consider these pro tips to elevate your dish:

  • Quality of Chicken: The salad’s flavor heavily relies on the chicken. Use freshly cooked, well-seasoned chicken for the best taste. Grilled or roasted chicken offers a more robust flavor compared to boiled chicken.
  • Balancing Flavors: The key to a great chicken salad is the balance of flavors. Ensure the tartness of the cranberries, the almonds’ nuttiness, and the dressing’s creaminess are in harmony. Adjust the ingredients to suit your palate.
  • Toast the Almonds: For added depth of flavor, lightly toast the almonds before adding them to the salad. This enhances their nuttiness and adds a pleasant crunch.
  • Dressing Consistency: The salad shouldn’t be too dry or too wet. Start with a smaller amount of dressing and add more as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Chill Before Serving: Allowing the salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour lets the flavors meld together, resulting in a more cohesive and delicious dish.
  • Freshness of Ingredients: Use fresh, crisp celery and high-quality dried cranberries for the best texture and flavor.
  • Season Appropriately: Don’t forget to season your salad with salt and pepper. These basic seasonings can significantly enhance the overall taste.
  • Gentle Mixing: Mix the ingredients gently to avoid breaking up the chicken too much. This helps maintain a good texture in the salad.
  • Serving Variations: Be creative with how you serve the salad. It can be enjoyed independently, as a sandwich filling, over a bed of greens, or even in a wrap.
  • Storage: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, the salad can last for 2-3 days.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad that’s not just flavorful and balanced but also a crowd-pleaser on any occasion.

Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad

Faq’s

Can I use canned chicken for this recipe? While fresh, grilled, or roasted chicken is preferred for flavor and texture, you can use canned chicken in a pinch. Drain it well before use.

Is it possible to make this salad healthier? You can make it healthier by using Greek yogurt or a mix of yogurt and mayonnaise for the dressing. Also, consider adding more vegetables like spinach or kale.

How long can I store Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad? This salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days. It’s best to consume it while the ingredients are still fresh.

Can I make this salad nut-free? You can omit the almonds or replace them with sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version.

What type of chicken works best for this salad? Cooked breast meat is typically preferred for its lean texture, but you can also use thigh meat for more flavor. Leftover rotisserie chicken works great, too.

Can this salad be frozen? It’s not recommended to freeze this salad as the creamy dressing and crunchy components like celery may not thaw well, affecting the texture and quality.

What are some serving suggestions? This salad is versatile and can be served on a bed of greens, as a sandwich filling, in a wrap, or as a standalone dish.

Can I add other fruits to the salad? Certainly! Apples, grapes, or even orange segments can be added for extra flavor and texture.

How can I make the salad creamier? Add more mayonnaise or a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt to the dressing for a creamier texture.

Is this salad suitable for meal prepping? Yes, it’s a great option for meal prepping. Store it in the refrigerator and enjoy it within a few days.

More Salad Recipes

Don’t Forget To Pin!

Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad

Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings

Description

Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad — Embark on a delightful culinary journey with this Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad, a dish that promises a burst of flavors and textures in every bite.

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise, regular or low-fat
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • cup cranberries, chopped
  • ½ cup almonds, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, to taste

Optional: green onions, chives, or parsley

    Instructions

    • Start with cooked chicken. You can use grilled, air-fried roasted, or even leftover rotisserie chicken. Chop or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. You'll need about 2-3 cups of chicken for this recipe.
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped chicken, a generous half cup of dried cranberries, and a half cup of sliced almonds. These quantities can be adjusted according to your taste preferences.
    • Add about a half cup of finely chopped celery for a fresh crunch.
    • Add chopped green onions, chives, or even a little parsley for extra flavor and a pop of color if desired.
    • For the best flavor, cover the salad and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.
    • Serve the Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad alone, atop a bed of fresh greens, as a sandwich filling, or wrapped in a tortilla. It's versatile and works well for various meals.

    Equipment

    • Large Mixing Bowl

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1ServingCalories: 322kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 8gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 398mgPotassium: 174mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 98IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 1mg

    Share this recipe

    We can’t wait to see what you’ve made! Mention @forktospoon or tag #forktospoon!