This Easy Apple Pecan Chicken Salad recipe features tender chicken, sweet apples, crunchy pecans, and tart cranberries in a light creamy dill mayo! It is the best of ALL the combos, an easy one to whip up and guaranteed to be one of your new favorite recipes!!
Full of flavor and texture, this delicious chicken salad recipe makes for the PERFECT meal. It’s a great hearty salad that comes together super quick and makes a great protein-packed meal prep option to enjoy in so many ways all week long!
Chicken salad is one of my favorite go-to healthy choices for lunch because it’s so easy and it’s a great way to ensure you are getting a protein packed lunch without overcomplicating it. And one of the most delicious ways at that!
This Apple Pecan Chicken Salad recipe has such a nice flavor and is so perfect to prep in advance and eat all week. It holds up great in the fridge! I find that allowing the chicken salad to sit in the refrigerator helps the flavors develop more and really enhances the taste. Seriously, it’s at it’s prime day 3!
There are so many ways to enjoy it too! Serve with crackers for a light easy lunch or over a bed of salad greens for a delicious low carb main meal. But of course, you can’t beat the classic chicken salad sandwich!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS APPLE PECAN CHICKEN SALAD RECIPE
- Great recipe for meal prep! Make it at the start of the week and enjoy it all week long.
- Portable. Easy to pack and a wonderful meal to eat on the go!
- Super versatile. Make it your own by adding in more/different nuts or fruits.
- Lightened up from your traditional chicken salad recipe.
- Such an EASY recipe. Comes together in just a few minutes!
- Protein packed. With 25 g protein per serving!
- Chicken- I used cooked chicken breast. Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or grilled chicken also works great! You could even use canned chicken or boil your own chicken. The kind of chicken you use is very flexible. It’s the easiest way to use up leftover chicken!
- Apple– I used a honey crisp apple. You can use a red apple or green apple for this recipe.
- Celery – for that delicious crunch!
- Pecans – even better when you toast them beforehand!
- Cranberries- I used reduced sugar dried cranberries.
- Mayo– I used light mayo. Avocado mayo is also delicious with this. You could also use sour cream or plain greek yogurt if you’d prefer.
- Lemon juice – to bring out the flavor more.
- Sweetener– Any sweetener of choice works here. Monk fruit, Truvia, normal sugar, your preference!
- Fresh Dill – brings so much yummy flavor to this chicken salad!! But you can also use any other herbs you have on hand. If in a pinch you can omit but you will likely want to add some dried herbs or Italian seasoning to give it some more flavor.
- Condiments for serving (optional). I love adding a little more mayo and dijon mustard!
My personal favorite way of serving this apple pecan chicken salad is on some ciabatta bread with red onions and arugula!
HOW TO MAKE APPLE PECAN CHICKEN SALAD
- Add the finely diced pecans to a small skillet over (toss with extra virgin olive oil or cooking spray if desired), then toast over medium-low heat for 2-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown. Watch carefully so they don’t burn! Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayo, lemon juice, sweetener, salt, pepper and fresh herbs (if using). Then stir in the chicken, apples, pecans, celery and cranberries.
- Taste and add additional salt, seasonings or mayo as needed to reach desired taste/dressed consistency.
- Serve as a sandwich, on an open-faced piece of toast, in a tortilla or lettuce wrap, or eat straight up.
HOW TO STORE
Keep your Apple Pecan Chicken Salad stored in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap in fridge for up to 4-5 days.
HOW TO ENJOY THIS APPLE PECAN CHICKEN SALAD
- Bed of greens. Serve over romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, spring mix or any greens of choice for a lunch or light dinner!
- Toasted bread. Serve on a piece of ciabatta, whole grain bread, of any bread of choice for a classic choice that is delicious every time!
- As a wrap. Grab your favorite kind of tortilla and roll this chicken salad inside!
- Rice cakes. On top of rice cakes. I love doing this when I’m in the mood for something crunchy!
- Dip with chips. Grab some tortilla chips and dive in!
- Lettuce Wraps. A delicious low carb option.
- Pita bread. Stuff it in a pita bread for the perfect eat on-the-go lunch.
- Cold lunch plate. Serve this chicken salad straight up on a cold lunch plate with fresh fruits.
APPLE CHICKEN SALAD RECIPE FAQS
As per the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, chicken salad with mayonnaise will stay fresh for 3-5 days. I’ve found this salad to hold up great for 5 days.
Crunchy, tart apples work best for this recipe. Honey crisp, gala apple and Granny Smith apples are all great options.
I haven’t tried it, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I wouldn’t think the texture would remain the same. Definitely think this salad is best eaten fresh!
MORE DELICIOUS CHICKEN SALAD RECIPES
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This recipe is absolutely incredible. I made it exactly as listed and I am obsessed. It definitely does get better tasting as it sits in the fridge making it perfect for meal prep.
So glad you’re loving it Laura! It really does get better every single day haha