Winter Pecan and Cranberry Chicken Salad

Dress your typical chicken salad recipe up for the holidays with this delicious Winter Pecan and Cranberry Chicken Salad. Made with sweet cranberries, crunchy pecans, creamy Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, it’s a great healthy, protein-packed meal for easy throw-together meals all week!

Chicken salad…but make it hearty for the holidays! This Pecan and Cranberry Chicken Salad is one of the best chicken salad combinations I’ve ever tried. Don’t let the name scare you off. This chicken salad is great any time of year, but the sweet and savory flavors are just too perfect for the cooler holiday months!

This chicken salad recipe is lighter than traditional recipes because instead of mayonnaise, I used Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. I love mayonnaise, but it does add a lot of fat! But, no one I’ve served this too has ever noticed the substitution! It’s still just as creamy and delicious. I’ve also made this recipe a little healthier by adding more vegetables like celery, bell pepper, and more.

This is a GREAT recipe to prep in advance and eat all week. I find that allowing the chicken salad to sit in the refrigerator helps the flavors develop more and really enhances the taste! Put this chicken salad in a sandwich, wrap it up in a tortilla, or put it in a salad. You don’t have to eat it the same way every day!

You could also use your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey leftovers in place of the chicken to help use them up! I think it pairs so well with the sweet cranberries and pecans!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS PECAN AND CRANBERRY CHICKEN SALAD

  • It’s sweet, crunchy, savory, creamy, and absolutely delicious!
  • The flavor dimension and texture is OUT OF THIS WORLD!
  • Packed with protein and lightened up from your traditional chicken salad.
  • Such a great recipe for meal prep. Make once and eat all week!
  • A great way to sneak some veggies into your day. 😉

INGREDIENTS

  • Shredded chicken – You can make your own, buy pre-cooked, or use canned or rotisserie chicken if you’re in a time crunch.
  • Celery – A crunchy chicken salad classic!
  • Red onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Green onions
  • Greek yogurt – Instead of mayonnaise, I used Greek yogurt and cottage cheese to keep this recipe lighter. I used plain nonfat Greek yogurt.
  • Cottage cheese – I used 1% low-fat cottage cheese.
  • Ranch seasoning mix – I used this to add flavor. You can use whatever other spices you like!
  • Sweetener – I used Swerve granular sweetener. A tiny touch of sweetness pairs well with the cranberries and pecans!
  • Lemon juice – To enhance flavor.
  • Pecans – I love the crunch and earth flavor.
  • Cranberries – I used dried cranberries with reduced-sugar. They were a little lower in calories.
  • Salt and pepper – Add to taste.

HOW TO MAKE PECAN AND CRANBERRY CHICKEN SALAD

  1. Prepare the veggies by washing and dicing them. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, fold all ingredients together.
  3. Taste and add salt and pepper to desired liking. 
  4. Serve as a sandwich, on an open-faced piece of toast, in a lettuce wrap, or eat straight up!

HOW TO EAT YOUR CHICKEN SALAD

  • As a sandwich – The classic way! Place your chicken salad between two pieces of bread or toast.
  • As open-faced sandwich – Spread chicken salad on a warm, toasted piece of bread.
  • As a wrap – Grab your favorite kind of tortilla and roll this chicken salad inside!
  • On top of a salad – I like to eat this over a bed of romaine with some crackers on the side.
  • Straight up – Enjoy by the forkful. It’s so delicious!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use something other than shredded chicken?

Sure! You can use shredded turkey if you want. It’s a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. If you just don’t want to prepare the chicken yourself, you can always use canned chicken, pre-bought shredded chicken, or shred your own rotisserie chicken.

How long does this chicken salad last?

What can I have on the side of this chicken salad?

Enjoy with crackers, carrot and celery sticks, or chips! You could do a side salad or a side of your favorite veggies too.

WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?

If you try this winter chicken salad and love it, please rate this recipe!

You can also tag me on Instagram, @LaurenFitFoodie. It makes my day seeing your yummy recreations!

Yield: 8

Winter Pecan and Cranberry Chicken Salad

Winter Pecan and Cranberry Chicken Salad

Dress your typical chicken salad recipe up for the holidays with this delicious Winter Pecan and Cranberry Chicken Salad. Made with sweet cranberries, crunchy pecans, creamy Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, it’s a great healthy, protein-packed meal for easy throw-together meals all week!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed* (900g)
  • 5 celery stalks, diced (230g)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced (115g)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced (75g)
  • 2 green onions, diced (16g)
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese (226g)
  • 3/4 cup nonfat greek yogurt (170g)
  • 2 Tbsp ranch seasoning mix (12g)
  • 2 Tbsp Swerve granular sweetener or sugar (24g)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (15g)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (64g)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (60g)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare the veggies by washing and dicing them.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients. Fold using a wooden spoon until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
  3. Taste and add salt and pepper to desired liking. 

Serve as a sandwich, on an open-faced piece of toast, in a lettuce wrap or eat straight up!

Notes

MFP entry: LFF Pecan and Cranberry Chicken Salad 

*For the chicken, you can make your own and cube/shred, use canned chicken or shred a rotisserie chicken

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1/8 of recipe (236g)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 8.5gSaturated Fat: 1.5gCarbohydrates: 12.3gFiber: 1.9gSugar: 8.6gProtein: 20.3g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @LaurenFitFoodie! 

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