This 10 Minute Cranberry Chicken Salad is loaded with amazing flavors like apples, cranberries, pecans, and fresh herbs all mixed with a healthy avocado mayo. It makes the perfect light lunch or quick and easy dinner that is both dairy-free and gluten-free.
Chicken Salad of any kind is one of my go-to healthy meals all year round and this NEW Cranberry Chicken Salad is my favorite this time of year. It is just as delicious as this very popular Curry Chicken Salad or this Carrot Raisin Salad which are both also creamy and super crunchy. Two things that are very important in any salad recipe.
This recipe is great for meal prep and is so fun to serve in crisp lettuce cups or in a delicious wrap. It also stores great so it makes a wonderful recipe for meal prep.
Why you will love this recipe
- It is packed with flavor and crunch.
- This is an incredible creamy chicken salad recipe!
- Loaded with protein and healthy fat.
- Perfect for a light lunch or quick and easy dinner any day of the week.
- It is both dairy-free and gluten-free!
- Stores great and is even better the next day.
How to prepare chicken for chicken salad
To cook chicken, I typically drizzle it with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper, and either cook it in a skillet on the stove for 5 minutes per side or in the air fryer like in this Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Breast recipe. As always, you want to cook it until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
Then let it cool so the juices can redistribute into the chicken and then cut it into small cubes. You can do this in advance and have it ready to go in the refrigerator. It should store well after being completely cooled in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Ingredients needed for cranberry chicken salad
- Cooked chicken breast – I prefer to use boneless, skinless chicken breast but chicken things or even turkey breast will all work great!
- Dried cranberries – low or no sugar, or you could use raisins.
- Apple – any type of apple will work. I used a gala apple.
- Bacon – cooked, bacon that you can make in advance. Applegate Farms is my favorite since it is nitrate free and packed with flavor.
- Pecans – add some crunch to this salad.
- Cucumber – I prefer to use English cucumbers since they contain fewer seeds and are easier to dice.
- Red onion – diced, or shallots will also work.
- Dressing ingredients – avocado mayo, dijon mustard, honey, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
How To Make Cranberry Chicken Salad
You can make this easy recipe in less than 10 minutes and have it ready for quick and healthy meals all week long.
- Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl.
- Mix up the dressing.
- Pour the dressing onto the salad and mix it all up.
- Serve cold over mixed greens, in lettuce cups, or stuffed inside a healthy wrap.
Get the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions in the recipe card below.
Recipe Tips and Variations
- Cut the chicken and the veggies into small pieces so they all blend well together. I like to cook and cut the chicken and bacon in advance so I have it ready to go.
- Use cooked turkey breast in place of the chicken. Great use of leftover turkey after the holidays!
- You can buy avocado mayo at almost any grocery stores. I like Primal Kitchen brand but any brand will work.
- You can switch up the veggies and use diced celery, carrots, or bell pepper for even more flavor and crunch.
- If you prefer to leave out the bacon go ahead. It will still be crazy delicious. I like to use air fryer turkey bacon and use a brand like Applegate Farms that is healthier and uncured.
This Cranberry Chicken Salad can be served in lettuce cups, as pictured, stuffed into a tortilla or pita, enjoyed over a bed of mixed greens, or even on top of sliced cucumber rounds.
It makes a great light snack or hearty meal you can enjoy for lunch, dinner, or in between.
You can store this chicken salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Make sure you do not leave it out. Keeping it cold is key to helping it stay fresh.
More Dairy-Free Recipes to try
- Easy Creamy Potato Salad – No Mayo
- Must make Chopped Kale Salad With Quinoa
- Dairy Free Banana Ice Cream
- The Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Healthy Creamy Tomato Soup
- Carrot Raisin Salad
Other Chicken recipes to try!
- BBQ Chicken Breast
- Air Fryer Breaded Chicken Breast
- Instant Pot Shredded Buffalo Chicken
- Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings
Did you make this cranberry chicken salad recipe? If you did, then please leave a rating and comment below. You can also tag me on Instagram @pinchmegoodfood so I can see your creation.Print