This Gal Cooks

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

This is my favorite chicken salad. Ever.

This is my favorite chicken salad recipe and the only recipe I use anymore! | This Gal Cooks

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

There’s a reason this cranberry pecan chicken salad is my favorite chicken salad ever and the reason is quite simple: it’s the best chicken salad I’ve ever tasted. It’s my go to recipe. It’s tried and true recipe that I’ve made at least a dozen times. I use it in sandwiches. I use it in wraps. I top crackers with it. I eat it straight from the bowl and savor every bite of it.

I first made this recipe during the summer of 2013. It was love at first bite. However punny that may be, it’s indeed the truth. I loved this cranberry pecan chicken salad so much that I made it again. And then again. And then again. There’s some sitting in my refrigerator right now and I’m tempted to go downstairs and get another bowl of it. Maybe I will. Or maybe I’ll save it for lunch tomorrow. Oh the tough decisions I face right now.

You can use any type of chicken you prefer in this recipe. Leftover, rotisserie, grilled, slow cooked. I’ve used all of the above. The most recent batch I made was made using a whole chicken I cooked in my slow cooker. A 4 pound whole chicken was able to make two batches of this chicken salad. WIN!

If you don’t have pecans, you can use walnuts in place of them. I’ve made this with walnuts and it tastes equally delicious. If you don’t have celery seed, you may leave that out as well. I wouldn’t omit anything else as it will change the flavor.

Easy to make: once you chop your cooked chicken, combine it with the pecans, celery and dried cranberries. Then make the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture, mix well. BOOM. You just made the best damn chicken salad ever!

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 C cubed or chopped chicken
  • 1/3 C celery, chopped
  • 1/4 C chopped pecans
  • 1/3 C dried cranberries
  • 1/3 C sour cream
  • 1/3 C mayo
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, pecans, celery and dried cranberries.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the mayo, sour cream, cider vinegar, celery seed, ground pepper, garlic powder, dill, salt and sugar. Pour over the chicken mixture. Mix well.

This is my favorite chicken salad recipe and the only recipe I use anymore! | This Gal Cooks

My favorite recipe for chicken salad is this Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad. It's creamy, crunchy and sweet! | This Gal Cooks

Original photo taken in 2013.

The photos and post for this recipe were updated in June 2014.


Greek Cucumber & Tomato Salad

Greek Cucumber & Tomato Salad from 3WM

Greek Style Pasta Salad

Greek Style Pasta Salad from #pasta #greek #salad 3wm

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64 comments on “Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad”

  1. Hi Julie, I’m always on the lookout for a chicken salad recipe and this one looks exactly what I’ve been searching for! Pinned… fun to see what everyone is making for the ‘party’

  2. Oh, wow, Julie! This chicken salad looks great (minus the nuts ;) Thank you for sharing it.

    And I hope you will link up this wonderful recipe and others at my Foodie Friday Blog Hop at A Room for Two with a View. I know my readers would love it!

    Have a fantastic Foodie Friday and a wonderful weekend!


    • Thank you, Melissa! Ha! I am usually like that with cakes and cookies. I hate nuts in cakes in cookies (although, sometimes they are ok if they are on top of cake!)

      Thanks for the party invite. Headed over now. :)

      • Yeah, I’m the same way with deserts. I’ve just never been a fan of nuts.

        I’m so glad you linked up with me, I know my readers love Foodie Friday because of all the great recipes. I host every week, so I hope I’ll see you there often.

        Have a great weekend

  3. This chicken salad is seriously making me hungry, Julie! It looks and sounds fabulous.

  4. I love chicken salad and the addition of the cranberries to this one sounds awesome!

  5. Julie, this chicken salad sounds SOOO good! I love cranberries, so this is totally for me! So much fun to see what everyone is bringing to Meghan’s party and I’m sure she’ll love it all! Thanks for sharing, pinning and happy Friday! :)

    • Thank you, Cindy! I’m about to get comfy on the couch and make my rounds at Meghan’s party! Have a good weekend!

  6. Julie-
    One word from me- Yummygorgeous! Passing this on to Amanda-pinning too!

  7. Perfect! I have a bunch of dried cranberries I didn’t know what I was going to do with! Thanks for the recipe for the Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad!

  8. I love salads where you can put them on little crackers. Too cute and a great idea for party food. Pinning! Have a great weekend Julie.

  9. This looks so good – I LOVE chicken salad. I am the only one in the house who does so it would be ALL mine!! Yum! beautiful pics as always. :) Pinning!

  10. OOH…what a fun chicken salad (minus the sour cream) :) Perfect for a party!!!

  11. Do you have a “pin” button for this recipe? I am visiting from Strut Your Stuff Saturday and would love to pin the Cranberry Chicken Salad recipe. My store used to carry this and never does so I would love to make it:)



    • Hi Nicole! Thanks for stopping by! There are social sharing buttons right at the bottom of the post. The Pin It button is all the way to the right of the sharing buttons.

      Have a great weekend!

  12. Chicken salad is one of my favorites!! It reminds me of my Mom. This recipe is just perfect!! Thank you so much for taking part in my birthday party!! Pinned & sharing on FB on Sunday!

  13. How sweet a virtual birthday party… love it. I have never had pecans in chicken salad can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing this with us on foodie friday.

  14. I LOVE pecans and cranberries in my chicken salad but have never made it myself. I’ve got to try this. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Your chicken salad sounds so good! I LOVE different chicken salads, and always love to see what other people use in theirs! The cranberries and pecans sound delicious in this!

  16. This is such a nice summery salad recipe! I love that you added cranberries and pecan into the chicken salad. I’d love to try eating with crackers, which I’ve never tried that before! Sounds quite addicting!

    • Thank you, Nami! It taste’s great with crackers and makes for a fabulous appetizer when served this way!

  17. Chicken salad is one of my favorite lunches! Excited to try this version with cranberries.

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  19. Yummy in my tummy! Stopping by from Cast Party Wednesday

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  21. Looks great! Would love you to share it at our Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party which is a summer theme this week! Visiting from the Pin Junkie link party! :)

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  23. Hi I just made this and it’s BY FAR my favorite Chicken Salad. I didn’t see where to add the garlic and dried dill in the directions so I just stirred it in with the mayo/sour cream mixture…delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Penny, Thanks for pointing that out. I have updated the recipe. You were correct to add those ingredients to the mayo/sour cream mixture. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe and thanks for stopping by to let me know! :)

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  28. This is wonderful. Made this tonight without celery, because I didn’t have any. Still has the most amazing flavor. Next time I will remember the celery so I can try this recipe at it’s finest. So good! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Leslie,

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for stopping by for letting me know. I’ve made it without celery too! :)

  29. Awesome recipe! I’ve adapted only a couple steps. 1) I marinade my chicken breasts in Greek vinegarette for about 45 minutes. 2) I grill my chicken breasts over maple wood.

  30. I used turkey leftover from Thanksgiving instead of the chicken and this was delicious!.

  31. By far, the very BEST “damn chicken salad”, EVER! The first time I made this, I was out of dill weed. Got some for next time, and I’m not so sure we don’t like it better without it. I keep making it both ways to try to figure that out! :)

    Rating: 5
    • Hi Becki,
      I’m so happy you loved the chicken salad recipe! It’s my favorite chicken salad recipe too! Thank you for stopping by to let me know you enjoyed the recipe and for leaving a rating. I appreciate it. :)

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  33. I made this chicken salad recipe for 40 ladies at the Christmas luncheon.  I served it on a large croissant.  It was a hit!  Delicious!  Thanks for sharing the recipe.  Yum! I only wish I had some leftovers (for me and my hubby).  

    Rating: 4
  34. Hubby adored this recipe! Making it again in just a moment. Thank you so much! 😍

    Rating: 5
  35. Love your cranberry chicken salad. I added a chopped apple in it. Delicious!

    Rating: 5
  36. Very good, omitted dill, added fresh rosemary..def. a keeper, helped use up stuff in the fridge, looooves!

    Rating: 5
  37. This is delicious! I made it exactly as recipe stated, using chicken breast I had seasoned well & baked in the oven. If you prefer a less sweet chicken salad, reduce the sugar a bit as this was on the sweet side (which we prefer).

    Rating: 5
  38. Great recipe! I used praline pecans in lieu of adding sugar.  It was awesome, thank you for posting this recipe.

    Rating: 5
  39. I LOVE this recipe. I want to make it over and over again and I do! haha

    Rating: 5
  40. This recipe is fantastic!!! One of the best I’ve tried so far.

    Rating: 5
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  42. Great recipe, now my wife even likes “sweet” chicken salad. She always complained, I think the garlic powder makes the biggest difference. I have tried so many recipes similar to this, none with garlic powder. You can make small additions to this easily, I add 1/4 cup sweet chopped onion and tarragon. It’s a dip for celery, sandwich on a croissant, spread on a cracker… So yummy!