Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing


Elevate your salad game with our delectable Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing. This tantalizing blend of tender chicken, sweet cranberries, crunchy pecans, and tangy poppy seed dressing creates a symphony of flavors and textures that will tantalize your taste buds. In this article, we’ll delve into the exquisite taste of this salad, provide precise measurements for the ingredients, and share our easy-to-follow recipe.

The Allure of Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad: Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad is a delightful combination of savory and sweet elements, making it a perfect choice for any meal. The tender chicken, paired with the tart cranberries, toasted pecans, and creamy poppy seed dressing, offers a delightful contrast of flavors and textures. Whether enjoyed as a light lunch, a refreshing dinner, or served at a special occasion, this salad is sure to impress.


  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded or diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lettuce leaves or bread for serving


  1. Prepare the Dressing:
    • In a small bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, poppy seeds, salt, and pepper until smooth and well combined.
  2. Combine Salad Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked chicken breast, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, chopped celery, and chopped red onion.
  3. Add Dressing:
    • Pour the prepared dressing over the chicken mixture and toss until evenly coated.
  4. Chill and Serve:
    • Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Serve chilled on a bed of lettuce leaves or as a sandwich filling.

Serving and Storage Tips for Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad:


  1. Serve Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad chilled for the best taste and texture.
  2. For a light meal, serve the salad on a bed of fresh lettuce leaves or mixed greens.
  3. As a hearty option, spoon the salad into whole grain wraps or sandwich bread for a delicious lunch.
  4. Garnish with additional toasted pecans or fresh cranberries for an extra touch of flavor and visual appeal.
  5. Pair the salad with a side of crusty bread or crackers for added crunch.


  1. Store any leftover Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  2. Consume the salad within 2-3 days for optimal freshness and flavor.
  3. Before serving leftovers, give the salad a gentle toss to redistribute the dressing and ingredients.
  4. Avoid freezing the salad, as the texture of the ingredients may change upon thawing.
  5. If making the salad ahead of time, store the dressing separately and toss with the salad just before serving to prevent sogginess.

Variations of Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad:

1. Apple Walnut Chicken Salad:

  • Substitute dried cranberries with diced apples and toasted walnuts for a refreshing twist. The crisp apples and crunchy walnuts add a delightful crunch to the salad.

2. Greek Yogurt Dill Chicken Salad:

  • Replace the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt and add fresh dill and lemon juice to the dressing for a tangy flavor. This lighter version of the salad is perfect for those watching their calorie intake.

3. Curry Chicken Salad with Almonds:

  • Add curry powder, diced mangoes, and sliced almonds to the salad for an exotic flavor profile. The combination of curry spices and sweet mangoes creates a unique and flavorful salad.

4. Cranberry Turkey Salad Wraps:

  • Use leftover turkey instead of chicken and wrap the salad mixture in whole grain tortillas with lettuce leaves for a portable lunch option. The addition of turkey adds a savory twist to the salad.

5. Avocado Cranberry Chicken Salad:

  • Add diced avocado to the salad for creaminess and extra nutrients. The creamy avocado pairs perfectly with the tart cranberries and crunchy pecans, creating a delicious and satisfying salad option.


  1. What are the main ingredients in Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing?
    • The main ingredients include cooked chicken, dried cranberries, pecans, mixed greens, and poppy seed dressing.
  2. Can I use rotisserie chicken for this salad?
    • Yes, rotisserie chicken works well in this salad and adds a great flavor.
  3. How do I make the poppy seed dressing for this salad?
    • You can make the poppy seed dressing by combining mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, poppy seeds, and a pinch of salt.
  4. Can I make this salad ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can prepare the components of the salad ahead of time and assemble it just before serving to keep it fresh.
  5. Is this salad suitable for meal prep?
    • Yes, this salad is great for meal prep as you can store the components separately and assemble them when ready to eat.
  6. Can I substitute the chicken with tofu for a vegetarian version?
    • Yes, you can substitute the chicken with tofu or chickpeas for a vegetarian version of this salad.
  7. How long does the Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing last in the refrigerator?
    • It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  8. Can I use a different type of nut instead of pecans?
    • Yes, you can use walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds as a substitute for pecans in this salad.
  9. How can I make this salad more filling?
    • You can add quinoa, couscous, or farro to the salad to make it more filling and nutritious.
  10. Is this salad suitable for a picnic or outdoor gathering?
    • Yes, this salad is perfect for picnics and outdoor gatherings as it is easy to transport and serve.
  11. Can I add avocado to this salad?
    • Yes, adding avocado slices can enhance the flavor and creaminess of the salad.
  12. Is this salad gluten-free?
    • Yes, this salad can be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free poppy seed dressing or ensuring all ingredients are gluten-free.
  13. Can I use fresh cranberries instead of dried ones?
    • Fresh cranberries can be used in this salad, but dried cranberries add a chewy texture and sweetness to the dish.
  14. How can I make this salad more colorful?
    • You can add cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, or shredded carrots to add more color to the salad.
  15. Can I use a different dressing instead of poppy seed dressing?
    • Yes, you can use balsamic vinaigrette, raspberry vinaigrette, or lemon vinaigrette as alternatives to poppy seed dressing.
  16. Is this salad suitable for a gluten-free diet?
    • Yes, this salad can be made gluten-free by ensuring all ingredients, including the dressing, are gluten-free.
  17. Can I add fresh herbs to this salad?
    • Yes, adding fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, or basil can add a burst of freshness to the salad.
  18. Can I use pre-packaged mixed greens for this salad?
    • Yes, pre-packaged mixed greens are convenient to use for this salad, but you can also mix your favorite greens.
  19. How can I make this salad more tangy?
    • You can add a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the salad to make it more tangy and refreshing.
  20. Can I add other fruits to this salad?
    • Yes, you can add sliced apples, grapes, or oranges to this salad for a different flavor profile.


Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing is a delightful dish that offers a perfect balance of flavors and textures. Whether served as a light lunch or a refreshing dinner, this salad is sure to please. With its precise measurements and easy-to-follow recipe, you can create this delicious salad in no time. Treat yourself and your loved ones to the savory goodness of Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad today!

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