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Chicken Salad with Cranberries & Walnuts

Give your ho-hum chicken salad a makeover! This Chicken Salad with Cranberries & Walnuts is creamy, crunchy, herby, and has a touch of sweetness from the cranberries. It’s great on a sandwich, cracker, or just the end of a spoon!

Chicken salad with cranberries and walnuts on a white platter with grapes.

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Say goodbye to boring chicken salad and jazz yours up with toasty, crunchy walnuts and sweet dried cranberries. These two ingredients add zing, flavor and crunch, turning an everyday chicken salad recipe into a spectacular one.

What you’ll love about Cranberry-Walnut Chicken Salad


  • A few extra ingredients turn an everyday chicken salad into something Wow!
  • This chicken salad recipe has so much texture and flavor!
  • It’s crazy easy to make with just a bit of chopping and mixing
Chicken salad with cranberries and walnuts in a bowl.

Ingredients

  • Shredded chicken – Rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled or baked chicken is perfect for this recipe.
  • Gren onion – Thinly sliced.
  • Celery – Diced.
  • Walnuts – Toasted and coarsely chopped.
  • Dried cranberries – Like Craisins.
  • Mayonnaise – Any kind.
  • Sour cream – Whatever kind you have in the fridge will work.
  • Parsley – Fresh; finely chopped.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Labeled ingredients to make Chicken Cranberry Walnut Salad

Sour Cream in Chicken Salad? You’re Kidding, Right?

Nope. Not kidding; trust me on this. Sour cream lends a creaminess and tanginess that smooths out the chicken salad. Besides, I feel that mayo is nasty and overrated. Start adding half sour cream to recipes that call for mayo and taste a world of difference!

How To Make The Best Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts

  1. Chop or shred the chicken, then mix it with the sliced green onions, diced celery, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, mayo and sour cream, and parsley.
  2. Mix it well, then season it with salt and pepper and dig in!
Walnuts on a white background.
Raw walnuts

How To Toast Walnuts

Walnuts, like all nuts, can be expensive! I buy the jumbo bags of halved walnuts at Costco and keep the bag in my freezer (nuts can go rancid if left out on the counter or in the pantry for too long). Then, I just toast them in a skillet over medium heat, but on a baking sheet in a 325-F oven will also work.

Don’t walk away! Nuts burn really easily! When they smell toasty and are golden brown, take them out of the skillet or off the baking sheet, so they don’t keep browning. Cool them and chop them, and you’re good to go!

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • I freeze leftover rotisserie chicken to make recipes like this Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad. Just thaw and use it in the recipe.
  • Chop the walnuts AFTER you toast them, that way, all the tiny shards from chopping won’t burn.
  • Like your salad creamier? Add a bit more sour cream or mayo.
  • This Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts is super easy to customize. Omit or double the celery, use red onion instead of green onion, or leave out the onion entirely.

Recommended

Serving Suggestions

Wondering how to serve Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts? This chicken salad with nuts is tasty on a sandwich (try it on a croissant!), and because it’s a low-carb chicken salad recipe, you can pair a scoop of it with a bowl of soup or a leafy salad to keep your meal low-carb.

Storage

Store your leftover chicken salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days only if the chicken is fresh. If the chicken is leftover rotisserie chicken, you should only keep the salad for 3-4 days in total, including the time the rotisserie chicken was sitting in the fridge. Can you freeze chicken salad? Sorry, no. This dish is best eaten fresh.

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Chicken salad with cranberries and walnuts on a white platter with grapes.
Print Pin
4.30 from 89 votes

Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts

Creamy, crunchy, tangy, and sweet, this chicken salad has it all! Enjoy it on a sandwich, pair it with crackers, or just dig into a scoop of this as a tasty lunch, dinner or snack!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, chicken salad, chicken salad with cranberries and walnuts, cranberries, rotisserie chicken, salad, walnuts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 322kcal
Author Chef Jenn

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chicken shredded or diced
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries like Craisins
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions sliced; white and green parts
  • 1 stick celery diced
  • 2 tablepsoons chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Add everything into a bowl and mix well.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and dig in!

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • I freeze leftover rotisserie chicken to make recipes like this Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad. Just thaw and use it in the recipe.
  • Chop the walnuts AFTER you toast them, that way, all the tiny shards from chopping won’t burn.
  • Like your salad creamier? Add a bit more sour cream or mayo.
  • This Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts is super easy to customize. Omit or double the celery, use red onion instead of green onion, or leave out the onion entirely.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 109mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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10 thoughts on “Chicken Salad with Cranberries & Walnuts”

  1. 5 stars
    This was amazing. The bursts of the sweet cranberries worked really well with the juicy chicken, and the walnuts gave it a lovely crunch. I’m a big fan!!!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    My taste buds did a happy dance when I ate this delicious chicken salad for lunch, today! That little extra zing from the sour cream is superb and since lots of texture is so important the contrast of soft cranberries with the crunchy walnuts and celery was sublime. Thanks for sharing the easy recipe!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I had some rotisserie chicken that I used to make this salad and it was perfect. I also adding a bit more mayo and it turned out so creamy.. yum!

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    The cranberries added such a nice touch of sweetness. I was skeptical but all of the flavors and textures worked really well! The whole family gobbled it up. 🙂

    Reply
  5. I add a tablespoon or more – depending on how much I’m making -of horse radish to add a bit of zing to my chicken salad.

    Reply
  6. I have eaten chicken salad similar to this, but it had halved white grapes, toasted sliced almonds and used heavy whipping cream as the dressing/binder. It was the Chicken Salad from the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas. It was out of this world delicious. For someone who doesn’t care for or like Sour Cream the Heavy Whipping Cream could be the answer,

    Reply
4.30 from 89 votes (84 ratings without comment)

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