This easy to prepare, delicious chicken salad, with cranberries, celery and pecans can be eaten as is, or served in pita bread or rolls for a great sandwich.
We’ve had lots of sunshine and hot weather the past several weeks in the Pacific Northwest. A few nights ago I decided to make my old standby recipe for Chicken Salad, serve it with some fresh pineapple, strawberries, and cantaloupe, and have dinner out on our back deck.
This was a perfect entree salad on a hot night! I was even able to use some of the red leaf lettuce from our garden to serve the salad on- whoo-hoo! I’ve been making chicken salad this way for over 25 years. I’ve never had a recipe that I’ve used, so I had to be deliberate about writing it down this time, so I could post the right quantities for this blog post.
We really enjoy the salad, with chunks of chicken breast, crisp celery, the sweet chewy raisins, dried cranberries, red onion and crunchy pecans! This salad is really easy to make, too! Quick and easy, it’s my idea of a perfect meal! Here’s how to make it:
Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At The Bottom Of The Page
Cook The Chicken Breasts
The first thing you need to do is cook the chicken. Put frozen chicken breasts (yep-right out of the freezer) into a large pan. Cover them with water, bring water to a boil, then cook on high heat for about 45-50 minutes (until fully cooked). *Note: I use 4 chicken breasts, but this picture shows 5 because I was cooking an extra one for another recipe.
When the chicken has finished cooking, remove the chicken breasts from the water and let the pieces cool a little. Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, cut the pieces into 1 inch cubes and set aside.
Preparing The Chicken Salad
While the chicken is cooking, chop the pecans, celery and red onion, and place them into a medium sized bowl, along with the raisins and dried cranberries.
Place the chunks of cooked chicken breast into the bowl with the other ingredients.
Add the mayonnaise to the bowl, and then season the chicken salad with salt and pepper. Give it a good stir to mix it all together (making sure it is all coated). Give it a taste, then add more salt and pepper, if necessary to suit your taste preference.
Serving The Chicken Salad
Cover the chicken salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about 2-3 hours. We feel this salad is at it’s best served nice and cold, plus the flavors have had time to develop. Once the salad has fully chilled, it’s ready to serve! By the way… it tastes GREAT on sandwiches, too. I love to stuff a pita full of this chicken salad! Yum.
My absolute favorite way to serve this is… just as it is!!!!! When ready to serve, I place red lettuce leaves onto a serving plate, then arrange the chicken salad on top, for a nice presentation.
This chicken salad is a great quick bite for lunch OR for a light dinner! I sure hope you will try making this for yourself… it’s really delicious! Hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy each minute of life you are blessed with!
Looking For More Chicken Salad Recipes?
You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have a few chicken salad recipes, including:
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- 4 boneless , skinless chicken breasts (frozen)
- 1 1/2 cups diced celery (I use 3 stalks-slice each stalk in thirds lengthwise, then chop)
- 1 cup chopped pecans (can also use walnuts)
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 1/3 cups mayonnaise
- salt and pepper , to taste (approx. 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper-more, as needed)
- Red leaf lettuce leaves (to serve salad on top of-this is optional, but it looks pretty!)
- Place frozen chicken breasts into a large saucepan. Cover completely with water. Cook on HIGH for 45-50 minutes (until chicken is done). Remove from heat. Remove chicken to a cutting board and let cool.
- In a large salad bowl, place the celery, pecans, raisins, dried cranberries, and red onion.
- Once the chicken has cooled off (to the touch), cut it into 1 inch cubes. Add the chicken to the salad bowl.
- Add the mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
- Taste salad. Add additional salt and pepper, to suit your taste. I usually have to add a bit more. When ready, cover salad with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator to chill for 2-3 hours or more (the longer the flavors have time to come together, the better!)
- When ready to serve, place a few red leaf lettuce leaves onto serving plate. Arrange salad into a mound in the center of the lettuce. Serve, and enjoy!
- Keep leftovers covered and refrigerated. Will keep for several days!
Prep time includes time for cooking the chicken, but does not include refrigeration time.
Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!