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Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad

This Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad recipe is filled with toasted sliced almonds, chewy dried cranberries and fresh celery for a little crunch. It’s dressed with a creamy poppy seed dressing and seasoned to perfection. Serve it for light meals and snacking or as an appetizer with crackers.

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Easy Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad Recipe

Chicken salads recipes are as plentiful as there are cook’s to create them. We all have our own little something we bring to the table personalized to our own taste. This cranberry almond chicken salad is made with a creamy and flavorful dressing. One of the ingredients is prepared poppy seed dressing that adds a nice twist in flavor. You can serve this chicken salad on warm buttered croissants, your favorite slider roll or scoop it onto a fresh lettuce leaf.  I love serving it on fresh Maui Onion Rolls that were over the top filled with this delightful chicken salad and dressed simply with lettuce for a little extra crunch. How to make Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad: (Scroll down for full printable recipe.)

  • Almonds – Spread almonds on a sheet pan. Roast in a preheated 350°F oven for 4-6 minutes or just until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  • Dressing – In a medium bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, poppy seed dressing, chives, salt, onion powder, black pepper and granulated garlic until fully combined.
  • Mix-ins – To the bowl add chopped chicken, celery, toasted almond slices and dried cranberries. Mix gently until combined.
  • Place into an airtight container and chill for at least 4 hours.
  • Serve on onion rolls, croissants or slider rolls dressed with green leaf or bibb lettuce.
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How to Make the Best Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad Recipe

Made in advance, this chicken salad can be chilling in the fridge and ready for sandwiches and snacking on busy days. There are so many variations of chicken salad and I think I enjoy each and every one equally. I particularly love this fruit and nut laced version for the added texture of the chewy dried cranberries, and the nutty flavor from the toasted almonds.

  • Key Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad: Toasted almonds, chopped rotisserie chicken, diced stalk celery and dried cranberries.
  • For the homemade dressing you’ll need: Mayonnaise, prepared poppy seed dressing, fresh chives, onion, powder, salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
  • Kitchen tools you’ll need: A large mixing bowl, a sheet pan to toast the almonds, a whisk, measuring cups and spoons, a sharp knife and chopping board.
  • You can use poached chicken, roasted chicken or grilled chicken in this recipe. You may also opt to use all chicken breast.
  • It’s well worth the small amount of effort that it takes to toast the almonds for the depth of flavor it lends to the nuts and the chicken salad overall.
  • You could swap out the almonds using chopped pecans or walnuts in the same amount.
  • You can make this chicken salad one day in advance and chill in the refrigerator until serving.
  • You can serve this salad on rolls, on a bed of lettuce, stuffed into mini croissants as an appetizer in filo cups or turn it into a wrap.
  • Store leftover Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad

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Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad

Prep Time15 minutes
Chill time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Chicken, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: chicken-recipes, chicken-salad, cranberry-almond-chicken-salad
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 469kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka

Ingredients

  • Dressing:
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 2/3 cup prepared poppyseed salad dressing
  • 2 Tbsp chopped chives
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • Salad:
  • 4-5 cups chopped roasted chicken
  • 2/3 cup celery finely diced
  • 1/3 cup toasted almond slices
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • To serve:
  • 8 fresh onion rolls croissants, slider rolls
  • green leaf or bibb lettuce leaves separated

Instructions

  • Toast Almonds: Spread almonds on a sheet pan. Roast in a preheated 350°F oven for 4-6 minutes or just until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, poppy seed dressing, chives, salt, onion powder, black pepper and granulated garlic until fully combined.
  • To the bowl add chopped chicken, celery, toasted almond slices and dried cranberries. Mix gently until combined. Adjust amount of dressing, if desired.
  • Place into an airtight container and chill for at least 4 hours.
  • Serve on onion rolls, croissants or slider rolls dressed with green leaf or bibb lettuce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 1017mg | Potassium: 402mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!

38 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow, this was so-o-o yummy and filling. I just started making my own color flavored tortillas, going to taste so good on a tomato or spinach, garlic tortilla. thanks so much for sharing. Great as a crunchy, cranberry, almond, chicken salad, just the right amount of tangy sweetness, keeper,

  2. 5 stars
    I made your recipe yesterday with homemade mayo and homemade poppy seed dressing. I had to alter a few things since I have dietary restrictions and my husband is doing chemo. He LOVES this!!

    Your recipe is close to a copy cat recipe that I have wanted! Paris Baguette has a cranberry almond chicken sandwich on a cranberry mixed grain bread that is delish!!

  3. A question please. What substitute can I use for poppyseed. For the chicken salad. I cant do poppyseed.

    1. You can use the same dressing, just omit the poppy seeds. If you’d like to make your own, see my recipe for homemade poppy seed dressing here. Otherwise, a similar slightly sweet citrus dressing would be good.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this exactly as you explain (except I was out of fresh parsley so I used dried), and it is the best chicken salad I’ve ever had! Thank you!

    1. Oh my… I just realized my comment must have been confusing… I had used a different person’s recipe for poaching (which included parsley). Regardless of the poaching, your recipe for chicken salad is my all time favorite. It is SO delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I thought since it made a lot for just my husband and I, that we would have it for lunches for a few days! Wrong! We couldn’t stay out of it. We made it on Friday and it was gone by lunch on Saturday!! We will be making this again soon! Thank you for this delish cranberry chicken salad!!

    1. Hi Pattie, there’s no yogurt in this recipe. If you mean in place of the mayo you could adjust the seasonings called for in the recipe to your taste.

      1. I make this with half mayo and half cream cheese with craisins. Sometimes I add a little ranch dry dressing mix. Wonderful flavor

  6. This sounds great! A good already cooked chicken is the Savory Rotisserie chicken at Kroger. Adding sliced red grapes is good too. Can’t wait to try this dressing. Thanks!

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