I welcome you to a recipe that will blow your mind and leave your taste buds begging for more – the Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe. As someone who loves throwing parties, I always look for dishes that are easy to make, delicious to eat, and adored by everyone. This hearty chicken salad recipe is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a picnic, potluck party, or even a weekday dinner.
What makes this Cranberry Chicken Salad recipe so special is the unique combination of flavors and textures. The crispy and smoky chicken, crunchy celery and green onions blended with the sweetness of craisins and cranberries, combined with a tangy honey mustard dressing, make every bite an explosion of flavors in your mouth.
Whether you’re an avid chicken salad fan or are looking for a new twist on a classic dish, this Cranberry Chicken Salad recipe is sure to become your go-to dish for every event. So gather your ingredients, put on some tunes, and let’s make some magic happen in the kitchen!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Friends, fellow home chefs, foodies and party lovers, let me ask you a question: Who doesn’t love a hearty and flavorful chicken salad? And what if we add some sweet and tangy cranberries to the mix? That’s right, I’m talking about Cranberry Chicken Salad! It’s the ultimate blend of savory and sweet flavors. Trust me when I say, this dish will tickle your taste buds like nothing else!
But that’s not all, folks. This recipe has a bit of everything— texture, nutrition, flavor— making it the perfect dish for any occasion. The tender chicken breast and crunchy celery mixed with juicy dried cranberries and craisins come together in a phenomenal way. Plus, this salad recipe is versatile! Whip up a batch for dinner tonight or make heartily stuffed sandwiches for your next picnic or potluck party.
Now let’s talk flavors. In addition to the moist chicken breast, dried cranberries and craisins add plenty of sweetness to this classic chicken salad. We kick up the flavor profile by adding some green onions, parsley, dill weed and dijon mustard to the mix. A bit of honey adds extra sweetness while sour cream helps offset spiciness from dijon mustard.
Oh! And don’t forget about that luscious dressing made with mayonnaise and Greek yogurt which adds the creaminess to whole chicken salad mixture. All these flavors meld together creating an explosion of tastes in your mouth that’ll leave you wanting more.
So what are you waiting for? Whether you’re having a family barbecue or brunch with friends, this Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe is sure to please everyone at the table. Try it out today and be ready for compliments all around!
Here are the ingredients you will need for this delicious cranberry chicken salad recipe:
- 4 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 medium apple, diced
You can use cooked chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken for convenience. Chopped celery and green onions add crunchy texture to the salad, while dried cranberries provide a sweet and tangy flavor. The creamy dressing is made with mayonnaise, honey, Dijon mustard, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice. The dressing complements the chicken salad and gives it a perfect balance of flavors. You can also add toasted pecans or diced apple for some extra crunch and sweetness.
The Recipe How-To
Once you have gathered all the ingredients in your kitchen counter, it’s time to start preparing the dish. Following the steps carefully will ensure that you create a lip-smacking cranberry chicken salad that your guests will fall in love with.
Step 1: Cook and Dice the Chicken
If you have cooked chicken already, that’s great! Shred or dice it and set it aside. If not, poach some chicken breasts or thighs for around 20 minutes until they are no longer pink inside. After removing from heat, let cooked chicken breast cool down completely before dicing or shredding.
Step 2: Make the Salad Dressing
In a medium bowl, mix together ½ cup mayonnaise and ½ cup sour cream. Add 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, and 2 tsp dried dill weed to the mix. Stir well to combine.
Step 3: Add Cranberries and Healthy Greens
In the same bowl of dressing, mix in 1 cup dried cranberries, 3/4 cup chopped celery, and chopped fresh parsley (around 1/4 cup) or fresh chopped craisins.
Step 4: Combine Dressing and Chicken Breast
Add desired amounts of diced cooked chicken to bowl with dressing mixture depending on your preference – both personal serving or for larger crowds (between 1-4 cups). Mix well with salad dressing.
Step 5: Incorporated Additional Ingredients
To add crunch to your salad, consider adding around a cup of chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts, along with sauteed onion during step four. Season lightly with salt and black pepper. Mix it up.
Step 6: Refrigerate Before Serving
Refrigerate the Cranberry Chicken Salad for at least an hour before serving for all the flavors to meld together nicely. Serve chilled.
Now that you know how to make cranberry chicken salad recipe like a pro, go ahead try making it yourself! Let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below.
Substitutions and Variations
Ah, the beauty of cooking! There are so many ways to play around with ingredients and come up with your own unique version of a recipe. Here are some substitutions and variations you may want to try for this cranberry chicken salad recipe:
– Craving something crunchy? Swap the toasted pecans for walnuts, almonds, or cashews. They all have a slightly different texture and flavor that can add a pleasant contrast to the softness of chicken and craisins.
– For a creamier taste, switch out some or all of the mayonnaise for sour cream, Greek yogurt, or crème fraîche. These dairy-based ingredients will give your salad a tangy twist that pairs well with the sweetness of honey and cranberries.
– If you prefer a low-fat or vegan option, use mashed avocado, hummus, or silken tofu instead of mayo. You’ll still get a creamy consistency without any cholesterol or heavy calories.
– Not a fan of dill? Replace it with fresh basil, thyme, oregano or cilantro. Each herb has its signature fragrance and taste that will affect the overall aroma and flavor of the salad.
– Want to make it spicier? Add some chopped jalapeños, chili flakes or cayenne pepper to the mix. The heat will complement the sweetness of the craisins and honey in an unexpected way.
– If you’re feeling adventurous, experiment with adding some diced fruits like apple, pear, mango or pineapple to your chicken salad. The burst of fruity juiciness will elevate the dish to another level and make it more refreshing.
Remember that cooking is all about expressing your creativity and personal preference. Don’t be afraid to try new things and see what works best for you. Who knows? You may just discover your own signature cranberry chicken salad!
Serving and Pairing
Ah, the moment of truth – your delicious cranberry chicken salad recipe is ready. Now what? Trust me, don’t let all that hard work go to waste just because you didn’t pair it right. Luckily, I’m here to give you some amazing pairing ideas so that you and your guests can enjoy the exquisite taste of this dish.
The tangy and sweet flavors of this cranberry chicken salad call for a pairing that complements rather than contrasts the dish’s taste. Keeping this in mind, it is best served with fresh veggies like lettuce, spinach or arugula, which will add a nice contrast to the sweet and tangy flavors of the main course.
For an additional crunch, serve it with toasted bread or crusty croissants on the side or as sandwiches. And if you’re feeling fancy, add sliced apples or chopped nuts to create an exotic yet delectable contrast.
This versatile salad can be served as a filling meal or a light snack or starter for your brunch or lunch party. You can also improvise creatively by sprinkling some lightly roasted sunflower seeds on top of the salad for added texture and flavor.
Whether it is a potluck party, picnic with friends, or just a quick lunch craving, this cranberry chicken salad recipe is perfect for any occasion.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
The cranberry chicken salad is a perfect make-ahead dish that can be prepared up to two days before serving. It tastes even better when the flavors have had some time to meld together. Simply cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To store any leftover salad, place it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to two or three days. However, do note that the quality will start to decrease over time, especially if you used shredded chicken instead of diced chicken breast.
When it comes to reheating, avoid reheating the entire mixture as it may dry out the salad. Instead, remove the portion you want to reheat and heat it up in a microwave-safe dish in 30-second intervals until heated through. Alternatively, you can also reheat the chicken separately and add it back into the salad after.
Overall, if stored properly and reheated correctly, this cranberry chicken salad recipe can be enjoyed for days after being made without losing its scrumptious flavor.
Tips for Perfect Results
When it comes to making the perfect chicken salad, attention to detail is key. Here are some tips to help you make a cranberry chicken salad that will have your guests coming back for more.
Firstly, use high-quality ingredients. Whenever possible, use fresh and organic produce for your chicken salad. Using quality ingredients will make a huge difference in the overall taste of your dish.
Secondly, don’t skimp on the seasoning. Be generous with both salt and pepper, and add a sprinkle of dried dill weed and parsley for additional flavor.
When mixing the mayonnaise and sour cream for the dressing, blend well until there are no lumps. You can also use Greek yogurt to replace the sour cream in this recipe for a healthier option that still adds a creamy texture to the dish.
To save time when preparing this recipe, you can use rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own chicken breasts. However, if you do cook your own chicken breasts, poach them in chicken stock to keep them moist and flavorful.
For added crunch and texture, add some toasted pecans or walnuts as garnish. This extra touch will elevate your cranberry chicken salad from good to great.
Lastly, let your cranberry chicken salad chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This will give the flavors time to meld together and create an even more delicious dish.
Following these tips will help you make the best cranberry chicken salad that is sure to impress at any party or gathering.
In conclusion, this cranberry chicken salad recipe is a must-try for any party host or home chef who wants to impress their guests with an easy and delicious dish. With its blend of sweet and savory flavors, this salad is a crowd-pleaser that’s perfect for any occasion.
Whether you’re hosting a summer BBQ, a family reunion, or just looking for a satisfying lunch option, this cranberry chicken salad recipe is the way to go. With the right ingredients and some simple steps, you can make a salad that’s sure to be a hit with everyone who tries it.
So why not give it a try? Head to the kitchen, round up your ingredients, and get started on making the best cranberry chicken salad you’ve ever tasted. Your guests will thank you for it and you’ll have a new go-to recipe in your arsenal.
Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe
- 3 cups diced cooked chicken or 3 cups cooked turkey
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 3/4 cup craisins, softened and chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- Cover craisins with boiling water. Left soften for 10 minutes. Drain and chop.
- In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
- Add the cranberries and mash them in a bit to diffuse the cranberry flavor.
- Chill for at least 2 hours.
- Serve on good seed bread, croissants or Hawaiian rolls.
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Anna is a culinary expert who specializes in grilling delicious BBQ dishes. She also enjoys sharing her recipes and experiences with her foodie community on her blog. She’s the total package for any backyard barbecue!