Lunch for two has never been easier to whip up than with this cranberry chicken salad. You can serve it on any type of bread you have, a bagel, croissant, or even on top a bed of lettuce or some cucumbers.
I’m often rushing to make a healthy lunch for myself in between work projects and this cranberry chicken salad recipe is one of the most satisfying lunches I can easily put together.
The recipe can be adapted quickly to suit one, two or more people. You can make a large batch and store it in the fridge for a few days, or just make a one-sandwich serving size, which I often do.
When I was working at America Online many years ago, they had a cafeteria for staff that served an amazing chicken salad croissant. I tried not to eat it as frequently as I wanted to – that would have been every day.
When my contract was ending, I knew I was never going to taste that wonderful chicken salad again unless I asked for the recipe.
I’m pretty sure they didn’t give me the full list of ingredients, but it was close enough for me to start building my own version that was very similar.
They always served it on a butter croissant and it always had dried cranberries in it. I wanted my version to be similar. The cranberries add a nice sweetness to the mixture.
I do love it on a croissant. But more often than not, I just put this chicken salad on top of some lettuce or a bagel. It’s much healthier.
» Want to learn how to make your own butter croissants? Check out this great tutorial.
How to Make Cranberry Chicken Salad
This is a great go-to when you don’t have a lot of time. It involves very little cutting and chopping, and only a bit of passive cook time. You can even cut that back by using pre-cooked chicken breast or rotisserie chicken.
The other thing I love about this chicken salad recipe is that you can portion it any way that suits you. If you’re making sandwiches for 8, just double the recipe.
If you’re making just one sandwich for yourself, you don’t have to make the entire recipe.
Roughly chop the chicken breast. I like to keep it in larger chunks for texture sake. You can chop it up as finely as you like.
I don’t recommend using a food processor for this recipe though, because then the chicken ends up looking like tuna salad.
In fact, I like to keep all of the vegetable ingredients in slightly larger pieces. It adds texture and crunch to the sandwich.
Add all the ingredients in and stir. Super simple. The outcome is a really great tasting chicken salad. I can’t get enough of it.
For maximum flavor, cover the chicken salad and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes.
One thing to note, leftover chicken salad isn’t very good. It gets soggy and watered down, and the vegetables go limp. So it’s best not to make more than you’ll be eating in one sitting.
How to Serve Chicken Salad
You probably have a favorite way to serve chicken salad, whether that be on a salad or on bread. I like to serve it on a bagel. Or better yet, a bagel thin for less carbs.
I also eat it on cucumber slices, on crackers, on toast. Whatever I have around the house becomes the vessel for this salad. It’s easy to make and it’s really good. What more can you ask for?
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Cranberry Chicken Salad
- 2 cups chicken breast cooked and chopped
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 celery stalk halved and chopped
- 1/8 cup dried cranberries chopped, if you prefer
- 1/4 tsp yellow mustard
- 8 cherry tomatoes quartered
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before serving.
- Serve on bread of choice, crackers or veggies like cucumber, red pepper or lettuce.
- Chicken salad doesn’t store well, so I recommend not making more than you’ll eat in one serving.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.