Easy Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe

30 Minute MealsGluten FreeKid Friendly

An Easy Chicken Salad Recipe that takes only 15 minutes to make! It’s high in protein and gluten free too. This healthy Chicken Salad is made with yogurt, dijon mustard, herbs, and fresh lemon then tossed with pecans and cranberries. Perfect for a quick lunch!

Light and Easy 15 Minute Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe on apple slices served on a cutting board

Quick and Easy Chicken Salad Recipe

Last week I was finally able to get back into the kitchen creating recipes for my site and it felt great!

  1. Because I had a list of four recipes I wanted to make and, I DID it! I made and photographed each one.
  2. I was able to create some content for my site, which has been stressing me out lately.
  3. All of the recipes came out amazing. (momma’s still got it… insert dramatic hair flip)

Light and Easy 15 Minute Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe on an apple sliced served on a cutting board

I even was able to get Maddie to try a few of them. 🙂 Which is a HUGE accomplishment. Girlfriend is all about her baby puffs lately! (eye roll) But after she took a couple bites she was hooked and wanted to stay in the kitchen to help mommy and to feast on food.

In fact, this Cranberry Chicken Salad was her favorite. She kept giving me her “more” hand language sign after I’d give her some chicken.


Can I be honest before we dive into the recipe?

I have a serious fear of my babies choking. So I’ve delayed giving both of my kiddos “bigger chucks” of cooked foods for a while just because I’m nervous about the choking hazard. I tell you this because I was so proud of myself. She was eating this chicken salad and banana chunks! 🙂 Whew!

I feel like I’m growing up with her. haha.

Alright, enough of that. Moving on to this amazing 15 MINUTE LIGHT & EASY CRANBERRY CHICKEN SALAD. It’s a mouth full to say but so worth it.

process shots of Light and Easy 15 Minute Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe being made

How Do You Make Chicken Salad?

  1. Cook your chicken: boil it, saute it, grill it or buy rotisserie chicken.
  2. Shred or cube your chicken.
  3. Place prepared chicken in a large bowl with green onions, pecans, fruit of your choice (cranberries or grapes) and celery.
  4. In a small bowl add yogurt, dijon mustard, fresh herbs, smoked paprika, garlic and lemon juice. Mix together.
  5. Pour yogurt mixture over chicken and toss to coat the chicken with the sauce until all the ingredients are combined.


healthy cranberry chicken salad piled on top of a mound of apple slices

Can You Make Chicken Salad Without Mayo?

There are plenty of other options to use in place of mayonnaise.

  1. Plain yogurt
  2. Greek yogurt
  3. Dijon mustard
  4. Homemade Vinaigrette
  5. Hummus
  6. Pesto
  7. Avocado

Today I did a combo of yogurt and dijon mustard. What I love about this yogurt sauce is the tang you get from the yogurt and the mustard. The herbs balance it out and the smoked paprika gives the sauce a nice smoky flavor. You’re going to love it!

Light and Easy 15 Minute Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe begin served on a cutting board

This easy cranberry chicken salad recipe is made with pecans, celery and green onions then served on fresh apple slices. You’ll love the bread less option.

Now, if you’re on a low carb diet, you might want to serve it in lettuce cups because apples do tend to have quite a bit of carbs. (good carbs, but carbs none the less)

Or, you could just eat it plain. There are 26 grams of protein per serving so it’s a great protein burst and low carb if you eat it by itself.

I love how easy this chicken salad is to whip together … ahem 15 minutes people and it’s a great meal prep lunch for the week.

Bon Appetit friends!

close up photo of Light and Easy 15 Minute Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe in a serving bowl

close up photo of Light and Easy 15 Minute Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe in a serving bowl

Easy 15 Minute Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Bowl
  • Cuisine: American


A LIGHT & EASY CRANBERRY CHICKEN SALAD RECIPE that takes 15 minutes to make, high in protein and gluten free! 



  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked & shredded
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt (I used siggis)
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 apples, thinly sliced


  1. To a small bowl, add plain yogurt, dijon mustard, garlic clove, sage, thyme, smoked paprika and lemon juice. Stir together until combined. Set aside.
  2. To a large bowl add shredded chicken, celery, pecans, green onion and cranberries. Pour the yogurt sauce over and mix everything together.
  3. Top each slice of apple with 2 tablespoons of chicken salad.
  4. Serve!


*** nutritional information includes the apples. If you omit apples the calculations will be different.


  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup chicken salad + 4 apple slices
  • Calories: 328
  • Sugar: 18 g
  • Sodium: 362 mg
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 26 g
  • Cholesterol: 84 mg

Keywords: cranberry chicken salad, chicken salad recipe, easy chicken salad, how to make chicken salad, best chicken salad recipe, 30 minute meal, healthy lunch ideas, kid friendly recipes, gluten free recipes,

Want More Healthy Chicken Salad Recipes?

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Grilled Buffalo Chicken Salad an easy 30 minute recipe smothered in buffalo sauce and filled with grilled vegetables for one delicious bite! Summer salads never tasted so good! | gluten free recipes

Asian Chicken Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Chicken Fajita Salad with Chimichurri Dressing

Strawberry Avocado Chicken Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Hey There

Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football! { more }
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8 Responses
  1. Maria

    I love, love chicken salad but have yet to find a recipe that I really love. I’ll give this one a whirl because all the other ingredients are all things I like as well. Thank you. (You’re not alone with the choking fear, with my oldest (now an adult) I would break her Cheerios in half because I was so fearful of choking.)

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