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Front view of an apple cranberry chicken salad sandwich made with a gluten-free bun on a white plate.

Apple Cranberry Chicken Salad

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4.8 from 6 reviews

  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 15-20 minutes
  • Yield: About 4 cups chicken salad 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This chicken salad with apples is one of my favorite chicken salad recipes of all time! It’s the perfect combination of savory, sweet, creamy, and crunchy. A delicious meal-prep lunch! Don’t miss all our serving ideas below! (Gluten-Free, Paleo-Friendly)




  • 12 oz. cooked and cubed or shredded chicken (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup finely diced apple
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/3 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries*
  • 1/31/2 cup mayonnaise*
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/41/2 tsp. pepper
  • Optional: 1-2 Tbsp fresh herbs, like tarragon, dill, or parsley.


  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, apple, pecans, celery and cranberries.
  2. Add 1/3 cup mayo along with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper (and herbs, if using). Stir to combine, adding a few more tablespoons of mayo, if desired, depending on how well-dressed you prefer your chicken salad.
  3. Taste and add additional salt or seasonings, to taste.
  4. Store chicken mixture in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. 


  • Dip with crackers
  • Wrap in a tortilla
  • Serve on bread, rolls, buns, or croissants.
  • Scoop over salad greens
  • Spoon into lettuce leaves for lettuce wraps
  • Serve on thinly sliced apples


*PALEO NOTES: Use paleo-approved mayo (like Primal Kitchen), and naturally sweetened cranberries, like Made in Nature brand (sweetened with apple juice)


  • MIX UP THE NUTS! Try in walnuts, toasted almonds, or salty cashews instead of the toasted pecans.
  • ADD GRAPES. Add as many or few as you like! (1/2 cup halved or quartered grapes is a good place to start!)
  • ADD GREEN ONION. A sliced green onion can be a great addition!
  • TRY SOME FRESH HERBS. 1-2 Tbsp. of parsley, dill, or tarragon can be lovely.
  • ADD A PINCH OF CURRY POWDER. Add a little bit (1/4-1/2 tsp. or so) curry powder.
  • Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: American