This Apple Chicken Salad is an easy recipe and loaded with crunchy apples, pre-cooked chicken and salad greens. Every bite is packed with flavor and texture, and this fresh, healthy salad is a delicious lunch that’s also perfect for potlucks.
Change up your classic chicken salad, and add some sweet apples, cranberries, and pecans to it for a delicious meal any afternoon or night of the week!
I have this thing for homemade chicken salads – chicken salad sandwiches on my favorite bread, green salads with chopped chicken – you name it I’m ALL over it.
They’re perfect for serving for a ladies’ luncheon and make casual dinners a breeze.
With little fuss and some easy prep, this is a great way to use up some leftover chicken for an easy and delicious meal.
SAVE THIS APPLE CRANBERRY CHICKEN SALAD RECIPE TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
Inspired by Schlotzsky’s Orchard Salad, this easy, prepared ahead-of-time dish will have you looking forward to lunch time! It might also remind you of Panera’s Fuji Apple Chicken Salad.
Pair it with a thick slice of Zucchini Apple Bread and top it off with a Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookie to satisfy your sweet tooth. Perfect all year round but also a Fall, Thanksgiving side dish favorite.
What’s in Orchard Salad?
- Mixed Greens: the blend may vary and you could use whatever you have on hand to substitute, like romaine or arugula.
- Goat Cheese: has a tart, earthy flavor. Feta cheese has a saltiness that works as well.
- Pecans: Crunchy, crisp, buttery and sweet. Candied pecans would be a fun twist.
- Dried Cranberries: tart and chewy!
- Apple: slice thinly for a crisp sweetness in the salad. I like to use a Honeycrisp apple, but you can also use Granny Smith, Gala apples, apple chips, Pink Lady, Fuji apples, or Red Delicious.
- Red Onion: Spicier and sharper than yellow onions. If your red onions are too pungent, rinse in cold water and dry.
- Rotisserie Chicken: It’s easiest to debone a rotisserie chicken while it is warm. Yet, you can also use whatever chicken you have on hand. If you have some extra chicken breasts from dinner earlier in the week, you can use those, too! Thanksgiving turkey leftovers would also be a great substitute in this salad!
- Raspberry Vinaigrette: There are a few varieties to purchase at the grocery store or you could make your own.
Optional add ins: Red grapes, green onion, fresh herbs, croutons, quinoa, farro, and barley.
Make this salad your own!
How do I make this fabulous salad?
It doesn’t get any easier than putting that ingredient list into a large bowl after you’ve chopped everything on your cutting board, and tossing everything together!
Top with the salad dressing just before serving or serve it on the side for people to use as much or as little as they want themselves.
Can I prepare this easy chicken salad recipe ahead of time?
The good news is YES!
To prepare this Cranberry Apple Salad as a make ahead dish, simply cut up the ingredients and store the ingredients in a separate airtight container for lasting crispiness. Wash and make sure to completely dry the mixed greens before storing in a ziplock bag with a paper towel to keep from wilting.
If you cut the apples in advance, squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top to prevent browning.
Crumble the goat cheese immediately out of the refrigerator for an even crumble because once it warms up it will get a little messier.
Alternatively, you could combine the salad ingredients, except for the Raspberry Vinaigrette which you’d add once you’re ready to eat, for an easy lunch away from home.
What to serve with Cranberry Apple Chicken salad?
Juicy cooked chicken, tart cranberries, sweet crisp apples, goat or feta cheese and crunchy pecans over a bed of lettuce join together in this satisfying salad.
Apple Chicken Salad
- 5 cups mixed greens
- 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 apple thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons diced red onion
- 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1/2 cup raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing
- In a large bowl add all of the ingredients and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Toss well to combine and serve.
did you make this recipe?
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