Walnut & Cranberry Chicken Salad (AKA Cape Cod Chicken Salad) is an easy recipe perfect for meal prepping with crunchy nuts & tart craisins!
Why We Love Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad
- Chicken salad is a lunch staple at our house, but dressing it up with craisins and walnuts makes it SO freaking good!
- You can easily double this recipe to serve a crowd making this a great recipe to take to potlucks and cookouts. Prepare the chicken salad ahead of time and then lay out some buns or bread and lettuce and let everyone serve themselves.
- Skip the bread and eat this Cape Cod chicken salad from the bowl or in lettuce leaves for a low-carb option. (I’m totally making a sandwich, but you do you.)
- The bright tangy pops of dried cranberries mixed with crunchy walnuts and celery will have everyone asking you for the recipe.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Cape Cod Chicken Salad
CHICKEN: I like to you a rotisserie chicken for this recipe. It has great flavor; all you need to do is remove the skin and shred the meat.
DRESSING: To make the chicken salad dressing you’ll need, mayonnaise, plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream), garlic paste, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. The lemon gives a nice bright zing to the chicken salad. If you don’t have garlic paste on hand, you can mince a few cloves of garlic instead.
ADD-INS: To get that Cape Cod chicken salad taste, you’ll need craisins, walnuts, and celery.
SERVING: You can eat this chicken salad right from the bowl with some green onions sprinkled on top, serve it in lettuce leaves, or make a sandwich with some lettuce and bread or buns.
How to Make Cranberry Chicken SaladJump to Recipe
STEP 1 Stir together the dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl until combined and smooth.
STEP 2 Add the shredded chicken, walnuts, craisins, and celery to the bowl and mix until evenly coated in the dressing. You can stir in the green onions or sprinkle some over top for garnish. Serve as is or make some sandwiches!
Tips & Tricks
- If you’re in a pinch, you can swap out the lemon juice for lime juice.
- If you’d rather not use a rotisserie chicken, you can cook 2-3 chicken breasts and then shred them once cooled. You need about 3 cups of shredded chicken in total.
- If you want the dressing to be less mayo-y, you can use 1/2 cup of mayo and 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt/sour cream instead.
- The flavors will build the longer this chicken salad chills in the refrigerator but is still delicious when eaten right after making it.
Walnut & Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe FAQ
How do you keep chicken salad from getting watery?
Veggies like celery are “watery” and if you let your chicken salad sit the celery will start to release the water inside. If you’re not serving this salad right away, store the diced celery separated from the chicken salad and stir it in right before serving.
Do you shred or cube chicken for chicken salad?
This is 100% personal preference. I think shredded chicken has the best texture when making chicken salad. It also incorporates really well into the dressing.
If you prefer to cube the chicken, chop it into small pieces and not larger cubes. This way the chicken is about the same size as the larger add-ins and you won’t have big chunks of chicken falling out of your sandwich when you bite.
Does Costco have Cape Cod Chicken Salad?
They sure do! You can get a 40-ounce tub of cape cod chicken salad at Costco for $10. The only difference between their recipe and this one is that the Costco version uses pecans instead of walnuts.
Other Recipes You May like
- Classic Chicken Salad Recipe
- Chicken Salad with Grapes
- Egg Salad Recipe
- Ham Salad
- Bacon Avocado Chicken Wraps
- Club Sandwich
- Cranberry, Brie & Bacon Turkey Sandwich
Walnut & Cranberry Chicken Salad
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 tabelspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste (or 1 clove garlic minced)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 rotisserie chicken shredded (see note)
- ¾ cup craisins
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts chopped (see note)
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 1 ½ green onions thinly sliced
- 4 Green leaf lettuce for serving
- 4 Burger buns for serving
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Stir in the shredded chicken, craisins, walnuts, celery, and green onions. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Portion the chicken salad onto lettuce leaves or onto burger buns with some lettuce and serve.
- Nutritional information is for the chicken salad only.
- You can use 2-3 cooked chicken breasts instead of a rotisserie chicken. You’ll want about 3 cups of shredded chicken in total.
- For a less mayo-y flavor, you could use ½ cup mayo and ½ cup yogurt or sour cream.
- To toast walnuts: Place the nuts onto a cookie sheet and spread them into a single layer. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven and cool them to room temp.
- You don’t have to toast the walnuts, but it adds a nice flavor. This can be done ahead of time so they’re ready when you are to make the chicken salad.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.