I made a batch of this Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a recent bridal shower. Piled on mini croissants with a lettuce leaf, it was the perfect luncheon entree.

This is the Best Chicken Salad Recipe with a creamy dressing enhanced with sour cream, plus chewy Craisins, and crunchy pecans. Absolutely irresistible!

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a Crowd on a croissant

The Best Chicken Salad Recipe

I took my Fruity Chicken Salad and gave it a simple facelift, swapping out dried cherries for Craisins and grapes for chopped apples. I purchased some mini croissants for a dainty sandwich and added these to our luncheon buffet. Seeing Chelsea’s Messy Apron’s recipe for Sriracha Tuna Salad Wraps reminded me that old classics can be jazzed up and be even better than the original!

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a Crowd in a serving bowl

How to Make the Best Chicken Salad

I grew up eating tuna salad sandwiches made simply with canned tuna, mayo, and diced celery. It was only decades later that I found that cutting the mayonnaise with some sour cream kicked my tuna up a couple of notches.

Plus I started adding capers, pickles, a little lemon juice, and even fresh dill. Next came chicken salad, which also benefited from some sour cream.

Dried fruits, nuts, and diced Granny Smith apples provided some crunch, sweetness, and depth of flavor. No matter what you choose to add, I think you’ll become an instant fan of this chicken salad sandwich recipe!

Tip of the Day: Utilize your slow cooker and make Crockpot Chicken Breasts, a hands-off method of cooking the chicken for this recipe.

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad on a croissant served on a small white plate

More Sandwich Recipes You’ll Love:

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a Crowd

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a Crowd

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 16 servings

The best chicken salad recipe for entertaining.


  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped apple (I used Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
  • 3/4 cups chopped pecans (toast first for the best flavor)
  • 3- 3 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked, cooled and chopped


  1. Whisk together, the mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, pepper and lemon juice (use the smaller amount of salt and lemon juice to start).
  2. Stir in chicken, celery, apples, and Craisins. Taste for seasonings and add more salt and lemon juice if needed. Refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors meld.
  3. Serve as a salad over a crisp lettuce leaf or as a sandwich on a bun or croissant.


Servings depend on the size of your rolls or croissants and what else is being served at your brunch, picnic or luncheon.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 611mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 32g


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