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Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a Crowd | Perfect for showers, luncheons and more!

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a Crowd

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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.

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a Crowd on a croissant

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a Crowd

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

My Secret Ingredient

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 cranberry pecan chicken salad!

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

More Sandwich Recipes You’ll Love:

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a Crowd

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a Crowd

The best chicken salad recipe for entertaining.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 16 servings


  • 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.

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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 Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a Crowd | Perfect for showers, luncheons and more!

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17 comments on “Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for a Crowd”

  1. Who wouldn’t love a croissant sandwich! This looks droolworthy, Liz.

  2. apples and craisins? WOW now that one heck of a great chicken salad. I have a ton of leftover from the 4th chicken breast I bet it will be an awesome addition to the grilled flavor! thanks Liz!

  3. I love your trick of blending in some sour cream – I bet that does send this beautiful salad over the top. Yummy!

  4. The sour cream tip is good one. Heck this whole recipe is good — who doesn’t like chicken salad? And you’ve added a ton of flavor to yours. Thanks!

  5. Chicken salad is one of my favorites! Love this simple recipe – it always seems so perfect for a luncheon or party!

  6. This chicken salad looks like a way better version than the one I grew up eating! I love that you served it on mini croissants. How delightful!

  7. I love chicken salad and serving it on a croissant is a must! This looks wonderful!

  8. This looks like a lunch I could eat all week, and totally will. Love a good chunky chicken salad, especially on a nice croissant!

  9. How many cups of rotisserie chicken would be the equivalent in this recipe?

    • Hi, Lorrie,

      My quick calculations puts the measurement at about 8 cups of shredded/cubed rotisserie chicken. I think you’d be safe with 3 rotisserie chickens. Hope that helps!

      3/4 lb of chicken yields about 2 cups of cooked, chopped meat / 1 1/2 lb = 4 cups / 3 pounds = 8 cups and you should get up to 3 cups from a 2 lb chicken.

      • Thanks so much for the prompt reply! I have so recipes on my Pinterest boards from you – keep the great ideas coming!

  10. This is a great chicken salad sandwich! I make it for lunch for us, but have never thought of serving it to a crowd. Great idea and such a nice presentation!

  11. Coming to your blog makes me hungry!! 🙂

  12. My picky family would turn their noses up at the nuts and fruits. No worries though I will gladly take their portions!

  13. This chicken salad looks amazing, love the addition of pecans and cranberries!

  14. I made this for church, and got so much positive feed back on it. It was delicious!

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