Chicken Salad with Apples

$10.35 recipe / $2.59 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.87 from 22 votes
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I’m kind of obsessed with chicken salad lately. It’s easy to prepare, super filling, and the perfect cold meal during these hot summer months. I especially love this chicken salad with apples because it’s full of sweet and crunchy apples, sweet-tart dried cranberries, and a simple homemade dressing that has a bright fresh flavor thanks to the addition of yogurt. And as usual, there are plenty of ways you can add to or swap out ingredients in this recipe. So keep reading for ideas! 

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken salad with ingredients on the sides

What Kind of Cooked Chicken to Use

I cooked up some fresh chicken breasts just before making my chicken salad (see the step by step photos below the recipe). But you can use any pre-cooked chicken like, poached chicken, baked chicken, or rotisserie chicken. If using rotisserie chicken, simply pull the meat from the bone, remove the skin, and give the meat a rough chop. You’ll need about 3 cups of chopped chicken for this recipe. You can also use canned chicken breast, if needed, although that option will have the least desirable texture and flavor of the three options.

What Else Can I Add to My Chicken Salad?

Chicken salad is so flexible. Nuts pair really well with the flavors of this salad, so you can try adding some almonds or chopped pecans. Finely diced celery adds a nice crunch and fresh herbs make the flavor nice and lively (basil, terragon, chives). And if you don’t have dried cranberries, golden raisins or red grapes also work really well in this recipe.

How Long Does it Last?

This salad is usually good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but it can vary depending on the freshness of your chicken and the conditions inside your refrigerator. This salad should not be frozen.

How to Serve

You can serve chicken salad several different ways. The most common is as a chicken salad sandwich and you can do this on your favorite bread, on a croissant (like in the photos), or in a wrap. It’s also a great topper for a green salad, or you can serve it with crackers and a delicious dip (you might want to chop the chicken and apples a little smaller in that case).

Overhead view of chicken salad sandwiches with croissants

Love chicken salad? You might also like Curry Chicken Salad or Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad.

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Chicken Salad with Apples

4.87 from 22 votes
This chicken salad is packed with sweet and crunchy apples, tart dried cranberries, and a light and creamy homemade dressing.
Side view of a bowl of chicken salad with apples, croissants in the background
Servings 4 1 cup each
Cook 15 minutes
Total 15 minutes


  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken ($7.97)
  • 1 apple (1.5 cups chopped) ($0.76)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion ($0.20)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries ($0.22)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise ($0.53)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt ($0.35)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard ($0.18)
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)


  • Chop the cooked chicken and the apple into small pieces. Finely dice the red onion.
  • Place the chicken, apple, onion, and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
  • Combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, Dijon, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir until smooth.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl and stir until everything is coated. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 367kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 34gFat: 19gSodium: 395mgFiber: 2g
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Side view of a bowl of chicken salad with apples, croissants in the background

How to Make Chicken Salad with Apples – Step By Step Photos

Cooked chicken breast in a skillet

You’ll need about 3 cups chopped cooked chicken for this recipe, so if you’re not using rotisserie chicken, you’ll want to cook some chicken first. I used two chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total). I filleted each breast in half to make two thinner pieces, which helps them cook more quickly and evenly. Then I just cooked them in a skillet with a little oil over medium heat until they were golden brown on each side and cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF.

Chopped chicken on a cutting board

Allow the chicken to cool for 5-10 minutes before chopping it into small pieces.

Chopped apple on a cutting board

Chop one apple into small pieces (about 1.5 cups). You’ll probably want to use a variety of apple that is sweet or sweet-tart, like a Fuji or Gala. Also finely dice about ¼ cup red onion.

Chicken salad ingredients in a bowl

Add the chopped chicken, diced apple, diced red onion, and ¼ cup dried cranberries to a bowl.

chicken salad dressing ingredients in a bowl

To make the salad dressing, combine ⅓ cup mayonnaise, ⅓ cup plain yogurt, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Stir until evenly combined and smooth.

Dressing being poured over the chicken salad ingredients

Pour the prepared dressing over top of the salad ingredients.

Finished chicken salad with apples in a bowl

Stir until the salad ingredients are combined and coated with dressing. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Chicken salad sandwiches made with croissants on a wooden cutting board
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    1. I personally don’t think tuna would be a good fit with the apples and cranberries, but it all comes down to personal preference!

  1. I have made this Twice now 😋
    You can put anything you have on hand in it and it’s GREAT!!!!!!
    I just put dried blueberries & honey pecans in it!! found those at Walmart last week for just a regular salad topping
    I Love the sauce.
    Thank YOU for an awesome recipe!!

  2. Excellent. Skipped cranberries because I didn’t have but will add next time. Added stalk of celery. This dressing will b great for other recipes. Might throw some almonds next time. Ready for summer with this recipe. 😊 Thanks

  3. This looks delicious and want to pick up everything at the next grocery store run but I have one question. Most of my family have a problem eating raw onions. They can eat cooked but raw gives them bad heartburn, except for Vidalia, which are only available during the summer. Should I substitute another veggie or just leave them out? Thank you for any thoughts.

    1. You can sub with green onions, shallots, or pickled onions. If they also have issues with those ingredients, I recommend leaving them out. XOXO -Monti

  4. Love love love this recipe! It’s a new family favorite!  It’s so easy to modify this recipe to make it your own.  I added in chopped celery for some added crunch and cooked my chicken in the instant pot with our favorite seasonings.  The first batch was gone day one and already asked to make another :) 

  5. Forgot the mustard, added a spoon of honey, water chestnuts and orange slices with a few squirts of lemon juice. Dried the rotisserie chicken in paper towels and it all blended well. Next time I’ll remember the Dijon. It was wonderful!

  6. This hit the spot! We like to instant pot or slow cook chicken to make sandwiches with, and this recipe was delicious. I made more sauce since we like our chix sammies saucy. Will definitely make again! 

  7. I made this with Tofurky Chick’n for a vegetarian version and it was really good!

  8. I just used some left over coconut chicken from your recipe in the dish and YUM!! Thank you!

  9. This recipe is absolutely, amazingly, delicious! I followed the recipe and only added celery. Thank you for this recipe. It will definitely be in our rotation, and a great meal for these hot Texas nights!

  10. I am looking to feed my young vegan who used to love chicken salad. Have you ever come across a suitable substitute for the chicken in a chicken salad? I realize this sounds like a ridiculous question , I do. Thank you! Love your meal plans.

    1. I have a few chickpea salads on here that might work! None of them are vegan, as they include either yogurt or mayo, but you could probably use store-bought vegan alternatives for those ingredients. Just type “chickpea salad” into the search bar at the top to see them. :)

    2. I’m vegetarian, and I usually do either: a.) a chickpea/bean salad like Beth suggested or b.) use beyond meat “chicken” strips. They’re the best of the non-fried chicken subs I’ve had! But I personally prefer just going all in on a good chickpea salad.

  11. I’m going to try this with Soy yogurt, since I’m lactose intolerant and can’t digest dairy. Soy yogurt is not something i like, but I’m hoping the seasonings will make it palatable. Finger crossed.

    1. Have you tried Cashewgurt? Much better than soy yogurt. Add a bit of lemon juice to give it that yogurt tang.