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!
Originally posted 10-10-2011, updated 8-5-2021.
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).
Chicken Salad with Apples
- 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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How to Make Chicken Salad with Apples – Step By Step Photos
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.
Allow the chicken to cool for 5-10 minutes before chopping it into small pieces.
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.
Add the chopped chicken, diced apple, diced red onion, and ¼ cup dried cranberries to 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.
Pour the prepared dressing over top of the salad ingredients.
Stir until the salad ingredients are combined and coated with dressing. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.