Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Apple-Pecan-Chicken-Salad.jpg
Apple Pecan Chicken Salad. Linda Larsen
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
Ratings (14)

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad is one of my favorite main dish salad recipes. The combination of tender chicken, crisp pecans, tart apples, and a creamy honey mustard dressing is fantastic. 

Like all chicken salads, I prefer to make this with a rotisserie chicken. No other chicken cooking methods I have tried come close to matching the tender result of these grocery store birds. There's just something about roasting chickens while on a spit that results in the most tender and flavorful meat. Remove the meat from the bird and cut it into large chunks.

You can cook your own chicken for this recipe. I prefer chicken breasts because I think the flavor of that meat pairs best with the other flavors in this salad. Try baking the chicken breasts, on the bone or off, in parchment paper, or simmer them gently in water until they just reach 160°F. When the meat stands after cooking, the temperature will rise to 165°F, which is the safe final temperature for chicken breasts. Or try cooking a whole chicken on a rotisserie on your grill; you need special equipment and instructions for that task. You can cook large batches of chicken this way, let the meat cool, cube it, then store it in the freezer in 2 cup portions for recipes like this one.

You can double or triple this recipe if you'd like; I often do so it lasts longer. When hot summer weather is at hand, there's nothing nicer than having a huge batch of fabulous chicken salad in the fridge, ready and waiting for you. Just add some bakery muffins or breadsticks, some iced tea or white wine, and you have a fabulous meal with absolutely no cooking at all.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cup chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
  • 1 cup small pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries

How to Make It

In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, honey mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cooked chicken, the chopped apple, pecans, and dried cherries or cranberries to coat. Cover and chill the salad for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Store any leftovers, well covered, in the refrigerator up to three days.

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