Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad | Plum Pie

My all-time favorite chicken salad has to be the cranberry chicken salad from Celebrity Cafe & Bakery in Dallas. I still hold a special place in my heart for Wrightsville Beach, NC’s best at Robert’s Market (in both regular and low-fat), but Celebrity’s crunchy, sweet cranberry version wins by a landslide. When I lived in Dallas, my office was conveniently located around the corner from Celebrity in Highland Park Village. At least once a week, I picked up the cranberry chicken salad, changing it up a bit each time by ordering either the sandwich version or the salad version (you know, when I was trying to be “healthy”).

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad | Plum Pie

I’m sure you can imagine how tough the past two years have been without my weekly cranberry chicken salad fix. And after almost two years of living on the east coast, I decided to take a stab at recreating it. A few tweaks later, I’m pretty sure I hit the jackpot. I didn’t include celery because raw celery isn’t my thing, but it certainly would be good in this salad if you can’t imagine your chicken salad without it. Plus, Celebrity includes celery in theirs if you are concerned with being authentic to the origina

Here is where my recipe really diverges from the original inspiration. I lightened mine up with greek yogurt because I always always have greek yogurt in my fridge. In fact, I substitute it in tons of things because I love that it is tangy, light, and good for you, too! A last minute addition of rosemary added just the right amount of herby flavor making this sweet salad super savory. Serve over mixed greens dressed lightly with olive oil and lemon or on your favorite sandwich bread.

Now, I just need to figure out how to make those famous Celebrity iced cookies…

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad | Plum Pie

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

2 chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
1/3 cup granny apple, diced into small chunks (1/4-1/2 inch)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1.5 tablespoons shallot, minced
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayo (I use Duke’s but use your favorite)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or champagne vinegar)
1 tablespoon rosemary, minced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Once chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and cut chicken breast off the bone. Shred chicken breasts using your fingers or two forks or dice with a knife to about 1/2 inch cubes.

Mix together greek yogurt, mayo, apple cider vinegar, and rosemary.

In a large bowl, combine, shredded chicken (about 2 cups), pecans, shallots, green apple, and cranberries. Toss with dressing until well combined.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill for at least an hour until ready to serve.

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Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad | Plum Pie

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87 thoughts on “Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

  1. Marci

    Yum I love Celebrity chicken salad too, but I try not to think about it because you know it’s not so good for you. Yours looks delicious and a perfect match too. I love the roast turkey salad with cranberry and pecans too.

    1. brooke Post author

      I know. Love Celebrity. The problem was that I could never leave without a cookie. I have no self control! I heard they have new owners and the iced cookies aren’t as good though. Makes me sad. I like to think my chicken salad is healthier too…for chicken salad at least!

  2. Morgan

    I always use greek yogurt too – I usually prefer it over mayonnaise myself! This sounds extra yummy with the rosemary in it. I’ll be packing it for a picnic one day soon!

  3. GB Andrews White

    My mom loooooooooves celebrity so much and i love my aunt brooke so much!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. brooke Post author

      Thanks Lauren. I sub greek yogurt in everything…I love it! Let me know how you like the chicken salad too.

  4. Elizabeth

    I can’t wait to try this recipe… I’m off to the market now to pick up the ingredients I don’t have on hand as a matter of fact. Bizarrely, though I live in Massachusetts, I have a client whose office is in Highland Park Village; next time I’m in Dallas I know where we’re having lunch!

  5. Jessica

    A friend sent me this link and I made these sandwiches for lunch today. Yum! I cook for a crew of 8 on a boat and I’m always looking for something new and tasty. This was perfect! Thank you so much. 😀

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  7. Dawn

    OMGoodness!!! just made this for lunch SO good. Maybe one of the best Chicken Salads I’ve ever made..

    1. brooke Post author

      Dawn! That is such a compliment. Thank you. I am so glad that you like that chicken salad. It is one of my favorites as well!

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  14. Noelle

    I am too a HUGE fan of Celebrity and I can’t bring myself to eat anything but the Cranberry Chicken Salad Sandwich, ever!!! lol SO glad I found this recipe!! Can’t wait to try it!! xoxo

  15. Christi Rush Hain

    I can’t wait to try this!! I don’t like crunchy celery either but I do like the flavor so I found a solution. I cut the leaves up from the celery stalk and it adds a great yet mild celery flavor. Thanks again for doing all of the work for us : )

  16. Bre

    I just made this recipe and it was fantastic! I used rosemary spice instead of the fresh rosemary and it still tastes great. I love the Greek yogurt in here too. To me it tastes better with the celery in it. I will definitely be making this again!! Thanks for posting :-)

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  18. Alina

    Brooke, do you think it would be okay to use boneless and skinless chicken breast or do you think the skin and bone make the chicken more flavorful?

    1. brooke Post author

      Hi Alina,
      I do think that roasting chicken with the bone and skin-on (especially the bone-in) gives the chicken a lot more flavor and helps it to not dry out. That being said, it probably would be completely fine to use boneless, skinless for this recipe. Or you can always buy a rotisserie chicken at your grocery store!

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  20. Carrie

    Well, I just made this over the weekend and it was HEAVENLY!! I made enough to have it last a couple days. Once I put it in whole wheat wraps, my husband loved it that way. Very yummy. Thank you, for sharing your recipe! Next time though, I may not add as much rosemary. I felt like it might have been a bit much. But it was still so good. I also added more apples to my recipe (love apples), and I did what you said and made it with “greek yogurt” I used Fage yogurt. Excellent!! :)

  21. Kishli Ashley

    Hey there! I just found your blog from Pinterest! This looks delicious!! I am also in NC! Moved here a year ago from Dallas! I just miss it so much! I also worked right around the corner from HPV on Knox, and visited that Cekebrity location often! So glad to find your blog! Today I smiled and you reminded me of home!! Thank you! :)

  22. Cheryl

    I love Celebrity too! I have always gone to the one in Frisco and it is wonderful as well! Anyway, I have not tried this yet but it sounds yummy and I love how you “healthyfied” this! As for the cookies go to and type in the search “no fail sugar cookies” and for the icing type in the search box “sugar cookie icing” and my fave is by tara1970. Hope this helps! :) I am so looking forward to making this! Thanks!

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  24. emily

    Sounds a-maz-ing! Can’t wait to try it! Do you happen to know how many calories it has in it and how many servings it makes?

  25. Shaiana

    This dish is one of a kind! Choosing a site with a vast array of recipes is really a task unlike Gourmadia you can choose from a-z kinds of recipes!

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    1. brooke Post author

      Hi Carol,
      Depending on how big your servings are, this should be enough for about 4 to 6 people. I hope you like it!

  27. Darlene

    This was so amazing! I made it last night to have for lunch today and I had to force myself to put it away! DELICIOUS!

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  29. Rettabug

    Oh poop…I gave you a link to MY Pinterest!!! Sorry!

    Just put the title of your post into the Pinterest search site & you’ll see who I was speaking of.

  30. Leah

    This is so good! Eat it with crackers and just can’t get enough. If I’m feeling fancy, I toast the pecans first, too :) I also can’t do dairy so I do some mayo, a tiny bit of chicken stock, and some cashew cream that I make myself. The cashew cream recipe is silly easy and on this gf/most diary free blog:

  31. Gigi

    Omg this is so yummy I made it for y lunch for school. Instead I putt on. A whole wear tortilla as a wrap soooo yummy. (:

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  34. Beth

    I want to make chicken salad croissant sandwiches for 45 people. How do I increase this recipe?

    1. brooke Post author

      Hi Beth! The above recipes makes enough for 2 servings. You could probably stretch this to 3 servings though. I hope this helps!

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  38. Nikki

    Hi, Brooke. I’m making your yummy chicken salad recipe for the first time this weekend for a bridal shower and am wondering how many your recipe serves. I am planning on making 30 small croissants worth of chicken salad and need to know by how much to multiply your original recipe.
    Thanks! – Nikki

    1. brooke Post author

      Hi Nikki! This is perfect for a bridal shower! The recipe makes enough for about 2 sandwiches. It could probably make enough for 4 (maybe 6) mini sandwiches depending on how full you fill the croissant (or how big the mini croissant is). I hope this helps! Have fun this weekend :)

  39. Angela

    I followed this recipe exactly as it is, and this is by far the BEST chicken salad I’ve ever had! Thanks! :)

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  41. Lori Dusek

    The original owner’s of Celebrity Bakery opened Sugar & Spice Bakery in Plano @ Parker & Independence. If you’re in the area, please go by – they could use the business. Nice people!

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  43. Lorena G

    Sounds delish. Making a large batch & serving on croissants for my SIL’s baby shower. Thank you

  44. Jeni

    I doubled everything and felt that I needed to add some lemon juice – we like it tart. Excellent for leftovers, too.

  45. caitie

    I made this, and it was fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    I used boneless chicken breasts because that’s what I had on hand, but it still tasted great.

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  49. Gerry

    This was very tasty but I added the apple cider vinegar in steps to not overpower the rest of the dish even added a little stevia to balance the overall tartness. Great the next day.

  50. Donna

    Not sure if it was a particular brand of ingredient that I used, but I didn’t care for this recipe at all. I bought organic chicken and it cost $12, plus all the other ingredients and I just had to throw it out. No taste except for the Rosemary. And the yogurt was too sharp with the vinegar for my taste.

  51. anita

    I make something similar to this but I call it California Chicken Salad. I use green grapes instead of apple, chicken, celery, cranberries and slivered almonds then mayonaise and salt and pepper. Love apple cider so going to try your recipe now. try mine you will like it with the grapes and almonds

  52. Tiffany

    do you use Craisins or just dried cranberries? I don’t think actual dried cranberries wouldn’t add much sweetness, so I’m guessing you used Craisins.

  53. Leah

    So, so wonderful! I’ve made it for quite a few people and everyone always enjoy it. Now I get requests for it.

    I’ve made this several times with a few adjustments because I can’t do dairy. I always use a whole smallish chicken (and get a boat load of stock in the process). I use mayo instead of yogurt =/ but add a few tablespoons of my chicken stock to cut back on mayo. Also keeps the chicken from drying out. I also added a solid teaspoon of ground pepper and a big ol’ dash of salt right into the salad. I like salt :) And cut back on the vinegar (I’m a big vinegar fan but my partner doesn’t share my level of love). Thanks so much for posting this recipe! It’s become a staple in our house!

  54. Jessica

    Love, love, love this recipe! Delicious! I accidentally used Craisins but it was great! The Greek yogurt gives it a great tang! Thank you for sharing!

  55. Heather Minicucci

    I’ve made this a couple times now- it’s delicious! I buy honey wheat bread from Panera Bread because that’s my favorite. Thanks for sharing.

  56. jennifer

    my sister made this fo my cousin’s wedding shower last year and it was the BOMB! i couldn’t get enough! :)

  57. Erica S

    I just made it today and it was amazing!!! Loved it! Thanks so much! Will be making this often.

  58. shiva catering Fort Lauderdale

    I totally agree that Greek yogurt is a great substitute for mayo. We have been using it at home and it certainly tastes good. Thank you for this chicken salad recipe you have posted. This will add up to our list of incredible dishes! Keep posting!

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  60. Kathryn

    Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! YUM! It is so delicious! I made it yesterday for a picnic with friends, and everyone raved about it! I didn’t have pecans on hand, so I used smoked almonds, and it turned out great. The smoked almonds really complemented the rosemary. But I love pecans, so next time I will try those instead. Thanks again!

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