An easy and quick meal or meal prep option, this paleo and Whole30 approved Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad makes a protein packed and filling meal for lunch or dinner! Made with just 7 ingredients and ready in 5 minutes.

Last updated on October 17, 2019. This recipe was originally posted on Pure Taste Recipes.

Close up of chicken salad with cranberries and pecans in a small bowl with greens and lemon wedges. There is a also a bowl of pecans behind it and a plate of carrots and celery in front of it.

We are in the season of being hella busy – traveling, weddings, parties, seeing friends and family, and more. So today I’m sharing a super simple and quick recipe for you! Nothing says easy like healthy chicken salad and since it’s fall and getting into the holiday season, I wanted to make a festive one – hello cranberry pecan chicken salad!

Lettuce wraps filled with cranberry chicken salad with pecans. The plate is garnished with lemon wedges. Next to it is a bowl of more chicken salad and a bowl of pecans.

By now y’all should know I love shredded chicken. I usually make a batch at the beginning of the week and it makes life so much easier come meal time. I’ll repurpose it a bunch of different ways and one of the ways is usually chicken salad.

I try to change the flavors and ingredients each week, but this cranberry pecan chicken salad is of my favorite. It has some sweetness from the cranberries, nuttiness from the pecans, and some freshness from the celery. The longer you let it sit, the better it gets too!

My dad is visiting and he tried it and loves it too! He said that usually all you can taste is mayo in chicken salad and this one is the complete opposite. It is lightly dressed with mayo (although you can add more if you like more mayo) and some lemon juice keeping it super light and fresh.

Bowl of cranberry pecan chicken salad over greens garnished with lemon wedges. Next to it is a small bowl of pecans and a plate of celery and carrots.

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad (Paleo/Whole30)

You only need 7 ingredients (plus some salt and pepper) and 5 minutes to whip up this chicken salad. The key is having shredded chicken already on hand. I usually make some in the crockpot or InstaPot in the beginning of the week, but you can also just use a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Here is what you need:

  • shredded chicken
  • celery
  • pecans
  • dried cranberries (a great brand with no added sugar)
  • mayo
  • cinnamon
  • lemon juice
  • lemon zest if you want to get a little fancy
  • salt and pepper

White counter top with a bowl of shredded chicken, bowl of pecans, bowl of dried cranberries, bowl of mayo, bowl of diced celery. bowl of cinnamon, and a lemon cut in half.

To make the chicken salad, it’s as easy as adding all the ingredients into a bowl and stirring to combine. Either eat it right away, or let it chill for a few hours to help the flavors come together. To keep it paleo and Whole30 approved, I used unsweetened cranberries and compliant mayo.

I feel it’s nice to have a healthy meal without any added sugar in the madness of all the candy and treats during the this time of year. If you aren’t doing the Whole30 and can’t find sugar free cranberries (I did link some above though), you can substitute with what you have on hand.

I love to serve this cranberry pecan chicken salad in lettuce wraps, on a salad, or just it as is with some veggies and carbs on the side. It would also be great on toast or sweet potato toast and in a sandwich – it is super versatile whatever way you want to have it!

Bowl with shredded chicken, diced celery, chopped pecans, dried cranberries, mayo, and spices.

Substitutions for Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

The beauty about chicken salad, is most of the time, whatever you throw in there, will work. You can make this your own depending on what you have on hand. Here are some of my suggestions:

  • nuts – if you don’t have pecans, you can sub walnuts or almonds. Any nut will work you can keep it nut free by using pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
  • dried cranberries – if you can’t find or have cranberries, diced apples or even raisins would work. Grapes would also be good too.
  • celery – if you don’t like celery, you can totally leave it out.
  • mayo – Greek yogurt is a great substitution for mayo and adds some protein and lowers the fat.

Make it your own for an easy family lunch, for meal prep, parties, or game day!

Three lettuce cups on a plate filled with chicken salad with cranberries and pecans and two lemon slices. The plate is sitting on a tan linen and next to it a bowl of more chicken salad and a small bowl of pecans.

More Paleo Chicken Salad Recipes

Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad

Paleo Buffalo Ranch Chicken Salad

Chicken Cabbage Salad

Harvest Chicken & Sweet Potato Salad

Bowl of pecan chicken salad with cranberries. Next to is a plate with celery and lemon wedges and a bowl of pecans.

Close up of chicken salad with cranberries and pecans in a small bowl with greens and lemon wedges. There is a also a bowl of pecans behind it and a plate of carrots and celery in front of it.
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad (Paleo/Whole30)

An easy and quick meal or meal prep option, this paleo and Whole30 approved Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad makes a protein packed and filling meal for lunch or dinner! Made with just 7 ingredients and ready in 5 minutes.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Paleo Chicken Salad, Pecan Chicken Salad, Whole30 Chicken Salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 5 cups
Calories 361kcal
Author Kelly

Ingredients

  • 4 cups shredded chicken (457 grams/16 ounces)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped (1/2 cup/65 grams)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 tablespoons mayo
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well to combine.
  • Serve in lettuce wraps, on salads, in sandwiches, or as a snack with veggies. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad (Paleo/Whole30)
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 361 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Potassium 40mg1%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 3IU0%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?If you make this recipe or anything from Eat the Gains, leave a comment and rating to let people know how you liked it! Also, make sure to post it and tag me so I can see all of your creations!! @eatthegains and #eatthegains on Instagram!

This post contains affiliate links and I may make little bit of money if you click on and purchase the products that are linked. It doesn’t cost you any extra money. The compensation helps with expenses to keep ETG up and running. I appreciate your support!