I have a tendency to overbuy ingredients sometimes.  In this case, I bought an extra rotisserie chicken when I made the pineapple chicken salad for Andrew’s birthday party.  And because that version was so delicious, and because I was itching to make some more honey wheat sandwich buns, I thought more chicken salad would be just the right thing.  So I looked back through my recipes marked to try and this one immediately jumped out at me.  This is a fantastic variation on chicken salad.  I loved the little spots of sweetness provided by the dried cranberries, and the chopped pecans really added a depth of flavor.  Though I normally don’t love celery, I think it’s flavor is barely noticeable in chicken salad but it does contribute a delicious crunch to the texture.

One great thing about this recipe is how quick it was to prepare.  I think it took me all of 15 minutes to prep and mix up a batch.  I substituted half of the mayo from the original recipe with plain yogurt to cut the mayo taste, and I thought the balance was just right.  I gave it a quick taste-test immediately after mixing and felt it was slightly bland and needed a little something extra.  I threw in a bit more shallot and that really seemed to do the trick.  You could certainly use pre-chopped pecans from the store, but I prefer to buy pecan halves and chop them myself because (1) I LOVE using my chef’s knife, and (2) I think the pre-chopped pecan pieces are too small for my taste, and I like being able to control the size of the pieces myself.  All in all, this made for several days of very tasty lunches for us.  Yum!

  • Yield about 8-12 servings


4 cups of cubed cooked chicken
1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped (I skipped toasting them)
1 rib celery, finely diced
2-4 tbsp. finely minced shallot
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper


  • 01

    Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Mix well until thoroughly combined.  Adjust shallot and seasonings to taste.  Transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more to allow flavors to meld.  Serve.