This Apple Chicken Salad Recipe with Cranberries holds its own as a main course, and is full of sweet, savory and spicy flavors that will keep you coming back for more. The Jalapeño Vinaigrette puts it over-the-top!Sometimes there’s nothing I want more for a meal than a big, hearty, healthy salad packed with goodness. And by the way, a lovely salad can be just as desirable in the fall and winter as it is in the spring and summer.
And guess what? Salads can be comfort foods too.
Apple Chicken Salad Recipe with Cranberries definitely fits the bill.
What’s in Apple Chicken Salad Recipe with Cranberries?
- Romaine lettuce
- apples (I like Fuji in this recipe)
- Manchego cheese
- dried cranberries
- Creamy Roasted Jalapeno Lime Vinaigrette
If you weren’t already hungry, I’m thinking you might be now.
What apple varieties can you use in this salad?
Of course you can use any apple variety you love, but I usually suggest crisp apples for salads. The crunch is lovely! I used Fuji in this recipe, and you can also use Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honeycrisp Pink Lady, or any combination thereof.
When to Serve it
The combination of the sweet apples and dried cranberries with the creamy avocado, sautéed chicken and Manchego cheese will make you want this for lunch and dinner, and perhaps brunch, too. It’s also a fantastic salad to bring to a potluck or a picnic.
This chopped chicken-apple salad is impressive enough to serve to guests and casual and easy enough for a quick weeknight dinner.
Can you make Apple Chicken Salad Recipe with Cranberries ahead?
Mostly yes. You can prep all of the ingredients except for the avocado the day before. You can even toss it without the dressing. Then, just before serving add the avocado and dressing.
Chicken-Apple Salad Recipe
- olive oil for the pan
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded so they’re even
- 3 heads (about 8 cups) Romaine lettuce, washed and dried, roughly chopped
- 2 crisp apples (about 3 cups), washed and dried, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large avocado (about 2 1/2 cups), cut into bite-sized pieces
- 6 ounces Manchego cheese, cut into small dice
- 1 1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
- 1 packed cup cilantro, washed and dried, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup roasted pepitas
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- about 3/4 recipe Creamy Roasted Jalapeno Lime Vinaigrette
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil and place it over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and then place them in the pan. Sauté just until they’re cooked through, about 7 minutes, depending on the thickness. Flip them halfway through the cooking process. Set aside to cool.
- In a very large mixing or serving bowl, toss the lettuce with the apples, avocado, Manchego, scallions, cilantro, pepitas, and cranberries.
- Once the chicken has cooled to room temperature, slice it into bite-sized pieces and add it to the bowl.
- Gently mix the salad with about 1 recipe of the Creamy Roasted Jalapeno Lime Vinaigrette. (You might use less than all of it — it’s up to you.)
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