This Apple Cranberry Salad with Chicken 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.
This Apple Cranberry Salad with Chicken definitely fits the bill -- especially drizzled with Creamy Roasted Jalapeno Lime Vinaigrette.
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.
I use 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 it 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.
More delicious main course salad recipes:
- Winter Fruit Salad with Udon and Chicken
- Shredded Chicken Cobb Salad
- Chopped Mexican Salad with Pepitas
- Cannellini Bean Tuna Salad
Apple Cranberry salad with Chicken 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 ½ cups), cut into bite-sized pieces
- 6 ounces Manchego cheese, cut into small dice
- 1¼ cup scallions, finely chopped
- 1 packed cup cilantro, washed and dried, roughly chopped
- ¾ cup roasted pepitas
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- about ¾ recipe Creamy Roasted Jalapeno Lime Vinaigrette
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Cook chicken. 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.
- Combine ingredients. 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.
- Assemble. Gently mix the salad with the Creamy Roasted Jalapeno Lime Vinaigrette.
Cooking On The Weekends is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Replace the word "vinaigrette" with wine and that's often how my cook's mind works too. Beautiful salad. GREG
LOVE that, Greg. XO 🙂 (And thank you.)
I love that this is perfect for a quick, weeknight meal! Looks delicious.
Thanks so much, Brandi! 🙂
I love salads and this one sounds so flavorful.
I have SO many apples right now...this salad is going to be a perfect way to put them to use!
Yay! I love that, Sarah! 🙂
I went apple picking this weekend and have a giant bag of apples and no clue what I want to do with them. I'm definitely going to have to give this a try!
Oh how perfect. How fun to go apple picking! 🙂
Allison - Celebrating Sweets
What a fabulous fall salad! I love that you used manchgo - so good!
Thanks, Allison. Hope you try it! 🙂
Thanks for the two-in-one garlic-free recipes! Love it!
Your description talks about avocado: "The sweet apples and dried cranberries with the creamy avocado..." but I don't see avocado in the actual recipe. Should there be some?
Hi Molly, my apologies for taking a few days to get to this -- I was on vacation an away from work. THANK YOU so much for pointing this out to me, and I'm sorry for my error. YES, the avocado should have been listed, and I've now edited it in. It's about 2 1/2 cups avocado cut into bite-sized pieces. Hope this wasn't too late if you wanted to make it. Thanks for visiting my site. 🙂 ~Valentina
Australians eat salads as a main meal any season of the year . . . and this one does beckon ! Both apples and avocadoes have just come into season and I love your ;definite' use of coriander and green onions . . . . chicken perchance may be thigh meat . . . shall report back 🙂 !!
Thank you, Eha! Will be delicious with the thigh meat. Enjoy! 🙂 ~Valentina