We entertain a lot around here. Sometimes I love to go all out and prepare large, very detailed meals that take a lot of time and effort, but usually that takes me away from being able to really spend a lot of time with my friends. So, most of the time, I prefer to fix up something that I can prepare ahead of time that I can just pull out and serve when we are all ready to eat.
I found this recipe about 10 years ago, while I was shopping at my local wholesale club. It was a recipe which called for using canned chicken (yuck!), which I wasn’t about to attempt. I thought that if I tweaked it a little bit I could really make it perfect. This is really easy to put together and fairly cheap to make. You can serve it on any kind of bread you like to use. I always prefer something from the deli and this time we used a sour dough french loaf. You can also put it in a dish and serve it with crackers. Either way, it’s amazing.
This is a great recipe to take when you have to bring a dish to share. It is quick to make and easy to transport. It’s perfect for lunch or a nice afternoon snack. In fact, we actually ate these for dinner last Friday night. I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t love this chicken salad
**For the Vegetarian version, just leave out the chicken.
**For the Gluten Free Version, the salad itself is GF, just use gluten free bread or crackers when serving.
Bekah’s Chicken Salad
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- up to 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries, chopped
- 1 cup celery, thinly sliced
- 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup green bell pepper, minced
- 1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts and almonds
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt or you can use regular/sea/pink salt
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 – 3/4 of an apple, chopped in small pieces
Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat some olive oil in a saute pan on medium heat until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. I used almond oil this time instead of olive oil and it gave the chicken a really great flavor. Remove from heat and let cool. Chop into small pieces.
My chicken kept disappearing and I couldn’t figure out what happened to it…until I caught this sneaky little sweetie girl taking pieces when I wasn’t looking!
In a large bowl add cranberries, celery, green onions, bell pepper and nuts.
We actually decided to alter the recipe a little bit this time and add in some apple. I had a large gala apple and we used about half of it. I just cut it up into small pieces to match the size of the rest of the ingredients. It really added a nice flavor and texture to the salad.
Mix in the chopped chicken, and mix well. I always add the chicken last so that it has had plenty of time to cool down before I add it with the rest of the ingredients. Add salt, pepper and paprika and mix until everything is coated evenly. Add in mayonnaise a little at a time until just coated. I never end up using a full cup of mayo, though you could if you want it a little more creamy.
Taste to make sure it is seasoned enough, if not, add in enough to suit your taste. Chill at least one hour. Serve as a sandwich or with crackers as an appetizer.
I hope you enjoy this as much as our family does!
Ummmmm…could you make this when we come in july? Pretty Please?
I am pretty sure I can make that happen! Just remind me!