The Sweet Dried Fruit You Should Start Adding To Your Chicken Salad

Chicken salad can be a go-to, easy-peasy prep meal for weeknights, but your recipe is missing one ingredient: dried cranberries. Dried cranberries are succulent, sweetened berries that have undergone a dehydration process, concentrating their natural flavor. If you're wondering what chicken salad is, think of it as egg salad's distant cousin. It's a mayo-based dish with the usual addition of shredded or cubed chicken and celery. As for the dried cranberries, they can add a sweet and chewy component to your salty chicken and mayo-based recipe.

Adding dried cranberries to your chicken salad is a breeze. Simply toss a handful of these delectable treats into your salad bowl during the assembly process. The amount of dried cranberries to add depends on personal preference and the overall quantity of your chicken salad. Generally, adding a quarter to a half cup of dried cranberries per two to three cups of salad is a good starting point.This ratio allows the cranberries to shine without overpowering the dish. Adjust the quantity according to your taste, aiming for a balanced blend of sweet and savory flavors.

Dried cranberries not only add sweetness to your chicken salad, but they are also good for you. Cranberries belong to the same family as blueberries, known as the heather family (according to Healthline). They are also high in vitamins and low in calories. In 1/4 cup of dried cranberries there are about 130 calories (according to But cranberries aren't the only way to get a little creative with your chicken salad recipe. 

Other additions to incorperate into your chicken salad

Now that we've introduced you to the concept of incorporating cranberries into your chicken salad mix, there's a whole world of possibilities to explore for enhancing your recipe. Beyond cranberries, consider introducing a satisfying crunch by adding chopped nuts like almonds or walnuts. Alternatively, you could experiment with the savory kick of crumbled feta cheese or the natural sweetness of diced apples. For those with more adventurous tastes, some chicken salad enthusiasts even vouch for the delightful addition of grapes to the mix.

If you're looking to infuse a Southwest flair, think about including ingredients like bacon and corn to create a unique Southwestern-style chicken salad. And for those seeking a healthier alternative to the traditional mayo-based dish, Greek yogurt or sour cream can work wonders as substitutes. Don't be afraid to get creative – these seemingly unconventional choices can yield surprisingly delicious results. For an extra dose of healthy fats, consider incorporating mashed avocado into your Greek yogurt mixture.

These inventive additions and substitutions can truly elevate your chicken salad, transforming it into a delightful culinary adventure. However, amidst all these possibilities, there's one technique that stands out as irreplaceable in chicken salad recipes: poaching the chicken. Poaching involves gently simmering your chicken in a liquid base like water or stock.

Whether you prefer your chicken salad basic, or one amped up with cranberries and various toppings, remember that there's no wrong way to enjoy it.