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Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Apple pecan chicken salad is a classic chicken salad combination that is an all time favorite. With a mix of juicy chicken breasts, tart apples, crunchy pecans and celery, this chicken salad recipe makes a big batch making it perfect for parties, bridal showers, baby showers. Or just for those of us with teenagers in the house.

apple pecan chicken salad in a floral bowl

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this chicken salad sandwich recipe for the blog, taken pictures of it, and then decided that the chicken salad didn’t look pretty enough. LOL. Apparently photographing chicken salad is my Achilles heel.

apples on a cutting board, chopped pecans in a measuring cup, and cooked and shredded chicken in a bowl

Well, even though I still think this could look prettier, it’s getting published today because apple pecan chicken salad is one of my favorite sandwiches. Some people use canned chicken breast to make chicken salad, but I like making a big batch of shredded/chunked chicken in the instant pot to have on hand for recipes like this.

Related Recipe: Big Batch Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

A white bowl full of shredded chicken with 2 freezer bags of chicken next to it.

Let’s talk about the ingredients:

Shredded or chopped cooked chicken. 

As stated above, my favorite is making a big batch of shredded chicken in the instant pot for this recipe, but you can also use rotisserie chicken, canned and drained chicken breast chunks, or even leftover turkey.

 chicken, chopped celery, chopped apples, and chopped pecan s in a metal bow

Mayo- Mayo is generally the most prevalent binder for any chicken salad recipe. It’s my choice. If you can’t have it or don’t like it, you can try substituting greek yogurt. 

Apples- I use Gala apples in my chicken salad, but feel free to mix it up according to what you have on hand. If you don’t have any apples, try grapes instead. 

chopped pecans, chopped apples, chopped celery, and mayo in a metal bowl

Celery- adds great crunch to any chicken salad sandwich

Pecan pieces- use the cheaper and smaller pecan pieces for chicken salad instead of halves. You can also use sliced or slivered almonds as a substitute. 

Poppy Seeds- add color and a tiny bit of crunch to chicken salad. Totally optional, but I always add them.  

apple pecan chicken salad on a bed of lettuce with fruit on a floral plate

Other optional add-ins or substitutions

Craisins, dried cranberries go well with this version of chicken salad. 

Canned pineapple tidbits

How long does chicken salad keep in the fridge? 

Chicken salad will stay good for about 3-4 days when it’s kept in the fridge.

apple pecan chicken salad sandwich with a side of fruit on a floral plate

What to serve with chicken salad?

I like to serve these sandwiches with chips, fruit, and often another salad.

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Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Apple pecan chicken salad is a classic chicken salad combination that is an all time favorite. An easy make ahead recipe perfect for parties and busy weeks.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups shredded chicken
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 2 apples, cored and diced
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

    1. Wash and chop your fruits and veggies.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken with the celery, apples, pecans, mayo and poppy seeds.
    3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    4. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Notes

This apple pecan chicken salad will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Substitutions and add ins: Try adding grapes or pineapple tidbits in place of the apple. Slivered or sliced almonds or cashews may be added in place of the pecans.

Craisins also make a great addition to this chicken salad.

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Apple pecan chicken salad is a classic chicken salad combination that is an all time favorite. An easy make ahead recipe perfect for parties and busy weeks.

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