How to Make Chicken and Apple Salad – A Savory Apple Recipe

This chicken and apple salad is a tasty, easy to prepare lunch or dinner that’s full of flavor, crunch and nutrients.

chicken and apple salad on lettuce leaf

It’s inspired by the classic Waldorf Salad named for the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in NYC where it debuted in 1896 as a mix of apples, celery and mayonnaise. Since then, there have been endless variations.

My version includes the original cast and also has chicken, dried cranberries and yogurt for a lighter and more nutrient rich dressing. By adding a good quality protein source like chicken, this salad turns into a balanced meal – especially if you tuck it in a whole wheat pita, roll it in a tortilla wrap or serve it on a bagel or slice of bread.

chicken and apple salad in pita
Served in a pita with some fresh veggies makes for a satisfying lunch or summertime dinner.

Recipe for Chicken and Apple Salad

chicken and apple salad
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Chicken and Apple Salad

This classic chicken salad is equally good on a bed of lettuce, on a bagel, rolled in a tortilla shell or tucked inside a pita pocket.
Prep : 15 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large apple diced small
  • 2 celery stalks diced small
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup walnuts optional
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp parsley chopped

Instructions

  • In salad bowl, toss apples, celery, chicken, dried cranberries and nuts.
  • In separate bowl, mix remainder ingredients well.
  • Toss dressing with apples and chicken. Garnish with parsley.
  • Serve on a bed of lettuce, on bread, in a tortilla wrap, on bagels or in pita pockets.

Notes

Alternatives to Try: 
Use pumpkin or sunflower seeds instead of walnuts for nut allergies.
Use almonds, pecans, filberts instead of walnuts.
Use dill instead of parsley.
Garnish with shredded carrots for a pop of color.
Chop all ingredients very finely and place a scoop of finely minced salad on a crackers for a fantastic appetizer.
Use grapes or pears instead of apples.
Use raisins or other dried fruit instead of dried cranberries.
Tried this recipe?Mention @GetGettyS or tag #GetGettyS
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, chicken breast,, summer picnic

chicken and apple salad

How long will chicken and apple salad last?

This salad will last 3-4 days in the fridge.

If you’re serving it outside at a summer BBQ, remember these tips for summertime food safety.

What kind of chicken is best?

Choose whatever kind of cooked chicken (white or dark meat) you prefer.

Leftover Chicken

Leftover chicken is perfect for this salad. I usually make this salad after a nice roasted chicken dinner.

Sometimes, I’ll even use frozen leftover chicken. Yup, that’s right you can freeze leftover chicken!  Cooked chicken will last in the freezer for 2-3 months, so if things are feeling rushed after the big roast chicken dinner, let your chicken cool, wrap tightly and place in freezer. Thaw overnight in the fridge and you’re all set. Check manitobachicken.ca for more helpful tips on handling and storing chicken.

Rotisserie Chicken

Store bought rotisserie chicken also works great in this recipe.

rotisserie chicken
Rotisserie chicken is an easy and convenient option.

Homecooked Chicken Breasts or Thighs

If you don’t have leftover chicken, you can easily cook chicken breasts or thighs to use in this salad. Here’s a chart to help you calculate how much chicken you’ll need followed by three ways to cook chicken for use in recipes like this one.

chart showing how much chicken

To get great flavor and tender results try one of these cooking techniques:

Poach/BoilHow To Poach Chicken by the Canadian Chicken Farmers

Slow CookFlavorful Slow Cooker Chicken

 Quick Pan-fry 

  • Cut chicken into equal sized pieces.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large fry pan.
  • Add chicken pieces to pan and season with your favorite seasoning.
  • Stir and cook 5-7 minutes until cooked through. Internal temperature will be 74°C or 165°F.

Local Chicken

You know I’m all about enjoying local, seasonal produce – I’m also a big fan of supporting local producers and farmers. That’s why I encourage you to choose local chicken and why I’m happy to partner with Manitoba Chicken Producers on this post.

Here in Manitoba, there are 123 registered chicken farmers and 97% of our chicken farms are family owned and operated. When I buy local chicken – I’m supporting those families; families that live in my community and that I’m sure either I or someone in my circle knows. After all, here in Manitoba six degrees of separation is really more like two degrees of separation – am I right?! And now, more than ever, it feels good to support our community and our farmers.

You’ll know you’re buying Canadian Chicken when you see this logo on the package.

What kind of apples are best?

For this chicken and apple salad I recommend crunchy, slightly tart apples. Personally, my all time favorites are prairie apples which are a perfect blend of sweet and tart. That said, just about any apple will work, so when fresh, local apples aren’t available, use whatever apple is in your fruit basket. If you really want to pin me down for my top 5 picks, I recommend Ambrosia, Braeburn, Empire, Gala, Pink Lady apples. These are all crispy with a hint of tartness. If you prefer things on the sweeter side go for Golden Delicious. If you want interesting flavor, try Honey Crisp.

apples in bowl on lawn
Fresh, local apples, like these Prairie Sensation apples I picked, are the best, but really any apple will work for this salad.

I first developed this chicken and apple salad for my Apple Cookbook. It’s one of 17 savory recipes in this handy dandy ebook which has over 60 sweet and savory recipes and preserves.

If you make this chicken and apple salad, please take a photo and tag #getgettys and @ManitobaChicken so we can see it and like it!

This recipe was written in paid partnership with the Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, opinions are my own and a sincere reflection of life in my home.

Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer sharing tips and recipes to build confidence and teach skills on how to use whole seasonal foods. She is the author of several recipe books, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener. Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this.

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