This Curry Chicken Salad with Dried Cranberries and Toasted Walnuts is a favorite of mine. The dried fruit and toasted nuts really elevate the salad and it’s fantastic.
I first had this Curry Chicken Salad with Dried Cranberries and Toasted Walnuts at a networking event at a local Chamber of Commerce event that I attended several years ago. It was so good that everyone wanted the recipe from the woman who had made it. She told us it was her favorite thing to prepare with leftover chicken and now it’s mine too.
Though I’ve made it with leftover grilled chicken breast I think it best when I buy or make a rotisserie style chicken and use a combination of dark and white meat. One whole chicken is just about enough to double the recipe too if you’re making it for a crowd. I decided to make this just for me this past week and hide it at the back of the fridge so I wouldn’t finish it off in one day!
I’ll eat it on a crusty roll as a sandwich but also love it simply scooped onto some lettuce and served with crackers and grapes. Always grapes. I’m not sure why but for me grapes are a must with this salad; they are a great complement with the curry spice in the chicken.
Over the years I’ve modified the original a bit with the addition of some dried cranberries and toasted nuts; while I love the splash of color and texture they add, the combination of the two really elevate a simple chicken salad from really good to extraordinary.
We’ve enjoyed this using turkey as well; especially after Thanksgiving when we have such an abundance of turkey. I start to crave something a bit lighter for dinner that doesn’t taste like a rehash of our Thanksgiving meal. It really is great all year round!
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Curry Chicken Salad with Dried Cranberries and Toasted Walnuts
For the Curry Mayonnaise:
- 1/2 c. good mayonnaise Not salad dressing
- 1/2 c. Greek yogurt not absolute, but I just love Greek yogurt!
- 2 T. mild tasting oil preferably walnut oil, but you can use plain salad oil
- 1 T. curry I get my curry from a local spice shop; the difference in using a good curry really is evident!
For the Salad:
- 2 cups cooked diced or shredded chicken
- 1/2 c. – 3/4 c. dried cranberries raisins can be substituted
- 1/2 c. – 3/4 c. toasted walnuts or pecans coarsely chopped
- Minced onion to taste - 2-3 Tbsp
- Salt and pepper to taste
Make the dressing; mix mayo and yogurt in medium size bowl and set aside.
In a small skillet heat curry & oil over low heat until fragrant. Let cool and whisk into yogurt/mayo mixture.
Put chicken, cranberries, toasted nuts, and onion in a medium bowl and gently combine. Add the dressing and toss just to cover all of the other ingredients.
Season with salt and pepper to your taste and then chill for a couple of hours or overnight.
I always serve with red grapes on the side; I just love the combination of the seasoned salad with the crisp sweet grapes.