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Curried Chicken Salad with Cranberries

Every family has their go-to comfort food or traditional meal.

Growing up, roasted chicken dinner was it. To this day, the sight and smell of a whole chicken roasting away in the oven brings back fond memories.

Like most Sunday night dinners, you make more than you can eat – and that’s where repurposing the leftovers comes in.

Today I’m sharing a recipe for curried chicken salad with cranberries that makes perfect use of the leftover meat from a roast chicken (pssst – it works equally well with turkey!).

I prefer to roast my own chicken, so I get to choose the quality of the meat (pasture-raised is my preference) and the spices, however if you’re in a bind, a grocery store rotisserie chicken works just as well.

Most curried chicken salad recipes call for raisins, but I’ve just never been a fan.

Usually, people put in wayyyy too much and I find myself picking out about half of them. Curried chicken salad is meant to be savory, not a dessert, right?

Dried cranberries – and in a more moderate amount – are a great compromise. You get that touch of sweetness balanced out with a little tartness.

Also, “Curried Chicken Salad with Cranberries” just sounds better. That has to be worth something!

Curried Chicken Salad with Cranberries

  • 3 lb leftover cooked chicken, cubed
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 apple, finely diced (choose a crisp variety, like Pink Lady or Honeycrisp)
  • 1-2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (I use a homemade macadamia nut oil mayo, so I can avoid processed vegetable oils & icky additives-see notes)
  • ½ cup full-fat sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp mild curry powder (I use Madras brand)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup cashews, chopped (optional)


  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Let sit for 30 minutes (or overnight) for flavors to meld.
  3. Serve in lettuce or kale leaves, with celery sticks, or crackers of choice.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: This recipe works equally well with turkey. Curried turkey salad with cranberries has a good ring to it, no?

Avoid processed vegetable oils & icky additives.

For the curry lovers out there,

a) This recipe has a pretty decent amount of curry powder (I’ve even made it with an extra Tbsp of curry powder when I’m really feelin’ it).

b) You’ll probably want to make my Roasted Curried Cauliflower at some point…

For the not-so-into-curry crowd, feel free to cut back the curry powder to 1 ½ Tbsp for a more subtle flavor. I promise I won’t be offended. 🙂

If you like this recipe for curried chicken salad with cranberries, tell me about it in the comments below.

Primal Curried Chicken Salad with Cranberries

Curried Chicken Salad with Cranberries Homemade Mayo

Until next week,

PS – If you’re using the meat from a whole chicken, be sure to save all the bones and scraps to make homemade broth from scratch (yep, we’re talking miraculous “bone broth” you’ve heard so much about). Here’s my method.

Veggies: Eat them because you want to, not because you have to

Your guide to making vegetables taste seriously good

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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.


Leave a comment
  1. I love curried chicken! I’m usually one who likes hot curries though, but this looks awesome!

    • Fellow spicy food lover here, Cassie. Feel free to use a spicy curry powder, some cayenne, or minced jalapeno if you want a little heat. 😉

  2. OMG this looks delicious. I love curried chicken salad, but I’m not a raisin person. I don’t know why I never thought of using dried cranberries. I’m gonna try your recipe stat!

  3. Is this recipe gd friendly and would it work if I made it dairy free?

    • Definitely GD friendly. You can cut down on the dried cranberries, if needed. I have not tried making it dairy free, but I’m sure it would still be delicious.

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