Fruited Chicken Salad . $4.18

This is an oldie that I’ve been making since it was passed around in the 80’s or so. It’s incredibly good, cheap to make & everyone seems to like it. Best of all, the simple ingredients are available year round almost every where, and it’s a great use for left over chicken.

Fruited Chicken Salad
Fruited Chicken Salad

I’ve made a few changes over the years, leaving out the sunflower seeds (high in omega=6) and using pecans, instead; loading it up with grapes and celery, and using much less mayo and honey. Fresh herbs help, too…and they are always growing in my pot inside in the winter and on my kitchen steps in the summer.

Sometimes I make sandwiches, often I serve it over lettuce, and if I have the fancy little lettuces (think Aldi’s) lettuce cups come to mind.

Very inexpensive to make, as sandwiches it’s well under five bucks or so, and well worth it to sneak in a few fruits and vegetables.

Fruited Chicken Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 chicken breast halves, preferably bone-in, skin on, about 2 1/2 cups of chicken breast, diced or shredded
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of grapes, sliced in half (see photos, below)
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced or finely diced, about a cup
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise – I start out with about 3 tablespoons and see how it looks
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons honey, as desired
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon or basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or cashews

Roast chicken at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to an hour, until done. Remove from oven and let cool as you put together the other ingredients, then remove the bone and cut or pull into bite sized pieces. (Remember to save the bone for chicken stock.)

Cut grapes in half (see below), slice or dice celery and dice onion. I like to use the celery leaves in the salad, and then later in the garnish, too.

Put all into a bowl, add mayonnaise, honey, Dijon and tarragon or basil. Check and make sure it tastes good to you; I like it strongly flavored and a little zippy, but adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. Salt and pepper to taste, remembering when you add nuts, they may be salty.

Just before serving add cashews or sunflower seeds. Nuts or seeds may become soggy in the dressing; if left overs are apparent, add them to just the portion of the salad you know you’ll be using.

The next day, this will not look as attractive as the mayonnaise will mingle with the grape juices and get a little watery, but it will taste even better.

from the kitchen of

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read Strategies Applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Kitchen & Cooking Hacks:

To cut your grapes, lay down a lid with a lip, fill it with whatever round objects you wish to slice in half. Put a second lid on top and press firmly down with your hand and run a sharp knife horizontally between the two lids:

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Per Serving, based on the full amount of mayo and honey: 453 Calories; 36g Fat (66.8% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 33mg Cholesterol; 248mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 Fruit; 3 1/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

The fat content is a little high, but some of that is from the nuts; I also count on serving this in a sandwich or over lettuce greens, which improves the total ratio for the meal.  You could use a reduced fat Mayo or Greek, homemade Greek style, or regular lowfat yogurt.  See under Money & Time Saving Strategies, above.

Put Your Own Spin on It:

  • I like to load this salad up with as many veggies and fruits as I think my family will tolerate.  It’s certainly fine with less, if you have picky eaters, or it also makes a great vegetarian salad without the chicken.
  • Vary your fruits or try any combination you like.  This is perfect in the summer with freshly ripe nectarines.
  • It’s also very good with precooked wild rice and/or water chestnuts.
  • I can’t help but think how gorgeous this would be served layered in a clear glass bowl at a potluck or function, then mixed on the spot, or even in “Salad Jars” to take to work.

My Pay Off: 

This recipe uses very familiar ingredients that I know even my son will eat, and feels a little light and festive during the long winter season, and a great use of left over chicken for a no heat up the kitchen summer meal.

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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