Balsamic Chicken Salad with Cherries

Give traditional chicken salad a sweet and tangy twist by making Balsamic Chicken Salad with Cherries using tangy vinaigrette, crunchy apples, and chopped nuts.

We seem to always have extra chicken in the refrigerator or freezer waiting for something delicious and creative to be done with it. Whether it is pulled chicken off a rotisserie chicken from the deli or grilled breasts that have been frozen individually for later use, chicken salad seems to be a favorite use for leftover chicken.

Give traditional chicken salad tangy twist with balsamic vinaigrette, apples and nuts.Click To Tweet

Brent has taken the reigns when it comes to chicken salad making and is always experimenting with new flavor combos. Lately, we’ve loved replacing mayo with Greek yogurt and prepared balsamic vinaigrette for a tangy taste and creamy twist. We use whatever nuts we have on-hand like pistachios, almonds, or pecans and chop and toast them before adding to the salad. I’m also pro fruit in chicken salad (what’s your take–yes or no?) and use either grapes or apples or both. On fun twist is to add chopped dried cherries or cranberries for sweetness and color.

Once you have the general feel for how to prepare the recipe, you can adapt it to fit your needs–fruit or no fruit, mayo or Greek yogurt, etc. No recipe required!

Once you’ve prepared the chicken salad, get creative with how to serve. For a meal, I like it as is served over a bed of lettuce or topped on a mini bagel half. As an appetizer, it is fun to serve it in cucumber cups, toasted mini fill shells, mini pitas, on top of a toasted mini waffle or rolled in a tortilla with avocado and cucumber for chicken salad sushi. (See below for more details.)

Balsamic Chicken Salad

3 Clever Chicken Salad Twists

  • Chicken Salad Cucumber Cups: Cut an English cucumber into 3⁄4-inch thick rounds. 
Scoop seeds from centers of cucumber rounds, using a melon baller or small spoon and leaving a 1⁄4-inch-thick shell. Fill cucumber cups with 1 tablespoon chicken salad.
  • Chicken Salad Tartlets: Fill mini phyllo shells with 1 tablespoon chicken salad. 
Garnished with finely chopped nuts.
  • Stuffed Chicken Salad Pitas: Cut the top of a mini pita pocket off (about 1⁄4-inch) and fill pitas with 2 tablespoons chicken salad and 2-3 arugula leaves and making sure not to tear the bread.

Do you have a favorite chicken salad recipe? Or maybe a favorite way to use up leftover chicken? I would love to hear about it–I’m ALWAYS looking for new ideas!

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Balsamic Chicken Salad

  • Author: Holley Grainger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1/2 cups 1x


Check out the recipe on to find out how to make Stuffed Chicken Salad Pitas, Chicken Salad Cucumber Cups, and Chicken Salad Tartlets using Balsamic Chicken Salad.



  • 3 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts (such as almonds (pistachios, walnuts or pecans))
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple (may also use grapes)
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries (cranberries may also be used)
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/41 cup lite balsamic vinaigrette
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, toss together chicken, nuts, apple, and cranberries. Stir in Greek yogurt. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill, covered, 15 minutes or until ready to serve.