Fancy Chicken Salad – An Old Fashioned Chicken Salad Recipe

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This Fancy Chicken Salad is extra special with a touch of crunch from pecans, sweet pickles and celery and a hint of sweetness from canned cherries. The ingredients are surprising, and the flavor is delicious.

Fancy Chicken Salad Recipe:

This old fashioned chicken salad recipe is full of surprises. The ingredients are unique, yet they come together to create a crunchy, sweet, fancy chicken salad.

  • Diced chicken
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Sweet pickles
  • Celery
  • Canned baby peas
  • Canned Sweet Cherries
  • Chopped Pecans

I love the crunchy factor that comes from the combination of the gherkins, celery and chopped pecans. And the sweet cherries give just enough sweetness. But, I would have to say that the peas are the most surprising ingredient.

If you aren’t into peas, then omit them. No harm done.

What to add to chicken salad?

Chicken salad is so versatile that you can add pretty much anything but the kitchen sink, and this recipe proves it!  If there’s an ingredient that isn’t your favorite, substitute in something else.  Some ingredient suggestions are dill pickles, pistachios, shredded Parmesan cheese, French fried onions, pineapple, Greek yogurt and Dijon mustard.

What goes with chicken salad?

I love serving soup or a side salad along side of chicken salad.  Try Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup, Cheesy Zucchini Soup, Potato Soup, Classic Spinach Salad, French Dinner Salad, Carrot Raisin Salad, Potato Salad or Cucumbers and Onions.

The original recipe from my Louisiana Junior League Cook Book says to start with a 4 pound chicken, and cook it yourself. Well, let’s just say that’s more time than I have on most days.  (If you’re really short on time, try this 3-Ingredient Chicken Salad using canned chicken.)

So, I took a shortcut and used a rotisserie chicken in which I removed the skin and bones, and diced into bite-sized pieces. I’m pretty sure both my Grandmas would have loved the convenience of a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.

If you’re serving a large crowd, go ahead and double the recipe. This allows you to use the entire cans of the peas and cherries, or if you’re like me, go ahead and add the whole cans of both to this recipe. It won’t hurt a thing, and that way you don’t have extra ingredients sitting in the fridge to be used up.

How to Make Crunchy Chicken Salad:

Instructions:

  1. Combine chicken, eggs, pickles, celery, peas, cherries and mayonnaise; stir gently.
  2. Right before serving, mix in pecans, lemon juice, salt and pepper (to taste).

For the full instructions for chicken salad with pecans, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Notes About Chicken Salad with Cherries:

  • I used a rotisserie chicken for this chicken salad with cherries and pecan recipe. You could also use a few cans of canned chicken breast, or poach your own chicken.
  • This recipe easily doubles to serve a crowd. This also allows you to use the entire cans of cherries and peas.
  • Substitute dried cherries for canned, if desired.
  • This pecan cherry chicken salad calls for Royal Ann Canned cherries, but the regular canned cherries are perfectly delicious too.
  • I prefer LeSeuer very small peas for this recipe. They are dainty and cute and very fancy.
  • Use frozen peas instead of canned, or omit if peas aren’t your thing.
  • For an extra fancy meal, serve on a croissant bun or mini Hawaiian bun.

This Fancy Chicken Salad is extra special with a touch of crunch from pecans, sweet pickles and celery and a hint of sweetness from canned cherries.  The ingredients are surprising, and the flavor is delicious. 

Old Fashioned Chicken Salad Recipe Ingredients:

Diced, Cooked Chicken

Hard-boiled Eggs

Sweet Pickles

Baby Peas

Canned Cherries

Celery

Chopped Pecans

Lemon Juice

Salt and Pepper

More Old Fashioned Salad Recipes:

Vintage Bologna Salad

This Bologna Salad features just four ingredients and is perfect for a snack with crackers, spread on toast or as a sandwich with a slice of cheese and some lettuce.

Ham Salad Spread

Old Fashioned Ham Salad Spread is just 5 simple ingredients that will take you right back to your childhood---leftover baked ham, miracle whip, yellow mustard, sweet pickle relish and sugar. Served on a sandwich or crackers, it's always a hit. 

Easy Egg Salad

4 Ingredient Egg Salad Without Mayo consists of eggs, relish, mustard and cream of chicken soup. 4 simple ingredients that can be made into a quick, delicious dinner or snack.

Low Carb, 5-Minute Chicken Salad

Sometimes eating healthier really is easy, like with this 5-Minute Low Carb Lemon Chicken Salad which is perfect served on your favorite type of lettuce. By using canned chicken, you can whip this dish up in no time.

Fancy Chicken Salad

This Fancy Chicken Salad is extra special with a touch of crunch from pecans, sweet pickles and celery and a hint of sweetness from canned cherries.  The ingredients are surprising, and the flavor is delicious.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Entree, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 3-ingredient chicken salad, chicken salad with pecans and cherries, crunchy chicken salad, fancy chicken salad, old fashioned chicken salad, pecan cherry chicken salad
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken Use 2.5 to 3 cups
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, diced
  • 4 sweet pickles, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, small diced
  • 4 ounces canned baby peas (LeSueur brand)
  • 8 ounces canned cherries, drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Gently mix chicken, hard-boiled eggs, pickles, celery, peas, cherries and mayonnaise.
    This Fancy Chicken Salad is extra special with a touch of crunch from pecans, sweet pickles and celery and a hint of sweetness from canned cherries.  The ingredients are surprising, and the flavor is delicious. 
  • Right before serving, stir in chopped pecans, lemon juice, and salt and pepper (to taste).
    This Fancy Chicken Salad is extra special with a touch of crunch from pecans, sweet pickles and celery and a hint of sweetness from canned cherries.  The ingredients are surprising, and the flavor is delicious. 
  • Serve on a sandwich, on a bed of lettuce or with crackers.
    This Fancy Chicken Salad is extra special with a touch of crunch from pecans, sweet pickles and celery and a hint of sweetness from canned cherries.  The ingredients are surprising, and the flavor is delicious. 

Notes

  • I used a rotisserie chicken for this chicken salad with cherries and pecan recipe.  You could also use a few cans of canned chicken, or poach your own chicken.
  • This recipe easily doubles to serve a crowd. This also allows you to use the entire cans of cherries and peas.
  • Substitute dried cherries for canned, if desired.
  • This pecan cherry chicken salad calls for Royal Ann Canned cherries, but the regular canned cherries are perfectly delicious too.
  • I prefer LeSeuer very small peas for this recipe. They are dainty and cute---very fancy.
  • Use frozen peas for canned, or omit if peas aren't your thing.
  • For an extra fancy meal, serve on a croissant bun or mini Hawaiian bun. 
  • Looking for a quick and easy chicken salad? Try our 3-Ingredient Version

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 263mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 361IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

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