This fresh, healthy, delicious and FILLING chicken salad with cranberries and easy lemon dressing is super simple to make. The added lemon zest to the dressing makes this salad extra lemony and fragrant!
A quick and easy summer salad that is full of flavour, crunch and a brilliant way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken!
Being quick to whip up, this chicken salad is an easy choice for a work from home lunch as there is no cooking involved! Here are some more quick and easy work from home lunch ideas: Chicken Noodle Stir Fry, Easy Pork Mince Noodles, Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls (summer rolls).
- Cos lettuce aka romaine lettuce. If your lettuce has turned a little soft, revive it by soaking it in iced (or cold tap) water for about 10 minutes. I do trick this a lot to crisp up leafy veg and herbs and it works wonders! Cos lettuce is also the perfect lettuce for making my healthy and super flavourful pork San Choy Bow (lettuce wraps)!
- Rotisserie chicken any part of the chicken will be good to use. Include the skin as it has a lot of flavours.
- Capsicum/bell pepper opt for the yellow or red variety as they're sweeter than green. Plus it adds a different shade of bright colour to the salad!
- Roasted almonds either salted or unsalted.
Step by step instructions
This chicken salad with cranberries is extremely simple to make and the crunch it provides is addictive!
All you have to do is shred the rotisserie chicken, slice the veggies, roughly chop the almonds, make a quick lemon dressing and bring it all together in a serving dish/bowl! No cooking involved! Talk about a fuss-free lunch.
Roasted almonds are my top choice for this salad but feel free to swap it for other nuts such as roasted cashew nuts, pistachio nuts or pine nuts.
Notice how all the ingredients are in similar size and shape? This is no coincidence! Not only does it look nice, it is also easier to eat.
Below is a pretty way of putting this salad together (layering). Having the lettuce at the bottom of the serving dish helps the rest of the ingredients be visible and not buried at the bottom.
To make this vegetarian, simply swap out the chicken with boiled eggs cut in halves.
Gotta love a healthy, low-carb, packed with good protein, healthy fats and fibre salad!
Tips for the perfect salad
- Only add the lemon dressing onto the salad when ready to serve to ensure maximum crunch!
- Use salted, roasted almonds as they're way more flavourful than unsalted (or raw).
- To keep the sliced avocados looking bright and green for days, simply drizzle/coat lightly with lemon juice. This will stop the avocado from oxidising (like apples!). No sad, unappetising looking brown avocado here!
This recipe makes enough for 4 people as a main or 6 as a side. Go ahead and double the portion for a larger crowd or if you're planning to meal prep for the week ahead.
If meal prepping, make sure to separately pack the lemon dressing. Dressed salads tend to wilt and get soggy after 1 day! Also, if you love the crunch of almonds (me too!), separately pack those too as they can go a bit soft otherwise.
Will last for about 3-5 days in the fridge in an air-tight container. Not freezer friendly!
Made this recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below! I'd love to hear from you 🙂
Happy cooking and eating! - Gen
Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Avocado
- ½ rotisserie chicken shredded, about 1½ cups
- 2 baby cos/romaine lettuce or 1 large head
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- 1 capsicum/bell pepper yellow or red, thinly sliced
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup roasted almonds either salted or unsalted, roughly chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries
Easy lemon dressing
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp brown sugar or honey
- ¼ tsp dried oregano or thyme
- small pinch of salt and pepper to taste
- To make the lemon dressing, combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl then mix for about 30 seconds with a teaspoon. Set aside. (note 1)
- After washing, half the cos/romaine lettuce lengthways then thickly slice. About ½inch/1cm thick.
- To assemble the salad, spread the salad bowl or plate with lettuce first then shredded rotisserie chicken.
- In the following order, top with capsicum/bell pepper, onion, avocado, almonds and then dried cranberries.
- When ready to serve, drizzle lemon dressing all over the salad.