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This is a delicious fruited chicken salad with grapes and cashews. Nutty, sweet, and crunchy flavors all combining nicely together.
Perfect on a croissant, a bed of lettuce, or simply all by itself (my favorite way of all).
I have developed this recipe over the years since trying my first really good chicken salad at a women's Bible study years ago.
The elderly woman who was hosting the event made a fabulous chicken salad for us all that included celery, grapes, and some type of nuts (I think it was almonds).
Since that time, I have made a version of this recipe time after time and came up with this version just recently. I've made MANY chicken salads over the years, but this one is my best yet.
I love how the roasted cashews add a nutty, roasted flavor to the salad. I was planning to use almonds, but I was out of them, so I decided to try cashews for the first time.
You know how cashews are a bit sweet? Then when you roast them, it brings out their best flavor?
Yeah, that's what happened here with this recipe ... the cashews are the highlight, mingled with the sweet, juicy grapes, the meaty shredded chicken, the crunch and distinctive flavor of the celery ... oh so delicious!
Add to that the secret ingredient that you'll hardly notice (but it definitely adds nice depth of flavor) ... lemon juice.
There is no tartness, but the lemon is a new addition for me, and very worthy of its place in this chicken salad.
Chicken Salad with Almonds
You can also vary this recipe to make a chicken salad with almonds and grapes (instead of the cashews). Perfectly acceptable and equally delicious!
Simply replace the cashews in the recipe with 1 cup of slivered almonds or almond pieces.
In my opinion, the nuts are best toasted and perhaps salted, but raw will work fine as well. Toasted or roasted nuts do tend to have more flavor, however.
Fruited Chicken Salad Tips
You can make this chicken salad with rotisserie chicken or canned chicken. Also can be made with leftover chicken or turkey.
I like to use red seedless grapes, but you can certainly use green seedless. Will be just as tasty, but the red gives the salad more color.
Other variations you can add include chopped apple pieces, green shallots, and/or a mixture of nuts instead of just one type.
Just make sure that if you add a lot of extras you may need more mayonnaise to hold it all together.
If you like a chicken salad with fruit added, I believe you'll love this one! Let me know in the comments below (and how you made yours)!
You may also like my Turkey Salad recipe (turkey can also be used in this recipe), which utilizes leftover Thanksgiving turkey and cranberries.
Fruited Chicken Salad with Grapes & Cashews
- 20 ounces chicken canned and drained (or about 2 cups cooked, shredded) (2 10-ounce cans)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup cashews pieces, roasted and unsalted
- 24 red seedless grapes halved
- 1 cup celery (including leafy interior), finely chopped
- ¼ tsp salt , more to taste
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper , more to taste
- ¼ cup fresh parsley , finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (or juice of one lemon)
- ½ tsp oregano dry
- ½ tsp thyme dry
- Add chicken to large bowl and break up the pieces until they look shredded.
- Add all the rest of the ingredients and blend gently until incorporated.
- Serve over lettuce or bread or enjoy alone (my favorite way!) Makes about 6 cups. Will keep in the fridge up to 5 days.
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