Chicken Salad with cranberries, apples, celery and basil

We all absolutely adore my grandmother’s Chicken Salad with cranberries, apples, celery, and basil, she used to make when we were children . with chicken, white raisins, pine nuts, and fresh basil. Then in the late 90’s early 2000’s cranberries became the rage,  and one day I decided to add a few other items of my own and update the recipe.

Often our family can not decide which we prefer, so I serve both in the rotation.  The recipe below is simple and refreshing. I am also proud to say Grandma Josephine loves my adaptations to her Chicken Salad with cranberries, apples, celery and basil as well.  I often make it on a toasted bagel with Swiss cheese and little salad greens for lunch or even a light dinner.


Chicken Salad with cranberries, apples, celery and basil

  • 1- 5 pound roasted chicken, homemade or from deli
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of mayo, can add more
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 large Gala Apple, or green if preferred, diced
  • 5 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1/8 of a cup Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, juiced and separated in 2
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Other ingredients

  • baby greens
  • Swiss cheese
  • bagels or bread


  1. Remove all skin from chicken and discard.
  2. Remove meat from the bone (we use white and dark) place on cutting board and chop slightly. You will need a food processor at this time. Place chopped chicken, basil, parsley, and mayo ( adjust to the desired amount if needed) Using processor on pulse, so as not to over process is a good idea to mix and chop ingredients. We do ours to medium chop to a fine chop. Once done scrape all of the mixtures out to a large bowl.
  3. Dice apples, being certain to use 1/2 of a juiced lemon to squeeze over, mix in juice. Reserve other 1/2 of lemon juice.Next add diced apples, celery, cranberries, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to the chicken mix. Add other 1/2 of lemon juice at this time and stir ingredients in thoroughly but gently.
  4. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before using to let ingredients meld together.
  5. When ready to serve, place over bagel or bread, with cheese, and lettuce.

© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch, 2017- 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material or photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You may not copy and paste recipes to share on Social Platforms.


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