Harvest Chicken Salad square | 2 Cookin Mamas


Harvest Chicken Salad screams fall! Chicken cooked in apple cider, tossed with apples, cranberries & pecans then drizzled with apple cider vinaigrette.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keywords apple chicken salad, fall chicken salad, harvest chicken salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 34 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 653 kcal
Author Linda Warren


  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 2-3 apples, cored & chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 6 cups Fresh greens
  • Bacon, cooked & chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a large cookie sheet, set butter on pan and place in oven. Let butter melt as oven preheats.
  3. Take cookie sheet out of oven and stir in nuts & rosemary. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, stir and set aside. This makes about 8 servings of nuts so you will have some left over. 

  5. While nuts are baking, heat oil in a large skillet. Season chicken breasts and place in hot pan, searing about 5-6 minutes per side. You want it the outside to be golden brown.
  6. Add thyme sprigs and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Pour in apple cider and bring to boil. Turn down heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken breasts are cooked through.
  8. Remove chicken to plate and cover with foil.
  9. Turn the heat back to medium high and boil cider until it is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Stir in sugar or honey. Set aside and let cool.
  10. To assemble salad:
  11. Shred chicken and mix with chopped apples, celery, cranberries, rosemary and greens. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Toss with half of the apple cider mixture. Top with some of the rosemary pecans and chopped bacon, if desired.
  13. Serve with remaining apple cider vinaigrette on side.

Recipe Notes

Note: Salad will be less caloric if not using all of the rosemary pecans.

Frequently Asked Questions About Apple Chicken Salad

Can I use rotisserie chicken instead of poaching the chicken?

Of course! If you’re short on time, use any precooked chicken. Then just boil cider down and add a few sprigs of thyme and sugar or honey to make the vinaigrette.

You can also use leftover turkey after the holidays and add a touch of time for some real flavor.

Do I have to use pecans?

No, walnuts are a great substitute for the pecans. Don’t feel like flavoring them with rosemary? Just roast them coated with a little butter for the same length of time.

How can I change this salad up for variety?

Any fall fruit, vegetable or potatoes can be subbed in. I like to use the apples with the apple cider but pears will work too. You can also add roasted sweet potatoes, red grapes, green onion, pomegranate arils and pepitas.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 653 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 152mg51%
Sodium 1202mg50%
Potassium 1298mg37%
Carbohydrates 48g16%
Fiber 6g24%
Sugar 36g40%
Protein 51g102%
Vitamin A 1062IU21%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.