Tart Cherry Chicken Salad


Total Time: 20 Minutes
Prep: 10 Minutes
Cook: 10 Minutes
Yield: 4 Servings
Level: Beginner


  • Salad
  • 1 cup whole walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 9-10 ounces fresh mixed greens lettuce
  • 2 medium green apples
  • 1 pound leftover cooked chicken (marinated and then grilled or cooked in a skillet)
  • 3/4 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
  • 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, or feta
  • Salad Dressing
  • 1/4 cup regular (full fat) mayo
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2-4 teaspoons white granulated sugar, to taste
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Start with the candied walnuts. Place a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add in the walnuts, butter, and white sugar. Stir the mixture frequently and as soon as the sugar starts to melt, stir constantly. The sugar should melt and coat the nuts. Immediately (watch careful because these can burn quickly) transfer to a large piece of parchment paper and quickly separate the nuts. Let harden (about 10 minutes) and then coarsely chop the walnuts.

Assemble the salad: add the lettuce in a large bowl, core and thinly slice (peel if desired) the apples, slice or chop the chicken and add that in, add in the dried tart cherries, and add in the crumbled goat or feta cheese.

Prepare the dressing: in a bowl whisk mayo, maple syrup, vinegar, and sugar (add to taste preference) until smooth. Gradually whisk in the oil until mixture thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss the salad with the dressing and then add in the candied and coarsely chopped walnuts. Enjoy immediately.

Only dress and add walnuts to what you will eat because leftovers don’t do so well! You can store the salad, walnuts, goat cheese, and dressing separately for delicious leftovers or meal prep for the week!

Recipe courtesy of Chelsea Lords, chelseasmessyapron.com