Lighter Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

A lighter take on classic, creamy chicken salad with juicy apple chunks, crunchy pecans, and tart dried cranberries! A hearty, healthy meal in 20 minutes! 

Lighter Apple Pecan Chicken Salad | Creme de la Crumb

For years I believed that I disliked a lot of foods and generally avoided them. When I began cooking as an adult though, I quickly realized that it wasn’t that I didn’t like those foods, it was more a case of not liking the way other people prepared them. I thought I hated cole slaw. Turns out I just hate the sweet mayo-y dressing that most people put on cole slaw. I prefer a more savory version, sometimes even a little bit spicy. Or just plain – no dressing.

I also thought I hated oatmeal, yogurt, pasta, and chicken salad. As with the cole slaw, I really just didn’t like how other people had prepared them for me. I am not a big fan of red sauce on pasta, only care for Greek yogurt – particularly with granola on top – and the oatmeal has to be thick and needs a crunchy topping for texture.

Lighter Apple Pecan Chicken Salad | Creme de la Crumb
Chicken salad is no different. I don’t like heavily mayo-laden chicken salads. Instead, I like to swap out most of that mayo for some plain greek yogurt. The result is a lighter, protein-packed chicken salad. I love adding apples, cranberries, and nuts too for texture and lots of yummy flavor! This apple pecan version has to be my favorite and it is so easy to whip up in 20 minutes or less. Pile it on your favorite sandwich bread or stuff it in a pita pocket or wrap for an easy, healthy meal!

Lighter Apple Pecan Chicken Salad | Creme de la Crumb
5.0 from 1 reviews
Lighter Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A lighter take on classic, creamy chicken salad with juicy apple chunks, crunchy pecans, and tart dried cranberries! A hearty, healthy meal in 20 minutes!
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ½ inch thickness
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 sliced sandwich bread (I used a whole grain wheat - I recommend something like this!)
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 apple (use your favorite, I used gala), cored and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ red onion, diced
  • ⅓ cup Diamond of California Pecan Halves (could also use chopped pecans)
  • ⅓ cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup light mayo (optional, may sub additional greek yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Season chicken with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Cook in a large skillet over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side until cooked through. Chop into ½-inch pieces and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add apple, celery, cranberries, onion, pecans, greek yogurt, mayo, dijon mustard, and garlic powder to the bowl and stir to combine. If desired, add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Assemble sandwiches by distributing romaine and chicken salad mixture between 4 slices of bread. Top with remaining slices of bread and serve.


This tasty recipe has been sponsored by Diamond of California Nuts – I was not compensated to write a review and all opinions are 100 percent my own. Thank you for letting me work with the brands I love! 

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I`m so in with the I don`t like how other people prepare stuff thing…Same thing happened to me since living by myself. And chicken salad with plain greek yoghurt sounds mouthwatering.

Yummy yummy! It looks so healthy and tasty at the same time! I have some avocados in my fridge and thinking about what delicious thing I should do with it and now I got a wonderful answer. Btw, I think I prefer to have it with chips. Thank you so much for your great recipe!

Thank you SO much for this recipe. I substituted grapes and unsalted almonds for the apple and pecans and it was 100% comparable with a full fat mayonnaise chicken salad. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical, but you don’t even notice the difference. I stuffed mine with some baby spinach in a pita and it was perfect with a side salad for dinner.

Crisp apples, meaty yet almost sweet pecans, shredded chicken, and squeeze of fresh lemon juice all sandwiched within a toasty croissant – that’s what you can call a great lunch!

I’ve also read somewhere that going light on the mayo can really make the difference in the taste. It is very wise of you to switch the geek yogurt for the mayo.