Chicken Salad with Apples

Brimming with fruit and nuts, Chicken Salad with Apples is a honey-kissed, autumn spin on the ever-popular Sonoma Chicken Salad.

Chicken Salad with Apples and Cashews, with text overlay.

Every time I make chicken salad, I wonder why I don't do so more often. I absolutely love the stuff. And as much as chicken salad has the reputation for being a "ladies who lunch" kind of recipe, I have to say that my kids and my husband scarf it down, too. In fact, my boys straight up cheer when they hear that it's on the menu. So today's recipe is the result of me deciding to shake things up a bit in regards to my family's beloved, all-time favorite Sonoma Chicken Salad...except this version is Chicken Salad with Apples!

Three topped crackers on a plate, plus a platter of Chicken Salad with Apples in the background.

I've never met a chicken salad I didn't like, but slightly-sweet and loaded-with-fruit-and-toasted-nuts is my favorite variation.

And while I typically serve chicken salad in the spring and summer, why not give it a fall twist in order to enjoy it for a few months longer?

Aerial view of Chicken Salad with Apples on serving platter.


My old standby chicken salad is embellished with dried cranberries and toasted pecans. To make any recipe seasonal for October, I bet we can all guess which orange orb comes straight to mind! 😉

But since I wasn't sure how pumpkin chicken salad would go over, I opted for dicing up some juicy, sweet-tart apples instead. And if a more delicious apple exists on the face of this earth than a Honeycrisp, somebody please show me the light.

Close-up of honeycrisps and cashews on table. And then it was time to debate on the choice of nuts. While you can never go wrong with the mighty pecan (which happens to be the state nut of Texas...and that's puh-CAHN, y'all), I decided to swap it out to further differentiate this chicken salad from a Sonoma version.

I considered walnuts or almonds. But then I spied a giant tub of my most favorite nut ever -- cashews, which I hide from myself in the freezer keep on hand for making big batches of granola. And I knew I had the perfect counterpoint for my crispy apples!

Close-up of Chicken Salad with Apples and Cashews on crackers. As for the remainder of this recipe, it consists of pretty standard chicken salad ingredients, folks:

  • Chicken. Use your favorite method to cook the chicken, whether that's poaching, roasting, slow cooking in the crock pot, or pulling it from a rotisserie chicken. And you may shred it or dice it, depending on your desired chicken salad texture.
  • Mayonnaise + Greek yogurt. I like to use a combo of the two or the best flavor while lightening things up a bit. That being said, you could opt to use all mayonnaise, if you prefer.
  • Honey. I like to add a little sweetness to the dressing when it comes to fruity chicken salads. Feel free to add more or less depending on your preference.
  • Apple cider vinegar. At the same time, a splash of vinegar adds some balance and depth of flavor.
  • Salt + pepper.

Aerial view of platter, plate, and ingredients.

Perfect for a baby or bridal shower or simple and delicious for lunch or dinner, this Chicken Salad with Apples is a fun, fall twist on a perennial classic.

Now if you'll excuse me, there are leftovers in the fridge and I'm feeling the urge for a midnight snack...

More Tasty Sandwiches

Aerial view of Chicken Salad with Apples on platter and crackers.

Chicken Salad with Apples

Brimming with fruit and nuts, Chicken Salad with Apples is a honey-kissed, autumn spin on the ever-popular Sonoma Chicken Salad.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 510kcal
Print Pin Rate


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup salted cashew halves & pieces
  • 1 ½ pounds (about 4 cups) diced or shredded chicken
  • 2 cups diced apples, such as Honeycrisps


  • In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, for up to two days.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread out cashew pieces on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown, watching carefully. Allow to cool.
  • To the bowl of dressing, add diced chicken, toasted cashews, and diced apples. Refrigerate for at least an hour to chill and allow the flavors to blend.


  • You may substitute regular plain yogurt for the Greek yogurt, but it may make your dressing slightly thinner. You may also use all mayonnaise and no yogurt if you prefer.
  • You may cook chicken using your favorite method (or use rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken). Seasoned chicken (using at least salt & pepper) will give your chicken salad more flavor. You may dice it or shred it depending on your preferred chicken salad texture.


Calories: 510kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Delicious as is! I had some fresh pineapple on hand so I added some, as well as some onion and celery. All of the sweet/salty flavors came together so well! I love fruit and chicken salad as I am not really a fan of chicken breast. I'm sure you could tailor this to what you have in your pantry so don't be afraid to experiment 🙂

  2. Hi. Found your recipe and figured I'd give it a try since it's fall and it's not the usual chicken salad recipe. Just finished making it tonight. Tasted pretty good right out of the bowl, but letting it sit in the fridge overnight. Taking it tomorrow for my women's luncheon. That will be the real test. I hope it's a hit! Thank you for putting a new spin (at least for me) on an old favorite. 😉

  3. 5 stars
    HI, thanks for the recipe! I used granny smith apples, eliminated the apple cider (as I don't have any), halved the mayo, doubled the yogurt and mixed with romaine lettuce and made it into a salad. Really delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    I just made this salad for dinner. It was amazing. I added butter fried parsnip cubes and served it with pumpkin and cranberry bread - and now I have a new autumn favourite. Thanks for all your hard work with the recipes.

    1. Thanks so much for the sweet comment, Deena...and wow, your variation sounds fabulous! I'm glad this chicken salad was such a hit and I hope you enjoy it for many years to come. 🙂

  5. I made a similar chicken salad earlier this week, but did not include the cashews! What was I thinking?! Next time for sure.

    1. Ha, Kristen...much like bacon, cashews make everything better. 😉 Hope you get to try that addition soon! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  6. I have wonderful childhood memories connected with chicken salad. This version is sooooo perfectly wonderful. Yes, I would have to hide my cashews in the freezer too, BUT I am sure I would develop a fondness of frozen nuts soon enough. This is definitely a luncheon salad that one would have with a crisp fruity white wine and warm buttery rolls. Then we wouldn't be so full or feel guilty about having a center piece cake. Gosh I can picture the fresh flowers and an elegant table setting. We would all feel special, but our credit card would not have a huge bill on it either.

    1. You are so right, Carol...I have no problem eating frozen cashews now, although hiding them in the freezer does keep me from remembering that they're there (sometimes). 😉 Your chicken salad spread sounds divine. I will definitely have to pair this recipe with fruity white wine and warm buttery rolls next time...perfection! Have a wonderful week and thanks, as always, for stopping by and brightening my day. 🙂

    1. I hope you love it, Mari! It's on the regular rotation at my house this family couldn't get enough. 😉 Have a great day!