Some days I think I’ve lost my mind.  Saturday was one of them when I found myself making chicken salad for lunch.  There were a few things wrong with the scene.  1.) I was toasting pecans, 2.) I was adding fresh celery to a salad, and 3.) I was making chicken salad.  I don’t “do” any of those things and since I firmly decided as a child that salads with mayonnaise (aside from egg and tuna and only if my mom or I make them) weren’t touching these lips, I’ve avoided them at all costs.  Yet, I had this bubbling curiosity to make this salad when it came up for Project Pastry Queen this week.


And when I say this lunch was a treat, I really mean it.  Crisp apples, meaty yet almost sweet pecans, shredded chicken, and squeeze of fresh lemon juice all sandwiched within a toasty croissant – that’s what I’m calling a great lunch!  I passed on the homemade mayo since Kyle has sensitivity to uncooked eggs and I didn’t want a ton leftover but I’ve been reading today that the mayo was something else.  I also went really light on the mayo – maybe 1/3 cup as opposed to the 1/2 to 3/4 cup the recipe calls for.  Shawnda hosted this week’s Project Pastry Queen and you’ll see that she also served the salad on croissants for The Foodie Baby’s 1st birthday party.  I think it would also be great served on the mini croissants I saw in the grocery store yesterday for a cocktail party or bridal shower.  I’m thrilled with my picky self for making this salad and am even more thrilled that I’ve got leftovers for lunch this week!

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 sandwiches


  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecan halves
  • 2 whole boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled, and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup red onion, minced
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 - ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, mix the pecans, chicken, apples, celery, green onion, red onion, and parsley together. Stir in the mayonnaise, starting with 1/3 cup and adding more to your preference. Give the lemon a squirt or two over the salad and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


we love to see what you make!

tag what you make with #smellslikehomeblog on Instagram and follow along with me in my New England kitchen!

  • March 8, 2011 at 4:32 AM

    gonna try this soon,..;-)

  • March 8, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    I’m hosting a bridal shower for my sister soon… I’ve been waiting to be inspired for the menu and I think inspiration has come! 🙂 Especially with those beautiful photos!

  • March 8, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    Wow that chicken salad look so flavorful. I love the addition of pecans and apples and how you put it inside of a croissant. YUM! 🙂

  • July 31, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    […] Apple Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwiches […]

  • Karen K
    January 7, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Just made a half recipe of this. Delicious. No bread for me (although I’d love a croissant). Oh and I used part mayo and part sour cream. Thanks for the recipe.

    • taraliptak
      January 10, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      So glad you loved this, Karen. Did you serve it over a salad or just on it’s own?

  • […] Apple Pecan Chicken Salad – Turn your kitchen into a little bistro with this recipe that elevates the chicken salad into a light fare served on a fresh buttery croissant. […]

  • zia joaquin
    February 16, 2018 at 12:00 AM

    This chicken salad is a perfect fall lunch choice. I know that very next thing was that you were getting ready to invite me over to enjoy this, right? 😉


  • Erika
    December 30, 2018 at 9:51 PM

    This is delicious! I just made it for my lunches this coming week. Going into my heavy rotation! Happy new year!

    • Tara
      January 2, 2019 at 12:03 PM

      So great to hear! I love this recipe so much and it makes me so happy to hear that others do as well!! Happy New Year to you too, Erika!!

Leave a Comment

You Might Also Like: