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Chicken, Pecan and Cheddar Salad

Updated on January 27, 2010

Here’s a great fruit, nut, chicken and cheese salad, that’s as substantial as it sounds and is great for an easy and delicious full meal salad (Great for lunch).

Although the ingredients called for below combine to make a great salad, feel free to substitute as you’d like. Don’t have pecans? – Use walnuts, or almonds instead. Don’t have gorgonzola or cheddar? – Try some shaved Parmesan then!

I think it’s great with the creamy lemon dressing (directions below) but you can use your discretion here and use any dressing you like.

Chicken, Pecan and Cheddar Salad

  • Enough salad leaves for 4 main course salads – greens that work best have a bit of bite to them, such as young spinach leaves or a mesclun mix
  • 2 chicken breast (salt and pepper the breasts generously and the drizzle some olive oil over making sure to coat well - And then bake at 400 degrees until cooked through, 20 - 40 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breast. An instant read thermometer is your friend here (160 for well done). Alternatively, cook the chicken breasts any other way you prefer, grill, sauté, etc…
  • 1/3 cup of pecans
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries (fresh blueberries make a nice alternative choice, if you’ve got some handy)
  • ½ cup of old cheddar or gorgonzola
  • ½ cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbls of heavy cream
  • The juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ tsp of lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Make the dressing by mixing together all the ingredients and tasting. You want a nice rich dressing with some tartness to cut the heaviness. Taste for salt and add more lemon juice if needed, or if too tart, a little more cream.
  • Add the pecans to a dry fry pan and heat over medium until the pecans are fragrant. Watch them carefully, as they can burn quickly. It should take about 5 minutes or so.
  • Arrange your salad greens on 4 dinner plates
  • Pull your chicken into shreds and arrange on top the salad greens and the sprinkle/crumble the cranberries, the cheese and the pecans on top.
  • Serve with the dressing on the side so that people may add as much or as little as they like.

Serve with a good crunchy piece of interesting bread. It’s a great salad with an interesting blend of textures and flavors and for a light but satisfying lunch, it can’t be beat!


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    • rmcrayne profile image

      rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      This sounds really good, and the dressing would be something totally new and different for me. As luck would have it, we're pretty stocked up on chicken breasts. My sister routinely picks them up for $1/lb. We crockpot them and use the broth for grits, soups or noodles.

    • John D Lee profile image

      John D Lee 7 years ago

      I hope you like it!

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 7 years ago from SE US

      You just love to tempt our taste buds, don't you? This sounds wonderful, can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.