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Berry Chicken Pecan Salad

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1 (16 ounce) box farfalle pasta
2 rotisserie chickens
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup strawberry or raspberry yogurt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup whole small pecans
1 cup chopped celery

Berry Chicken Pecan Salad

Berries, pecans, chicken, and pasta in a creamy dressing makes a fabulous main dish salad.

  • Serves 6
  • Easy

About This Recipe

I am always trying to think up new ways of changing chicken salad, my favorite recipe during the summer months. And I must admit that I make main dish salads all year round, simply because it’s so nice to have something in the fridge you can just dish up and eat. This Berry Chicken Pecan Salad is a case in point.

I have a few rules for my chicken salad. First, the chicken must be very tender and moist. After years and years of experimenting, I have found that poaching the chicken works the best. But if you don’t have the time or patience for that, buy a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket and use the meat from that. There’s something about that rotisserie cooking method that produces very tender and flavorful chicken.

Second, the salad dressing must complement the ingredients. I love using mustard or pesto for salads with vegetables. But for chicken salads with fruit, flavored yogurt wins every time.

I also love using pasta in chicken salads. This inexpensive ingredient stretches the more expensive ingredients, and adds nutrition and texture.

Use the best berries you can find in this easy and gorgeous recipe. I also think that whole small pecans, lightly toasted, are a fabulous addition, much better than pecan pieces. Enjoy every bite.

Tips for the best Berry Chicken Pecan Salad:

  • Make sure that you cook the pasta to just al dente. Overcooked or undercooked pasta is not delicious.
  • I actually prefer using rotisserie chicken because it’s moist and tender and juicy every time. Chicken breasts can be tricky to cook properly, especially if they are large.
  • The tender berries should be added just before serving so they stay whole.

Why this recipe works:

  • Tender pasta, juicy chicken, and sweet berries combine in a delicious dressing for a fabulous main dish salad.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions.


While the pasta cooks, remove the meat from the chicken and cut into large cubes.


In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, and honey and mix well. Add the chicken and stir.


Drain the pasta when it is cooked and add to the chicken and dressing mixture. Stir to coat.


Gently stir in the strawberries, pecans, raspberries, and celery. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours before serving.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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