Michigan Cherry Chicken Salad

Prep Time 8 mins
Total Time 8 mins

This Michigan Cherry Chicken Salad is a great recipe for using up leftover chicken and is perfect for making sandwiches. The dried cherries add a ton of flavor but you can customize it with whatever you have on hand! 

Chicken salad is so easy to make. Also try my Buffalo Chicken Salad for a tasty twist. 

A chicken salad sandwich sliced in half and stacked on top of each other with pretzels.

Michigan Cherry Chicken Salad

Inspiration. Lately I have been finding it everywhere! One of my best friends in the world, Christina, was here for the last two weeks and we spent the entire time talking, cooking, eating, baking and dreaming of food. She inspires me so much! One day we hope to open a cafe/bakery. And that dream really inspires me to work harder at trying more things and expanding my horizons in the kitchen…in hopes that one day it will pay off and we will have a successful bakery.

And then a few weeks ago, one of my neighbors was moving out and you will never guess what I saw! STACKS of old issues of Gourmet, by the trash! WHAT!!? I totally stole someone’s “trash” and took it back to my house! There were so many that I actually had to make 3 trips! And I sat on my floor, amongst my stacks of Gourmet, just pouring over the pictures and pages and soaking up ideas and inspiration. And this recipe was one of the ones I found. And when Christina was here, I knew we had to try the recipe together with our leftover chicken from the night before.

Dried cherries with a chicken salad sandwich in the background.

Dried Cherries Make This Chicken Salad Recipe A Keeper

And I am so glad we did! This chicken salad was heavenly! It could be easily adapted into what you have on hand…but I have to suggest you get your hands on some Dried Michigan Cherries! They are seriously AMAZING! A friend of mine, Michele, who is from Michigan went home recently and brought some back…and they honestly do not taste like a regular dried cherry. They are just…perfect and a great star for this chicken salad!

Up close image of chicken Salad Sandwich sliced in half,

Yield: 4 servings

Michigan Cherry Chicken Salad

Easy Chicken Salad Recipe

Cherry Chicken Salad is a great way to use up leftover chicken and is perfect for sandwiches. The dried cherries add a ton of flavor but you can customize it with whatever you have on hand! 

Prep Time 8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes


  • 4 cups of cubed cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 3/4 cup dried Michigan Cherries
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt (or additional mayonnaise)
  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper


Combine all ingredients and adjust any seasonings as needed. You can eat it immediately, but I like to let the flavors develop a little while before eating. So I suggest letting it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so before eating!


A Novice Chef Blog Original

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 486Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 568mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 36g

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24 Responses
  1. Brandy

    I grew up in Traverse City, MI home of the  National Cherry Festival. One of my best friends Aunt use to make this recipe and sometimes she added cooked pasta and toasted almonds instead of pecans for a pasta dish. Or the other way for finger sandwiches on mini crossinants. I need to call my sister now and have her send me some dried Michigan cherries from the Cherry Republic store!

  2. Linda Wehmueller

    Michigan cherries are yummy. For those of you out of state or out of the country you can buy them on-line.I just bought a e-gift certificate for my cousin for Christmas from Cherry Republic. Only problem is they have increased their prices too much.

  3. Marjie

    It’s just not the chicken salad I’m used to if dried Michigan Cherries aren’t in it! Living is Suttons Bay, MI … Cherries are added to just about everything around here and is o delish…….

    Your recipe tastes exactly the way we make it here, Jessica!

  4. ogates

    We went to the Mission Point Lighthouse in Michigan and stopped at the only General Store on the Peninsula and enjoyed the best Michigan cherry chicken salad on crusty rustic bread sandwich. It was the best! My husband and I shared because it was huge! Half was more than enough but my husband was left wanting more it was so good.
    I am going to try and make a version of same. The above recipe sounds yummy but I don’t recall pecans in our sandwich and I did noticed chopped celery in it…

  5. Nicole

    Awesome recipe. I have seen others like this before, and have also made it with dried cranberries when dried cherries are not available. Try adding some curry powder to the mayonnaise – also very tasty!

  6. Sue

    Jessica, I was looking for a chicken salad recipe I made with Michigan cherries and cherry jam. Someone posted on Cherry Republic’s old site to add cherry jam to your yogurt. It was divine! We had on challah bread and my entire family loved it. Dad said it was gourmet. Enjoy the Michigan cherries!

  7. Sharlene

    I’m so happy you found that stack of magazines! I’m really getting into fruit in my lunchtime salads and will most definitely try this one out. Thanks!

  8. KristenK

    A local deli/pizza shop near our house in Detroit makes a very similar salad and it’s delicious. I’m a fan of making things my own, but when he sells us 5-7 pounds of it for $6 we can’t make it that inexpensive (plus the time savings)!! Plus we love supporting that store! I’m glad you broke down the recipe though! I’ll have to try the dressing!

  9. Laura

    I live in N. Michigan (aka the cherry capitol) and cherry chicken salad is my favorite use for dried cherries. 🙂
    I love the lable “ass-friendly”. That’s awesome!

  10. noëlle {simmer down!}

    Becca- there’s a reason it’s known everywhere as “Michigan cherry salad” and not “Wisconsin cherry salad”! 😉 Although I’m sure being next door to MI your cherries are probably alright too.

    This is a favorite but I’ve never tried it with yogurt, sounds delish.

  11. tigerfish

    For once, I wish to see some “trash” too esp food/cooking magazines 🙂

    Love that you added cherries in your sandwich.

  12. Gloria

    I spend the summer in Traverse City Michigan, the cherry capital of the world and you are right; Michigan’s dried cherries are superb! I put them in my chicken salad also but try them sprinkled over oatmeal or soak them in brandy or rum then drop them into a chocolate cupcake batter. WOW.
    Your photo is making me crave a chicken salad sandwich. LOL

  13. beth aka confusedhomemaker

    Well, Michigan Cherries are the BEST of course! Given we’ve got extended family in the business (cherry farmers!) I know this for a fact 🙂

    This recipe is really similar to the version we make of chicken salad, throwing in the cherries & nuts is par for the course around here. In fact, there are so many different recipes that use dried Michigan Cherries it’s wonderful. I love them. We have a bag right now sitting in the kitchen 🙂

  14. Cydney

    Looks delicious! I’m a huge fan of chicken salad… dare I say, connoisseur? LOL! I don’t think I’ve ever had it with cherries but it sounds amazing, I’m inspired! I also would have totally lifted those thrown out magazines!

  15. Becca

    That looks AWESOME, Jess… but you clearly need to hook up with your buddy Becca, because WISCONSIN DOOR COUNTY cherries are MUCH better than Michigan cherries 🙂 I live 20 minutes from an orchard.

    1. Uptair

      Becca is delusional.  Michigan is world famous for it’s cherries.  Wisconsin is NOT  To say Wisconsin cherries are better than Michigan’s is absolutely ridiculous. 

  16. Donald

    i like that you posted this in “ass friendly”! i would have totally lifted those mags, are you kidding? chicken salad with cherries? i’ve had grapes, but this sounds really interesting.

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I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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