Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad may just become your new favorite fall salad! Every bite is loaded with crisp pears, tangy cranberries, toasted pecans, feta, and juicy chicken.

We love Fall Salads like our popular Apple Broccoli Salad and Beet Salad with the same dressing you see here (it’s really THAT good!). This Chicken Salad has all of the best flavors of Autumn and it’s a feel-good salad.

Chopped Chicken Salad Served in strips of chicken, pears, craisins, feta and pecans over a bed or romaine lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette on the side

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Fall Chicken Salad Recipe

This Fall Chopped Chicken Salad is easy, healthy and loaded with the best ingredients. It is paleo (if you use a goat/sheep milk feta), gluten-free and guilt-free, with all the flavor. This salad is perfect as a main course or side salad.

Fall Chicken Salad Recipe tossed with balsamic Vinaigrette

I sent text messages to all of my sisters telling them about this salad before it was posted – sometimes when things are just THIS GOOD, I just can’t help but share and I’m so excited to share it with all of you! Don’t judge my use of strange descriptors. I didn’t plan to share this screenshot with the world until just now. A screenshot of a text conversation about Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad

Ingredients for Chicken Salad & Balsamic Vinaigrette:

We love that the entire salad can be prepped ahead of time for parties and arranging. Just shake and add the homemade balsamic vinaigrette just before serving.

Seriously, friends, the dressing takes this salad to the next level. It couldn’t be easier and is a keeper of a recipe. You’ll want it on all of your Fall salads!

Ingredients for Chicken Salad and Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

How to Make Chopped Chicken Salad:

This salad really requires very little effort. Cutting the chicken breasts in half cuts the cooking time in half and a salad spinner will make the lettuce prep easy peasy. Do you use a salad spinner? They are a wonderful tool and you’ll never have another soggy salad!

  • Step 1: Season and sauté chicken and toast pecans
  • Step 2: Chop and spin dry Salad – place in a large bowl.
  • Step 3: Slice Pears and Cooked Chicken Breast and arrange over romaine lettuce in strips along with cranberries, feta and pecans.

How to Make Chopped Chicken Salad

How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette:

The simple balsamic vinaigrette will win you over. It has the perfect combination of flavors and all you need is a mason jar to shake and serve. My friend Natalia shared this dressing recipe with me and it worked perfectly on this salad.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small mason jar. Cover with lid and shake vigorously to combine. If any separation occurs, shake again just before using. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over the salad, adding it to taste then toss to combine. We usually use about 3/4 of the dressing. Leftovers are a great problem to have! 😉

P.S. I prefer pressed garlic for this using a garlic press – you get more garlic flavor in the dressing.

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How to make Balsamic Vinaigrette

Can I Substitute Feta Cheese?

If you aren’t a fan of feta cheese or don’t have it on hand, try goat cheese instead. It has a similar, wonderfully tangy flavor that pairs really well with all of the ingredients and dressing in this salad. We use goat cheese and feta interchangeably in this salad.

Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken?

YES! We love the easy substitution of using chopped rotisserie chicken to make this a Rotisserie Chicken Salad. It becomes a no-cooking required salad that comes together quickly and is just as impressive. During the holidays, you can use leftover turkey to make it a Thanksgiving-worthy Turkey Salad.

Serving Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad with balsamic Vinaigrette being drizzled over the top

More Chicken Salad Recipes:

We love chicken salads around here because they are a meal in themselves and are perfect for to-go lunches and meal prep!

Watch Natasha Make Chicken Salad:

I hope this Chopped Chicken Salad and Balsamic Dressing become a new favorite for you!

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Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad

4.98 from 80 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
A bowl of autumn chopped chicken salad with two wooden spoons in the bowl
This Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad is loaded with crisp pears, tangy craisins, pecans, feta and juicy chicken! It's the perfect Fall Salad and this simple balsamic vinaigrette will win you over.
Prep Time: 22 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 8 as a side chicken salad

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts (2 large), trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic salt , (or to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, (8 cups chopped) rinsed and dried
  • 2 pears, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pecans, lightly toasted on a dry skillet
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (4 oz), crumbled

Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients:

Instructions

  • Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have 4 thin cutlets. Season chicken cutlets on both sides with garlic salt and black pepper. Place a large skillet over medium heat with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add chicken cutlets and sautee 3-4 minutes per side or until fully cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and let chicken rest while preparing the salad then slice the chicken into strips.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium dry skillet, toast pecans over medium heat for 5 minutes, tossing frequently or until pecans are fragrant and lightly golden. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped romaine, sliced pears, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, crumbled feta and cooked sliced chicken.
  • Combine dressing ingredients in a small mason jar. Cover with lid and shake vigorously to combine. If any separation occurs, shake again just before using. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over the salad, adding it to taste then toss to combine.

Nutrition Per Serving

389kcal Calories22g Carbs14g Protein27g Fat4g Saturated Fat44mg Cholesterol412mg Sodium339mg Potassium3g Fiber16g Sugar380IU Vitamin A3mg Vitamin C65mg Calcium0.9mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad
Amount per Serving
Calories
389
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
27
g
42
%
Saturated Fat
 
4
g
25
%
Cholesterol
 
44
mg
15
%
Sodium
 
412
mg
18
%
Potassium
 
339
mg
10
%
Carbohydrates
 
22
g
7
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
16
g
18
%
Protein
 
14
g
28
%
Vitamin A
 
380
IU
8
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
65
mg
7
%
Iron
 
0.9
mg
5
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Salad, Chopped Chicken Salad
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 389
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad is a Fall Chicken Salad with pears, craisins, pecans, feta and chicken drizzled with easy balsamic vinaigrette

This Autumn chicken salad is absolutely delicious; one you will make again and again!

Q: Do you have a go-to salad for Fall?

Let me know about it in a comment below! Speaking of chicken salads, don’t miss our chicken avocado salad which won the hearts of our readers with over 150 million views! Explore more of our favorite salads here.

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad will be your favorite Fall salad. Chicken Salad with pears, craisins, pecans, feta and chicken with easy balsamic vinaigrette! | natashaskitchen.com

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Comments

  • Ann
    October 11, 2022

    This salad and dressing is absolutely excellent!❤️
    My new favorite go to salad!

    Reply

    • Ann
      October 11, 2022

      Meant to give this 5 stars excellent salad and dressing❤️❤️❤️

      Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 11, 2022

      That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Ann!

      Reply

  • Joann
    August 17, 2022

    My daughter and I make a lot of your recipe’s you are a great cook enjoy watching you I wish you had your own show thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 17, 2022

      Thank you for your kind words and good comments, Joann. We appreciate it!

      Reply

  • Joanne Robertson
    July 29, 2022

    You did it again 👏 👏. This is such a delicious salad and the dressing is so amazing. I’m going to try it with chopped dates next time because I can’t find cranberries with no added sugar. Thanks for sharing the recipe for this delicious salad.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 30, 2022

      You’re very welcome! Thank you for the wonderful review.

      Reply

  • Char
    June 25, 2022

    I love this salad but do not like pears. I opted for apples and loved it just as much. Still had the crunch of the apple and yet tasted delicious

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 25, 2022

      That’s a great substitute. Thanks for sharing, Char.

      Reply

  • Mathilde
    January 13, 2022

    This is one of my new favourite salads. Salads and veggies are rarely exciting to me, but this one is! I do it with turkey, and really like that I can prep the different ingredients in advance. It’s delicious and always impresses guests… though I also cook just for myself. Miam ! Thanks a lot for this new favourite!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 13, 2022

      You’re most welcome! I’m glad this is now your new favorite salad recipe.

      Reply

  • Nikki Johnson
    November 23, 2021

    Do you think roasted chickpeas would work in place of the chicken?? I loved it with chicken but looking for a vegetarian option while still having protein.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 23, 2021

      Hi Nikki, I haven’t tested that to advise. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe

      Reply

  • Jason
    November 23, 2021

    Trying my best to eat better. I’m not a salad lover, but this salad is delicious! I didn’t have pecans, but I subbed in some shelled and toasted pumpkin seeds. I also added some maple syrup to the vinaigrette.

    Can’t wait to try this again in a few days with some leftover turkey instead of the chicken.

    Thanks for a great, healthy recipe!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 23, 2021

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing your great review!

      Reply

  • Monica
    November 4, 2021

    Natasha, thank you for making healthy eating so easy. The kids gobbled up this salad and my husband said it tasted like a salad from a nice restaurant. I love balsamic vinegar, but due to one of my kids, I had to switch it out for apple cider vinegar, added a tiny bit of honey, and it worked well. You led me to discover the deliciousness of garlic in dressings – it makes any salad heartier and absolutely satisfying.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 5, 2021

      Hello Monica. Thanks for sharing your good comments with us, I’m happy to know that your kids love this recipe too!

      Reply

  • Joshna
    October 10, 2021

    Autumn chopped chicken salad is one of the very best salads. Top notch dressing. It’s crunchy and flavorful.
    Love all your recipes ❤️

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 10, 2021

      Thank you for your great review, Joshna!

      Reply

  • Josh Doerr
    October 9, 2021

    I find it difficult to make a good salad because salads just sound too boring and you can’t make them as good as the restaurants do. This salad is definitely a great salad to make if you want that dining out quality! It was soooo good!!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 9, 2021

      Thanks for your awesome comments and feedback, Josh!

      Reply

  • Deanna Wood
    September 13, 2021

    Can you substitute the he Dijon mustard. We have an allergy. What would you use as substitute

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 14, 2021

      Hi Deanna, I think yellow mustard would be okay if you’re not allergic to it?

      Reply

  • Kari
    September 9, 2021

    This is SO good! I did add a small bit of honey to the dressing to give it some sweetness, but it was so good. I loved the flavors together. Put the leftovers (without dressing) in a container for the next day’s lunch and it kept very well. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 9, 2021

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Kari!

      Reply

  • Connie Johnson
    August 30, 2021

    This sounds divine. Just wondering how far ahead this could be prepared without adding the dressing, due to the pears already being sliced. How long before they turn brown? By the way, I LOVE your recipes & videos!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 30, 2021

      Hi Connie, since it has lettuce in it, it won’t keep for more than 6 hours after adding the dressing since the salt in the dressing will wilt the lettuce. If you prep the salad in advance and then add the dressing just before serving, it will keep longer. Also, note that the pears will discolor slightly as they stand. If serving for a party and the look of the pears is important, I would add pears just before serving as well. 🙂 I hope this helps.

      Reply

  • Andrea Sanders
    August 15, 2021

    This recipe looks delish! I was wondering if it would work if I substituted apples for the pears and if there is another nut I could use instead of pecans? Walnuts? Almonds? If so, do they have to be toasted? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2021

      Hello Andrea, that sounds like a good plan. Although I haven’t tried those ingredients yet to advise, I think it’s worth experimenting with. If you try that, please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

  • VIDAL
    July 26, 2021

    ¡HOLA NATASHA! MI NOMBRE ES VIDAL DE LA CIUDAD DE MEXICO,COMO INICIADOR EN LA COCINA ME HA SIDO MUCHA UTILIDAD ESTAS RECETAS,PUES AHORA ESTOY COMIENDO MUY SALUDABLE.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 26, 2021

      Great to hear that, Vidal. Keep up the good work!

      Reply

  • Teresa
    February 9, 2021

    Even though the picture looked delicious, I halved the ingredients and made full recipe dressing for my picky eaters. It was absolutely a hit at my household……I should have made a full recipe.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 9, 2021

      That is the best when kids love what we moms make. That’s so great!

      Reply

  • Rosa Martinez
    January 14, 2021

    I love all your delicious recipes. You are the best.
    Also they are so easy to make. Thank you for sharing them.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 14, 2021

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Megha
    December 21, 2020

    I haven’t made this salad yet. Do you think it would be a good addition for Christmas Dinner? I have a few vegetarians in my family, is there something I could replace the Chicken with, or just don’t add it at all?
    By the way, my kids love watching your videos, not to mention my husband only likes recipes I make from you!! Thanks so much!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 21, 2020

      Hi Megha, I think this salad can be a great addition to your Christmas menu. I think you can omit the chicken and it would still be delicious.

      Reply

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