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.



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!




Michigan Cherry Chicken Salad

Yield: 4 servings


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 light mayonnaise (I used the olive oil one)
1/3 cup fat free greek yogurt
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!

394 calories per serving

A Novice Chef Blog Original


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29 Responses to “Michigan Cherry Chicken Salad”

  1. 1

    Donald — July 21, 2010 @ 3:47 am

    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.

  2. 2

    Lauren — July 21, 2010 @ 6:26 am

    Delicious! That is my kind of chicken salad :).

  3. 3

    Becca — July 21, 2010 @ 6:37 am

    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.

  4. 4

    Cydney — July 21, 2010 @ 7:26 am

    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!

  5. 5

    meike — July 21, 2010 @ 7:35 am

    can oyu also use fresh cherries? I don’t think i can find dried cherries in switzerland.

  6. 6

    beth aka confusedhomemaker — July 21, 2010 @ 8:11 am

    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 :)

  7. 7

    Gloria — July 21, 2010 @ 8:47 am

    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

  8. 8

    tigerfish — July 21, 2010 @ 11:04 am

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

    Love that you added cherries in your sandwich.

  9. 9

    no├źlle {simmer down!} — July 21, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    Becca- there’s a reason it’s known everywhere as “Michigan cherry salad” and not “Wisconsin cherry salad”! ­čśë 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.

  10. 10

    Cookbook Queen — July 21, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

    Such a huge mistake to sit down and read this right at lunchtime!! Now all I want is this chicken salad…

  11. 11

    Laura — July 21, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

    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!

  12. 12

    Adrienne — July 21, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    These look so very delish! I think I’ll make them for dinner tonight :)

  13. 13

    KristenK — July 21, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

    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!

  14. 14

    Sharlene — July 22, 2010 @ 5:56 am

    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!

  15. 15

    ErinsFoodFiles — July 26, 2010 @ 11:03 am

    I wish I was eating this for lunch, instead of a Lean Cuisine!

  16. 16

    Sonia - L'Exquisit — August 10, 2010 @ 8:55 am

    I just eat this sandwich and it was delicious. Thank you very much for the recipe!

  17. 17

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  18. 18

    Sue — June 11, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    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!

  19. 19

    Nicole — February 20, 2012 @ 5:18 am

    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!

  20. 20

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  21. 21

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  25. 25

    ogates — June 11, 2014 @ 9:16 pm

    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…

  26. 26

    ogates — June 11, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

    my mistake–this recipe sounds like that delicious salad we had…

  27. 27

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  28. 28

    Marjie — November 3, 2015 @ 12:20 pm

    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!

  29. 29

    Linda Wehmueller — January 14, 2016 @ 9:41 pm

    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.

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