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Fresh And Summery Grilled Chicken Salad
When the sun comes out, for our family, that means its grilling weather! We get to spend time as a family outdoors, eat great food, and step away from our digital devices for a while what could be better? When the grill is ready, along with grill classics, you can never have enough summery salad ideas like this grilled chicken salad.
Not to sound shameless, but Im a bit of a salad queen theres no reason for them to be anything other than delicious , like this, Italian chopped salad, asparagus dijon salad, and white bean salad. Thats certainly the case with this grilled chicken salad recipe packing in tons of flavor, its like summer in a bowl. Even better, its still packed with nutrition, is protein-dense, and will leave you fully satisfied- perfect for cookouts, picnics, potlucks, gatherings, or just a mid-week meal!
This grilled chicken breast salad idea is a treat for your tastebuds too with a delicious combination of protein, healthy fats, leafy greens, crunchy nuts, and savory-sweet fruit and veg. Whether you are firing up the grill fresh, have leftover grilled chicken from the night before, or have spent a weekend testing chicken marinades , learning how to make the best grilled chicken salad recipe is a must-do for all!
Best of all, this recipe is super versatile. Follow my outlined formula below for the perfect ratio of flavors and textures. Grilled chicken salad has never looked as good!
The Ultimate Grilled Chicken Salad
Juicy grilled chicken and a dreamy chipotle mayo dressing in a salad packed with delicious goodies this truly is the best grilled chicken salad youll ever make!
When I tell you this salad is hearty, I mean it. Yes, potentially one of the least healthiest salads youve witnessed, but what more do you expect around here Follow me
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A Punchy Marinade That Doubles As A Dressing
Im all about efficiency in the kitchen and getting as much from my efforts as possible. In this case, that means making a bright, punchy marinade that doubles as the salad dressing. Whisk together fresh lime juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and olive oil spoon out some for the marinade and reserve the rest to be used as the dressing.
Recipe Notes And Tips
- Maintain the balance: This chicken salad with grilled chicken, fruits and nuts is super versatile, but for the best results, its best to maintain the balance of flavors and texture. Want to swap out one veg? Use something similar in its place, etc.
- Match marinated chicken to similar flavors: i.e., using Greek chicken? Pair with other Mediterranean flavors like tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumber, avocado, and feta, etc, like in this Greek salad recipe.
- Create a salad bar: If youre serving many guests, then a salad bar is a fun way to enjoy this grilled salad chicken and accommodate picky eaters. Add all the various toppings in different dishes and allow people to pile up their plates with the ingredients and dressing of choice.
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Can I Make This Salad Ahead Of Time
I highly recommend serving this right away to avoid a soggy salad. You could prep the salad without dressing, but youll find the chicken wont be as juicy and the onions/bacon wont be crispy.
Process shots: add lettuce to large salad bowl , add tomatoes , add avocado , add bacon , add chicken , add onions .
How Long Will It Take To Make The Meal
It wont take very long to make the Grilled Chicken Salad. Itll take about 15 minutes to prepare the marinade. Youll need to let the chicken sit in the marinade for at least an hour. Once your chicken sits in the marinade long enough, its only going to take a maximum of 20 minutes to cook it on the grill before assembling your salad.
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But I *really* Dont Like Kale
True confession: *I* did not like kale.
Id only ever had it cooked and it was disgusting with a capital D!
When one of my friends raved about this salad, I was pretty skeptical.
I put on my big girl pants and gave it a try: after all, kale is sogood for you.
Yall? I was hooked after the first bite!
And I was shocked.
Ironically, this is the same friend who reintroduced me to Brussels Sprouts which led to this tasty recipe.
Who even am I?!
Twenty-year-old me would not believe Id be scarfing down kale salad and Brussel sprouts like its my job when I turned fifty
But this kale salad? It was a little garlicky and the kale gave it just the right amount of texture and bitterness. The dressing is also really bright thanks to the lemon juice.
I think the key to this recipe is how the kale is sliced so thin and then the dressing is massaged into the kale to make the leaves soft and flavorful.
This kale salad recipe is an S meal if you follow the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating.
If you follow another low carb lifestyle simply omit the crushed croutons, or substitute crushed pork rinds.
If you eat gluten-free, you can either omit the crushed croutons or you can substitute gluten-free bread crumbs.
*Please note that gluten-free products often include ingredients that arent considered on plan for Trim Healthy Mama.
Even if you dont like kale, I hope youll give this a try!
Maybe youll end up loving it as much as I do!
Chicken Salad Tips And Variations:
- Dont flip or press the chicken, or any protein, once it hits the grill. Flipping and checking the chicken too often will cause the meat to be dry, and you wont achieve those gorgeous grill marks.
- Dont forget to let the meat rest for about 10 minutes after it cooks. If you slice the chicken too soon, all the natural juices will run out.
- To cut down on fats, carbs, and sugars, make your own dressings and vinaigrettes. Fresh salad dressings taste so much better than dressings with preservatives that dull natural flavors.
- Pound out the chicken breasts to the same thickness, so theyll all cook at the same rate. Chicken cutlets or tenders are a great option, too!
What kind of toppings go on a grilled chicken salad?
Anything else you love!
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How To Make Easy Grilled Chicken Salad
Follow these three steps to make Easy Grilled Chicken Salad at home.
Making of Grilled Chicken
After that heat a grill pan and brush it with little oil and grill both side of the chicken breasts well. Alternatively, you can also grill chicken breasts in oven.
After cooling down, shred the grilled chicken and keep aside.
Salad Dressing Preparation
A simple salad dressing can take your salad to the next level! Do you agree that making your own salad dressing is a simple and cost-effective alternative to store-bought dressings. I did the same for this summer salad recipe.
Instead of making the salad dressing in bulk, I made it fresh and used this before serving the salad. Lemon juice, EVOO, salt, and freshly ground black peppercorn are the key ingredients of this dressing. If you prefer sweetness then add a dash of honey into the dressing.
After the chicken has been grilled and the salad dressing has been prepared, its time to make the salad. You should prepare the vegetables ahead of time by chopping them and keeping them ready. I chop the lettuce leaves and immerse in ice-cold water to keep it fresh. Finally, when everything is ready I take them out from the water and add to the salad.
If you are using frozen sweet corns then you must thaw them ahead of time. I prefer to use frozen corns, you can use corn from the cobs. In that case, you require extra time.
Tips To Make A Grilled Chicken Salad
- To save on time, you could grill the chicken 1-2 days ahead of time. When youre ready to make the salad, just slice the grilled chicken up and enjoy it cold or you could even warm it up a bit.
- The salad could also be prepped 1-2 days ahead of time, which means this recipe could be part of your Sunday meal prep for the week.
- Grill inside on a grill pan, or depending on the season, grill the chicken outdoors.
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Ingredients For Grilled Chicken Salad
Chicken I love chicken thighs, but for this recipe chicken breasts make a beautiful presentation. And I have a couple of tips that will result in juicy chicken breasts.
Lettuce because we will be serving the chicken warm over the salad greens, I like to use romaine for its sturdiness. And its crisp, crunchy texture compliments the warm, grilled chicken perfectly.
Tomatoes grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half are perfect for this salad. Their sweet, juicy flavor is a great counterpoint to the chicken.
Onions the red onion variety is my choice for this recipe. Not only do these onions add a gorgeous pop of color to the salad, their crunchy and spicy characteristics create another layer of texture and flavor.
Avocado speaking of textures, this ingredient brings a smooth, creamy quality with a buttery flavor to the party.
Vinaigrette every salad needs to be dressed or its just a lot of veggies hanging out together in my humble opinion. An added bonus, the vinaigrette can double as a marinade for the chicken.
Easy Grilled Chicken Salad
This Easy Grilled Chicken Salad recipe with Ranch Dressing makes a delicious main dish salad. Featuring crisp romaine lettuce, avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onions, shredded carrots, red peppers, and marinated grilled chicken. Topped with a dairy-free ranch dressing, this salad is full of flavor and is also nutritious.
This salad features tender chicken that is marinated before its grilled. The chicken cooks up in minutes and is served with lettuce, avocado, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and red onions. Sometimes I make my air-fryer bacon and crumble it on top .
A grilled chicken salad is really a classic summer salad recipe. Its hard to go wrong with the combination of marinated chicken that is grilled to perfection and a variety of vibrant vegetables. You could easily adapt this recipe with what you have on hand.
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Grilled Chicken For Salad
For this grilled chicken salad recipe, though its best to use a freshly cooked batch of chicken, you can consider last nights leftover rotisserie or canned chicken to save time and effort prepping.
When it is done, give it some time to rest to prevent the juices from escaping before slicing the chicken into thin slices. Remember to use a meat thermometer to test the doneness of the chicken to avoid being cooked.
Tips For The Perfect Salad
- The chicken should marinate for at least an hour, but you can really leave the chicken in the marinade for up to 8 hours.
- This dressing calls for finely minced shallots, which taste like a cross between garlic and onion, except theyre milder. Shallots can be found with the rest of the onions at all grocery stores.
- You can use fresh, canned or thawed frozen corn in the salad. If its summer and corn is in season, try tossing cobs of corn on the grill alongside chicken, then cut the kernels off to go in the salad.
- I make this salad all year round, with an outdoor grill in the warmer weather months and an indoor grill pan during the winter.
- The chicken can be cooked up to 2 days before you plan to make your salad. You can heat the chicken up or place it cold on the salad, whatever you prefer.
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The Perfect Formula For Best Salad With Grilled Chicken:
- Leafy greens: I used mixed baby greens as the base of my summer chicken salad. They are a staple in our fridge because they are pre-washed, organic, cheap, and every store carries them. Chopped romaine, kale, or arugula would also be delicious! Basically, choose whatever greens you prefer.
- Juicy fruit: If youre not a sweet and savory salad type of person, dont panic. Tomatoes and avocados are two options in this category. What youre looking for are soft and juicy ingredients that pack in a ton of flavor. For those who want a super summer chicken salad, then the addition of fruit like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries is recommended! Other fruit options include apple, peach, mango, or clementine.
Top tip: You can toss them in raw or grill them up alongside the grilled chicken particularly with tomatoes and strawberries.
Using a delicious chicken marinade?Why not double it up and use the leftovers as a salad dressing .
This green salad with grilled chicken combination just never fails. The main thing is to make sure not to omit any of the above categories entirely. However, you can add in bonus extras. Keep reading below for more information on recipe add-ins and variations!
What did I use? This time I combined the grilled chicken with baby greens, raspberries, tomatoes, feta, mixed nuts, and thinly sliced red onion. Topped off with my creamy poppy seed dressing to finish.
Best Chicken Breast Salad
I love making dinner salad recipes over the summer! When its hot outside, theres nothing like a refreshing salad for dinner or lunch. This Grilled Chicken Salad with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing is by far one of my familys favorites of all the summer salad recipes I make!
Complete with fresh veggies , this easy grilled chicken salad is truly so delicious. Give it a try this summer and I know youll be hooked!
I love adding some chopped Crispy Air Fryer Bacon to this salad for even more flavor!
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Simple Oil And Vinegar Dressing
Sometimes you want the ingredients to really shine in your salad, like the grilled chicken and corn here, so you dont need a powerful dressing. A simple mix of vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, garlic and seasoning is all you need. You can of course use any dressing you want as long as it will go well the flavors here.
The Ingredients For Caesar Salad
This salad comes together quickly and easily with simple ingredients, many of which you probably already have on hand. I’m using boneless and skinless chicken thighs, which stay juicier than chicken breasts and cook very quickly.
You can prepare the chicken ahead of time, either by marinating it up to 24 hours in advance or by grilling the chicken up to two days before and serving it as a cold salad.
I use gluten-free sourdough to make my grilled croutonswhich are basically slices of breadbut you can use any good crusty bread.
Stale bread works great for croutons as it crisps up beautifully. If yours is very fresh, thats fine too. Youll get a crispy exterior with a softer interior. I typically serve this with 2 or 3 slices of grilled croutons per person.
The chicken and croutons can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature. I like the contrast of the warm croutons and chicken with the crisp cold greens, but its great with cold chicken, too.
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Grilled Chicken Salad Flavor Variations
This salad is great as-is, but you can absolutely add other ingredients to make it your own.
- Protein: Instead of chicken, try grilled steak, salmon or shrimp.
- Greens: Swap out the romaine for spinach or a mixed greens blend. Kale will also work just fine.
- Vegetables: You can absolutely add other vegetables to the mix, some suggestions included grilled veggies such as asparagus, zucchini or bell peppers. Marinated artichoke hearts are also a nice addition.
- Cheese: Skip the blue cheese and try crumbled feta or a sharp aged white cheddar instead.
This grilled chicken salad just screams summer you simply cant go wrong with the combination of smoky chicken, fresh greens and plenty of toppings!
Grilled Bbq Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe
Looking for a grilled BBQ chicken salad sandwich recipe that is easy, healthy and tasty? Look no further! This recipe is simple to follow and only requires a few ingredients. We will show you how to make a delicious chicken salad using grilled chicken thats served on fluffy hamburger buns with crisp, refreshing vegetables.
This grilled BBQ chicken salad sandwich recipe is perfect for a quick and easy meal. It is healthy, flavorful and will leave you feeling satisfied. Give it a try today! You wont be disappointed.
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Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe:
Grilled Chicken Salad is what we love to make, especially during the warmer months. The fresh green lettuce served with marinated chicken breast and our favorite salad topping, makes this one of our favorite meals.
This simple, but hearty recipe is light and delicious and easy to make. We add vegetables, fruit, avocado and anything else that sounds satisfying. Then we mix together with an easy olive oil and vinegar base dressing.
This recipe is perfect to make to use leftover grilled chicken. We love cooking once and eating twice with our recipes. It saves my family time and money. Grilled Chicken makes a delicious salad.