Preparing The Chicken For The Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad
Although its a long way off from complicated, the southwest grilled chicken salad is a bit more involved than other salad recipes. Rather than have you dump ingredients in a salad bowl and toss with dressing, this salad requires slightly more finesse. The biggest area that requires a considerable amount of attention is the chicken.
First, you need to combine the seasonings and olive oil to make the ultimate grilled chicken flavor pack. Toss the chicken into the mix and coat thoroughly before you put the chicken in the frying pan. For authentic grilled chicken, use a grill pan. Once the chicken is cooked through, place it on a cutting board to rest and then slice or dice to the desired size.
Make sure the chicken is fully cooked and the internal temperature of the chicken is 165° F.
Making This Recipe In Advance
Make-Ahead: You can prepare all the elements in advance. Chicken can be left to marinate overnight, the salad ingredients can be prepared at the same time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge, and you can make the dressing up to a week in advance!
You can also meal-prep this grilled chicken salad recipe for work lunches. To do this, make up a layered mason jar with the dressing as the bottom, then meat, then the vegetables. You can shake it up before eating.
Store: If the salad is dressed, then make sure to eat it on the same day . If the salad, dressing, and nuts are stored separately, then you can store them for up to two days, covered, in the refrigerator. If you make up a large batch or two of grilled chicken, then you can make a weeks worth of salads!
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.
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More Salad Dressing Ideas
Not a fan of honey mustard? Try one of our other homemade dressings below!
Creamy Green Goddess Dressing This Creamy Green Goddess Dressing recipe is made with a Greek yogurt base, tons of fresh herbs, anti-inflammatory spices, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing Our avo cilantro lime dressing is fresh, tangy, and a A+ choice to keep in your fridge at all times!
Best Balsamic Dressing Simple yet oh so flavorful, this aint no basic balsamic dressing. Made with real ingredients, and the perfect companion to any salad. Make this dressing today!
Homemade Poppyseed Dressing Try our poppy seed dressing recipe. Its made with olive oil, lemon juice, a little Greek yogurt, poppy seeds, and honey.
More of our Favorite
Grill Chicken And Assemble Salad
After you chicken is marinaded its time to grill it and make your salad!
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Take chicken out of marinade and place on a plate. Discard marinade.
Heat grill to medium high or 375 degrees F.
Place chicken on grill grates and cook on each side for 4 minutes. Turn grill to low and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer to make sure you cook it to the right temperature. This makes so much difference!
Remove chicken from grill and allow to rest while you prepare the salad. The temperature of the chicken will raise the 5 degrees during resting to get to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F which is recommended by the USDA.
Cut lettuce and any toppings you like. Slice chicken and layer on salad with favorite toppings. Serve with your favorite salad dressing.
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Why This Recipe Works
- Quick To Make! Simply grill the chicken, combine the salad ingredients, and top with the creamy homemade dressing!
- Health Benefits! This salad is loaded with protein from the chicken! As well as essential vitamins and minerals from the arugula, greek yogurt-based dressing, and NatureSweet Cherubs!
- Filling Yet Light! I love a meal that fills you up without sitting heavily in your stomach! this Grilled Chicken Salad does just that!
- Big OnFlavor! This easy recipe delivers big on taste! Bright yet earthy flavors are found in the Green Goddess Dressing while the pickled beets offer up a sweet, slightly sour, flavor. Pair that with the tangy, fresh flavor that bursts out of every NatureSweet Cherub, and youre left with a salad that pleases your palate!
- Homemade Dressing! As always, anything homemade beats the taste of store bought every single time!
Grilled Chicken Salad Sandwiches
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Who doesnt love a good chicken salad sandwich? I love those tender chunks of chicken enrobed in that creamy sauce. I tend to grab croissants to serve the chicken salad on, but why not make a grilled chicken salad sandwiches.
You can grab some chicken salad from the store or make your own favorite chicken salad recipe. I have several great recipes on my site if you want to make a salad from scratch. When I did this photo, I just purchase some prepared chicken salad from my local Walmart. The salad incudes dried cranberries and pecans.
Then just think of this as like basically making a grilled tuna and cheese sandwich, but instead of tuna you are using chicken salad. I use Swiss cheese on there. I think it melts nice and the Swiss adds some nice flavor.
Then you also add a few tomato slices on these along with some lettuce. Both give texture and added flavor to the sandwich.These grilled chicken salad sandwiches are a tasty way to change up the way you make a chicken salad sandwich. Instead of a flaky buttery croissant, you have crispy buttery toasted bread.
- 1 1/3 cup chicken salad
- 4 slices swiss cheese
- 4 large leaves of lettuce
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What To Serve With Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe
Grilled chicken salad is practically a meal-in-itself with protein, veggies and fruit the only thing left to add is carby bread! We love it with a side of cornbread or buttery breadsticks. Its also fabulous with favorite backyard barbecue sides such as Baked Mac and Cheese, Potato Salad, Baked Beans, and Corn Casserole
Chicken Shawarma Salad Recipe I How To Make Chicken Shawarma:
First, marinate chicken breast in a bed of curd, mixed with some spices. Keep for at least half an hour and grill it. You can also use a grill plate on stove if you don’t have a traditional griller. Then just assemble the salad with lettuce leaves, cucumber, onion, tomatoes and other veggies of your choice. Don’t forget to add in some mayonnaise or other sauce of your choice. Slice the grilled chicken and place on top of the salad. Serve with pita bread.
Do try this chicken shawarma salad recipe and let us know how you liked it.
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Zaxby’s The Grilled Cobb Zalad
It’s not the absolute worst, but this Southern chicken chain’s salad is delicious but far from nutritious. Buttered texas toast to accompany a salad is not the ideal meal when you want to eat clean.
“In terms of overall health, you could do worse at Zaxby’s than this Grilled Cobb Salad. It’s not as high in calories, saturated fat, or sodium as the Fried Cobb also on the menu,” says Garone. “I don’t consider its 7 grams of sugar a problem, as they come from fresh vegetables. I’d be more concerned about its milligrams of sodium, which takes up almost 80% of the recommended daily value.”
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.
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Our Favorite Grilled Chicken Recipes
- Need a simple grilled dinner that that whole family will love? Then you need to make a batch of Grilled Chicken Legs! The homemade rub gives them so much flavor!
- Chicken Kabobs are stuffed with crispy bacon and marinated in a ranch marinade. They are grilled to perfection! Who can say no to Bacon Ranch Chicken Kabobs for an easy summer dinner?
- Chicken Caprese is a delicious, healthy dinner recipe bursting with flavor. Grilled Chicken Breast thats seasoned then topped with fresh mozzarella, a slice of ripe tomato, basil and balsamic reduction.
- Delicious, juicy Beer Can Chicken on your grill is so easy! The chicken is seasoned with a homemade rub then grilled on top of a beer can. The chicken has a crispy, seasoned skin and is tender and delicious.
Tag me on Instagram when you make this or #gimmesomegrilling love to see your delicious eats!!
Chipotle Salad With Sofritas Cilantro Brown Rice Black Beans Fajita Veggies Fresh Tomato Salsa Guacamole Queso Roasted Chili Corn Salsa Sour Cream Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette
Chipotle’s site lets you build your salad and shows nutrition not just in numbers but in percentages, Garone says. It’s great if you want to see the macros from each topping ahead of time. However, this spot packs in the highest amount of calories when you add things like queso and sour cream. With beans, rice, guacamole, and queso on this salad, you could trash the greens and make this a burrito for the same effect. Instead, make a homemade salad with these 7 Best Salad Ingredients for Weight Loss.
The New York TimesEat This, Not That!
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Now Lets Make The Best Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Step By Step
Tip: Its best to toast pine nuts over low heat to keep them an even golden brown, . It takes about 15-20 minutes on the stove top on low, or the similar amount of time in the oven at 250ºF. How long it takes to toast them will depend on the size of your pan, and the amount in it. My favorite pan to use is a 9cast iron skillet for even heating.
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.
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Can I Use Pre
Of course! While freshly grilled chicken is always best for taste, I totally understand the need to save on time. Just prepare the chicken as directed on the package and then allow it to rest.
Afterward, place it on your salad and enjoy!
Eating healthy never gets boring when there are delicious choices like this Grilled Chicken Salad to turn to! Try another healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipe that will excite your taste buds as much as this one does!
- Granola Breakfast Bowl Boost your immune system while enjoying this healthy, cozy breakfast bowl!
- Chicken Fajita Rice Dinner In just 35 minutes you can enjoy this dish thats filled with authentic Mexican flavor!
- Green Pineapple Spinach Spirulina Smoothie This sweet fruity smoothie is packed with protein, vitamins, and fiber!
- Stuffed Acorn Squash Filled with ground turkey sausage, chopped apples, kale, and dried cranberries!
- Garlic Butter Shrimp With Zucchini Noodles A healthy lunch or dinner option thats ready to enjoy in 20 minutes!
Grilled Chicken Salad Health Benefits
This chicken salad is as healthy as it is delicious. It includes a variety of fresh greens and raw vegetables, including cherry tomatoes, red onions, red and green bell peppers, as well as shredded carrots and beets. Raw vegetables provide a ton of health benefits. There isnt a better way to incorporate so many vitamins and antioxidants in your diet than a salad like this.
You can further add other nutritious vegetables to this recipe or make substitutions. Your imagination is the limit here. Instead of spring mix, try spinach, a superfood with many health benefits. Or incorporate watercress which is packed with nutrients, antioxidants and other health properties.
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Grilled Chicken Salad Restaurant Style
I used to make this in 2 different steakhouse type restaurants I cooked in. It started out, I made them one day for myself and another worker for lunch when doing prep work one day when we weren’t open. It was so well liked, we had people ordering it and then at one of the restaurants, I put it on the menu.I’m sure somewhere, someone has done a similar salad to this but I didn’t get it from anywhere!You need to cook the chicken as I instruct for the full flavor of this dish and don’t drown it in dressing, so it doesn’t cover up the flavor of the chicken.Enjoy!
How Do You Make Grilled Chicken Salad
Start by preparing the olive oil and herb mixture that will serve as both the chicken marinade and the salad dressing. Whisk together the oil with lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, herbs and spices. Divide the mixture in half. Place the chicken in half the mixture, and save the other half as the dressing. Let the chicken sit in the marinade for at least one hour, then grill the chicken until its golden brown. Slice the chicken, then place it in a bowl with romaine lettuce, corn, red onion, tomatoes, bacon, avocado and blue cheese. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the top, then serve and enjoy.
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Why You Will Love This Grilled Chicken Salad
- Packed with flavor: This Mexican chopped chicken salad is out of this world delciious. It is packed with juicy chicken and veggies.
- Healthy: with the added grilled chicken and the homemade avocado dressing, this salad is healthy and nutritious.
- Easy and meal-prep friendly: Dont be intimated when it comes to making salad. This grilled chicken salad is easy to make ane great for those who meal prep. Simply store the dressing on the side.
The Best Grilled Chicken And Dressing
The star of this grilled chicken salad recipe is the lemon basil chicken. I love marinating chicken because it is the easiest way to tenderize chicken and infuse otherwise boring chicken with tons of flavor. And bonus, the marinade does all the heavy lifting so all you have to do is grill and devour!
This grilled chicken is tender, bright, aromatic and a little sassy from an easy marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, basil, parsley, oregano, garlic, onion, ground mustard and red pepper flakes. Consequently, the dressing is mega flavorful because, remember, the marinade doubles as the dressing no double work! Simply whisk together a large batch of marinade and separate out half for the chicken and half for the dressing.
As far as the add-ins, Ive come up with a colorful complementary combination of juicy tomatoes, crunchy sweet corn, sweet blueberries, crispy apples, zippy red onions, creamy avocados, salty, crackling bacon, crunchy almonds and creamy, tangy feta cheese. Its a hypnotic bowl of textures and flavors that will have everyone coming back for more.
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Savannah Chopped Salad Mcalisters Deli
The Savannah Chopped Salad is made up of grilled chicken, dried cranberries, Gorgonzola, honey roasted almonds, tomato and cucumber on mixed greens with a sherry shallot dressing. It has 480 calories, 16 grams fat, and 40 grams of protein. ” At just 480 calories this restaurant salad at McAlister’s Deli makes an excellent meal,” said Richards. “They use grilled chicken over fried, which cuts down on fat and calories and provides a lean source of animal protein. The remaining ingredients are quite simple, but filled with beneficial nutrients like calcium, protein, healthy fats, and even antioxidants.”
This article was updated on July 13, 2021 with updated options from fast-food eateries.
How To Dress The Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad
This salad recipe doesnt have a dressing assigned to it. There is no one particular choice that necessarily beats out any other. The salad speaks for itself in terms of Southwestern flavor. While you wouldnt add Caesar to it, or probably Italian, you can certainly go with your gut and pick any dressing that works for you.
The best choices for dressing are either a barbecue sauce, or ranch dressing, or some combination of the two. If you use barbecue sauce alone, I recommend a thinner sauce such as Memphis style.
You could choose more vinegar forward North Carolina style sauce, or mustard imbued South Carolina sauce. Although Texas is the most obvious Southwestern choice, it is very thick and best used only as an added component to another dressing such as ranch.
You can also use chipotle ranch or a creamy cilantro lime salad dressing which is almost too obvious to mention, but omitting the option here seemed just as silly. As an alternative to dressing, you can even serve this salad up with a side of some salsa and sour cream.
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