Grilled Chicken Salads with Rosemary Vinaigrette

Salads aren’t just for summer! This grilled chicken salad with crunchy vegetables and a savory rosemary vinaigrette is as bright as the colors of autumn.

There are countless ways to make chicken salad—just add your favorite vegetables, top with a fresh dressing, and you’re ready for a tasty, healthful dinner or lunch any time of year.

Grilling the chicken brings an extra depth of flavor to the meat without overpowering the individual flavors of the other ingredients. A grill pan works well for a simple boneless breast and provides delicious smoky taste when you don’t want to fire up the outdoor grill.

This recipe for two uses colorful, crunchy vegetables, salty pumpkin seeds, and tangy Italian blue cheese for great texture, great taste—and great looks.

Make the Dressing Count!

When you take time to put together a delicious, healthful salad, why bring it down a notch with a processed bottled dressing? Instead, make your own to complete a fantastic fresh meal.

Vinaigrettes are easy and quick to prepare. It takes only a few ingredients and a few minutes to create a fresh tasty complement for the chicken and vegetables.

The highlight of the dressing in this recipe is fresh rosemary. Its bright and earthy flavor provides just the right balance for a light but satisfying salad.

Grilled Chicken Salads with Rosemary Vinaigrette

Ingredients

For the Vinaigrette

  • 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp while balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 4 loosely packed cups of mixed greens (preferably not from a bag; if so, wash it thoroughly!)
  • 1/4 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 2 large radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 rib of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 thin slice of red onion, minced
  • 6 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp salted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp crumbled gorgonzola

Preparation

  1. Make the vinaigrette first to allow the flavors time to combine. Whisk the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Mix the spices in a small bowl. Rub the spices all over the chicken breast, wrap in foil, and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a grill pan over medium heat and brush with olive oil.
  4. Place the chicken breast in the pan and grill 4-5 minutes on one side. Turn over and grill 4-5 minutes longer, depending on thickness of the breast.
  5. Remove the chicken breast and let cool completely. (Refrigerate, if you like cold chicken on your salad.)
  6. Divide the lettuce between two plates and top with all the remaining ingredients.
  7. Drizzle the dressing over both salads. Serve with thick slices of toasted bread brushed with olive oil, if desired.

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