This easy grilled chicken salad is so good, you'll want to eat one every single day. It's packed full of veggies and drizzled with a homemade honey vinaigrette that is tantalizingly good! So much goodness in one happy bowl.
Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe
On evenings when we want a light dinner, I love to make this easy grilled chicken salad. It's got a good serving of protein to fill our bellies, but isn't something to heavy that weighs on the stomach.
This tasty dinner salad is so yummy that even picky eaters enjoy it! You may need to adjust a few of the ingredients to fit their preferences, but I bet they'll eat it right up.
Veggies may not be the most popular food group, but when you dress them up with sweet honey vinaigrette and juicy chicken breast, it's irresistible! Seriously, homemade dressing makes all the difference.
We love fresh salad in our home. Whether it's a dinner salad or a side dish like this spinach salad with mandarin oranges. It's a great way to eat fresh veggies and make them taste amazing.
Grilled chicken salad is a perfect meal for a hot summer day, a tremendous pack-and-go lunch and a fabulous light dinner. Make it whenever you have a craving for crunchy vegetables with juicy chicken and a sweet and tangy dressing!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- You can meal prep with this recipe by making the lemon salad dressing and the chicken ahead of time. The chicken can marinade for up to 24 hours! Chop the fresh veggies early too so that you can just put all of the ingredients together for a fresh salad.
- This is a great choice for a meal if you need something that is healthy and filling. A lean protein with lots of fresh veggies!
- Grilled chicken salad can be a main dish or served in smaller portions for a great side dish.
Here is everything you need to make this delicious grilled chicken salad and homemade honey vinaigrette:
Honey Vinaigrette & Chicken Marinade
- dijon mustard
- white wine vinegar
- lemon juice
- olive oil
- dried rosemary
And before you ask, no, we are not using the marinade that raw chicken sat in as a dressing! We'll set aside some of the marinade to use for dressing later.
Grilled Salad Ingredients
- grape tomatoes
- feta cheese
- grilled chicken breast
Substitutions and Variations
If you're not a fan of avocado, feel free to omit it. Replace it with a soft boiled egg or other veggies that you enjoy!
Feel free to use a store-bought dressing, or change the dressing entirely. Ranch dressing and even an olive oil dressing would taste absolutely amazing on this salad.
Feta cheese can be swapped for goat cheese or a shredded variety that you'd prefer. Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar would be delicious.
Swap chicken breast for boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer darker meat.
Additional Salad Toppings
Add any of your favorite salad toppings to your bowl. Here's a few ideas that would be quite tasty:
Meat: Bacon bits, diced ham, chopped turkey meat, pepperonis
Fruit: Sweet blueberries, strawberries, diced pineapple, diced apples
Vegetables: Mushrooms, red onion, carrots, snap peas, spinach
Nuts: Chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, crunchy almonds, sunflower seeds,
Other: Dried cranberries, boiled eggs with a mushy egg yolk, sour cream, fresh herbs
Dressings: Balsamic vinaigrette, strawberry vinaigrette, ranch dressing, thousand island, Italian dressing, etc.
How to Make a Grilled Chicken Salad
There's a few steps to take to make all of the tasty homemade ingredients for this hearty salad:
Make the Honey Vinaigrette & Marinade
To make the vinaigrette, mix the honey, vinegar, lemon juice, spices and dijon mustard in a small bowl and use a frother or immersion blender to incorporate them together.
Set ½ cup aside to use as salad dressing, and the rest will be used as a simple marinade for the boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Marinade and Grill the Chicken
Cut boneless skinless chicken breast in half horizontally to thin them out. Alternatively, you can pound them thin with a meat mallet.
Then add the chicken to a bowl or large plastic bag and pour 1 cup of marinade over it. Let the chicken sit in the fridge for at least one hour, but it can marinade for up to 24 hours.
When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat the grill to 400°F (20°C). Then place the marinated chicken onto hot grill grates and use a basting brush to brush each piece of chicken with leftover chicken marinade.
Hot Tip: Because of the citrus and honey in this marinade, you may have grill flare ups. It's important to make sure your grill is clean before grilling! I've got all my best tips and tricks on how to clean a gas grill and a charcoal grill gathered in this blog. So go check it out!
Grill the chicken on one side for 3 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
After the quick grilling, remove the chicken and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing it to top the salad.
Build the Salad
Chop cucumbers into small chunks and then cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
Then slice the avocado into slices or chop into cubes.
Layer the salad ingredients into a salad bowl, starting with freshly washed lettuce on the bottom. Sprinkle the veggies, croutons and cheese around the salad bowl.
Drizzle honey vinaigrette over the freshly made salad and mix together.
Lastly, slice the juicy chicken breast and place it on top of the bed of lettuce and top with any leftover dressing! Serve immediately and enjoy.
How to Store Leftover Grilled Chicken Salad
Leftovers from this chicken salad recipe are best store separately. The lettuce and vegetables can be store together in an airtight container or zip top plastic bag. They will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Place leftover chicken in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove top or in the microwave before placing onto a leftover salad. You can also freeze this tender chicken for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight before reheating.
Store lemon vinaigrette in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in the fridge for up to two weeks. Give it a good shake before using on a salad.
And last but not least, the cheese and croutons can be stored according to package instructions!
What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Salad
If you choose not have this salad all on it's own, there are a few tasty things you can serve with it!
Pasta and salad, and soup and salad are both classic combos that everyone loves. This lemon ricotta pasta would pair wonderfully with the tangy salad dressing that is on top of the delicious grilled chicken salad.
Tips for Success
- You can eat the grilled chicken hot or cold! Either way all of these Mediterranean flavors pair wonderfully together.
- Make sure to wash the lettuce well before using. I like to wash in the sink and then spin it with a salad spinner to quickly dry all of the excess water.
- Need a way to keep all of the ingredients together in a more organized manner? Then by meal prep containers that have divided sections! You can then put the meat, veggies, croutons, and homemade dressing in separate areas and build the salad when you're ready.
Depending on the ingredients used, a grilled chicken salad can be a very well-balanced and healthy meal. The healthy fats from cheese, plethora of nutrients from veggies, and protein from a lot of chicken is a great balanced dish. Not to mention, the homemade honey vinaigrette ensures there is not a fatty salad dressing topping a large bowl of salad!
Vinaigrettes tend to be one of the more healthy salad dressing options. Avoid dressing that have a dairy base or contain a lot of sugar. That is why a honey vinaigrette is used in the grilled chicken salad.
More Healthy Recipes
- Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies
- Easy Pesto Salmon
If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.
Chicken Marinade and Honey Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 to 1.5 pounds chicken breast, sliced or diced
- 10 ounces romaine lettuce
- ½ cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- ½ cup cucumbers, sliced and quartered
- ½ cup feta cheese
- ½ cup croutons, store-bought or homemade
- 1 avocado, sliced
- ½ cup honey vinaigrette
- Use a milk frother whisk or emulsion blender to combine the marinade ingredients. If mixing by hand, be sure to whisk super well.
- This will make 1 ½ cups, or 12 ounces. Reserve ½ cup for salad dressing.
- Butterfly the chicken breast pieces in half horizontally or pound thin with a meat mallet.
- Cover with 1 cup of marinade and let sit in fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium heat or 400°F (20°C).
- Place chicken on hot grill grates and brush some of the leftover chicken marinade onto the chicken. Optional, but adds a boost of flavor!
- Grill chicken breast on first side for 3 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes or until chicken breast reaches 165°F (74°C) internal temperature. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Prepare the salad
- To four large salad bowls, add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, croutons and avocado.
- Add remaining dressing to salad and toss ingredients.
- Add sliced chicken to salad and enjoy!
Because of the citrus and honey in this marinade, you may have grill flare ups. It's important to make sure your grill is clean before grilling!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 428Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 612mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 41g