When spring is in the air, you will find me saddling up to a giant, texture-filled salad that’s bursting with flavor.
The best way that I can describe this dish is “mouthwatering.” Even now, just looking at the photos has me craving the taste of this deliciousness once again…
To me, the key to a winning salad is creating a pleasant combination of textures and flavors that really perks up your taste buds.
You can eat this meal all spring and summer long. It’s bright and light, plus it gives you the opportunity to bust out that grill that’s been lying in wait all winter, under its sad cover in the garage.
Hey, what can I say? I am a Coloradan, after all.
Everything you are craving at this time of year goes into this salad. You have a thick layer of baby spring greens on the bottom, topped with juicy grilled chicken that has a delightful kiss of smoke from the grill.
And the strawberry vinaigrette is my favorite part. It only requires four ingredients in total, and it comes together in just a minute in your blender. The flavor of fresh strawberries comes through in every bite, with the tang of balsamic vinegar and richness of the olive oil.
Finally, there’s added flavor from the mustard that really takes it all to new heights of deliciousness.
I have been seriously obsessed with this dressing from the first time I made it. The luscious texture of the vinaigrette and its bright flavors will make any salad stand out in the sea of boring lunches that are out there, hidden away in brown bags and lingering in the fridge.
I like to make a double batch and reserve some for later, because it’s great to throw on a chicken sandwich for a quick lunch when you want something a little different.
As someone who is trying to lead a more balanced lifestyle and get healthier with every passing day, this recipe is a life saver.
It is anything but boring, and that to me is really the heart of a tasty salad that you will want to make again and again. This recipe helps me maintain my goals that I set at the very beginning of the year, without feeling like I am sacrificing flavor.
This is the ideal recipe to pull out for all of your spring and summer gatherings. It doesn’t simply have to be reserved for your personal lunchtime ritual at your desk. It makes for a delightful side dish for patio lunches, or even a nice light meal to serve at brunch.
Trust me when I say that everyone will be craving this salad again, soon after they devour it. It’ll become a most-requested recipe in no time.Print
This grilled chicken salad with strawberry vinaigrette is loaded with delightful flavors and textures. It’ll become your new favorite lunch.
For the Salad:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 lbs)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups baby greens salad mix
- 2 cups sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
- 8 strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
For the Dressing:
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2–3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 6 oz fresh strawberries, hulled
- Preheat grill.
- Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill over medium-high heat, turning once, until cooked through. This will take about 5 minutes per side. Remove from grill and set aside.
- While chicken is cooking, make the vinaigrette. Add olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and prepped strawberries to blender. Blend on high until well combined, about 1 minute. Taste mixture and add more balsamic vinegar if desired.
- Place 2 cups salad mix on each serving plate. Slice chicken into strips and place atop greens. Place 1/2 cup tomatoes on each plate along with 2 sliced strawberries. Add 1/4 cup feta cheese to each and sprinkle with chopped basil.
- Serve with vinaigrette on the side.
- Category: Salads
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: Lunch
Keywords: grilled chicken, strawberry vinaigrette, balsamic vinegar, summer
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare Strawberries, Chop Basil, and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Wash all of the strawberries gently, and let them drain in a colander. Slice 8 strawberries for the salad and set aside. Pick the nicest looking specimens, since these will be a feature of the presentation of your salads.
Remove the tops of the strawberries for the dressing and set these aside separately.
Chop enough basil leaves to have 3 tablespoons in total.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
Preheat your grill.
Step 2 – Grill
Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.
When the grill is at medium-high heat, grill the chicken for 5 minutes per side, until cooked through.
Your meat thermometer can come in handy here, or you can slice a piece in half and check inside for doneness. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Craving a bigger punch of flavor? Swap these grilled breasts for blackened chicken!
Step 3 – Make Dressing
While the chicken is cooking, add the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, the Dijon mustard, and the hulled strawberries to a high-speed blender. Blend until well combined, for about 1 minute.
Taste the vinaigrette and add the additional tablespoon of balsamic vinegar if desired.
Step 4 – Make Salads
Add 2 cups of greens to each serving plate or bowl.
Slice each chicken breast into strips. Place on top of the salad greens.
Top each bowl with 1/2 cup of tomatoes, and divide the sliced strawberries evenly between the serving plates of bowls. Top each with 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese, and sprinkle evenly with fresh basil.
Serve with vinaigrette on the side.
Take This Salad Out for Lunch
When you want to take this gorgeous meal with you for lunch, I recommend keeping the ingredients separate and waiting to dress it until you’re ready to eat.
When you’re ready to leave in the morning, combine all of your prepped ingredients in a container with a lid – the greens, chicken, strawberries, tomatoes, and feta. Pack the dressing separately, and wait to drizzle it on until lunchtime so that the greens are still fresh and crisp when you’re ready to enjoy your salad.
Simply dress it just before devouring, and you have the ideal homemade lunch to enjoy at your office desk. Or the park, or the beach, or wherever your warm-weather day takes you.
Want more salad inspiration? Check out some of our star recipes below:
- Triple Berry Salad with Sauteed Shallots and Walnuts
- Beet, Goat Cheese, and Orange Salad
- Apple and Radicchio Salad with Goat Cheese
- Sweet Potato, Corn, and Black Bean Salad with Miso Dressing
- Honey-Glazed Peach Spinach Salad
- Cherry Chicken Salad
Do you love strawberries in your salad as much as I do? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe once you try it yourself.
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 18, 2011. Last updated: December 31, 2019 at 4:34 am. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.