Let’s cut to the chase: I made you a Grilled Chicken Salad that’s so good I want to cry. This dish is summer on a platter! It has been blazing hot + humid here (my favorite) and smokey grilled chicken over cold, crisp salad is exactly what I want to eat when the weather heats up. It’s fresh, gorgeous, and highlights some of summer’s best ingredients. Plus it’s dressed in my spoon drink-worthy, 4 ingredient (plus S&P!) Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette. Grab your utensils!
Pesto slathered chicken is grilled then sliced and placed over mixed greens with charred sweet corn, grape tomatoes, sliced red onion, and diced avocado. Drizzled with that simple, aforementioned Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette – it is HEAVENLY. Ben’s not a huge salad guy but he took one look at this platter and slurped back some drool. Sorry.
I grilled the chicken on a charcoal grill and gosh, there’s just nothing like the smokey flavor a charcoal grill lends an ingredient. That said, you can use either your charcoal or gas grill to make this awesome, entree salad.
Tips for Grilling Chicken Breasts
- Just like sauteing chicken in a skillet on the stovetop, be sure to pound chicken breasts to an even thickness before grilling to ensure even cooking. I place chicken breasts on a cutting board then cover with saran wrap and use a meat mallet to pound them to an even thickness. Takes like, 5 seconds.
- Chicken has a tendency to stick to grill grates so spray both sides of the chicken breasts with nonstick spray before placing on the grill. Don’t spray one side, place it on the grill, then spray the top, as the nonstick spray can cause flare ups. Keep your fingers, people!
- I heat my grill to at least 400 degrees before adding the chicken. Flip when you can see the chicken turning opaque up the sides (check out the photo below to see what I mean.)
- Like any other meat, let the chicken breasts rest off the heat for at least 5 minutes before slicing to ensure all the juices don’t run out.
PS: any interest in a “How To Cook on a Charcoal Grill” post??
How to Make This Recipe:
Start by preheating your grill to 400 degrees. For a gas grill that’s medium-high for 8-10 minutes.
While the grill is heating up, place 2 chicken breasts that have been pounded to an even thickness inside a large Ziplock bag with 1/4 cup prepared pesto. Here’s my faaaavorite small batch pesto recipe, otherwise look for a locally made fresh pesto vs the jarred stuff.
When the grill is hot, spray both sides of the chicken breasts with nonstick spray then place on the hot grates and grill until you can see the chicken turning opaque up the sides. For me, this is the best indicator of when the chicken is ready to be turned.
Flip then cook until the chicken is cooked through, another 3-4 minutes. Keep the lid down between flipping! Remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. I prefer the chicken warm vs piping hot so I let it rest a little longer.
Toss 2 sweet corn cobs onto the grill alongside the chicken – no oil needed! – then grill, rotating frequently, until the kernels are slightly charred, and then slice off the cobs. The sweet/smokey flavor combo is incredible. LOVE me some grilled sweet corn in the summertime!
All together now! Arrange fresh lettuce (whatever you love) on a platter or plates then top with the charred sweet corn plus sliced grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, and diced avocado. You can use whatever dressing you love but tangy-sweet (but not too sweet) Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette cannot be beat. I hope you love this fresh and filling grilled chicken salad – enjoy!
More Hearty, Healthy Salads
- Berry Quinoa Chicken Salad
- Napa Sweet Corn Salad
- Thai Crunch Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing
- Apple Orchard Salad with Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette
- Summer Spinach Salad
- Southwestern Chopped Salad
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Grilled Chicken Salad
Grilled Chicken Salad is fresh, healthy, and packed with smokey grilled flavor! Sizzle up this satisfying, summery salad recipe tonight.
- 5oz lettuce (any kind)
- 2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
- 1/4 cup prepared pesto
- 2 ears sweet corn
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, chopped
- For the Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- salt and pepper
- For the Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette: Add all ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid then shake to combine. Can be made ahead of time.
- Preheat grill to 400 degrees (medium-high for a gas grill). Meanwhile, add chicken breasts, pesto, and a big pinch of salt to a Ziplock bag then squish to coat. Allow chicken to marinate while grill is preheating.
- Once grill is hot, spray both sides of each chicken breast with nonstick spray then grill for 3-4 minutes a side or until cooked through. Remove to a cutting board then let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Add sweet corn cobs to the grill at the same time as the chicken then grill, rotating often, until kernels are softened and slightly charred, 8-10 minutes total. Slice kernels off the cob.
- Arrange lettuce on a platter (or on plates/in bowls) then arrange grilled chicken, corn, tomatoes, red onion, and avocado on top. Drizzle with prepared vinaigrette then serve.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.