Can we talk about the biggest first world problem ever called having to watch TV, gasp, LIVE?
Recently I was faced with an empty DVR queue (gasp again) and found myself zoning out to the commercials playing between whatever trashy show I had on at the time, Instagram likely scrolling three inches from my face. When all of a sudden in the background I heard, summer! salad! strawberries! bacon! My ears instantly perked up and I glanced up from my phone to see a Wendy’s commercial advertising their Summer Strawberry Salad.
Fresh greens are LOADED with warm grilled chicken, sweet honey-roasted pecans, crumbled bleu cheese, zippy red onion, salty bacon, and of course, the piece de resistance, juicy red strawberries. Not one to go to the drive-thru, I immediately made plans to make it at home with an updated name: Loaded Strawberry Fields Salad!
I am telling you – the combination of sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy is beyond mouthwatering. Like honestly, top 5 salads on this site. It’s perfect for summer, on account of the abundance of fresh strawberries, but hearty and filling at the same time from the addition of chicken, bacon, and decadent bleu cheese. I will be making this exact combo again and again, all summer long.
How to Make This Recipe
Start by baking 4 strips bacon. Lay the slices on a nonstick sprayed cooling rack set atop a foil-lined baking sheet then place inside a cold oven and set it to preheat to 400 degrees. The bacon will cook low and slow as the oven preheats, rendering it super crisp. If the bacon still needs a bit of time in the oven after it comes to temperature, just keep baking until crisp. Crumble the bacon once it’s cool then turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
Next, get the honey-roasted pecans going by tossing 1 cup pecan halves in a bowl with 1 Tablespoon melted butter and 2 Tablespoons honey.
Lay the coated pecans out on a silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet then bake for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown. They’ll get deliciously caramelized then crisp as they cool.
Last step is to cook 2 chicken breasts. Mist with extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray then season with garlic salt and pepper. Grill or saute over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes a side then let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into cubes.
Salad assembly time! Divide fresh spring lettuce between plates then top with the crumbled bacon, honey-roasted pecans, and grilled chicken, and then add plump, juicy strawberries, zesty red onion slices, and tangy bleu cheese crumbles. I am telling you – this Loaded Strawberry Fields Salad is IT!
- Strawberry-Basil Chicken Salad with Fried Goat Cheese Balls
- Watermelon, Feta, Basil and Pistachio Salad
- Summer Spinach Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing
- Grilled Chicken Salad
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Loaded Strawberry Fields Salad
Loaded Strawberry Fields Salad is a healthy and filling chicken salad recipe that’s full of fresh, summery flavors!
- 4 strips bacon
- 1 cup whole pecan halves
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 chicken breasts (14-16oz,) pounded to an even thickness
- garlic salt and pepper
- 9 - 10oz mixed greens
- 1lb strawberries, trimmed then sliced
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 4oz bleu cheese (could use feta or chevre,) crumbled
- Line a baking sheet with foil then place a cooling rack on top and spray with nonstick spray. Lay bacon strips on top then place baking sheet in a cold oven and set oven to preheat to 400 degrees. Cook until bacon is crisped, which could take anywhere from 5-10 minutes after the oven is done preheating. Crumble when cool then set aside.
- Turn oven down to 350 degrees. Melt butter and honey in a bowl then add pecans and toss to coat. Spread out on a silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet then bake for 5-6 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant (watch carefully so they don’t burn.) Sprinkle lightly with salt then set aside and let cool completely.
- Mist chicken breasts with extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray then season on both sides with garlic salt and pepper. Grill or saute over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes a side then let rest for 5 minutes before choppng into hunks.
- Divide greens between four plates then top each with a quarter of the bacon, honey-roasted pecans, chicken, strawberries, red onion, and bleu cheese. Drizzle on your favorite dressing (I recommend a raspberry or balsamic vinaigrette, or strawberry balsamic vinegar if you have it!) then serve.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.