I love colourful dishes and this grilled chicken garden salad is no exception. Bright reds, yellows and greens. It is just so vibrant and pretty to look at!
It seems like I am always making salads on Sundays. I guess it is because I am prepping for work lunches. This one is definitely getting tupperwared for lunch tomorrow. Yes, I believe I just created a new verb.
I’ve got so much going on on Sundays so making this salad is the easiest part of my day which is why it is one of my favourites! Plus, you probably have all the ingredients at home already but if you don’t, it is easy to make substitutions. For instance, if you don’t have grape tomatoes, chop up some regular tomatoes. If you don’t have cheddar cheese, use a different kind of cheese that you do have. Love olives and cucumbers? Add them! This dish is just that versatile.
What else do I love about this recipe? Well, another reason is that it is essentially two recipes in one:
- Grilled chicken garden salad
- Homemade ranch dressing
Grilled Chicken Garden Salad
So firstly, we have the grilled chicken garden salad. This takes about 15 minutes to make. You need a seasoned, skinless boneless chicken breast, grilled in your skillet over medium high. Cook it about 3-4 minutes per side until fully cooked. Although, this really depends on the thickness of your chicken. You may need more or less time per side, so make sure to double-check by making a small incision in the middle of the chicken to see that it is no longer pink inside.
Then, prepare your salad in a large bowl and add your vegetables and cheese. Cut up the chicken and add it as well. That’s it! Your grilled chicken garden salad is now ready for some dressing.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
Making the dressing is easy. It has a number of ingredients, but once you have them prepped and measured out, it takes a matter of seconds to combine. In a medium bowl, mix together the milk and lemon juice and set aside for about 10 minutes. I suggest doing this part before cooking the chicken so that by the time the chicken is cooked, the milk/lemon juice mixture is ready. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and mix until fully combined. Drizzle two tablespoons (or more) on the salad and store the rest in an airtight container in your fridge.
This recipe yields about 1 cup of ranch dressing which is much more than the 2 tablespoons that this salad calls for. So basically you can make salads all week and not worry about making the dressing each time. Score! The dressing will last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
If you are weary about a ranch dressing or are just not a fan, you can always make a lemon vinaigrette instead. See my recipe for a quick and easy lemon vinaigrette dressing here: Quinoa Spinach Power Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 3 cups spring mix salad greens
- ½ avocado, sliced
- ⅔ cup grape tomatoes
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp. ranch dressing (see required ingredients below)
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ½ tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped finely
- 1 tsp. fresh dill, chopped finely
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- ⅛ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, mix together the milk and lemon juice and set aside for about 10 minutes. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and mix until fully combined. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Make the chicken: Season both sides of the chicken breast generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until the chicken is fully cooked and is no longer pink inside. Let the chicken cool for about 10 minutes and then cut it into small slices.
- Create the salad: In a large bowl, add the spring mix salad greens. In even rows, line up the avocado, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and chicken. Drizzle with the ranch dressing, or serve the dressing on the side.