Do you remember my new favorite fall salad I posted a few weeks ago? Well, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I love that salad so I decided to make it into a main dish (rather than just a side) so I switched it up a little. How do you turn a salad into a main entree? Add a protein, so I went with chicken and bacon of course. I also swapped out pears from that salad for apples and added Feta cheese instead of Parmesan cheese. Feta pairs perfectly with bacon and apples (try this and you’ll see what I mean).
This is a highly delicious salad that is perfect for busy weeknights. I pan fried the chicken (you can follow the link in the recipe to see how), I cooked the bacon in the microwave (I only do it this way in a hurry, but it works just fine), and toasted the nuts in a skillet so this meal was ready in 30 minutes (and most of that 30 minutes was time it took for the chicken to cook). The simple balsamic vinaigrette even comes together in basically a minute, thanks to that kitchen blender I couldn’t live without.
I think I’d be more than happy to have this salad for dinner every single day :). It’s simply delicious! Enjoy!
Chicken Apple Bacon Walnut Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Yield: About 4 servings
- 1 3/4 lbs cooked chicken breasts , diced into strips* (about 3 chicken breasts)
- 8 slices bacon , cooked and diced
- 3 medium apples , sliced
- 3/4 cup chopped , toasted or candied walnuts
- 7 - 9 oz spring mix & spinach lettuce blend
- 6 oz crumbled feta
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
Layer all salad ingredients into individual salad bowls or over plates. Serve drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.
For the balsamic vinaigrette:
Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, and finely diced shallot to a blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste and blend mixture until well emulsified and thickened slightly. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
*To cook the chicken I like this recipe from The Kitchn - only I cooked mine longer as I had thick chicken breasts. I also omitted the optional herbs and used a little garlic powder instead.
Recipe Source: inspired by this salad recipe I posted here