Since I’ve been eating so much cake lately (this Lemon Sheet Cake, this Coconut Sheet Cake and a soon to be shared decadent Chocolate Sheet Cake) I thought I’d better get some salad in my diet to help balance things out. Really, I actually love salads so I make them all the time. It’s one of the easiest ways to pack veggies into your diet and make them taste good. Plus, I really do eat cake or some other type of dessert far more often than I should so I really do need a lot of salads in my life to help balance things out a little.
This Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad could fall under a Greek type salad or Italian salad, it tastes like either or. If you wanted it to be like a traditional Italian salad you could add in some salami or pepperoni but I wanted it to be a little bit healthier so I didn’t add either of those. I love that this dressing is a slightly creamy vinaigrette thanks to the light mayo in it. The great thing here is that you’ll likely have some left over dressing for a lunch salad the next day! If you want to add more flavor to your grilled chicken you can definitely add more seasonings to it, for something like this I generally just add onion powder and garlic powder, salt and pepper. That’s optional though, the dressing already has plenty of flavor so everything else doesn’t need much.
If you want to make the ingredient list shorter you can omit some of the ingredients and still have an amazing salad. I’d say the olives, croutons and red onions are optional, and of course the peppers, leave everything else and you’ll still have a wonderfully filling and delicious salad!
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Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad with Italian Dressing
- 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing grill
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 (10.5 oz) pkg. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup croutons (optional)
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion, rinsed under water
- Finely shredded parmesan, for serving
- 4 pepperoncini peppers, for serving (optional)
- To make the dressing: Add all dressing ingredients to a blender, season with salt and pepper to taste (I used about 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper). Blend well. Chill until ready to use.
- To grill the chicken: Preheat a grill over medium-high heat to 425 degrees. Cover chicken with plastic wrap and pound chicken to an even thickness with the flat side of a meat mallet.
- Brush chicken with olive oil then season both sides with salt and pepper. Brush grill grates lightly with oil, place chicken on grill and cook about 3 - 5 minutes per side (center should register 165). Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and rest 10 minutes, then cut into cubes.
- To make the salad: Place all remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl (or plate individually) and toss. Pour dressing over salad, top with desired amount of parmesan. Add a pepper to each serving if desired and serve immediately after adding dressing.