Summer Chicken Salad

Creamy Summer Chicken Salad

Must Eat Lunch | Summer Chicken Salad

 

As Labor Day brings a close to the heat of August, and reminds us that school, football, and apples will be arriving in full swing, I decided to enjoy one more day of summer with a fresh spin on the classic picnic staple.

For me, chicken salad is one of those go-to lunch staples that never gets old. It’s good for two or a crowd, tastes good cold or at room temperature, and keeps well in the refrigerator for a tasty treat the next day.

Since I love the sweet and savory combination of fruit in my chicken salad, mixing different berries, stone fruit, or apples keeps my base recipe in rotation all year long. With the dog days of summer over, now is a good time to clean out the fridge using the last of any fruit that might be close to its use-by date. For me, strawberries and grapes were an easy choice.

For the roasted chicken, I always prefer to use bone-in pieces with the skin left on to keep the meat moist and help add flavor. Lucky for me, my local market keeps the breasts together, and is just enough for 2-4 servings.

Must Eat Lunch | Summer Chicken Salad Steps

When making chicken salad, I remove the skin, pull the meat from the bones, and cube (or shred) the breasts. I like to use the chicken when it is still slightly warm, tossing it into the prepared dressing right away. I find that it soaks up the flavor of the dressing even more when it’s still warm.

Must Eat Lunch | Summer Chicken Salad

Creamy Summer Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Grapes
Ingredients

Must Eat Lunch | Simple Roast Chicken BreastsFor the Roasted Chicken Breasts
2 bone-in chicken breasts with skin on
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 large garlic clove, grated
salt and pepper

For the Dressing
1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat mayo
juice of half a lemon
1 large garlic clove, grated
salt and pepper

For the Salad
3/4 cup green grapes, halved
3/4 cup red grapes, halved
1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1/2 cup seeded and diced cucumber, optional
Roasted pecans, almonds or walnuts, optional

Other fruit ideas: Blueberries, chopped peaches or nectarines, orange slices, or chopped Pink Lady apples.

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. While heating, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon zest, and grated garlic. Liberally brush chicken breasts with flavored olive oil. Place in oven, basting it with the flavored olive oil every 20-25 minutes until skin is golden brown and internal temperature is 165F. Let rest and cool to room temperature.
  2. While chicken is cooking, combine yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, and grated garlic in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and whisk together; set aside.
  3. Once chicken is cooled, chop into bite-size pieces. Combine the prepared dressing with halved grapes, sliced strawberries, and green onions. Add in chicken. Top with nuts and server immediately.

Note: If you wont be eating the salad right away, omit the nuts (they will get soft). Cover chicken salad and refrigerate until ready to eat. Can be made the night before and saved in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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