Strawberry Chicken Salad

4.94 from 15 votes
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This delicious grilled strawberry chicken salad with a homemade vinaigrette is the ultimate summer salad as the weather warms up.

Strawberry chicken salad in a white bowl.

I partnered with Albertsons® to create a grilled chicken salad using their fresh, seasonal produce for this recipe. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out their Summer Starts Here content hub. There are easy-to-shop recipes and culinary tips and tricks to make purchases simple. Plus, there are even Virtual Cooking Classes with celebrity chefs that you can sign up for.

Recipe Science

  • Grilling chicken at high heat triggers the Maillard reaction, creating savory char marks while keeping the inside juicy.
  • Ripe strawberries add fructose to sweeten the dressing, requiring just a teaspoon of honey to enhance the taste.
  • The cell walls of strawberries contain pectin, which is released when pureed in the blender to form an emulsion.

Why It Works

Ripe and juicy strawberries are a summertime staple. I always grab them when I’m shopping at the market. To highlight their sweet flavor, I use them as a salad topping and to make a tangy vinaigrette dressing, which comes together in under a minute in the blender.

To make it a heartier entree, tender grilled chicken breast complements the crunchy elements like cucumber, pecans, and red onions. Then, everything comes together with a sprinkle of feta cheese for creaminess.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients spread out on a table to make a chicken salad with fruit.
  • Chicken: Select boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a quick cooking, lean protein option. My top choice is the exclusive O Organics® chicken from Albertsons®.
  • Lettuce: I use crisp and refreshing romaine lettuce as the leafy green for this summer salad. My top pick is Albertsons®’ exclusive O Organics® romaine hearts. The outer leaves have already been removed, making prep faster. Slice them into ¾-inch pieces, and give them a good rinse and dry.
  • Dressing: I’ve taken inspiration from my classic balsamic dressing and added fresh strawberries to the mixture. The key is to pick ripe berries to have the right balance of sweetness with a hint of acidity. Frozen defrosted strawberries should be used if the berries are not at their peak.
  • Toppings: A crunchy and creamy mix of cucumber, avocado, fresh strawberries, sliced red onions, pecans, and feta cheese.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Ingredient Substitutions

It’s simple to switch out ingredients for the salad. Try these delicious options:

  • Chicken Swaps: If you prefer dark meat, use chicken thighs. Trim off the excess fat. This salad is great for using up leftover roasted chicken. To add crunch, dip the cutlets in breading and make my fried chicken Milanese.
  • Switch Up the Greens: Other types of lettuce or leafy greens can be used, like spring mix, kale, or baby spinach.
  • Cheese Options: A tangy goat cheese, fresh mozzarella balls, shaved parmesan, or diced cheddar. Smoked gouda would be lovely with the grilled chicken salad.
  • Enhance the Toppings: If you’re not a fan of raw onions, try my sweet and tangy pickled red onions. Candied pecans or walnuts add the ultimate crunch!

How to Make Strawberry Chicken Salad

Step 1: Season the Chicken

I keep the seasoning simple with salt, pepper, and a little oil. The olive oil distributes the flavor of the seasonings and provides a protective layer that prevents the chicken from drying out on the barbecue.

Two pieces of chicken breast grilling on a barbecue.

Step 2: Grill the Chicken

To achieve golden brown sear marks on the chicken, preheat the grill. I use medium-high heat, between 400 to 450ºF (204 to 232ºC). Clean and lightly grease the grill grates to prevent sticking.

Once you add the meat, I like to give it a light press to ensure better contact with the grates. Resist the temptation to move the meat. Let the flavorful crust form, then flip once you see the lines appear. It will take about 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Tips for Perfect Execution: Target an internal temperature of 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC) in the thickest part.

Sliced grilled chicken breast on a cutting board.

Step 3: Rest the Chicken

Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes while preparing the rest of the salad to let the juices redistribute. Slice the meat about ¼-inch thick against the grain for the most tender bites.

Strawberry chunks inside a blender cap.

Step 4: Make the Dressing

I use a blender to break down the fruit into a super smooth mixture quickly.

Pouring oil into the top of a blender cap.

Olive oil is slowly drizzled in while the blender is running to create a creamy, emulsified dressing.

Homemade strawberry vinaigrette salad dressing.

Ingredient Chemistry: When the pureed strawberries are combined with the sugars in fructose and honey, and the acid in the balsamic vinegar, you’ll notice the dressing gets thicker as it sits for a few minutes.

Step 5: Assemble the Salad

This is the easy part. Add the romaine to a large bowl, arrange the toppings, and add the sliced chicken on top.

Pouring strawberry vinaigrette dressing over a chicken salad.

Step 6: Garnish and Serve

Generously drizzle the strawberry balsamic dressing on top of the chicken salad.

Grilled chicken salad with avocado and strawberries.

Grab your salad servers and toss everything to combine. The meal is hearty enough for lunch or dinner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can chicken thighs be used?

Yes! Trim off the excess fat so that the dish isn’t greasy. Grill until fully cooked, as it may take a few more minutes for dark meat.

Can I cook the chicken on a grill pan?

Yes! You can use a stovetop grill pan or any type of skillet. Preheat the pan over medium heat and grease the surface to prevent sticking. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Can I whisk the strawberry vinaigrette?

For the smoothest, and thickest vinaigrette, use a blender or food processor to make the dressing. The agitation level helps break down the fruit and shallots until they puree for a velvety consistency. The high-speed blades break the oil into tiny droplets for a more stable emulsion.

More Summer Favorites

If you tried this Strawberry Chicken Salad, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Strawberry Chicken Salad

Delicious grilled chicken salad with an easy-to-make strawberry vinaigrette, it's the perfect summer salad.
4.94 from 15 votes
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Salad
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

Grilled Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, [O Organics® brand]
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Strawberry Dressing

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil

Strawberry Salad

  • 8 cups romaine hearts, sliced ¾” thick [O Organics® brand]
  • 1 cup English cucumber, ½” diced
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 medium avocado, ¼” thick slices
  • cup feta cheese crumbles, [Primo Taglio® brand]
  • cup pecans
  • ¼ cup sliced red onion, ⅛” thick slices

Instructions 

  • Season the Chicken – Evenly season both sides of each chicken breast with salt and pepper. Drizzle ½ teaspoon of olive oil on both sides, rubbing it onto the surface to coat evenly.
  • Grill the Chicken – Preheat the grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Oil the grill grates. Place the chicken on the grill and close the lid if using a barbecue. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC) on a meat thermometer, about 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
  • Slice the Chicken – Rest the chicken for 10 minutes. Cut into ¼-inch thick slices against the grain. Set aside.
  • Make the Dressing – In a blender, add sliced strawberries, balsamic vinegar, water, shallots, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 10 seconds. With the blender running on medium-low speed, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream until thickened—season with salt, pepper, and honey to taste.
  • Assemble the Salad – In a large serving bowl, add romaine, cucumber, strawberries, avocado, feta cheese, pecans, and red onion. Top with the sliced chicken.
  • To Serve – Drizzle some dressing on top of the salad or serve on the side.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Recipe Yield: About 10 cups salad and 1 ⅓ cups dressing.
  • Serving Size: About 1 ¼ cup salad plus 3 tablespoons salad dressing.
  • Storing: Store salad in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Dressing can be prepared 3 days in advance.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 8 servings
Calories 322kcal (16%)Carbohydrates 11g (4%)Protein 15g (30%)Fat 25g (38%)Saturated Fat 4g (20%)Polyunsaturated Fat 3gMonounsaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 1gCholesterol 42mg (14%)Sodium 589mg (25%)Potassium 568mg (16%)Fiber 4g (16%)Sugar 5g (6%)Vitamin A 4196IU (84%)Vitamin C 27mg (33%)Calcium 69mg (7%)Iron 1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Albertsons®.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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4 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Janice Ballantine says

    My friend and I made this tonight and it was delicious! Made it to the recipe except used blue cheese instead of feta. The dressing is the best part! We were using it like a dip with some extra chicken! How long should it keep in the fridge?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you, Judy! I know that your family will love this summer salad. Let me know when you give it a try!