This Amazing Grilled Chicken Salad recipe is as beautiful in presentation as it is scrumptious in flavor. Set this show-stopper out at your next BBQ, or party, or gathering, and you won’t believe that wave of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ you’ll be showered with.
You can use whatever vegetables you have handy, or run to your local farmer’s market and pick up whatever is freshest. This simple vinaigrette ties everything together so beautifully. We just love the grilled chicken tossed with fresh pesto.
One of the great things about this salad (and trust us, there a lot of GREAT things about this salad), is that much of the preparation can be done hours, even a day, before you will be serving it!
We just can’t rave about this salad enough. Oh, and did we mention that it’s nice and healthy, too? Your guests will love being able to create their own individual salads by selecting the items on the tray that they love…which usually, is everything!
Have fun with this Amazing Grilled Chicken Salad!
Now that’s a salad!
Amazing Grilled Chicken Salad
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
- 5 tbsp red-wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
FOR THE CUCUMBER SALAD
- 4 Kirby cucumbers peeled, halved and seeds removed with spoon
- 3/4 cup carrots julienned (packaged 'match stick' carrots work well)
- 2 tbsp fresh dill chopped
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- FOR THE CHICKPEA SALAD:
FOR THE CHICKPEA SALAD
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh mint chopped
FOR THE STEAMED ASPARAGUS
- 1 bunch young asparagus ends trimmed and thick part peeled
- Kosher salt
FOR THE GRILLED MUSHROOMS AND CHICKEN
- 1 1/2 cups mixed mushrooms halved (cremini, shiitake, bella, etc.)
- 2 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup pesto click for recipe, or use quality store brand
FOR THE TOMATO SALAD
- 2 fresh tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 1/4 cup fresh basil thinly sliced
FOR THE LETTUCE
- 4 cups green leaf lettuce thinly sliced
MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE
- In a jar, or small bowl, whisk together all ingredients, except the oil.
- Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified (if using jar, add lid and shake vigorously).
MAKE THE CUCUMBER SALAD: (can be made a day in advance)
- Toss the cucumbers and carrots with the other ingredients until fully coated. Place in the fridge at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
MAKE THE CHICKPEA SALAD: (can be made a day in advance, add mint just before serving)
- Stir together chickpeas, onion, mint, 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette, and salt and pepper, to taste.
COOK THE ASPARAGUS: (Can be made 2 - 3 hours before serving)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the asparagus and cook until tender, about 2 - 3 minutes.
- Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Toss with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette.
GRILL AND PREPARE MUSHROOMS AND CHICKEN:
- Prepare your grill for grilling over medium-high heat.
- Toss mushrooms with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and marinate for 10 minutes.
- Grill mushrooms in 2 batches on oiled grill sheet, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened, about 5 minutes per batch.
- Toss warm mushrooms with 2 more tablespoons of the vinaigrette.
- Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper, each.
- Grill chicken until cooked through and lightly charred, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for a few minutes.
- Cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces and then toss with pesto in a large bowl.
MAKE THE TOMATO SALAD: (Can be made 2 - 3 hours before serving)
- Toss tomatoes with 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, basil and salt and pepper, to taste.
FINISH AND ASSEMBLE THE SALAD:
- Toss the lettuce with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette.
- Arrange the chicken, mushrooms and salads side by side a on large platter and pass the remaining vinaigrette on the side.