Inside: From Buffalo Chicken to Asian to Mediterranean delights, this variety of over 30 mouthwatering salads are not only nutritious and delicious, they’re sure to have you choosing the salad over the heavy meal!
Looking to eat lighter for lunch or dinner? You don’t have to resign yourself to bland lettuce and tasteless protein purgatory to eat healthier. Salads can have just as much flavor personality as the next plate!
I love a good meal salad. They’re chock full of so many taste delights and textures in one bite. You name it—they can be crunchy, sweet, creamy, tangy, or spicy. And bonus, they usually take longer to eat, so it’s easier to gauge your fullness level.
I’ve found over 30 different delicious salads with chicken for us that would never be considered boring rabbit food. You won’t be eating these just to be good, you’ll be eating them because they taste great!
This colorful summer salad is a complete meal when it’s too hot to turn the oven on. Simply scrumptious with the juicy sweet flavors of syrupy peaches, grilled chicken, spring mix, goat cheese, basil, mint, red onion, walnuts, and a balsamic vinaigrette. It’s beautiful and bursting with the fresh flavors of summer! See my recipe here.
3. Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad.
Who says salads are just for summer meals? This pretty fall salad is drizzled in homemade balsamic vinaigrette and Natasha says, “Every bite is loaded with crisp pears, tangy cranberries, toasted pecans, feta, and juicy chicken.” It can also be made Paleo. Get her recipe here.
4. Winter Kale Salad with Grilled Chicken.
And here’s a colorful showstopper for the winter season. The pomegranate seeds and purple cabbage over a bed of greens give it that extra wow factor. See Dalya’s recipe here.
5. Southwest Chicken Salad.
This salad takes a cue from a different cuisine. Lisa from Downshiftology says: “Chicken breasts are marinated in cilantro lime goodness, then seared until golden and added to a bed of romaine lettuce along with sweet corn, black beans, and grape tomatoes. A generous drizzle of creamy avocado dressing ties it all together.” See her recipe here.
6. Greek Salad with Chicken.
Get me to the Greek! This combination of toppings is my salad go-to when I’m ordering in restaurants. This bed of lettuce is topped with Kalamata olives, crumbled feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a homemade Greek dressing to bring the Mediterranean flavor. See Heidi’s recipe here.
7. Asian Sesame Chicken Salad.
And let’s look at some Asian cuisine options. Aysegul describes this delectable salad: “hearty cabbage and greens are topped off with cooked chicken and crunchy almonds, then tossed in an Asian sesame ginger dressing.” See her recipe here.
8. Asian Chicken Salad.
Yumna says this yummy Asian meal salad is, “crisp cabbage tossed with carrots, sweet red bell pepper, green onions, fresh cilantro, and tender chicken. It’s finished off with an umami peanut dressing and crunchy chow mein noodles.” See her recipe here.
9. Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad.
And a Mexican salad is a must. Jennifer says, “This Chicken Taco Salad is bursting with tender, juicy chicken, all your favorite fiestalicious salad fixings including lettuce, tomatoes, beans, bell peppers, cheese, avocados, crunchy, salty tortilla chips all topped with Creamy Baja Catalina Dressing.” See her recipe here.
10. Chicken Caprese Salad.
Everyone’s Italian appetizer favorite drizzled in balsamic becomes a meal with the addition of chicken and romaine lettuce. See Maya’s recipe here.
11. Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado Ranch.
And then there are the All-American salads. And you can’t have a list of meal salads with chicken without a Cobb Salad! The creamy avocado cilantro ranch dressing gives this one a special twist. See Tieghan’s recipe here.
12. Grilled Buffalo Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing.
This salad brings all the flavors of buffalo wings at a tailgate. Cassie says this tempting salad is “topped with slightly-spicy grilled buffalo chicken. Then the whole thing is drizzled with a really easy, really healthy Greek yogurt blue cheese dressing. The contrast between the warm and spicy chicken and the cool and creamy dressing is top-notch.” See her recipe here.
13. Chicken Caesar Salad
You can’t ever go wrong with a straight-up Classic Caesar with Chicken Salad recipe. See Maya’s mouthwatering Caesar recipe here.
14. Skinny Chicken and Avocado Caesar Salad.
Karina has lowered the fat while keeping the flavor in this Chicken Caesar Salad. Plus she’s thrown in some avocado and eggs to make it even more meal-worthy and nutritious. See her recipe here.
15. Healthy Chicken Pasta Salad with Avocado, Tomato, and Basil.
All salads with chicken aren’t lettuce-based. And if they don’t involve lettuce, the beauty is the leftovers can be saved in an airtight container for a few days. This simple pasta salad from Christina Cherrier had me at fresh basil and red onions! See her recipe here.
16. Chicken Pasta Salad.
Another pasta salad with chicken, but this time with a creamy dressing. Dannii describes it as, “Chicken, bacon, pasta, and chunky vegetables all brought together in a creamy dressing for delicious summer comfort food.” See her recipe here.
17. Lemon Orzo Salad with Chicken.
This salad is a delicious mix of rice-shaped orzo pasta, arugula, vegetables, and parmesan cheese, all covered in a bright lemon honey vinaigrette. See Natasha’s recipe here.
18. Chicken Couscous Salad.
This couscous salad is another lovely lettuce-less option, but still packed with healthy vegetables. See Olivia’s salad here.
19. Mediterranean Rice Salad.
This salad is bursting with the colors of the nutrition rainbow. The recipe is already filling with beans, rice, and lots of vegetables, but some shredded chicken would go nicely with or without the beans for more protein. See Dannii’s recipe here.
20. Greek Chicken Quinoa Salad.
And let’s move on to a few quinoa options, since quinoa gives that extra lean protein punch. This salad is loaded with other nutritious Greek goodness as well. Emily says, “It’s also filling and full of protein, but what you’ll really love is the seasoned chicken, juicy tomatoes, rich olives, cool cucumbers, salty feta cheese, spinach, basil and hearty quinoa all tossed in a tasty Greek dressing.” See her recipe here.
21. Grilled Chicken Quinoa Salad.
A different quinoa salad option that I could totally see bringing to a potluck in the summertime. Annalise says, “This grilled chicken quinoa salad is a one-bowl wonder of quinoa, grilled chicken and corn, red bell peppers, pine nuts, basil and feta cheese.” See her salad here.
22. Chicken Quinoa Salad.
And here’s even a third delicious quinoa option with satisfying healthy black beans. Olivia says, “It’s filled with fresh veggies like cucumber, bell pepper and red onion. Plus, you’ll get a large helping of fiber from hearty quinoa and velvety black beans. And don’t forget the boost of protein that comes from perfectly seasoned, juicy baked chicken. Top everything with a simple, homemade lemony dressing for next level deliciousness!” See her recipe here.
23. White Bean and Roasted Chicken Salad.
Who says a salad has to have lettuce, pasta, rice, or quinoa? This easy recipe is satisfying because it pairs white beans and chicken with tomatoes, red onion, basil, and a homemade vinaigrette. See Lori’s recipe here.
24. Feta, Bean Medley, and Chicken Salad.
And this bean and chicken salad has a trio of beans plus adds zucchini to the mix. See the recipe here.
25. Spinach Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing.
Spinach salad with fruit and poppyseed dressing is always one of my favorites, and with the addition of the chicken it can be a stand-alone healthy meal. It would be irresistible with some ripe, fresh, summer strawberries. See Kim’s recipe here.
26. Chicken Spinach Salad.
Another spinach salad full of fresh fruit with looks sure to impress summer guests. Chelsea says of her salad, “This Chicken Spinach Salad features seasoned chicken breast, sweet strawberries, juicy oranges, tart blueberries, sliced toasted almonds, and a sprinkle of feta cheese. The salad is dressed in a simple four-ingredient balsamic vinaigrette. See her recipe here.
27. Chicken Apple Brussels Sprouts Salad.
This healthy winter salad is filled with shredded Brussels sprouts, chicken, apples, dried cranberries, and walnuts and topped with an apple cider vinaigrette. It’s also dairy and gluten-free! See Aberdeen’s recipe here.
28. Grilled Chicken Asparagus Salad.
A layered salad with another veggie as the star. You first marinate the fresh asparagus and chicken in the lemon basil vinaigrette dressing and then layer the salad ingredients—fresh baby spinach, bacon, feta, and more vegetables. See Eileen’s recipe here.
29. Broccoli Slaw Chicken Salad with Soy Ginger Dressing.
And let’s show some love for so-good-for-you broccoli. The broccoli slaw makes this one super crunchy, nutritious, and delicious. See Kathryn’s recipe here.
30. Grilled Vegetable Salad.
And how about an all-vegetable salad? This recipe doesn’t actually call for chicken, but some grilled chicken added to these delectable roasted fresh vegetables, blue cheese, and lemon vinaigrette full of fresh herbs would be heavenly in the summertime. See Brenda’s recipe here.
31. Classic Chicken Salad.
And a straight-up healthy chicken salad recipe is a great way to round out the list. Gina’s classic chicken salad recipe is made lighter with a couple of tweaks. And instead of chicken salad sandwiches, try making lettuce wraps to be more low carb friendly. See her healthier version here.
Options for easy tender chicken to top a salad.
These salads all go together quickly if you have the cooked chicken ready to go. I like these ways to keep it easy:
- Plan a salad meal night around leftover chicken
- Use store-bought rotisserie chicken; most grocery stores even offer it pre-packaged off the bone.
- Use chicken tenders rather than breasts when you’re cooking. They cook super fast on the stovetop or grill, and in the air fryer or instant pot.
- If you prefer the taste of tender baked chicken, plan ahead and throw some chicken breasts in the crockpot with a little broth and seasonings so you don’t have to babysit it.
Did you find a couple in this list that are right up your alley? I know I’ll now be having a few salads this month!😋
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