This berry chicken salad with honey balsamic dressing will be your new favorite for lunch meal prep.
Seared chicken sits on a bed of spring greens with mixed fresh berries, avocado and quinoa and dressed with a light honey balsamic dressing.
It's so refreshing, nourishing and satisfying.
How to: berry chicken salad with honey balsamic dressing
For the dressing:
- Balsamic vinegar. The classic balsamic flavor goes so well with berries.
- Honey. To add sweetness and cut the acidity of the vinegar.
- Dijon mustard. To provide flavor and body to the dressing.
- Olive oil. Purchase a good quality one, such as California Olive Ranch.
For the salad:
- Spring mix. Or any mix of leafy greens, like spinach or baby kale.
- Chicken breasts. Boneless and skinless, cooked to perfect.
- Fresh berries. Any kind - I like to do a mix of strawberries, blackberries and blueberries.
- Avocado. Get a ripe one that is easy to slice through.
- Quinoa. Chickpeas would be delicious, too.
- Nuts and cheese. Walnuts, almonds or pecans and feta or goat cheese are delicious additions.
- A cutting board and chef's knife for chopping the ingredients.
- A small bowl and whisk or jar for making the dressing.
- Bowls for making the salads. And forks for serving.
- First, make the dressing. In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Arrange spring mix in bowls.
- Distribute chicken breasts, berries, avocado and quinoa on each salad.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
- Top with nuts and cheese, if desired.
- Just before serving, drizzle dressing on salad.
- Store leftover salad and dressing in separate containers in the refrigerator.
Recipe Substitutions & Alternatives
- Balsamic: You could try white balsamic (made with green grapes instead of red), red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar.
- Honey: Maple syrup is a great alternative.
- Dijon: You can skip this if you're not into mustard.
- Spring mix: Any leafy green will work, such as spinach, baby kale, arugula or mixed greens.
- Chicken: You could leave this off for a vegetarian salad or use turkey breast.
- Quinoa: Any ancient grain would work well here, or use cooked chickpeas for some extra fiber.
- To make it gluten free: This recipe is naturally gluten free! As always, read the labels of any packaged products you buy to be sure they are certified gluten free.
- To make it dairy free: Skip the cheese.
- To make it vegetarian: Skip the chicken.
- To make it vegan: Skip the chicken and cheese and use maple syrup instead of honey.
- For the chicken: Prepare the chicken and store in an airtight container up to 4 days in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- For the dressing: Prepare the dressing and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
- For the toppings: Prepare the salad toppings and store separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator up to 2 days (berries don't stay fresh very long once washed and chopped).
- For the salad: Prepare the salads just before serving.
A few other berry recipes you’ll *swoon* over:
- Blueberry Date Muffins
- Blueberry Donuts with Orange Glaze
- Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins
- Strawberry Chia Jam
- Mixed Berry Bread Pudding
- Strawberry Basil Bruschetta
- Chocolate Overnight Oat & Raspberry Chia Pudding Parfaits
Berry Chicken Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Seared chicken breast on a bed of spring greens with mixed fresh berries, avocado and quinoa, dressed with a light honey balsamic dressing.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 0 min
- Total Time: 15 min
- Yield: Serves 4
- Category: Salad
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: American
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4-6 cups spring mix
- 4 (4- to 6-ounce) cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooled and sliced
- 2-3 cups fresh berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)
- 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
- ½ cup cooked quinoa, cooled
- Pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired
- Handful chopped walnuts or almonds and feta, goat or Parmesan cheese, if desired
- In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Arrange spring mix in bowls. Distribute chicken breasts, berries, avocado and quinoa on each salad. Sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired. Top with nuts and cheese, if desired.
- Just before serving, drizzle dressing on salad. Store leftover salad and dressing in separate containers in the refrigerator.
Cooking Tip: Cook the chicken breast in advance to make weeknight salad assembly quick and simple.
- Serving Size: ¼ of recipe
- Calories: 518
- Sugar: 23
- Sodium: 406
- Fat: 24
- Saturated Fat: 3
- Unsaturated Fat: 21
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 46
- Fiber: 7
- Protein: 34
- Cholesterol: 69
Keywords: back-to-school, meal prep, make ahead, lunchbox, packed lunch, healthy, easy, quick, work lunch