Recipes.net Recipes.net logo
Social Media

Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Experience the perfect blend of flavors with this Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing. It's a smart way to enjoy a meaty salad, filled with fresh veggies and a tangy, sweet dressing. The chicken is marinated in a zesty blend, grilled to perfection and served over a bed of fresh spinach. The salad is then drizzled with a homemade white balsamic dressing, making it the perfect dish for a healthy lunch or light dinner.

Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing
0

Photos of Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are likely to be in your pantry. However, white balsamic vinegar, used in the vinaigrette, might be a bit unusual. It's a type of vinegar that is made from white wine vinegar and grape must. It's milder and slightly less-sweet than the traditional balsamic vinegar. You can find it in the vinegar aisle of your local supermarket.

Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Chicken breasts: The star of the salad, providing a lean source of protein.

Baby spinach: Gives a nice fresh base for the salad, packed with iron and other nutrients.

Red onion: Adds a slightly spicy yet sweet flavor, great for enhancing the overall taste of the salad.

Sweet red bell pepper: Offers a juicy crunch and a pop of color.

Grape tomato: Brings a sweet tanginess balancing out the other flavors.

Carrot: Adds a bit of crunch and sweetness, along with valuable nutrients.

Lemon juice: Used in the marinade to tenderize the chicken and provide a hint of tang.

White Balsamic Vinegar: A main component in the dressing, lending a sweet and tangy flavor.

One reader, Charmane Wing says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

The grilled chicken spinach salad with balsamic dressing was a delightful surprise! The chicken was perfectly seasoned and juicy, and the balsamic dressing added a tangy kick. The combination of fresh spinach and colorful veggies made it a refreshing and satisfying meal. I'll definitely be making this again!

Charmane Wing

Mastering the Art of Salad Making: Essential Techniques

How to marinate the chicken: Combine the lemon juice, oregano, garlic puree, salt, and black pepper, and pour over the chicken. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, but preferably 4-6 hours or longer.

How to make the white balsamic vinaigrette: Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

How to grill the chicken: Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high. Ensure the grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent sticking. When the grill is hot, lay the chicken on the grill. Cook the chicken until well-browned on both sides and firm, but not hard to the touch. Transfer to a plate when done.

How to assemble the salad: Divide the spinach, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and peppers on 4 plates. Top with the grilled chicken and drizzle with balsamic dressing over each.

How To Make Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Tossed with bell pepper, tomato, and carrot, this spinach salad is served with lemon-marinated chicken, then drizzled with white balsamic vinaigrette.

Preparation:
Cooking: 10 minutes
Marinate Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 10 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 12ozchicken breasts,boneless skinless
  • 7ozbaby spinach,(1 bag)
  • red onion,few thin slices
  • ½sweet red bell pepper,sliced into strips
  • cupsgrape tomato,sliced in half
  • 1carrot,sliced into ribbons

For Marinade:

  • 2tbsplemon juice,fresh squeezed
  • 1tspdried oregano
  • 1tspgarlic,crushed
  • Kosher salt,to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper,to taste

For White Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • ¼cupbasil leaves
  • 3tbspwhite balsamic vinegar
  • 2tbspshallots,chopped
  • 1tbspwater
  • 2tbspextra virgin olive oil
  • pinchsalt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients: lemon juice, oregano, garlic puree, salt, and black pepper, and pour over chicken. Let it marinate in the refrigerator a minimum of 2 hours, but preferably 4-6 hours or longer.

  2. Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

  3. Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high. Make sure the grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent sticking.

  4. When the grill is hot, lay the chicken on the grill.

  5. Cook the chicken until well-browned on both sides and firm, but not hard to the touch. Transfer to a plate when done.

  6. Divide spinach, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and peppers on 4 plates.

  7. Top with the chicken and drizzle with balsamic dressing over each.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 261.96kcal
  • Fat: 15.12g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.29g
  • Trans Fat: 0.09g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8.22g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.57g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.59g
  • Fiber: 3.35g
  • Sugar: 5.69g
  • Protein: 20.51g
  • Cholesterol: 54.43mg
  • Sodium: 626.81mg
  • Calcium: 92.19mg
  • Potassium: 769.57mg
  • Iron: 2.76mg
  • Vitamin A: 435.95µg
  • Vitamin C: 46.67mg

Pro Tip: Elevate Your Salad with This Grilling Technique

To ensure your chicken is juicy and flavorful, it's crucial to marinate it for an adequate amount of time. While the recipe suggests a minimum of 2 hours, marinating it for 4-6 hours or even overnight will allow the flavors to penetrate more deeply into the chicken. Also, remember to let your chicken rest for a few minutes after grilling before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the chicken, resulting in a moister and more flavorful dish.

Time-Saving Hacks for Preparing a Flavorful Salad

Marinate efficiently: To save time, consider marinating the chicken the night before or in the morning before starting your day. This will allow the flavors to develop and the chicken to tenderize while you go about your day.

Prep in advance: Wash and chop your vegetables ahead of time and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator. This will make assembling the salad quicker when it's time to serve.

Multi-task: While the chicken is grilling, you can prepare the salad ingredients or make the balsamic dressing. Utilizing your time efficiently will help streamline the cooking process.

Substitute Ingredients For Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing

  • chicken breasts - Substitute with turkey breasts: Turkey breasts can be used as a lean and flavorful alternative to chicken breasts, offering a similar texture and taste when grilled.

  • baby spinach - Substitute with arugula: Arugula provides a peppery and slightly bitter flavor, adding a unique twist to the salad while still offering a nutritious and vibrant green base.

  • red onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots offer a milder and sweeter flavor compared to red onions, complementing the salad with a delicate onion taste without overpowering the other ingredients.

  • sweet red bell pepper - Substitute with yellow bell pepper: Yellow bell peppers provide a slightly sweeter and more mellow flavor compared to red bell peppers, adding a pop of color and a subtle sweetness to the salad.

  • grape tomato - Substitute with cherry tomato: Cherry tomatoes can be used as a substitute for grape tomatoes, offering a similar sweet and juicy flavor, and they are equally convenient for adding a burst of color and freshness to the salad.

  • carrot - Substitute with radish: Radishes can add a crunchy texture and a slightly peppery flavor to the salad, providing a unique twist while still contributing to the overall freshness and vibrancy of the dish.

  • lemon juice - Substitute with white wine vinegar: White wine vinegar can be used as a tangy alternative to lemon juice, providing a bright and acidic flavor to the marinade or dressing.

  • dried oregano - Substitute with dried thyme: Dried thyme can be used as a substitute for oregano, offering a similar earthy and aromatic flavor to enhance the marinade or dressing.

  • garlic - Substitute with shallot: Shallots can provide a milder and sweeter flavor compared to garlic, adding a subtle depth of flavor to the marinade or dressing without overpowering the other ingredients.

  • basil leaves - Substitute with parsley: Parsley can be used as a substitute for basil leaves, offering a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the vinaigrette while adding a vibrant green color and a hint of earthiness.

  • white balsamic vinegar - Substitute with apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can be used as a tangy alternative to white balsamic vinegar, providing a slightly sweet and fruity flavor to the vinaigrette.

Elevate Your Salad Game with These Presentation Tips

  1. Elevate the grilled chicken: Slice the chicken breasts diagonally and fan them out on the plate to create an elegant and visually appealing presentation.

  2. Artfully arrange the spinach: Gently toss the baby spinach with a touch of olive oil and arrange it in a delicate mound on the plate, creating a vibrant green base for the dish.

  3. Garnish with vibrant vegetables: Artfully scatter the grape tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions, and julienned sweet red bell peppers around the plate to add pops of color and freshness.

  4. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette: Using a steady hand, drizzle the white balsamic vinaigrette in a zigzag pattern over the chicken and spinach, adding a touch of acidity and sweetness to the dish.

  5. Sprinkle with finishing salt: Just before serving, sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt over the dish to enhance the flavors and provide a delightful textural contrast.

  6. Add a touch of elegance with microgreens: Garnish the dish with a small handful of delicate microgreens, such as pea shoots or micro basil, for a final touch of sophistication and flavor.

Storing and Freezing Your Leftover Salad: A Guide

  • To store the grilled chicken spinach salad, place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Keep the balsamic dressing separate from the salad to prevent the spinach from wilting.

  • If you want to freeze the grilled chicken, let it cool completely before placing it in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

  • The spinach, red onion, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes, and carrot should not be frozen as they will lose their texture and become mushy when thawed. It's best to use fresh vegetables when assembling the salad.

  • The white balsamic vinaigrette can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Give it a good shake or whisk before using it to redistribute the ingredients.

  • To maintain the best quality and flavor of the grilled chicken spinach salad, it's recommended to store the components separately and assemble the salad just before serving. This will ensure that the spinach remains crisp and the grilled chicken retains its texture.

How To Reheat Leftover Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad

  • The best way to reheat leftover grilled chicken spinach salad is to separate the components and reheat them individually. This will ensure that each ingredient maintains its optimal texture and flavor.

  • Start by removing the chicken from the salad and place it in a microwave-safe dish. Cover the dish with a damp paper towel to prevent the chicken from drying out. Microwave the chicken on high for 1-2 minutes, or until it's heated through.

  • If you prefer, you can also reheat the chicken in a skillet over medium heat. Add a small amount of olive oil or butter to the pan to prevent sticking and to add some extra flavor. Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until it's heated through.

  • For the spinach and other vegetables, place them in a microwave-safe bowl and heat them on high for 30-60 seconds, or until they're warm. Be careful not to overheat the vegetables, as they can quickly become soggy and lose their texture.

  • If you prefer your vegetables to have a bit of crunch, you can also sauté them quickly in a pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of olive oil to the pan and cook the vegetables for 1-2 minutes, or until they're heated through.

  • Once the chicken and vegetables are heated, reassemble the salad on a plate. If the balsamic dressing has been stored separately, give it a quick whisk or shake to recombine the ingredients, then drizzle it over the top of the salad.

  • If the dressing was already mixed into the salad before storing, you may find that it has absorbed into the spinach and other ingredients. In this case, you can add a fresh drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the top of the reheated salad to refresh the flavors.

  • Serve the reheated grilled chicken spinach salad immediately and enjoy!

Surprising Facts About the Ingredients in This Salad

The balsamic dressing in this recipe is a versatile and healthy option for salads. It not only adds a tangy flavor but also provides numerous health benefits, including aiding digestion and promoting heart health.

Budget-Friendly Salad: Is It Economical to Make at Home?

This grilled chicken spinach salad with balsamic dressing is a cost-effective option for households. The use of affordable ingredients like chicken breasts, spinach, and tomatoes keeps the cost down. The versatility of the ingredients allows for easy customization based on budget and preference. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20, making it a budget-friendly choice. The overall verdict rating for this recipe is 9/10, considering its nutritional value, flavor, and affordability.

Is This Grilled Chicken Salad Healthy?

The grilled chicken spinach salad with balsamic dressing is a healthy and nutritious meal option. Here's why:

  • The salad is packed with nutrient-dense ingredients like spinach, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes, and carrots, providing a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Grilled chicken breast is a lean protein source, essential for building and repairing tissues, and keeping you feeling full and satisfied.
  • The marinade for the chicken is made with lemon juice, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper, adding flavor without excessive calories or unhealthy fats.
  • The white balsamic vinaigrette is made with wholesome ingredients like basil leaves, white balsamic vinegar, shallots, water, and extra virgin olive oil, providing healthy fats and antioxidants.

To make this salad even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Use a mix of different leafy greens, such as kale or arugula, to increase the variety of nutrients and flavors in the salad.
  • Add more colorful vegetables like shredded purple cabbage, grated beets, or sliced cucumbers to boost the fiber content and provide a wider range of antioxidants.
  • Incorporate some healthy fats, such as sliced avocado or a sprinkle of chopped nuts or seeds, to enhance nutrient absorption and add a satisfying crunch.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices in the chicken marinade, like rosemary, thyme, or smoked paprika, to add depth of flavor without relying on salt or sugar.
  • If you're watching your calorie intake, use less oil in the vinaigrette or opt for a lighter dressing made with yogurt or citrus juice.

Editor's Take: Why This Salad Is a Must-Try

This grilled chicken spinach salad with balsamic dressing is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The marinated chicken brings a zesty and herbaceous taste, complemented by the freshness of the baby spinach, sweet red bell pepper, and grape tomatoes. The white balsamic vinaigrette adds a tangy and aromatic touch, tying all the elements together. It's a well-balanced and satisfying dish that offers a burst of summer on the palate. Enjoy the vibrant colors and vibrant flavors of this salad!

Enhance Your Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes infused with roasted garlic for a rich and savory side dish.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and finished with a bright and zesty lemon zest topping.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Sweet and tender carrots glazed with honey for a delightful and colorful addition to your meal.

Discover Delicious Salad Variations You'll Love

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate the vegetables in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, and herbs before threading them onto skewers and grilling until tender and slightly charred.
Mango Salsa Chicken: Top grilled chicken with a refreshing salsa made from diced mango, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice for a burst of tropical flavor.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: Simmer tomatoes, onions, garlic, and basil in a pot with broth, then blend until smooth and creamy for a comforting and flavorful soup option.
Berry Cobbler: Combine fresh berries with a sweet crumbly topping made from flour, sugar, and butter, then bake until golden and bubbly for a delicious dessert.

Appetizers and Desserts That Elevate This Grilled Chicken Salad

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your taste buds with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Caprese Skewers: Indulge in the fresh flavors of summer with these colorful caprese skewers. Juicy cherry tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fragrant basil, all drizzled with a tangy balsamic glaze. A delightful appetizer that's as beautiful as it is delicious.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Delight in a luscious strawberry cheesecake, featuring a buttery graham cracker crust, creamy cheesecake filling, and a vibrant strawberry topping. Each bite is a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess.

Why trust this Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing:

This recipe guarantees a flavorful and nutritious meal. The chicken is marinated in a zesty blend of lemon juice, oregano, and garlic, ensuring a burst of savory goodness. The spinach provides a dose of essential nutrients, while the vibrant mix of red onion, bell pepper, and grape tomato adds a colorful crunch. The white balsamic vinaigrette ties it all together with its tangy and aromatic notes, elevating the dish to a whole new level. Trust in this recipe for a delightful and wholesome grilled chicken spinach salad experience.

Want to share your experience making this Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing or discuss ways to customize it? Join the conversation in our Recipe Sharing forum!
FAQ:
How long should I marinate the chicken for?
I recommend marinating the chicken for a minimum of 2 hours, but for the best flavor, marinate it for 4-6 hours or even longer if possible.
Can I use a different type of vinegar for the vinaigrette?
Yes, you can use other types of vinegar such as red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar if you prefer. It will give a slightly different flavor, but it will still be delicious.
Can I use a different type of greens for the salad?
Absolutely! You can use arugula, mixed greens, or even romaine lettuce if you prefer. Feel free to customize the salad with your favorite greens.
Can I grill the chicken on a stovetop grill pan instead of an outdoor grill?
Yes, you can definitely use a stovetop grill pan if you don't have access to an outdoor grill. Just make sure the grill pan is hot and lightly oiled before cooking the chicken.
Can I prepare the vinaigrette in advance?
Yes, you can make the vinaigrette ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Just give it a good shake or stir before using it on the salad.

Was this page helpful?

Chat Bubble Icon Share your own special recipe
Submit Your Own Recipe

Have your own special recipe to share? Submit Your Recipe Today!