This grilled chicken salad is tender marinated chicken that’s grilled to perfection then served over lettuce with bacon, avocado, corn, blue cheese and tomatoes. A hearty salad that’s packed with flavor and also happens to be full of nutrition.
I love a fresh and colorful salad on those days when I’m trying to eat a little lighter. Some of my favorites include Chinese chicken salad, avocado tuna salad and this easy grilled chicken salad.
Grilled chicken salad is a classic recipe for good reason. It’s simple to make, and you really can use any variety of fruits and veggies you have on hand to create a satisfying meal. My version features plenty of fresh produce and crispy bacon, all tossed in a homemade dressing. Best of all, the dressing also doubles as the chicken marinade!
How do you make grilled chicken salad?
Start by preparing the olive oil and herb mixture that will serve as both the chicken marinade and the salad dressing. Whisk together the oil with lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, herbs and spices. Divide the mixture in half. Place the chicken in half the mixture, and save the other half as the dressing. Let the chicken sit in the marinade for at least one hour, then grill the chicken until it’s golden brown. Slice the chicken, then place it in a bowl with romaine lettuce, corn, red onion, tomatoes, bacon, avocado and blue cheese. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the top, then serve and enjoy.
How long to grill chicken
A typical 4 ounce boneless skinless chicken breast will need to grill for 4-5 minutes per side. If your chicken breasts are larger or smaller, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. You can also make this recipe with boneless skinless chicken thighs, which will cook for 6-7 minutes per side.
Tips for the perfect salad
- The chicken should marinate for at least an hour, but you can really leave the chicken in the marinade for up to 8 hours.
- This dressing calls for finely minced shallots, which taste like a cross between garlic and onion, except they’re milder. Shallots can be found with the rest of the onions at all grocery stores.
- You can use fresh, canned or thawed frozen corn in the salad. If it’s summer and corn is in season, try tossing cobs of corn on the grill alongside chicken, then cut the kernels off to go in the salad.
- I make this salad all year round, with an outdoor grill in the warmer weather months and an indoor grill pan during the winter.
- The chicken can be cooked up to 2 days before you plan to make your salad. You can heat the chicken up or place it cold on the salad, whatever you prefer.
Grilled Chicken Salad flavor variations
This salad is great as-is, but you can absolutely add other ingredients to make it your own.
- Protein: Instead of chicken, try grilled steak, salmon or shrimp.
- Greens: Swap out the romaine for spinach or a mixed greens blend. Kale will also work just fine.
- Vegetables: You can absolutely add other vegetables to the mix, some suggestions included grilled veggies such as asparagus, zucchini or bell peppers. Marinated artichoke hearts are also a nice addition.
- Cheese: Skip the blue cheese and try crumbled feta or a sharp aged white cheddar instead.
This grilled chicken salad just screams summer – you simply can’t go wrong with the combination of smoky chicken, fresh greens and plenty of toppings!
More salad recipes to try
Grilled Chicken Salad Video
Grilled Chicken Salad
For the salad
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 6 cups romaine lettuce coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 3/4 cup corn kernels fresh, thawed from frozen or canned
- 3/4 cup cucumber chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon
- 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbled
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted and sliced
For the dressing
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing
- Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Pour half the dressing into a container and save for later use.
- Add the chicken breasts to the bowl with the remaining dressing. Marinate for at least one hour or up to 8 hours.
For the salad
- Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill to medium high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the grill.
- Cook for 5-6 minutes per side or until chicken is browned and cook through.
- Let the chicken cool for 5 minutes, then slice.
- Place the lettuce in a large bowl. Drizzle half of the reserved dressing over the lettuce.
- Arrange the chicken, tomatoes, corn, cucumber, red onion, bacon, blue cheese and avocado on top of the lettuce. Drizzle the rest of the dressing over the top, then serve immediately.
Hands down, my new favorite salad recipe! Perfectly light for a quick lunch, but also hearty enough to be served as the main course for dinner! Loved every bite!
Yummy! We love this salad and it’s such a great side! I’m so excited to make this again!
You always have such great salad recipes. We love how all the flavors come together in this one!
I love that you use the dressing as marinade. Such a timesaver, and it tastes amazing! I used feta instead of blue cheese, and it was so yummy! I’ve never added corn to salad before, but I loved it!
Such a colourful summer salad. I can just see everyone digging in!
The variety is just incredible. I love how all the textures and flavours come together in a bowl. It’s an incredibly healthy way to eat chicken!
This salad was fresh, delicious and easy to make!! We made this for lunch today and I loved how it kept me full and satisfied all the way until dinner time!
This salad was so tasty and went perfectly with our dinner the other night! Such an easy and very delicious salad! Will be making this again very soon!
This is such a perfect summer time salad. I made this last night and it was so good. This dressing is amazing!!
This was SO delicious! I will be making this again on these hot summer evenings. The marinade and salad dressing per perfect. Thank you.