Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Crispy Chicken Salad with Fresh Mixed Berry Vinaigrette.

A hearty summer salad packed with just about everything from juicy berries and crunchy almonds to creamy blue cheese and crispy baked chicken. Finished off with homemade sweet ‘n tangy mixed berry vinaigrette!

Crispy Chicken Salad with Fresh Berry Vinaigrette-- packed with summer berries, blue cheese, and almonds. sallysbakingaddiction.com

From crumb cake to cheesecake to… salad? Just go with it.

First. What did you do this weekend? I celebrated my sister-in-law’s graduation from her masters program, dropped off my camera and lenses to be cleaned and detailed (oh, is that dried up frosting in the teeny tiny crevices of my canon? so embarrassing.), ran a 5K— 4th girl to finish!– followed by a wine tasting, and decided 5Ks followed by wine tastings are the only types of races I want to run going forward in life.

Homemade Fresh Berry Vinaigrette dressing on sallysbakingaddiction.com

In other news, I made summer-y salad. Don’t get too excited!

But really, you should. I don’t post too many salads on my blog because, well, next to crumb cake and cheesecake… it’s salad. Whoomp whoomp. But this is the real deal. A real, satisfying, summertime meal packed with lean, green machines like spinach and edamame. Juicy berries for a little sweetness, breaded and baked crispy chicken, almonds for crunch, blue cheese crumbles of creaminess, and the freshest vinaigrette around.

This recipe is totally random, but I couldn’t NOT share this meal with you.

Crispy Chicken Salad with Fresh Berry Vinaigrette-- packed with summer berries, blue cheese, and almonds. sallysbakingaddiction.com

This is the salad for people who typically get bored by salads. It has EVERYTHING!

I’ll start with the dressing. It’s completely homemade, free from any of the weird unrecognizable stuff in bottled dressings. In fact, it’s made from convenient simple ingredients like fresh berries, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, and dijon mustard. The honey and dijon mustard flavors = perfection with that crispy chicken!

I love pairing sweet berries with the tart, complex flavor of balsamic vinegar. (Throw blue cheese into the mix and my knees are weak.) Fruity vinaigrettes are my favorite dressings and I was originally only going to throw raspberries into the mix but those vibrant strawberries were begging to be used up. The dressing is sweet, zesty, and easily one of the highlights of the entire salad. Plus, it’s hot pink.

Homemade Fresh Berry Vinaigrette dressing on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Crispy chicken rounds out the bowl. It’s baked, not fried. I breaded some chicken the same way I make my honey BBQ chicken fingers. Only I left out the honey BBQ marinade and added more flavor in the breading. The chicken is then baked until the coating is toasty and the chicken is juicy inside. Perfect addition to a salad.

I like the chicken to be warm when topped on the salad. So so so good.

Crispy Chicken Salad with Fresh Berry Vinaigrette-2

The best part! This salad is filling. For me, it’s rare to find a dinner-sized salad that fills me up longer than 5 seconds. Well, this is a hearty salad that can stand its own. Something about the term “man-approved” irks me, but Kevin actually really enjoyed this. I don’t know the last time I made a salad and he didn’t cook up something on the side because “it’s just salad.” So yes. This salad is man approved. Ugh you know what I mean.

Crispy Chicken Salad with Fresh Berry Vinaigrette-- packed with summer berries, blue cheese, and almonds. sallysbakingaddiction.com

Crispy, fruity, homemade, satisfying, healthy weeknight meal. Let’s eat!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

PS: Since there are a couple homemade components to the recipe, I like to prep the chicken and dressing ahead of time. See my make ahead tip!

Crispy Chicken Salad with Fresh Mixed Berry Vinaigrette

A hearty summer salad packed with just about everything from juicy berries and crunchy almonds to creamy blue cheese and crispy baked chicken. Finished off with homemade sweet 'n tangy mixed berry vinaigrette.

Yield: serves 4, 2 if you're very hungry!

Ingredients:

Mixed Berry Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste

Crispy Baked Chicken

  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Panko1
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, sliced into strips

Salad

  • 6 cups spinach or favorite greens
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 3/4 cup shelled edamame2
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles (gorgonzola or goat cheese work too!)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, such as Diamond of California

Directions:

  1. Make the vinaigrette: Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend on high until fully combined and the dressing is smooth. Pour into a glass jar or container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Make the chicken: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or coat heavily with nonstick spray. Combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika in a shallow dish. Beat eggs in another shallow dish. Pour Panko breadcrumbs into a third shallow dish. Coat each chicken strip in flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then generously roll in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Add more Panko to the dish if you are running low. Place the chicken strips on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the chicken lightly with olive oil or spray lightly with nonstick spray. This helps "seal" the coating. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each piece over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the centers are cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Baking times may vary, just make sure yours are cooked through. If you like them more brown, bake longer. Slice the warm chicken.
  3. Make the salad: Place the spinach, strawberries, raspberries, and edamame in a large bowl. Top with blue cheese, almonds, and warm chicken. If there is too much chicken for the salad, store extras using the make ahead instructions below. Drizzle with salad dressing and serve. Leftover salad keeps well for a day or two in the refrigerator.
  4. Make ahead tip: The vinaigrette can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. Its flavor really heightens after a few hours! The chicken can also be prepared ahead of time, though it is crispiest right from the oven. Store prepared chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days, then warm in a 300°F (149°C) oven until crisp. Or freeze the prepared chicken for up to 2 months. Bake frozen for about 18 minutes (flipping once) in a 300°F (149°C) oven.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb traditionally used as a coating for fried or baked foods. It's available in major grocery stores near the stuffing. Panko is heavily preferred opposed to regular bread crumbs because they tend to stay crispier longer. You can buy seasoned or unseasoned and then add more/less seasonings to your breading if preferred. I use unseasoned.
  2. Edamame is a little random in this salad, but I loved it paired with the berries and blue cheese and I think you will too! You can try sliced cucumber, avocado, or peppers instead.

Did you make a recipe?

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

Another favorite: Citrus Chicken Quinoa Salad

Citrus Chicken Quinoa Salad

 

I’m working with Diamond of California to bring you today’s recipe. :)

58 comments

  1. Congrats on your race! This is the only weekend this month I am not racing (3 out of 4 weekends I’m running or already ran a half marathon!) and I think your idea of racing followed by wine is perfect 🙂

    The salad looks great. I love berry-based dressings!

  2. I’m scared to think about all of the food (aka chocolate) that has ended up in the nooks and crannies of my camera… But I need to get it cleaned sometime, so I guess I’ll find out soon enough! Hopefully I don’t get too many strange looks. 😉 Your race looked like so much fun on Instagram! I hadn’t realized there were races that ended with wine — I need to keep an eye out for that!

  3. Definitely need to try out this dressing sometime! Raspberry dressing always sounds good, but then ends up tasting too artificial- love that there are fresh berries in here instead!

  4. Oh my god! This salad has my name on it. Crispy chicken plus a mixed berry vinaigrette? So very gorgeous and healthy and summery. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  5. I did a bread-themed 5k last year. You run, and then you eat bread. It was pretty much the best race I ever did. I ran faster, too. Wanted to eat!
    I am really digging this salad. In restaurants, “crispy” is always code for “way deep fried,” but yours is actually healthy! I could get used to this!

  6. My boyfriend and I did a craft beer race last summer and it definitely made us run faster knowing that beer was at the finish line. 🙂 It sounds like you had a lovely weekend. We didn’t do much this weekend. It was nice just to relax and sleep! I love summer salads and this one is definitely on my list to make. 

  7. Pretty sure that promising me wine would be the ONLY way to get me to run a 5k!
    Or…maybe promising me this salad. Those color though! SO PRETTY! Love that vinaigrette too! Pinning!

  8. This salad looks great, but the vinaigrette looks to die-for!  Yummers!!!!

  9. A mixed berry vinaigrette sounds amazing!! Summer is here! 🙂

  10. What a busy weekend!  My next 5k is definitely going to have to be followed by a wine tasting, now!
    This salad is so perfect for this time of year, I feel like I can almost taste it from the pictures!

  11. Congrats on your race this weekend! I have tried to get into running also but it is just too boring for me 🙁 I wish I loved it! This salad looks amazing! I think I could eat all the chicken on its own!

    • To be honest, it took me awhile to really get into it. In fact, I had to force myself for a few months. Short runs and good tunes helped. Once I noticed myself getting faster and my endurance improving, I started to really enjoy it. Now my runs (my “me time”) are my favorite part of the week. So maybe just keep trying if you really want to?

  12. Sounds like a great weekend – congrats on being the 4th girl to finish the 5K 😀 This salad looks utterly amazing – I adore fruity summer salads and I must try that dressing! Pinned!

  13. Well this salad pretty much includes all my most favorite-y salad things! Can’t wait to make it. 

  14. Sally!  Congrats on your race!

    This salad looks absolutely delicious! I love adding berries to my chicken salad, it adds such a nice summery flavor. Love the dressing too! *Pinned*

  15. Three cheers for edamame! I love everything about this salad, especially that the chicken is crispy but not fried. Just a little indulgent but still high in protein. Perfection 🙂 I’ve also never made a vinaigrette from scratch with fruit in it, so I can’t wait to give it a try!

  16. Yum! This salad has so many delicious things going for it! Good job on the race!

  17. Hah! I have been so scared to take my camera to get cleaned because of that reason! Them thinking – why is there food smears all over the place??

    P.S. All the cools and textures in this salad are gorgeous!! And I need that berry dressing in my life!

  18. What could I substitute for the blue cheese ?  Also do they sell the edamame beans fresh ?  I don’t recall seeing at my grocery store; however,  cannot say I have ever looked 

    • Gorgonzola or goat cheese would both be tasty. Sometimes I find fresh packaged edamame in the produce aisle, but I always buy frozen because it’s easier.

  19. Congrats on your 5k! That’s amazing! This salad looks soooooooo delish! I really need to start making my own salad dressings.  I don’t have a food processor but I will try in my Magic Bullet. I’ve never had panko before but sounds yummy! Thanks for the description on them because whenever I hear of people using them I always wonder what the difference is between them and breadcrumbs. 

  20. For the dressing do the fruits have to be fresh or would frozen and thawed berries work?
    Can’t wait to try this healthy salad looks delish!!

    • In my opinion, fresh really is best for this particular dressing. I’m sure thawed would be fine, maybe a little too watery though.

  21. Sally that crispy chicken looks out of this world good!! Need this salad in my life asap! Pinning.

  22. This salad looks amazing! I love all the tastes and flavors you added to it, it really does have a little bit of everything!

  23. That dressing alone, I just want to pour it over everything!! Looks so delicious!

  24. Congrats on being the 4th girl! That’s awesome! If I got anywhere in the Top 10, I’d be beaming! And since my stomach has woes now with beer, a wine tasting after a race would be perfection. So thirsty. ;o) You had me at blue cheese with this salad. Love my stinky cheese. <3

  25. Love the salad. The fruity vinaigrette sounds the most delicious. Too bad I just ate all the raspberries I had. But I will be making it this summer for sure. 

  26. I love to see healthy recipes from you! I will definitely try this salad once I get a chance to go grocery shopping this weekend. Fingers crossed that the berries look good.  

  27. I don’t even like salads but this looks sooo good!!

  28. I love fruit salads, Sally! How did you know? This sounds perfect, the vinagarette especially! 

  29. Love love the berry dresssing. The salad looks really delish.

  30. Hi Sally! This looks delish but what would you substitute for balsamic vinegar? I cannot have balsamic vinegar unfortunately 🙁

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