Warm Chicken Salad with Mixed Greens
Salads like this can be such a satisfying meal on a hot summer evening. Another benefit is that when a salad is as loaded with different tastes and textures like this one, it can become more accessible for kids who can eat the parts they like and maybe try a bite or two of the parts they aren’t so sure about. If your kids flat our refuse to eat salad, you can leave some chicken and corn plain (defrost extra corn) for them to eat separately. If you have leftover chicken from a previous meal, this is a great opportunity to use it up.
- 1 - 1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenderloins or use sliced mushrooms
- 8 oz. balsamic vinaigrette dressing store-bought or homemade, see directions below
- 8 oz. mixed salad greens
- 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds or shelled pistachios lightly toasted if desired
- 10 fresh basil or mint leaves sliced (optional)
- 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels or use kernels off of 2 ears of corn
- In a baking dish, marinate the chicken tenderloins (or mushrooms) in 3/4 cup of the vinaigrette for at least 10 minutes, and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the toaster oven or traditional oven to 400 degrees (or preheat the grill to medium heat).
- Bake the chicken (or mushrooms) in the marinade for 10 – 15 minutes, until it is no longer pink in the middle (or remove it from the marinade and grill it).
- While the chicken is cooking, assemble the remaining ingredients, except the corn, in a large salad bowl.
- When the chicken is almost cooked through, warm the corn kernels in the microwave for 1 – 2 minutes, and then add them to the salad. (If you are using fresh corn, boil or microwave it for about 2 – 3 minutes before adding it to the salad, if desired.)
- Slice the cooked chicken and add it to the salad. Toss the salad thoroughly with the remaining salad dressing, or less to taste.
Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrett
- In a large measuring cup, thoroughly whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, and 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard. Add ¼ – ½ tsp. garlic or dried herbs, if desired.
Slow Cooker Directions
- There’s no need to marinate in advance. Place the chicken or mushrooms in the slow cooker along with 3/4 cup of the dressing and stir to combine.
- Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or on high for 3 – 4 hours. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and create the salad as directed. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Make the vinaigrette, if necessary, and marinate the chicken or mushrooms (the chicken should marinate in the refrigerator), toast the nuts if desired, crumble the cheese if necessary and refrigerate, defrost the corn if using frozen. Scramble Flavor Booster: Season the salad with freshly ground black pepper. Tip: Need one more reason to avoid processed foods like sodas, chips and cookies? Ounce for ounce, they usually cost more than healthy, fresh foods. Video: Watch Jessica make the salad on Facebook Live. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 260, Total Fat: 10g, 15%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 13%; Cholesterol: 50mg, 17%; Sodium: 750mg, 31%; Total Carbohydrate: 22g, 7%; Dietary Fiber: 3g, 12%; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 23g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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