In this Grilled Chicken Power Salad with Homemade Raspberry Dressing, chicken breasts are coated in a luscious homemade raspberry dressing and then grilled to tender perfection. Crisp greens are topped with the grilled chicken, juicy raspberries, crunchy cucumbers, creamy avocado, and fresh basil in this bountiful, easy summer salad.
Summer is the perfect time for hearty, main dish, power salads. I'm not talking about a wimpy plate of limp lettuce, either. I'm talking a giant plate heaped with vibrant veggies, tender grilled chicken, creamy avocado, bright basil, juicy fresh berries and doused in a luscious homemade dressing. The good news is that whipping up your own power salad at home couldn't be simpler. All you need is a sharp knife, a blender, and a grill and you've got a delicious, healthy dinner ready in no time.
The homemade raspberry dressing does double duty in this recipe, acting as both the chicken marinade and vinaigrette for the salad. If you don't have time to marinate the chicken, not to worry. Simply sprinkle the breasts with salt and pepper and grill away. If you are marinating the chicken, be sure to oil the grill grates well and wait to flip the chicken until halfway through the cooking process to avoid sticking.
This recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo friendly. If you'd like to make a vegetarian version, simply omit the chicken and top the salad with a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas. And if you aren't dairy-free, goat cheese or feta would be an excellent addition or substitution for the avocado. The homemade raspberry dressing makes more than you need for the 4 servings in this recipe, so go ahead and grill a double batch of the chicken to have this salad for lunch throughout the week. Yum!
Kid-friendly notes. Salad may be a hard-sell for some kids, but don't give up trying. Here are some options for resistant eaters:
- Skip the marinade on the chicken and serve plain grilled chicken. Slice into thin strips for a fun dipable option.
- Serve all the salad parts separately on his plate: grilled chicken, cucumber, avocado, raspberries, and some romaine pieces with the dressing on the side for dipping.
- Offer the raspberry dressing as a fun option alongside her dressing of choice.
- Serve the salad with bread or a whole grain to round out the meal.
Now, on to the recipe!
Grilled Chicken Power Salad with Homemade Raspberry Dressing
For the Dressing:
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
¼ cup warm water
For the Salad:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 large, ripe avocado, diced
1 pint raspberries
¼ cup loosely packed basil leaves
¼ cup chopped green onions (both green and white parts)
8 cups chopped romaine leaves
1. Make the dressing by adding 1 cup raspberries, vinegar, olive oil, salt, honey and water to a blender. Blend on high until well combined, thick, and creamy.
2. Combine the chicken and ⅓ cup dressing in a baking dish or large plastic bag. Let marinate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
3. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade. Preheat the grill to medium high heat, then lightly spray or oil the grates. Grill for 10-12 minutes or until no longer pink in the center, flipping halfway through. Remove chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes, then slice into thin pieces.
4. Arrange the romaine leaves onto 4 plates or bowls. Top each plate or bowl with cucumber slices, avocado, raspberries, basil leaves, green onion and grilled chicken. Drizzle each plate with raspberry dressing (the amount is up to you) and serve immediately.
5. Store leftover dressing in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.
Making this recipe? Let me know what you think and any adaptations you make in the comments. I really love hearing from you!
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