In some places, summer is nearing its end and everyone’s holding on for dear life. We still have summer days left to savor where I live, and I’m using every ingredient I can from my garden and the nearby farm-stands. (Mostly the farm-stands, since I’m terrible at upkeep and my lettuce has gone to seed, so maybe I will try planting for a second harvest!)
This chicken and apple salad combines some of my favorite flavors – sweet, tart, salty – and it’s crunchy, bright, and filling. It’s also very easy to make, and because it keeps for a few hours (in the fridge), it makes a great option for an easy meal to welcome guests.
I used spiralized apples for this recipe, but you could slice the apples as well. Make sure to toss them with lemon juice to help prevent browning.
Don’t prefer chicken, or don’t eat meat? This could easily be made with grilled salmon, or add additional nuts and seeds for protein and healthy fats.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded
- 2 granny smith or red delicious apples – spiralized or julienned
- 1 large carrot, spiralized or julienned*
- 2 cups shredded cabbage*
- 1 cup fresh berries (strawberries and blueberries work well)
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- ¼ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- Fresh basil, to taste
- 1 block raw cheddar cheese (optional)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs or Herbs de Provence
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon mayo (optional)
- *(can replace veggies with broccoli slaw)
- Mix marinade and pour over chicken breasts in a covered dish.
- Let sit for 15-30 minutes as you prepare salad.
- Make dressing by combining ingredients in a sealed jar and shake vigorously.
- In a large salad bowl, layer cabbage, apples, carrot onion.
- Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.
- (The dressing will help the apples keep their color.)
- Warm a skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil.
- Cook chicken breasts for 4 minutes per side or till 165 degrees internal temperature.
- Let chicken rest for five minutes before slicing and layering atop salad.
- Thinly slice basil and sprinkle over chicken.
- Top with berries and pecans and thinly slice cheese over top as desired.
My favorite thing about recipes like this (besides how easy they are, how well they incorporate nutritious ingredients into a meal you can share…) is how easy it is to adapt them with what’s in season, what’s on sale, and what’s in your fridge already. Strawberries out of season? Switch to another fruit or berry!
What’s your favorite salad recipe? Leave a comment and/or a link below so I can give it a try!
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