Chicken Spinach Salad

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Almond, Berry, and Chicken Spinach Salad with a Delicious and Healthy Balsamic Dressing. Healthy and incredible salad!

This Chicken Spinach Salad is topped with seasoned chicken breast, sweet strawberries, juicy oranges, tart blueberries, sliced toasted almonds, and a sprinkle of feta cheese. The salad is dressed in a simple four-ingredient balsamic vinaigrette.

Overhead view of Chicken Spinach Salad on a large platter.

Chicken Spinach Salad

This is one of my family’s’ favorite salad recipes — it’s fresh, light, nutritious, and so tasty! It’s also a personal favorite since it’s quick and easy to whip together. The homemade dressing comes together in just a few minutes — we add some ingredients to a mason jar and then shake to combine. The chicken is easy to prepare and the rest of the salad toppings come together quickly; the berries just need to be washed and sliced and the oranges get peeled. 

Views of the finished salad with individual closeups of the chicken, oranges, strawberries and blueberries.

Chicken Spinach Salad variations

  • Add some additional berries like blackberries or raspberries (or swap out strawberries or blueberries for a different berry).
  • Replace the chicken with grilled and thinly sliced steak.
  • We love feta cheese best, and another great option with this salad is goat cheese. The salad is also great without cheese!
  • Add a chopped avocado for a creamy element.
  • While I think the balsamic dressing recipe is so good and highly recommend trying it (I promise it’s so easy to make!) you can also use store-bought dressing. Here is an article to guide you through choosing the best balsamic dressings to purchase.
  • If you can’t find fresh clementines, canned mandarin oranges (thoroughly drained) also work.

Recipe tips

  • Dressings can easily be adjusted to personal preference, so taste the dressing and adapt as needed. You may want to add a bit more honey if you like things sweeter or a little more Dijon mustard for more tang.
  • Add dressing to personal preference. You may not want to use all the dressing on the chicken spinach salad, but you can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to a week and use on other salads.
  • Toast the almonds if desired, by placing the almonds in a single layer in a heavy skillet (you don’t need to add anything else) and stir them around on medium-low heat. It only takes about 2-3 minutes (sometimes less depending on how much heat they are getting) until they are toasted and smelling quite fragrant. Make sure you are stirring them around and watching constantly so they don’t have a chance to burn! Alternatively, you could also candy the almonds; instructions for doing that can be found in this strawberry poppy seed salad.

Process shots making the balsamic vinaigrette dressing: adding all ingredients to a jar; shaking to combine; drizzling the finished dressing over the salad.

Preparing the chicken

I typically cook a chicken breast in a grill pan for this chicken spinach salad, but there are a few different options for preparing the chicken. Pick what’s easiest for you.

  • Quickest option – rotisserie chicken: Get a fresh and hot rotisserie chicken at the store and chop it up for this salad. Or for even quicker prep time, see if your grocery store deli has rotisserie chicken meat that has already been pulled from the bones and shredded.
  • Leftover chicken: If you’re already making chicken during the week, make some extra and save it for this salad! I’d recommend making a double batch of this grilled chicken marinade; it’s our favorite.
  • Fresh grilled chicken: If you’re fixing chicken fresh for this salad, I recommend drizzling olive oil and adding a generous amount of salt, pepper, and lemon pepper seasoning. Grill until cooked through, about 4-6 minutes per side (or until chicken juices run clear and internal temperatures register 165 degrees F).
  • Fresh sautéed chicken: Halve thick chicken breasts and drizzle olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt, pepper, and lemon pepper seasoning. Cook in a hot skillet (or grill pan) for about 4-6 minutes per side (or until chicken juices run clear and internal temperatures register 165 degrees F).

Up-close overhead view of the finished Chicken Spinach Salad, showing the sliced chicken with spinach at the side and fruit, dressing and nuts on top.

Chicken Spinach Salad storage

Due to all the juicy ingredients, this chicken spinach salad doesn’t sit or store well after it’s made. Once assembled, the salad needs to be eaten soon after; otherwise the balsamic dressing wilts the greens and the almonds soften.

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Chicken Spinach Salad

5 from 7 votes
This Chicken Spinach Salad is topped with seasoned chicken breast, sweet strawberries, juicy oranges, tart blueberries, sliced toasted almonds, and a sprinkle of feta cheese. The salad is dressed in a simple four-ingredient balsamic vinaigrette.
Print Recipe

Chicken Spinach Salad

5 from 7 votes
This Chicken Spinach Salad is topped with seasoned chicken breast, sweet strawberries, juicy oranges, tart blueberries, sliced toasted almonds, and a sprinkle of feta cheese. The salad is dressed in a simple four-ingredient balsamic vinaigrette.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken Spinach Salad
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 452kcal
Cost $5.81

Ingredients

  • 1 large (8.5 oz; 250g) boneless skinless chicken breast (plus olive oil, salt, pepper, and seasoning blend such as Mrs. Dash chicken grilling blends seasoning) (See Note 1)
  • 4 cups (88g) baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup (77g) fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup (70g) fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup (88g) clementine or mandarin oranges (~1 clementine)
  • 2-3 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons sliced almonds (See Note 2)
  • Salt and pepper

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup (50g) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons honey

Instructions

  • PREP: Prepare the fruit by washing and drying. If any ingredients are still wet, the dressing won't adhere very well. Remove strawberry stems and thinly slice. Peel clementine oranges. If desired, remove large stems on the spinach (I also tear the spinach leaves if they are large).
  • CHICKEN: (See Note 1) Remove fat from chicken and slice the breast in half width-wise. Dab chicken with paper towels to dry. Drizzle olive oil over both sides of the chicken pieces and then generously sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, and chicken grilling blends. Drizzle 2-3 teaspoons olive oil over a large pan or grill pan.
  • CHICKEN CONT.: Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the skillet and then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 4-5 minutes per side, flipping once at the halfway mark. If the chicken is browning too quickly, slightly reduce the heat. Once the chicken is cooked through (juices run clear or it registers 165 degrees F), remove from heat and cover with foil. Let slightly cool for 5-10 minutes and then thinly slice or chop.
  • DRESSING: Combine all of the dressing ingredients (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey) in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add some salt to taste (I use 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper). Close and shake until well combined.
  • SALAD ASSEMBLY: Add spinach to a large bowl. Toss with a few tablespoons of the dressing. Then add in the strawberries, blueberries, and oranges. Add in the slightly cooled chopped chicken. Add almonds and feta cheese. Drizzle remaining dressing on top and toss to combine. Enjoy immediately.
  • STORAGE: This salad doesn't sit well with the dressing, so only dress what will be enjoyed same day. Store any leftover salad and dressing separately. Almonds and cheese should also be stored separately.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: I grill a chicken breast in a grill pan for this chicken spinach salad, but there are a few different options for preparing the chicken, so pick what’s easiest for you:
  • Quickest option – rotisserie chicken: Get a fresh and hot rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and chop it up for this salad. Or for an even quicker prep time, see if your grocery store offers rotisserie chicken meat that has already been pulled from the bones and shredded.
  • Leftover chicken: If you’re already making chicken during the week, make some extra and save it for this salad! I’d recommend making a double batch of this grilled chicken marinade; it’s our favorite.
  • Fresh grilled chicken: If fixing chicken fresh for this salad, I recommend drizzling olive oil and adding a generous amount of salt, pepper, and lemon pepper seasoning. Grill until cooked through, about 4-6 minutes per side (or until chicken juices run clear and internal temperatures register 165 degrees F).
  • Fresh sautéed chicken: Halve thick chicken breasts and drizzle olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt, pepper, and lemon pepper seasoning. Cook in a hot skillet (or grill pan) for about 4-6 minutes per side (or until chicken juices run clear and internal temperatures register 165 degrees F).
Note 2: Toast the almonds, if desired, by placing the almonds in a single layer in a dry, heavy skillet (you don’t need to add oil) and stir them around on medium-low heat. It only takes about 2-3 minutes (sometimes less depending on how much heat they are getting) until they are toasted and smelling quite fragrant. Just make sure you are stirring them around and watching constantly so they don’t have a chance to burn! 

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 2servings | Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.9g | Protein: 29.9g | Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 86.9mg | Fiber: 4.5g | Sugar: 16.9g

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67 Comments

  1. Now this is quite a beauty! It looks almost like a work of art. That dressing sounds perfect in all its simplicity. Well, now I know what my lunches next week will consist of!

    1. We had snow flurries all day so definitely not feeling like Spring! Haha definitely hoping its right around the corner!

  2. Ohhh I do love this! Great minds think alike Chelsea! I posted something so similar to this 😉 Colorful fruity salads are the BEST. Love your pictures as always, awesome food styling! Soooo happy it’s finally officially Spring tomorrow, thank goodness!!

  3. This is such a gorgeous salad, Chelsea! It does remind me of spring. 🙂 I love all the colors and fruit you packed into this one. Maybe if we all eat this salad and pretend like it’s spring, it will just happen. Haha. Love it! 🙂

  4. I can’t wait to dive head first into salads like this! Salads loaded with fruit, nuts, and grilled chicken are my favorite when the temperature rises.

    I will have you know my two year old son is sitting next to me saying “yummy, yummy, yummy” He thinks this looks pretty fantastic too!

  5. Mmmm this is exactly my kind of salad!! Now if only berries would come back in season!! I can’t wait for that … the last few weeks it’s been a toss up if they are okay or not at the store!

  6. Wow! Now this is my kind of salad! Love fruit in my salads then add the chicken for a little protein and I’m one happy camper! The photos are gorgeous Chelsea and I so want that honeycomb thing! Pinned, thanks for sharing at Show Stopper!

  7. What a gorgeous salad Chelsea! I love all the fresh fruit and berries in here – totally getting me excited for warmer weather and fresh berry season 🙂

  8. I’ve always been weird about mixing my sweet fruits or berries with greens and savory. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been afraid to try it. This salad is so incredibly gorgeous, you have convinced me to give this a try! I’ve got it planned for lunch next week!

  9. 5 stars
    This salad is one of my family’s very favorites, even our 7 and 4 year old love it?? It’s so good I’m even making it for company today.

    1. Yay!! I’m sooo glad you enjoyed!! And adding avocado is always a good idea!! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe Chelsea. I loved this salad recipe. I prepare watercress salad and chicken spinach salad yesterday. And everyone loved them. After getting such an overwhelming response, I am going to prepare it again today. Keep sharing such delicious recipe ideas.

  11. Has anyone out there actually tried this recipe? How does it taste? I can see that it is beautiful, but how does it taste? How can you rate a recipe you have never eaten?

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