Looking for a ridiculously easy main dish salad? Balsamic glazed chicken salad is ready in about 20 minutes, and has incredible flavor! It makes a perfect light dinner or lunch, and as a bonus, it comes in at under 7 net carbs a serving.
I am a huge fan of main dish salads, and this is one of the most simple chicken breast salads I’ve ever made. I don’t use balsamic vinegar very often, and I was afraid my kids wouldn’t eat this because it tasted “too vinegary”.
But they actually loved the chicken! Some of them opted to eat the balsamic glazed chicken on the side and add ranch dressing to their salad.
So you can serve the chicken atop salad, but it’s tasty enough that it stands alone if that’s what you prefer.
I adapted this balsamic vinegar chicken recipe from one of my Taste of Home cookbooks several years ago. One thing that’s great about salads is that you can add or subtract any ingredients to your liking! The balsamic glazed chicken is what makes this salad special, everything else is optional.
We love it with garden fresh tomatoes, but when they aren’t available, I buy the tiny heirloom tomatoes from Costco. They are available all year long, and are the closest to fresh that I’ve found.
HOW TO MAKE BALSAMIC GLAZED CHICKEN
- Cut chicken into 1 inch strips. Saute in olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat till juices run clear. It takes about 3 minutes per side. You want to leave plenty of space between the chicken, so cook in 2 batches if your skillet is small.
- Add the garlic during the last minute of cooking, and saute just until you can smell it. Garlic burns easily, so watch it closely. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Turn the heat down to low and add the vinegar, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Whisk till thoroughly combined. It will bubble and thicken, but if too much of it boils off, you can add some water or more balsamic vinegar to the skillet. Return the cooked chicken to the pan and stir to coat. Sprinkle chopped basil over the top.
- Divide the chopped lettuce between 4 plates. Top with glazed chicken, tomatoes, and feta cheese. Drizzle any remaining balsamic vinegar mixture in the skillet over each salad. You can also garnish with more chopped basil if desired.
PRO TIPS FOR COOKING CHICKEN IN A SKILLET:
- Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness before cooking. That way your chicken strips will cook evenly, and you won’t have any dry out.
- Chicken breast is easier to cut if it is slightly frozen, but it’s best to let it thaw completely before cooking. Frozen chicken releases too much water, so it’s harder to brown.
- A cast iron skillet is best for browning chicken. Stainless steel works fine too, but it is harder to get that nice brown sear using a non stick pan. It will work in a pinch, but the results aren’t the same.
BALSAMIC CHICKEN BREAST SALAD VARIATIONS:
- Like a little sweet with your savory? Try tossing some fresh berries, chopped pears, or thinly sliced apple to your salad.
- For even more protein, add some slices of boiled egg to your salad.
- Use any vegetables you like. I think cucumbers, red peppers, and carrots would be tasty. So would red or green onions.
- For and extra dose of healthy fat, add some avocado slices to the top of the salad.
- Switch out the feta cheese for any other type of cheese. Fresh mozzarella would be awesome!
- And of course you can’t go wrong with bacon on a salad, right?
- Don’t want a salad? You can simply serve the chicken on its own. It would be great alongside roasted potatoes and vegetables.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN SALAD:
- Homemade French Bread (or store bought)
- Angel Biscuits
- Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes
- Roasted Cauliflower Florets
MORE TASTY MAIN DISH SALADS:
- Chicken Pasta Salad
- BBQ Chicken Salad
- Cheeseburger Salad
- Keto Chicken Salad
- Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe
Balsamic Glazed Chicken Salad Recipe
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" strips (24 ounces)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 8 cups romaine lettuce (or other salad greens)
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 Tbsp feta cheese
- 2 Tbsp fresh minced basil
- Saute the chicken in the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat till juices run clear. It takes about 3 minutes per side. You want to leave plenty of space between the chicken, so cook in 2 batches if your skillet is small.
- Add the garlic during the last minute of cooking. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Turn the heat down to low and add the vinegar, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Whisk till thoroughly combined. Return the cooked chicken to the pan and stir to coat. Sprinkle chopped basil over the top.
- Divide the chopped lettuce between 4 plates. Top with glazed chicken, tomatoes, and feta cheese. Drizzle any remaining balsamic vinegar mixture in the skillet over each salad.
If your skillet is too hot when you add the vinegar, it can boil off too quickly. If this happens, you can add water or more vinegar. You want some liquid left in the pan to drizzle over the salad.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 249mgCarbohydrates: 10gNet Carbohydrates: 6.8gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 21g