Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad will be your favorite Fall salad. Chicken Salad with pears, craisins, pecans, feta and chicken with easy balsamic vinaigrette! | natashaskitchen.com

This Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad may just become your new favorite Fall salad! Every bite of this chicken salad is loaded with all the best flavors of Fall; crisp pears, tangy craisins, toasted pecans, irresistible feta and juicy chicken breast!

The simple balsamic vinaigrette will win you over. It has the perfect combination of flavors and all you need is a mason jar to shake and serve. My friend Natalia shared this dressing recipe with me and it worked perfectly on this salad. You will want this dressing on all of your Autumn salads!

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad will be your favorite Fall salad. Chicken Salad with pears, craisins, pecans, feta and chicken with easy balsamic vinaigrette! | natashaskitchen.com

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This Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad is easy, healthy and loaded with the best ingredients! This one is paleo (if you use a goat/sheep milk feta), gluten free and guilt free, with all the flavor!! It’s perfect as a main course or side salad.

I sent text messages to all of my sisters telling them about this salad before it was posted – sometimes when things are just THIS GOOD, I just can’t help but share and I’m so excited to share it with all of you! Don’t judge me for using descriptors such as Β “amaze balls” and “bomzbzilla” – I didn’t plan to share this screenshot with the world until just now. lol.

Ingredients for Autumn Chicken Salad:

1 lb (2 large) chicken breasts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
Garlic salt and black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil to sautee
1 large head (8 cups) romaine, rinsed, dried and chopped
2 pears, cored and sliced
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted on a dry skillet
1/2 cup or 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Ingredients for Balsamic Vinaigrette:

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad will be your favorite Fall salad. Chicken Salad with pears, craisins, pecans, feta and chicken with easy balsamic vinaigrette! | natashaskitchen.com

How to make Autumn Chicken Salad Recipe:

1. Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have 4 thin cutlets. Season chicken cutlets on both sides with garlic salt and black pepper. Place a large skillet over medium heat with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add chicken cutlets and sautee 3-4 minutes per side or until fully cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and let chicken rest while preparing the salad then slice the chicken into strips.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium dry skillet, toast pecans over medium heat for 5 minutes, tossing frequently or until pecans are fragrant and lightly golden. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped romaine, sliced pears, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, crumbled feta and cooked sliced chicken.

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad will be your favorite Fall salad. Chicken Salad with pears, craisins, pecans, feta and chicken with easy balsamic vinaigrette! | natashaskitchen.com

4. Combine dressing ingredients in a small mason jar. Cover with lid and shake vigorously to combine. If any separation occurs, shake again just before using. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over the salad, adding it to taste then toss to combine. We usually use about 3/4 of the dressing. Leftovers are a great problem to have! πŸ˜‰

P.S. I prefer pressed garlic for this using a garlic press (Amazon affiliate) – you get more garlic flavor in the dressing.

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad will be your favorite Fall salad. Chicken Salad with pears, craisins, pecans, feta and chicken with easy balsamic vinaigrette! | natashaskitchen.com

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad

4.92 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 22 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
This Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad may just become your new favorite Fall salad! Every bite is loaded with crisp pears, tangy craisins, toasted pecans, irresistible feta and juicy chicken breast! The simple balsamic vinaigrette will win you over.
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $13-$15
Calories: 359 kcal
Servings: 8 as a side chicken salad

Ingredients

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts (2 large) trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce (8 cups chopped) rinsed and dried
  • 2 pears cored and sliced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pecans lightly toasted on a dry skillet
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (4 oz) crumbled

Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove pressed or finely minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (regular olive oil also works)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have 4 thin cutlets. Season chicken cutlets on both sides with garlic salt and black pepper. Place a large skillet over medium heat with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add chicken cutlets and sautee 3-4 minutes per side or until fully cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and let chicken rest while preparing the salad then slice the chicken into strips.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium dry skillet, toast pecans over medium heat for 5 minutes, tossing frequently or until pecans are fragrant and lightly golden. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped romaine, sliced pears, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, crumbled feta and cooked sliced chicken.
  4. Combine dressing ingredients in a small mason jar. Cover with lid and shake vigorously to combine. If any separation occurs, shake again just before using. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over the salad, adding it to taste then toss to combine.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition values note: We typically have about 1/4 of the dressing left over which is reflected in the nutritional values and these counts may change based on how much dressing is added.Β 

Nutrition Facts
Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 359 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 44mg 15%
Sodium 412mg 17%
Potassium 339mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 22g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 16g
Protein 14g 28%
Vitamin A 7.6%
Vitamin C 3.6%
Calcium 6.5%
Iron 5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad will be your favorite Fall salad. Chicken Salad with pears, craisins, pecans, feta and chicken with easy balsamic vinaigrette! | natashaskitchen.com

This Autumn chicken salad is absolutely delicious; one you will make again and again!

Q: Do you have a go-to salad for Fall?

Let me know about it in a comment below! Speaking of chicken salads, don’t miss our chicken avocado salad which won the hearts of our readers with over 80 million views! Explore more of our favorite salads here.

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad will be your favorite Fall salad. Chicken Salad with pears, craisins, pecans, feta and chicken with easy balsamic vinaigrette! | natashaskitchen.com

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Amy
    May 29, 2018

    This is a thumbs up recipe from the whole family. Thank you Natasha for making cooking so much easier and healthy and flavourful. Your recipes are amazing. My next try will be the clam chowder πŸ˜‰ Reply

  • Amy
    May 29, 2018

    This is a big thumbs up from the whole family. Your recipes are amazing Natasha. I am so glad I found you. Thank you so much for making cooking so much easier to prepare and taste good and healthy. God bless you Reply

    • Natasha
      May 29, 2018

      Thank you Amy for such a nice review and I’m so glad to hear that our recipes are a blessing to your family πŸ˜€ Reply

  • Lesya
    March 27, 2018

    This salad is amazing! I made it for Thanksgiving party with family, and now every party I’ve been asked to bring this salad. Thank you Natasha for such a great receipie! It’s been a hit in my family. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 27, 2018

      My pleasure Lesya! I’m glad to hear how much everyone enjoys the recipe. Thanks for sharing your excellent review! Reply

  • Vika
    February 13, 2018

    Hi Natasha,

    Can I use apples instead if I don’t have pears? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 13, 2018

      Hi Vika, yes that would work well πŸ™‚ Reply

  • Sina
    November 26, 2017

    When I discovered this salad I thought I HAVE to try this, and it’s even better than it looks and sounds! I loved it and so did my bf – He’s a picky eater and hardly finishes any food and he ate it all! πŸ™‚ Also, he wants this salad once a week now! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 27, 2017

      Awesome, I’m happy to hear the recipe is a HIT! Thanks for sharing your excellent review Sina! Reply

  • Janet
    October 25, 2017

    Looks delicious! Thanks so much for formatting the recipe to fit on one printed page. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 25, 2017

      You’re welcome Janet! I hope you love the recipe! Please let me know what you think! Reply

  • Meagan
    October 23, 2017

    This salad looks amazing and will definitely be a part of my weekly meal plans this week.
    The dressing, would it keep for a few days do you suppose? Sounds delicious! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 23, 2017

      Hi Meagan, since it has lettuce in it, it won’t keep for more than 6 hours after adding the dressing since the salt in the dressing will wilt the lettuce. If you prep the salad in advance and then add the dressing just before serving, it will keep longer. Also note that the pears will discolor slightly as they stand. If serving for a party and the look of the pears is important, I would add pears just before serving as well. πŸ™‚ Reply

  • marjanne
    October 18, 2017

    wonderful!!! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 18, 2017

      I’m glad we agree Marjanne! πŸ™‚ Reply

  • tatyana vakarchuk
    October 13, 2017

    made this salad last week and my whole family loved it. added some extra garlic and it’s even more flavorful. love the dressing, thank you for sharing this recipe. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 13, 2017

      You’re welcome! I’m glad to hear your family enjoys the recipe as much as mine does! Thanks for sharing your great review with other readers! Reply

  • Katia Kuiken
    October 10, 2017

    This looks amazing- cant wait to try! Just starting following you πŸ™‚

    If you have yet to try it, you need to discover LAMBRUSCO vinegar (sold at Fairway markets not sure where else). I marinade shallots in it and add grey poupon, garlic, black pepper, and oil! Great for those salad recipes that include fruit πŸ™‚ Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 10, 2017

      Hello Katia! Thanks for following and sharing your helpful tip! I hope you love this recipe! Reply

    • Stesh
      November 22, 2017

      Katia Lukianova do you not mean Stesh marinade shallots and add the spice you mention? Once a liar always a liar. Reply

  • Veronica
    October 7, 2017

    Thank you Natasha for this autumn salad . I can’t wait to make it. It looks so good. I think iam going to make this for my coworker birthday luncheon. Thank you for putting the picture of lettecue and actual balsamic vinaigrette that you use. And all if the ingreidents. This makes it easier when I go to grocery store to get ingredients to make the salad. Thanks for putting the cist. I am on a right budget do to a horrible divorce . Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 7, 2017

      You’re welcome Veronica! Please let me know what you think! Reply

  • Bonnie
    October 4, 2017

    I’m not overly fond of pears. How about substituting apples?? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 4, 2017

      Hi Bonnie, yes that will work great πŸ™‚ Reply

  • October 2, 2017

    yum! this looks so delicious and healthy too. I must try it soon. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 2, 2017

      It is amazing! Please let me know what you think Sherry! Reply

  • October 1, 2017

    really nice recipe, I have a different vinaigrette-chicken recipe, but am kinda tired of it, so this is a great alternative for me, thank you! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 2, 2017

      You’re welcome Sabrina! I’m glad you enjoy it! Reply

  • September 28, 2017

    Love a good hearty fall salad! I’ve been making a few myself lately… yum!! πŸ™‚ Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 28, 2017

      You’ll love this one then! Please let me know what you think when you decide to make it! Reply

  • Anna D
    September 28, 2017

    Lol, now thats an elite group I want to be part of. 😁 looks delish , what would u substitute feta for? Parmasen? Or just omit? I personally don’t like the texture Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 28, 2017

      Hi Anna, you could just omit feta if you don’t like it. Lol elite group. I have no idea which of the sisters named the group “juicy secrets” but I think it’s hilarious. The name is deceiving haha!  Reply

  • September 27, 2017

    This salad looks fantastic! And I’ve even got a few pears waiting to be used up – this will be perfect. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 27, 2017

      It is so fresh and delicious! I hope you love it Julie! Reply

  • September 27, 2017

    Thank you for this guilt free work lunch ! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 27, 2017

      My pleasure! I hope you love it! Reply

  • Zoryana
    September 27, 2017

    wow, you wont believe but here in PA I have the same brand of balsamic vinegar. It is good brand and I really like it. thank you for salad recipe. Just in time. Recently i started to crave Pecans and it is a good way to use them. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 27, 2017

      You’re welcome Zoryana! I hope you love it! Reply

  • Rosa Penkalsky
    September 26, 2017

    This looks awesome:) would it work if o replaced romaine with kale?:) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 27, 2017

      Hi Rosa, since kale needs time to soften, I would suggest using the method in our kale salad where you add the dressing, cover and refrigerate 4 hours and then add remaining ingredients when ready to serve. I have also seen kale massaging methods where you drizzle the dressing on the kale and massage the kale leaves for a few minutes until they soften. I hope that helps! Reply

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