Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad (VIDEO)
Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad may just become your new favorite fall salad! Every bite is loaded with crisp pears, tangy cranberries, toasted pecans, feta, and juicy chicken.
We love Fall Salads like our popular Apple Broccoli Salad and Beet Salad with the same dressing you see here (it’s really THAT good!). This Chicken Salad has all of the best flavors of Autumn and it’s a feel-good salad.
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Fall Chicken Salad Recipe
This Fall Chopped Chicken Salad is easy, healthy and loaded with the best ingredients. It is paleo (if you use a goat/sheep milk feta), gluten-free and guilt-free, with all the flavor. This salad is 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 my use of strange descriptors. I didn’t plan to share this screenshot with the world until just now.
Ingredients for Chicken Salad & Balsamic Vinaigrette:
We love that the entire salad can be prepped ahead of time for parties and arranging. Just shake and add the homemade balsamic vinaigrette just before serving.
Seriously, friends, the dressing takes this salad to the next level. It couldn’t be easier and is a keeper of a recipe. You’ll want it on all of your Fall salads!
How to Make Chopped Chicken Salad:
This salad really requires very little effort. Cutting the chicken breasts in half cuts the cooking time in half and a salad spinner will make the lettuce prep easy peasy. Do you use a salad spinner? They are a wonderful tool and you’ll never have another soggy salad!
- Step 1: Season and sauté chicken and toast pecans
- Step 2: Chop and spin dry Salad – place in a large bowl.
- Step 3: Slice Pears and Cooked Chicken Breast and arrange over romaine lettuce in strips along with cranberries, feta and pecans.
How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette:
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.
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! 😉
P.S. I prefer pressed garlic for this using a garlic press – you get more garlic flavor in the dressing.
Can I Substitute Feta Cheese?
If you aren’t a fan of feta cheese or don’t have it on hand, try goat cheese instead. It has a similar, wonderfully tangy flavor that pairs really well with all of the ingredients and dressing in this salad. We use goat cheese and feta interchangeably in this salad.
Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken?
YES! We love the easy substitution of using chopped rotisserie chicken to make this a Rotisserie Chicken Salad. It becomes a no-cooking required salad that comes together quickly and is just as impressive. During the holidays, you can use leftover turkey to make it a Thanksgiving-worthy Turkey Salad.
More Chicken Salad Recipes:
We love chicken salads around here because they are a meal in themselves and are perfect for to-go lunches and meal prep!
- Avocado Chicken Salad – our most popular salad
- Chicken Potato Salad – A twist on the classic “Olivier”
- Chicken Mango Avocado Salad – Cheesecake Factory copycat!
Watch Natasha Make Chicken Salad:
I hope this Chopped Chicken Salad and Balsamic Dressing become a new favorite for you!
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Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad
This Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad is loaded with crisp pears, tangy craisins, pecans, feta and juicy chicken! It's the perfect Fall Salad and this simple balsamic vinaigrette will win you over.
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:
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.
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.
In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped romaine, sliced pears, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, crumbled feta and cooked sliced chicken.
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.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen
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 150 million views! Explore more of our favorite salads here.