Apple, White Cheddar, and Grilled Chicken Salad

There’s nothing like grilled chicken to add flavor to a salad. If you don’t have an outdoor grill you can use a grillpan.

The marinade for the chicken and the vinaigrette for the salad are one in the same. I love time savers like this.

It’s light, tangy-yet-sweet from the apple cider vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard gives it a little bite.

The best part is you just shake it together in a jar and any extra will keep for a week in the fridge.

There are so many wonderful textures and flavors in every bite of this loaded up salad. It’s filling, satisfying, and healthy. My family raved about it.

It’s a spinoff of this Apple, White Cheddar, and Spinach Salad with Honey-Apple Cider Vinaigrette which is a reader favorite and the addition of chicken is a great new twist.

I used romaine and kale but you can use spinach or your favorite greens.

There are juicy apples, salty white cheddar cheese, chewy orange-flavored dried cranberries, and almonds for extra crunch.

Apple, White Cheddar, and Grilled Chicken Salad

There’s nothing like grilled chicken to add flavor to a salad. The marinade for the chicken and the vinaigrette for the salad are one in the same, a big time saver. It’s light, tangy-yet-sweet from the apple cider vinegar, honey, and mustard. You just shake it together in a jar and any extra will keep for a week in the fridge. There are so many wonderful textures and flavors in every bite of this loaded up salad. It’s filling, satisfying, and healthy. I used romaine and kale but you can use spinach or your favorite greens. There are juicy apples, salty cheese, chewy orange-flavored dried cranberries, and almonds for extra crunch.

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Ingredients:

Honey Apple Cider Marinade and Vinaigrette 

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mustard (I like either dijon or honey mustard)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Chicken and Salad

  • about 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (I use thinly sliced breasts)
  • about 6 cups lettuce (I used romaine and kale; fresh spinach or your favorite greens may be substituted)
  • 1 large apple, cored and sliced very thin (try Envy, Gala, Fuji, or similar)
  • 1 cup aged white cheddar, crumbled or grated (I used Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup dried orange-flavored cranberries (I use Trader Joe’s; plain dried cranberries may be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup nuts (sliced almonds, candied pecans, spiced walnuts, cashews, etc.)

Adapted from Apple, White Cheddar, and Spinach Salad with Honey-Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Directions:

  1. Honey Apple Cider Marinade and Vinaigrette – In a medium glass jar or container with a lid, add all ingredients, put the lid on and shake vigorously until combined; taste and tweak as necessary to taste. Set half aside to be used later as a vinaigrette over the salad.
  2. Chicken and Salad – Add chicken to a large ziptop plastic bag, add the remaining half of the marinade, seal bag, toss to coat chicken evenly; set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes; I marinated overnight and recommend it if you have time because the chicken turns out so tender and juicy. If marinating longer than 2o to 30 minutes place bag in the fridge.
  3. Preheat grill to high heat (or if using a grillpan, heat it over high heat on the stove). Add chicken to grill, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes per side, or as necessary until chicken reaches an internal temp of 165F. All grills, grillpans, and thickness of chicken vary so cooking time will vary. Allow chicken to rest off the heat on a platter while you prep the salad.
  4. To a large bowl or platter or individual bowls, add the lettuce, apple, cheddar, cranberries, and almonds; set aside.
  5. Slice the chicken, add to the salad, drizzle reserved vinaigrette over salad as desired, toss to combine, and serve immediately. If you don’t use all the vinaigrette, extra will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.
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