Sometimes a salad is just the thing to satisfy an appetite on a hot summer day. No one wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking on a 100-degree day. But spending a few minutes chopping some crisp, cold lettuce, and throw in some berries and a quick and easy protein like chicken breast and you have a deliciously light, flavor-able summer salad.
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I’m sharing with you one that I make often. It has been a family favorite for many years. I take it along to potlucks, church fellowship meals, or serve it to guests and it’s always a big hit.
Chicken & Berries Summer Salad
On a hot summer day, the last thing I want to do is stand in the kitchen cooking. In fact, sometimes in the summer, I struggle to keep up with meals. So being able to put together a quick, refreshing salad that’s full of flavor makes providing for my family easily. The sweet, juicy strawberries combined with the crispness of the cucumbers makes this for the perfect sweet/savory bite on a hot summer day.
The sweet, juicy strawberries combined with the crispness of the cucumbers makes the salad super refreshing. While the chicken, spinach, and lettuce provide a savory, and succulent bite.
Top it off with a berry balsamic vinaigrette and each bite is filled with delightful summer meal that is both filling and cooling at the same time.
This recipe is easy to put together and in all honesty, I mix is up differently from time to time to change up the flavor throughout the summer.
You can swap out the strawberries for any of your favorite berries, or even use a mixture of berries. My favorites are raspberries, blackberries along with strawberries. I also like to occasionally sprinkle in some nuts for some added texture. Pistachios and cashews work well with the strawberries, while pecans work great with blueberries, and walnuts work well with the raspberries.
For the chicken, you can use any cooked chicken that you have on hand. I like to pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, then use the breasts in the salad. Or I use leftover chicken that I might have in the fridge.
Putting Together the Summer Salad
Start by tearing the lettuce, spinach, and basil. Chop the cucumber and add it to the salad, the slice the chicken into bite-sized strips. Mix all together and set aside while you mix the vinaigrette. Once made, slice the berries, drizzle the dressing over the top, and using tongs gently fold together.
- 1 Bunch of Baby Spinach, chopped
- 2 Cups Iceberg or Butter Lettuce, chopped (Could also sub with Romaine)
- 1 Large Cucumber, quartered & sliced
- 2-3 T. Fresh Basil Leaves, roughly chopped
- 1.5 Cups Strawberries, sliced , or your favorite berry
- 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts cooked and cubed.
- Salad Dressing
- 1/4 C. Olive Oil
- 2/3 C. Balsamic Vinegar (good quality)
- 1 T. Honey
- 1 T. Sugar or 1/4 tsp. Stevia (I prefer Pyure)
- 2 T. All Fruit Jelly (Strawberry, Raspberry, or Blueberry)
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Basil
- Dash of Salt
- Sprinkle of Pepper
- Combine all ingredients, except berries, and toss well. Add berries, and drizzle 2-3 T. over the top, then gently fold salad together.
OK, I want your opinion. What veggie might you add to this recipe? Let me know in comments.
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