Honey Dijon Chicken Salad

In thick summer heat, I find having already-made proteins in the fridge is key. They can mean the difference between eating something homemade and (marginally) healthy or getting takeout – again – just to keep from turning on the cook top or oven.

Around our house, one of the best is chicken salad. My favorite is this gem of a recipe, but I decided to mix it up tonight. This recipe is loaded with additional protein from the pecans, and the honey dijon dressing is especially tasty. I also think chunks of bacon would make a delicious addition!


Honey Dijon Chicken Salad
with Pecans and Cranberries
(Original recipe: Julia’s Album)

4 cups chicken breast , cooked, chopped
1 cup pecans , chopped (I used roasted and salted pecans)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 green onions , chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Salt to taste

In a medium bowl, combine all dressing ingredients. Whisk until well combined.
In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients.
Add salad dressing and toss to coat. Add salt to taste.
Serve or store in the fridge.


Rosemary Chicken, Bacon, & Avocado Salad

I’ve never been a huge fan of rosemary, but the photos of the original post were just so mouthwatering, I had to try it. I’m so glad I did, because this is delicious! I’ll be adding not just the full salad recipe to my regular rotation, but also the vinaigrette and most especially, the method of cooking the chicken. And yes, I added garlic. Because garlic.

Tips: Make sure you use fresh rosemary and take the time to mince it finely; it better distributes the oil and makes a killer sauce. And make sure the chicken gets that nice brown crust on it; you’ll be licking the drippings, I promise you!

Rosemary chicken salad

Rosemary Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Salad
(Original recipe: How Sweet Eats)

4 slices thick-cut bacon
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely minced
1 tsp garlic powder
6 cups spring greens
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 large avocado, thinly sliced

Rosemary Vinaigrette:
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until it’s crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel to drain any excess grease. Chop into large chunks once cooled.

Season the chicken with the rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. In the same skillet, over medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until golden and crisp on both sides, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and let it rest a few minutes.

While the chicken rests, make the vinaigrette: whisk together the mustard, oil, and vinegar. Whisk in the rosemary and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Toss the greens with the tomatoes and some of the vinaigrette. Top with the sliced chicken, the bacon, and the avocado. Finish with another tiny drizzle of the vinaigrette.