Late-Summer Eats: My Favorite Big Chicken Salad

Big Chicken Summer Salad

There’s nothing like a big chicken summer salad on a hot summer day. Except for maybe a big juicy sandwich, but that’s another post for another time. But back to the salad: when it’s topped with grilled meat (or a meat alternative for the vegans and vegetarians out there) and cool, crisp vegetables, you can’t beat that combination. In the old days (pre-Covid) I used to buy $14 salads from a place near my office, topped with the works. The salads were great, although I didn’t love how my favorite toppings cost extra. $1.50 for a tiny piece of avocado, another $1.50 for a couple teaspoons of bacon. I’ve ordered so many overpriced salads that I can now create them at home from memory for a fraction of the price. Once I figure out how to replicate my old lunch spot’s delicious white bean vegetable soup, I’d be good to go for my fall and winter work from home lunches. I guess that can be a fall cooking project! 

How to Make a Big Chicken Salad


Grilled chicken, seafood, beef or other protein

Leafy greens (I like to use a mix of lettuce, spinach, and mesclun

Cherry tomatoes


Sliced olives

Optional toppings: parmesan cheese, crushed tortilla chips, croutons

Light vinaigrette dressing


Big mixing bowl



Prepare the protein base by grilling or pan searing until done. Set aside and let cool. In the meantime, place the leafy greens in a mixing bowl, and top with sliced cherry tomatoes, olives, and avocado. Add toppings, and then the cooled protein. Finish with the dressing, and toss everything with a pair of tongs, until fully coated. Serve and enjoy!


I intentionally left out measurements because you can make as little or as much as you want. Just increase your portions for meal prepping, or scale back for one-off meals. 

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