Want a refreshing, low carb, and fruity salad with tons of goodies in it with way too many words in the recipe name? I know! Me too! It’s like if the Waldorf Salad got a much needed makeover here. This dainty-but-not Blackberry Balsamic Blue Cheese Chicken Salad with Candied Walnuts (I know…) is packed with so many tidbits of yum that I would bet any salad-hater would dig this. Apples and strawberries are there for your sweet tooth, along with the honey-glazed, toasted walnuts. It screams for blue cheese crumbles and avocado, right?! YUM! The chicken was marinated in the Blackberry Balsamic and browned up nicely. Remember that Balsamic Glaze I was gushing about? Oh yeah…the final touch on this already sweet salad.
I made the candied walnuts, Balsamic Glaze, and Blackberry Balsamic Dressing the day before, so it was an easy salad to prepare the next day. You can also serve this with blackberries, as would be the main idea here, but I chose to switch it up with green apples and strawberries. YUMZ!
Marinated chicken is not a sexy picture. But doing this is crucial to having tender bites of it in your salad. It will also brown up nicer in your cast iron pan with the saucy sauce dressing all over it.
Heat the oil in your cast iron skillet first, and get the pan nice and hot before you add the chicken boobs. I added some dried tarragon, salt, pepper, and fresh garlic because yes to more herbs!!
See how nicely these chicken breasts browned up? I add a little pad of butter in the middle of the crowd just to make sure these taste juicy! I cooked them for about 5 minutes on each side over medium heat. Cut a little slice in the middle and take a peak to make sure it’s cooked through before you remove them from the pan. And this, my friends, is where I start nibbling…while I toss the salad in the dressing and assemble this glorious and healthy little feast~!
Song for the Prep: What You Need by INXS
Because you know you need this salad! Forget about your troubles in life….
Blackberry Balsamic Chicken Salad with Candied Walnuts
- April 30, 2021
- 30 min
- Print this
- Candied Walnuts
- 1 1/2 C chopped walnuts
- 4 T honey
- 3/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 - 4 T Blackberry Balsamic Dressing
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 1 T dried tarragon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 5 cups washed and chopped red and green leaf lettuce
- 1 green apple, sliced thinly
- 12 strawberries, sliced in half
- 1 C blue cheese, crumbled
- Blackberry Balsamic Dressing
- 1 C blackberries
- 2-3 T olive oil
- 3 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 1 T maple syrup (or honey in a pinch)
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 T dried basil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Balsamic Glaze drizzled on top- optional (see post for recipe)
- Step 1
- Candied Walnuts – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix honey, Cayenne, salt, and pepper in a bowl with walnuts and stir to coa. Spread onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Watch towards the end so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and store in container with a lid.
- Step 2
- Blackberry Balsamic Dressing – Place all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a blender, except the olive oil. Once you pulse the crap out of the blueberries, then add olive oil one tablespoon at a time. Once your dressing is to the consistency of your liking, stop adding olive oil.
- Step 3
- Chicken – Marinate the chicken in the Balsamic Dressing for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. Heat oil in cast iron pan, add chicken breasts and top with garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink inside, about 4-5 minutes per side. Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F. but take it off the heat around 155-160 and let it rest.
- Step 4
- Salad – Toss lettuce with Blackberry Balsamic Dressing. Place sliced chicken breast, apples, strawberries, and avocado over salad on each plate, arranging fruit on edges of plate. Top with crumbled blue cheese, a drizzle of more Blackberry Balsamic Dressing and Balsamic Glaze (optional).