This refreshing Chicken Salad With Strawberries is packed with good-for-you ingredients and dressed in a flavor-packed strawberry honey vinaigrette. Only with little prep and cooking required, this salad comes together exceptionally fast and has plenty of room for further customization.
In this chicken salad with strawberries, you have plenty of ingredients that are easily substituted with what you have and you don't have to eat the same salad recipe every time.
Swap out the berries, lettuce, nuts, and cheese to your liking, or whatever ingredients you have on hand. Sweet strawberries are the star ingredients in this summer salad however there are plenty of other fresh fruit and berries that work well here: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, nectarines, plums, and mangoes.
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My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
The best thing about this Strawberry Chicken Salad recipe is that it’s very easily customizable either adding or removing ingredients depending on your mood or what is in your kitchen at the moment.
You can never go wrong with a strawberry and lettuce salad, especially during the summer season, that’s for sure!
- Chicken - you’ll need 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast or already pre-cooked chicken slices that can be bought in most stores. A great meat substitute here is grilled or baked shrimp. In this case I highly recommend swapping the strawberries to mango slices. This combination is crazy good!
- Strawberries - Slice the strawberries in quarters or into thinner slices. Keep the tops, you can do so much more with these later! (I provide this info at the bottom of the post). If you are a beginner on this, this is a great tutorial: How to cut strawberries. Strawberries are not only a strong carrier of iron but they act as an active iron absorber. Most of the berries are a naturally good source of vitamin C which helps to absorb non-heme iron. Other berries are also packed with vitamins and can be used in place of strawberries: raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries. All of these pair well with the honey dressing and chicken.
- Lettuce - a combination of 2-3 lettuce variations works the best in terms of flavor and adds a nice crunch and bulk to the salad. What I like to use besides arugula and spinach are kale, frisée, romaine, butter lettuce, and crunchy iceberg lettuce. Spinach is usually my go-to because I always have it in my fridge but mixing things a bit once in a while is always good for the overall nutrition. For easy lettuce, handling doesn’t forget to use a Salad Spinner.
- Feta - there is definitely something special about chicken, strawberries, and salty feta cheese combination. Feta adds a creamy and salty flavor that just can't be beaten with anything. I suggest getting a block of feta and crumbling it yourself rather than buying store-bought or any similar cheese cubes. The flavor and freshness of a fresh block of cheese are very different from already packaged crumbled feta. Other alternatives: creamy goat cheese, parmesan, camembert, and brie (the last two work very well when baked first and then added to the salad!). If you’re up for it, I have a delicious Baked Camembert recipe on this blog.
- Lime Honey Vinaigrette - sweet and refreshing salad dressing that works best when pairing both refreshing fruits and vegetables for a salad. These two need balancing ingredients - refreshing mint. Cut mint chiffonade or simply finely chop the leaves. Mix it into the dressing. Don't like mint? Substitute with fresh basil or cilantro.
- Honey has a sweetening effect but you can barely feel its strong flavor here. Maple syrup is also great with cucumbers and strawberries but it has a more intense caramel flavor.
- Lettuce - I like to use a combination of at least two lettuce choices here, arugula and spinach. Romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, and butter lettuce add a whole different feel to this salad.
- Pecans - or walnut, pine nuts, pistachios, almonds, or basically any nut that can be toasted or for an extra sweet flavor candied nuts.
- Apple Cider Vinaigrette - balanced off the sweet and salty flavors. If you don’t have it, swap it with fresh (store-bought doesn't work well) lime or lemon juice.
Muddle the strawberries in a small bowl, discard half of the flesh and add the remaining salad dressing ingredients.
Mix to combine and let chill in the fridge until you cook the chicken.
For an easier cleanup, use a mason jar with a very tightly sealed lid. Shake it with the dressing inside for flavors to blend easily.
Rub the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, onion and garlic powder.
Heat a little cooking oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes on both sides and until golden brown.
For a smoky feel, use a grill or even a grill pan. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting it against the grain with a sharp knife into thin slices or cubes.
Chicken is cooked when its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. A good kitchen thermometer is a must here.
In a large bowl combine spinach, arugula, and red onion. Season with salt and pepper and just a drizzle of little olive oil.
Transfer to a serving platter, and top with strawberries, pecans, and cooked chicken. Mix to combine or leave as it is and once ready serve drizzle with salad dressing. Enjoy the salad while the chicken is warm!
- Fresh strawberries are great fruit but can lose their fresh look fast. Add the strawberries to the salad last and any remaining fruit store refrigerated in a box lined with paper towels in between the strawberry layers. For the salad, prep wash the berries only as much as you need and the rest keep out of moisture stored as mentioned above.
- Honey Dressing should be added at the last minute, right before serving. I recommend consuming the salad right away as the longer this dressed salad sits the soggier it will turn.
- Dressing substitutions - For a very quick dressing simply use olive oil and balsamic vinegar or make my homemade thick Balsamic Glaze (just two ingredients and in this easy recipe!). If you want to stretch this dressing further and make it creamy, add a little nonflavored greek yogurt (about ½ cup) to it or use my other salad dressings such as Creamy Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing or my Greek Yogurt Dressing.
- Fresh is the best! I'd also recommend getting your fresh ingredients from a local farmer's market (where you get far the BEST strawberries by the way!). This way you get fresh produce and more healthy stuff.
Supporting our local artisans and shop owners is a great way to boost our local economies and also take better care of our environment.
- Chill the ingredients - Before assembling the salad, keep all the ingredients except the chicken in the fridge. Chilled ingredients work best for this recipe.
- Healthy lunch recipe - To make this salad more nutritious I recommend adding chopped toasted nuts (pecans, walnut, almonds). Or candied nuts, yum!
- Dressing tips -Add more apple cider vinegar (about 1-2 tablespoons extra if you like the taste). It may taste very strong when you taste-test but once added to the salad it all comes together and balances the flavors.
- Add some seeds for a nutritional boost! Poppy seeds, chia, or even sesame seeds work really well here.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
Store the leftover dressed salad in the fridge and consume it within 1 day (same day). Undressed salad will taste fine if stored in the fridge for 1 day but for best results (and fresh flavor) I highly recommend combining everything right before serving.
Make ahead. Salad dressing can be mixed in advance for up to 4-5 days and tightly stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Unfortunately, you can't freeze this salad. I mean, you still can, but just don't do it.
Yes and no. If you are going to consume the salad on the same day as slicing the fruit then I'd say yes go for it. But pack the berries properly in an airtight container and store them in the fridge.
You can cook chicken in many ways and the easiest and fastest is to cook it in a frying pan. Add enough oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken breast on both sides for 4-6 minutes (for a medium chicken breast 4-5 minutes is enough) until cooked through and golden brown. Don’t remove or touch the chicken until one side is cooked through, if it sticks to the pan, it’s not ready yet. The kitchen is ready once its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, if you are a beginner a good kitchen thermometer will help you out here.
Don’t throw away the strawberry tops!
Here’s what you can use strawberry tops for:
- Make strawberry-infused water. Or Strawberry Agua Fresca.
- Don’t have a plan to use those tops right now? Place them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to a few days, or in the freezer for a few months, then pull them out when you’re ready to use them.
- Another great way to use them is to infuse your favorite spirit with them (I usually keep them in rum for a few days and then it's cocktail time!).
- Add the tops to your favorite smoothies to get a little pink hue and a hint of strawberries.
Easy Gluten-Free Chicken Recipes
ALL CHICKEN recipes.
Other Salad Dressing Recipes
- Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
- Quick Sweet and Spicy Tahini Dressing (Vegan)
- Oregano Mustard Vinaigrette
- Greek Yogurt Herb Dressing (5-minute dressing!)
- Homemade Sweet Balsamic Glaze
I hope you'll enjoy this Chicken Salad With Strawberries recipe, please leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo of your food and tag me on Instagram @theyummy_bowl. I love seeing your creations!
Thank you for reading,
Chicken Salad With Strawberries
For The Chicken Salad
- 1 cup arugula
- 4 cup baby spinach
- 10 large fresh strawberries sliced into 3-4
- 1 small red onion sliced into half-moons
- 3 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans for garnish
- 1 medium boneless skinless chicken breast cut in half
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
For The Dressing
- 6 small strawberries
- 2 tablespoons olive oil good quality
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- Muddle the strawberries in a small bowl, discard half of the flesh and add the remaining salad dressing ingredients. Mix to combine and let chill in the fridge until you cook the chicken.
- For easier cleanup, use a mason jar with a tightly sealed lid.
- Rub the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, onion, and garlic powder.
- Heat a little cooking oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes on both sides and until golden brown. For a smoky feel, use a grill or even a grill pan. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting it against the grain with a sharp knife into thin slices or cubes. Chicken is cooked when its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. A good kitchen thermometer is a must here.
- In a large bowl combine spinach, arugula, and red onion. Season with salt and pepper and just a drizzle of little olive oil. Transfer to a serving platter, and top with strawberries, pecans, and cooked chicken. Mix to combine or leave as it is and once ready serve drizzle with salad dressing. Enjoy the salad while the chicken is warm!