Beautiful nutty, juicy, and earthy flavors combine in this Tuscan Chicken Salad. Made with homemade balsamic dressing, this salad is simple to prepare and absolutely delicious.
Remember my recommitment to healthy food at the beginning of the year?
Well, things are going pretty well so far. I still like my treats a little too much, but at least I try to make them as nutritious as possible with only healthy sweeteners (like these, this and these) .
One thing I have been keeping up with pretty well, is having greens for lunch. Either in the form of a green smoothie (which Olivia LOVES to share with me since she figured out how to drink from a straw) or a green salad.
Tuscan Salad With Heaps of Flavor
While putting together another green lunch salad, I remembered a delicious salad that was served at a restaurant I used to work at. It was called a Tuscan Chicken Salad and I set out to make something similar at home.
I am not entirely sure what makes this salad Tuscan. I assume oranges and figs grow there? And there is a balsamic dressing. Balsamic vinaigrette is usually sourced back to Modena. After a quick Google search I found out Modena is in fact a city in Tuscany. Boom.
I love all the different contrasting yet complementing components of this salad. Mild baby spinach with stronger arugula for the greens.
Blood Orange, Fig and Feta Round Out This Delicious Salad
Then there are sweet and tart blood orange fillets with sweet and crunchy dried fig slices. More crunch comes from toasted walnuts and meaty heartiness from grilled chicken slices.
Salty and tart feta crumbles and the sweet and acidic balsamic dressing round out this beautiful plate of greens.
Have you made any resolutions for this year? How are things going so far?
Cook Like a Pro
Who knows, with my resolution to be healthy, yours may be to become a better cook. Well, I'm here to help as much as I can.
For this particular dish, firstly you'll want to remember that salads are simple. Other than grilling the chicken, there is no cooking or in-depth preparation involved. Cut the orange, slice the figs, and toss the salad. In this way, you can easily put together something beautiful for friends, family, and other loved ones through a beautiful salad and just the right dressing. The mustard powder and liquid honey are what makes this dressing shine. This creamy balsamic vinaigrette also pairs well in here.
Lastly, remember that the mouth has different tastebuds and flavor profiles that it enjoys when combined. For example, the umami meat flavor from the chicken combines extremely well with tart, sweet, and nutty flavors. You have all of these flavors represented in this dish. When making a really great meal, these different types of flavor are what will make for a complex and delicious recipe. Experiment with combining them and see what you like (for me, the earthy tones of granola and nuts are one of my favorite flavors).
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
Check out these similar recipes!
- Broccoli Strawberry Salad With Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
- Rainbow Salad With Kafir Dressing
- Spiralized Carrot & Cucumber Noodles Salad With Avocado Dressing
- Barley Tabbouleh
- Tomato and Onion Salad - Shakarob
Tuscan Chicken Salad
- 2 chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
- 8 cups spinach and arugula mix
- 2 blood oranges fillets cut out
- 6-8 figs dried and sliced
- ½ cup walnut halves toasted
- ⅓ cup Feta cheese crumbled
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons liquid honey
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- salt + pepper
- Season the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper from both sides. Grill at medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes on each side. Let cool for a minute, then cut into strips.
- Divide spinach and arugula between 4 plates/bowls. Arrange chicken strips, blood orange fillets, fig slices, toasted walnut halves and crumbled feta over top.
- In a bowl whisk together all dressing ingredients and drizzle over salad as much as desired.
Pin this Tuscan Chicken Salad recipe for later?
To add more flavor to your chicken salad, consider using ingredients like herbs, spices, fruits, nuts, or a flavorful dressing like a creamy balsamic vinaigrette.
A chicken salad dressing often includes ingredients like olive oil, vinegar (such as balsamic), Dijon mustard, honey, and seasonings to create a balanced and tangy flavor.
Chicken salad is a great choice because it offers a combination of lean protein, fresh vegetables, and various textures and flavors, making it a satisfying and nutritious meal.
A delicious salad typically comprises a mix of fresh greens, proteins (like chicken), fruits, nuts, and a flavorful dressing. These components create a harmonious balance of taste and texture.
The exact origin of chicken salad is unclear, but it has been a popular dish in the United States for many years, often associated with Southern cuisine and comfort food.