Grilled Chicken Wilted Salad


During the week I try to plan lots of light-meal salads for dinner. They’re salads that contain lean meats, lots of greens and vegetables tossed into a single dish meal with a lively vinaigrette. Not only are they delicious and healthy, they also make way for weekends filled with cheeseburgers, Italian sausage laden pasta dishes, bacon and egg breakfasts and dare I mention…ice cream topped cinnamon bun bread.

This Grilled Chicken Wilted Salad is one of my favorites. It comes together in about 30 minutes and can practically be made one-handed without having to put down your after work/before dinner glass of wine.  The combination of flavors here are striking thanks to the warm dressing, Kalamata olives and rosemary dusted chicken tenders.  And with the techniques of tossing the chicken and onion in olive oil before cooking and finishing by steaming the whole dish covered with a plate, you end up with a nice texture and wonderful warm flavors. Let’s take a look:

Grilled Chicken Wilted Salad

  • 1 lb chicken tenderloin
  • 1 medium onion, halved lengthwise, cut into thin wedges (this might be the only time you’d have to set down your wine)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs snipped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
  • 3/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup cranberry or pomegranate juice
  • 2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 6-oz. pkg. baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup sliced pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted

Heat indoor electric grill or grill pan over medium heat.

In a bowl combine chicken and onions. Toss with two tablespoons of the olive oil, rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon each pepper and salt.

Grill chicken and onions on grill rack or in grill pan for ten minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink, internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F, and onions are tender, turning once. 

Meanwhile, for dressing, in a saucepan combine juice; vinegar; and remaining olive oil, pepper and salt. Bring  juice mixture just to boiling; remove from heat. Place spinach, olives, pine nuts, chicken, and onions in an extra-large salad bowl; toss to combine. Pour warm dressing over salad mixture. Toss lightly. Cover salad with a large plate for one to two minutes or just until spinach is wilted. Remove plate. Serve immediately. Makes six servings.

Grilled Chicken Wilted Salad…It’s What’s for Dinner.

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  1. says

    This sounds really good Lea Ann and I’m sure the salad queen will love it. We’re harvesting leaf lettuce and spinach now and had our first wilted lettuce (southern style), using hot bacon grease and vinegar as a dressing. Not too healthy but very good.

  2. Nancy says

    Sounds delicious – I’ll pass this on to the chef. I bought him a grill pan for xmas! We’re eating light these days :) Nice work!

  3. Vickie says

    I’ll have you know, I laughed out loud when I read that you could practically make this one handed so as not to interrupt wine-time! In fact, I laughed so hard I spilled a little of my wine, or at least that’s the excuse I’m going to use. After the third glass and all, it’s hard to say what caused the spillage. Now back to that killer recipe – this sounds like the perfect weekday meal. I like fast, healthy, one-dish dinners that don’t interfere with my drinkin! 😛

    • says

      TOOOOOO funny! I knew you’d appreciate that one, but man I’m sorry to hear it caused a spillage. And yes, I’m convinced that’s totally the reason for the loss of beverage. I sure hope you like it if you try it.

  4. says

    Liar! ‘Ice cream topped cinnamon bun bread’? Now how would you expect a girl to keep reading after that Lea Ann? I did reign in my overactive salivary glands, however and continued to read. What a yummy recipe. Love simple, good food (and the idea of ice cream topped cinnamon bun bread….)

  5. says

    The bacon looks awesome! We’ve made candied bacon before, but not with the pepper and cayenne. We will be trying your version.

    We practically *always* bake our bacon now, as we love how well it cooks. A little tip – use a sheet of parchment paper on the pan. Makes clean-up much easier.

  6. says

    Delicious flavor combinations – everything I love! I thought I’d be eating more salads by now but it’s still chilly soup weather here! Soon.


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