In a salad slump? Bored with the basics? Can’t stand the thought of another listless, leafy green? Great! It’s time for a beautifully dressed, light, and bright salad that will reignite your love for a fiber-full lunch or dinner that doesn’t disappoint!
The absolute best part of this salad is that the marinade doubles as the dressing and can be made days in advance or in large or small batches. It takes just 20 minutes of bathing your chicken in this acidic dressing to transform a boring pan-fried chicken breast into a tender and juicy hunk of meat with a golden, crisp fragrant basil sear.
Once it’s cool, the chicken is sliced (or diced) and paired with crisp greens, fresh mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes. A tablespoon or two of the untouched portion of the marinade is all it takes to finish off this spin on a protein-packed Caprese salad before it’s ready to be eaten or packed for a future meal!
Yields 2 servings of Marinated Pesto Chicken Salad with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto
- ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 6 ounces chicken breast
- 4 cups mixed spring greens
- 1-ounce fresh mozzarella, sliced
- ¼ medium avocado, diced
- 80 g (6 whole) cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped, to garnish
1. Prepare the marinade dressing by combining the pesto, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl.
2. Reserve some of the marinade to use for the salad dressing and pour the rest over the chicken breast. Cover and place in the refrigerator and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
3. While the chicken marinates, prepare your salad vegetables and assemble your salad base. Begin with a layer of green followed by the fresh mozzarella, diced avocado, and tomatoes.
4. Once the chicken has marinated, heat a medium sized pan with then add some olive oil.
5. Swirl the pan to distribute the oil and place the chicken in the pan. Sear on each side for 7-10 minutes. Only turn the chicken once. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165F for safety!
6. Slice the chicken breast and place on the prepared salad.
7. Dress with the remaining pesto balsamic and some chopped fresh basil.
This makes a total of 2 servings of Marinated Pesto Chicken Salad with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette. Each serving comes out to be 306 Calories, 16.34g Fat, 6.74g Net Carbs, and 25.77g Protein.
|Pesto Chicken Salad with Vinaigrette||Calories||Fats(g)||Carbs(g)||Fiber(g)||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)|
|2 tablespoons basil pesto||132||11.84||3.18||0.6||2.58||3.1|
|¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette||56||0||10.86||9.53||1.33||0.31|
|1 teaspoon olive oil||40||4.5||0||0||0||0|
|6 ounces chicken breast||203||4.44||0||0||0||38.14|
|4 cups mixed spring greens||20||0||4||2.7||1.3||1.34|
|1-ounce fresh mozzarella, sliced||85||6.28||0.68||0||0.68||6.29|
|¼ medium avocado, diced||57||5.24||2.94||2.3||2.64||0.67|
|80 g (6 whole) cherry tomatoes||18||0.36||7.08||2.2||4.88||1.6|
|1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped||1||0.02||0.07||0||0.07||0.08|