A few months ago I decided to start eating a plant-based diet, truly out of necessity for my declining health. Eating healthy, nutritious food has already changed my life and I’m starting to see so many wonderful benefits of choosing something fresh and healthy instead of processed and calorie-heavy. In fact, I find myself craving a salad every single day now. Who knew?!
Salad for dinner is a wonderful idea for anyone looking to add more plant-based foods to their every day meal plan. Adding hot or cold chicken breast to the top of your salad is just one way to make this meal bigger and add lots of protein, keeping you fuller for longer! Yes, plant-based foodies eat animal products, eggs and even dairy, too.
Salad Topped With Chicken Breast Is An Easy Choice.
I really like chicken. Using herbs and oils can help to change the flavor of the meat and I love how versatile it is. Chicken is easily made in a dutch oven, an air fryer, the grill and in the oven. It’s just an easy protein to use on top of a salad. Chicken adds healthy calories and protein to your meal and can fill you up. When I first started eating plant-based and wasn’t quite used to the greens yet, adding chicken to the top of my lettuce helped me to actually eat the salad. It tricked my mind, in a way. Which sounds silly as I type it out. But it worked. As I sit here and chat with you now, I can confidently say that It’s my go-to-protein for my dinner salads, 9 out of 10 times.
You Can Eat Chicken Cold Or Hot On Top Of Salad.
Actually, both ways are a delicious option! It’s incredibly easy to meal prep chicken breast in bulk and eating it cold, straight out of the fridge is sometimes the easiest option. But if you’ve just made the chicken breast and you’re looking to make salad for dinner, slice or shred the hot chicken and toss it right on top of the bed of mixed greens, just like I did for this version of a Cobb salad. It’s so delicious, especially if you opt to add fresh herbs and seasonings, like my favorite on the planet – Everything Bagel.
Watch This Salad With Chicken Come To Life
What's In A Cobb Salad, Exactly?
The Cobb Salad is typically made with chopped lettuce greens, tomato, crisp bacon, fried chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chives, blue cheese, and red-wine vinaigrette. The ingredients are often laid out on a plate in neat rows and presented to the foodie. Fun, right?!
The issue with a traditional Cobb salad for me, is the fried chicken. Paired with an incredibly fatty, high calorie salad dressing and you’ve got yourself a delicious, unhealthy salad. I love the taste of a Cobb, but I needed a healthier version that perhaps didn’t even need dressing at all. That’s what inspired me to make this salad.
My Plant-Based, Healthy Version Of A Cobb Salad.
I started building the base of my salad, omitting dairy altogether. Dairy and I have a love-hate relationship, after-all. Next up; addressing my fried chicken dilemma. I simply cannot eat a piece of chicken that is breaded and then fried, in the traditional sense. Instead, I opted to make chicken in a dutch oven and it turned out so well! It still had a “fried” appearance, it was full of flavor and was juicy to boot. I love bacon, but I opted to omit the bacon and keep the salad feeling lighter and over-all healthier with less calories and fat. I didn’t have chives, but I did have red onion so I swapped those ingredients. Finally, tomato. I had just ran out of fresh garden tomatoes, but I had some pre-made Pico de Gallo in the fridge and thought to myself that it would be just enough to help me also omit dressing, altogether. Did it? It sure did!
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I love a good pasta bowl and these by Dowan are very loved in my family of six. We use these for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I should actually order another set, now that I’m thinking about it.
How To Make Chicken In A Dutch Oven
- Preheat the dutch oven on your stove top, medium heat.
- Drizzle some olive oil into the warmed pan.
- Add the chicken breast, but do not over lap the meat. Each breast should have its own space, but can be touching.
- I drizzle a little more olive oil to the top of the raw chicken and sprinkle on my seasonings and herbs of choice. My favorite combination is a little pink Himalayan salt, dried parsley, dried basil and everything bagel.
- Cook the breasts for approximately 4-6 minutes, depending on their size.
- Use tongs to carefully flip the chicken over. Your previously pan-side-down breast should have a browned skin.
- Turn your oven down to a low-heat and cover the dutch oven.
- Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes or until your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. The chicken should easily shred with a fork as well. You may have to adjust cooking time based on the size of your meat and you may have to flip the chicken over a few times to evenly cook. My chicken breasts for this particular meal were extra large, so it took a bit longer than it normally does. Keep an eye on the internal temperature to be safe and to not over-cook the chicken, which tastes rubbery if cooked for too long.
How To Make Hard-Boiled Eggs In An Air Fryer
Out of all the ways you can successfully make a hard-boiled egg, using an air fryer is hands-down, my favorite method to use. I can make a couple of eggs at once, or a full dozen. It’s so EASY!
- Preheat your air fryer at 275 degrees F for 3 minutes.
- Carefully add a dozen eggs to the air fryer pan, but do not allow them to touch, if possible.
- Cook the eggs at 275 degrees F for approximately 13-15 minutes.
- While your eggs are cooking, grab a big bowl and fill it half way up with cold water then add a cup of ice. This is called an “ice bath.”
- When the air fryer timer goes off, immediately add each hot egg to the ice bath. Use tongs so you don’t burn yourself, as the eggs are HOT!
- Add all the eggs to the ice bath, making sure they are full immersed in the water. Keep them in the ice bath for 5 minutes.
- Dry each egg as you grab them out of the ice bath and sit them down in a bowl.
- Grab a second bowl and start carefully peeling each egg. They should peel very easily!
- Add the peeled eggs to an air-tight container, to store in the fridge, for up to 7 days! I use these re-usable sealed baggies to store my peeled hard-boiled eggs.
Salad For Dinner With Chicken – My Version Of A Cobb Salad
This is my version of a healthier Cobb Salad. Remember that a Cobb salad is presented with the toppings placed in rows, so you'll be doing this too.
- 60g Spring Mix Greens
- 110g Cooked Chicken Breast
- 2.5 Hard-Boiled Eggs
- 24g Red Onion
- 52g Avocado
- 1 tsp Everything Bagel Seasoning
- 80g Pico de Gallo, pre-made
- You're going to start by adding mixed greens to the bottom of your salad bowl.
- Second, grab the chicken breast and slice to your liking. Add 110g of chicken to the lettuce.
- Third, slice 3 hard-boiled eggs in half. You'll be using two and a half eggs to your salad.
- Fourth, slice 24g of red onion and keep them in circles. Add to the top of your greens.
- Fifth, slice 52g of ripe avocado and add to your salad.
- Sixth, sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of everything bagel seasoning.
- Finally, top the entire salad with 80g of freshly made Pico de Gallo (store bought).
Salad For Dinner With Chicken – My Version Of A Cobb Salad
Serves: 1 Person
Amount Per Serving:
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 26g||40%|
|Saturated Fat 7g||35%|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|Total Carbohydrate 14g||4.7%|
|Dietary Fiber 6g||24%|
|Vitamin A 200mcg||Vitamin C 6mg|
|Calcium 137mg||Iron 4mg|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
By Bri Alli
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