Blackened Chicken Chopped Salad with Raspberry Chipotle Vinaigrette.
This blackened chicken chopped salad is so delicious! Chopped vegetables, iceberg lettuce and spiced blackened chicken is drizzled in a raspberry chipotle vinaigrette for a perfect kick.
New salad alert!
If you’re totally over your weeknight salad and just want to make something NEW, this is it.
Add this baby to the menu because it is delicious. This salad has a mix of basic and special things which makes it stand out in your day – as something super fantastic.
Chopped salads are my love language! While I’ve shared many in the past, my top two are probably this honey mustard chicken chopped salad and my cheeseburger chopped salad. Also, this BLT chopped salad is unreal.
Chopped salads are one of the reasons I got into salads in the first place. Which sounds crazy, yes, I know, but when you grow up not loving vegetables… being into salads is a thing.
A great thing.
I love how in a chopped salad you get a bite of everything. Lots of crunch, each ingredient, all the flavor. In one little bite.
This is how I make it!
First, the blackened chicken. I LOVE this chicken. That is saying a lot because I’ve gone through ups and downs with chicken over the years (especially during and after pregnancies!) and generally do not love it. I rarely order it out and many times eat a vegetarian meal for dinner here.
But this chicken. WOWZA.
It’s nothing overly special. I’ve used this blackening seasoning mix for years and we just really enjoy it. It’s not “too much.” I didn’t realize “too much” was even a thing until Eddie told me he doesn’t love blackened chicken because the spices can be overdone.
So I’m very happy to report – these spices are not overdone! I find them to be the perfect amount for 4 chicken cutlets.
There are so many ways that you can make this chicken and I believe that you should cook it in a way that works for you. That may mean that you grill it. Maybe bake it. Air fry it. I actually cooked mine in a skillet then popped it in the oven for a few minutes. I love doing it that way because it’s foolproof – the chicken is always done but is not dried out.
In the warmed months, I would make this on the grill 99% of the time. Any way you make it, it will be good. Then just chop and go!
I wanted to keep the salad fairly basic in terms of ingredients.
Iceberg lettuce, because it’s the one with the most refreshing, crispy crunch. Also, it’s light enough to complement the blackened chicken!
Tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers and avocado are next. Really basic but delicious salad jewels. Add some flavor and pop!
Finally, I love to add some cheese. In this case, feta is my favorite. Again, it’s tangy and mild and pairs great with the chicken. Honestly any cheese here will work! Use what you love.
The dressing is dreamy. This raspberry chipotle vinaigrette is based on a dressing from a local restaurant. I didn’t even try their dressing, but when I saw the flavor pairing, I knew it was something I needed to test and experiment with at home.
Oh boy. This may be a new dressing favorite! I very much wish it was around when I worked on the sauces and dressings chapter in Everyday Dinners. There’s a hint of sweet and heat. Much better than the raspberry vinaigrettes of the 90s.
Much like some of my other favorite dressings, this uses jam. Or preserves – whichever you can get your hands on. I use a raspberry jam and mix it up with some fresh lime juice, chipotle chili powder, garlic and olive oil.
Using jam in dressings is one of the easiest ways to get some unique flavor. This raspberry version is no exception!
The best part is that these salad ingredients are probably ones you already have on hand. They aren’t anything special. But the chicken and the vinaigrette make this dish extra special! Like I-could-eat-it-every-week special.
And that is the BEST.
Blackened Chicken Chopped Salad
Blackened Chicken Chopped Salad
- 3 thin-sliced chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 small head iceberg lettuce, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup chopped baby cucumbers
- 1 avocado, chopped
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- I like to pound the chicken breasts with a meat tenderizer so they are all even in thickness. In a bowl, whisk together the smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, a big pinch of salt and pepper and the crushed red pepper. Sprinkle it all over the chicken on both sides.
- Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook until deep in color on both sides - about 3 to 5 minutes per side. I like to use thin chicken breasts so the chicken is fully cooked in the skillet - to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. You can also grill the chicken or bake it or cook it however is easiest for you!
- Once the chicken is done, let it rest for 10 minutes. Then cut it into chunks.
- In a bowl, toss the iceberg lettuce with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss with the tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, red onion and feta. Add on the chicken. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve!
raspberry chipotle vinaigrette
- In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, jam, garlic, salt, pepper and chipotle chili powder. Continue to whisk while streaming in the olive oil. This dressing stays great in the fridge in a sealed container for a week or so, so feel free to make a double batch if desired!
This is exacccctly how I like my salads.