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Blueberry Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad is packed with flavor! Juicy marinated chicken, fresh berries, goat cheese, crunchy pecans, and an easy homemade vinaigrette salad dressing, it’s a healthy and gluten free family friendly meal!
Originally published on April 4, 2012. Updated with new photos and more helpful information.
I love salads. Most days, that is what I have for lunch. And while I tend to keep them light and simple for my midday meal, I do enjoy adding ingredients to make them interesting and tasty. Oftentimes that’s a combination of fruit, cheese, especially a strong cheese, like blue, feta, or goat cheese, and a few nuts for crunch.
For dinner, though, I do try to make salads that are a bit more substantial. Especially since my hubby thinks a meal is not complete unless it includes meat. So usually I am adding some strips of chicken, sauteed shrimp, or even steak bites.
This combination was born simply out of having some blueberries, strawberries, and goat cheese in the fridge. And it turned out so yummy!
Blueberry Balsamic Salad Dressing and Marinade
As I started moving away from bottled salad dressings, I initially just keep it simple, sprinkling my salads with a little olive oil and vinegar.
However, from shaking up Ranch Dressing or Creamy Maple Dijon Salad Dressing, both made lightened up with Greek yogurt, to blending fruit into Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette or this dressing right here to freshen up the flavors, I soon found that making my own salad dressing was super easy. With a few extra additions, they can be more flavorful than just the basic oil and vinegar combo.
And they are also healthier than the store-bought versions since you control the sugar, salt, oil, and other stuff. And, if this is a concern for you, you can be sure that you are making gluten-free salad dressing recipes.
In the case of the Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette in this grilled chicken salad recipe, all you have to do is blend together fresh blueberries with a few basic pantry ingredients like olive oil and balsamic vinegar. And then you end up with not only a sweet and tangy dressing to jazz up this salad, but also a mouthwatering marinade that makes your chicken caramelized on the outside, moist on the inside, and totally delectable.
Balsamic Chicken Salad with Berries
This simple grilled chicken salad is the perfect healthy meal, especially when you have nice, fresh berries, and can get outside to cook the chicken on the grill. The dressing doubles as a marinade for the chicken, and it gives it a nice tangy, sweet flavor and glaze.
Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!
- Blueberry Balsamic Salad Dressing made with:
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Maple syrup
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Mixed salad greens – I like to use baby greens or Mesclun greens, but you can use spinach, Romaine, or any other lettuce or salad greens you prefer.
- Goat cheese
- Pecans – lightly toasted, if desired
Directions overview – scroll to the recipe card for the full set of instructions
- Blend the dressing ingredients until smooth.
- Pour some of the dressing over the chicken and marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Grill the chicken until cooked through.
- Let rest then slice the chicken.
- Divide the salad green between the place and top with sliced chicken, sliced strawberries, blueberries, crumbled goat cheese, and pecans. Drizzle with more blueberry balsamic dressing.
Brianne’s pro recipe tips
- You’ll want to marinate your chicken for at least 20 minutes, but if you have several hours, even better.
- I love using my outdoor grill, but a grill pan works fine if you don’t have one or can’t get outside to grill.
- Always be sure your chicken is fully cooked through. It should register an internal temperature of 165°F using an instant read thermometer and the juices should run clear.
- Make sure to use only a portion of the vinaigrette as the marinade and keep the rest separate to use as your salad dressing. Discard the marinade, and do not try to boil it to kill bacteria and use on the salad.
- To toast the pecans, place them in a dry skillet over low heat. Toss and stir frequently until you begin to smell a nutty aroma and remove them from the heat immediately. This will only take a few minutes so you won’t want to walk away. Do not burn the pecans or they will taste bitter.
- Swap out the chicken for shrimp, or try it with honey balsamic marinated flat iron steak.
- If you don’t like goat cheese, make this salad with feta, blue cheese, or even a sharp cheddar.
- Other berries can be used, so feel free to swap them out for blackberries, raspberries, or even cherries.
- Toasted walnuts are lovely on this salad too, and for a nut-free version, try toasted pine nuts.
More salad recipes
- Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken
- Lobster Cobb Salad
- Banh Mi Salad
- Honey Mustard Chicken Salad from Cafe Delites
And you’ll love this entire collection of Salad Recipes that feature a grilled ingredient!
Grilled Chicken Berry Salad Recipe
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Grilled Chicken Berry Salad with Goat Cheese, Pecans, and Blueberry Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
For blueberry balsamic dressing/marinade:
- 1 lb chicken breasts, pounded or sliced horizontally to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
- Mixed salad greens (about 1 1/2-2 bags, or 8-12 oz. total)
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- 4 Tablespoons chopped pecans, lightly toasted if desired
- Combine the dressing ingredients and blend and emulsify in a blender or food processor (I used my Magic Bullet).
- Take about 1/2 cup of the dressing, and pour it over the chicken in a bowl, pan, or plastic bag, and marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Turn on your grill (or grill pan) to medium-high heat.
- Place the chicken on the grill and reduce heat to medium. Cook about 3-5 minutes per side (depending on the thickness), or until completely cooked through, and juices run clear. Brush with some of the extra dressing/marinade while cooking,
- Let chicken rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.
- Divide the remaining salad ingredients among four plate, or place in one big bowl. Top with the sliced chicken and more dressing.