This hearty and flavorful strawberry salad with chicken is so full of good things it’s perfect for a light, main course summer meal. Serve it with some warm dinner rolls and a crisp rosé wine.
I struggled with what to call this salad. Yes, it has strawberries and arugula and quinoa, but it also has grilled lemony chicken, sugar snap peas, torn basil leaves and salty cotija crumbles. But the title can only be so long. No matter what you call this healthy salad (I settled on Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberry, Arugula & Quinoa), that has so much goodness packed into it you can serve it as a main course, you will definitely call it delicious.Jump to Recipe
It was a concept that my daughter came up with after seeing a recipe for strawberry basil quinoa salad, in a publication that shall remain unnamed, that sounded pretty good but looked totally unappetizing. There was way too much quinoa, for starters. And not enough veggies and protein. Since we wanted salad for dinner, and only salad, we came up with this.
It’s makes a quick meal for weeknights, especially if you can find pre-cooked quinoa. In the past, I’ve found it in the freezer section. But the other day I found a sealed package of pre-cooked quinoa in the rice aisle! If you have time to marinate the chicken overnight, that is preferred. However, even an hour will give the breasts enough time to become quite flavorful.
When I was a kid my mom always made the most amazing sesame poppy seed salad dressing for a spring salad with strawberries and snap peas. Not surprisingly, it’s a natural fit with this more robust salad too. This Strawberry Arugula Salad with Quinoa has the perfect mix of flavors and textures and I know we’ll be eating it all summer long! Is it salad-for-dinner season in your neck of the woods yet?
Love salads? Try these other great recipes:
- Avocado Chicken Salad
- Deli Style Spaghetti Salad
- Pantry Staple Chopped Salad
- Cilantro Pepita Chicken Salad
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Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberry, Arugula & Quinoa
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- zest and juice from one lemon
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 oz arugula
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 pint strawberries sliced
- 1 cup sugar snap peas sliced in half
- ½ cup shelled raw english peas
- ¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese ricotta salata, or feta cheese
- handful of basil leaves torn
- Marinate the chicken. Slice the chicken breasts through the middle so each makes two thinner cutlets. Place in a gallon sized ziplock bag with the lemon juice and zest, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Seal and smoosh around so that the chicken is evenly coated with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
- Make the salad dressing. Place all ingredients in a jar (I use old jam jars for this). Seal and shake, shake, shake until combined. Refrigerate at least one hour. (Dressing will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.)
- Preheat a grill on high heat for 10 minutes. Grill the chicken for 3 minutes on the first side. Flip and continue cooking chicken until it’s cooked through, about 3-4 minutes more. Set aside to cool. Slice into strips.
- Place the arugula, quinoa, strawberries, sugar snap peas, and english peas in a large salad bowl. Drizzle over about half the dressing and toss to combine. Top with chicken, cheese and torn basil leaves. Drizzle over more dressing, to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.