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Chicken Salad – quick, easy, BIG!


Here’s a speedy main course size salad that’s filled with all my favourite vegetables. I like this because it’s filled, colourful, interesting enough to serve to friends, but quick enough for a fast lunch, filling enough for dinner.

Prep Time : 15 minutes 

Cuisine: Western

Servings: 4 -5 as main

Calories: 462cal


  • 3 cups store bought roast chicken , shredded (Note 1)
  • 12 cups cos / romaine lettuce (2 medium, 1 giant) , chopped into bite size pieces (or other leafy greens)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (can, drained – about 2/3 can)
  • 1/2 red onion , finely sliced
  • 300g/ 10oz cherry or grape tomatoes (or 2 normal tomatoes chopped)
  • 2 cucumbers , halved lengthwise then sliced 1cm / 1/3″ (or 1 long English/telegraph cucumber)
  • 150g/ 5oz bacon , cooked until crisp then chopped (optional)


  • 2 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar (Note 2)
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove , minced using garlic press (~1 tsp)
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard (or any smooth, non spicy mustard, optional)
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs (Note 3 for subs)
  • 1 tsp sugar , optional (Note 4)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Dressing: Place ingredients in a jar, shake, set aside for at least 10 minutes to let flavours meld.
  • Salad: Place all ingredients except bacon in a big bowl. Drizzle over most of the Dressing, then toss well.
  • Transfer to serving bowl, drizzle with remaining Dressing. Sprinkle with bacon. Serve immediately!


1. Chicken – this is my speedy chicken salad so I use store bought. Use any leftover chicken, or cook your own – poach it, bake it, roast it, brine it or even slow cook it (oh so many choices!)

2. Vinegar – can also use sherry, white wine, red wine or champagne vinegar, or lemon juice. If using normal white vinegar, increase oil slightly (taste and adjust). If using lime, consider using 1/4 cup fresh coriander/cilantro instead of dried herbs (really great combo!).

3. Herbs – I use a generic mixed herb here, in the name of speed. And Italian herb mix would go down a treat too, or use all oregano to give it a Greek spin (not unlike the Greek Marinated Chickpea Salad I shared last week). Or make up your own mix using things like: rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, basil.

4. Sugar?!! I often get asked why I seem to “always” include sugar in my dressings. It’s to take the sharp edge off vinegar so I can get away with using less oil. Typical oil to vinegar ratio for dressings is 3:1, I usually use 2.5 : 1 or less. But I list it as optional because so many people seem put off by adding a tiny bit of sugar in dressings!

FRESH herbs: delightful! Use 1/4 cup to get a good hit (this is a BIG salad). My favourite combos:

  • Dill and coriander/cilantro (equal amounts, inspired by this Iceberg Lettuce Salad from a friend, these two herbs together are sensational)
  • 1/4 cup chives, parsley or basil
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary or thyme plus 2 tbsp chives or parsley

4. Storage – salad stays good for around 30 minutes after tossing with dressing (oil makes the leaves soggy). To make ahead, assemble salad but don’t cut avocado and keep dressing separate.

If meal prepping just one portion, leave avocado whole and cut just prior to serving (see video at 40 sec, you don’t need a cutting board, just a knife and spoon). Cut avo in half (or quarter, whatever you want) then drizzle cut surface with lemon and put in airtight container (good for 24 hrs) OR put in airtight container with a halved onion (good for 3 days as long as container is super airtight). Dress just prior to serving.

5. Nutrition per serving, excludes bacon.


Calories: 462cal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 643mg | Potassium: 1359mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 12851IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3mg


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