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Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

I have a lot of grilled chicken recipes on my site, but one of my favorites is balsamic grilled chicken. I’m kind of in love with balsamic vinegar anyway (and my kids like it more than ranch — what?!) and using it as a marinade makes me even more in love with it.

I’ve seen sun-dried tomato vinaigrettes at the store before, and because homemade vinaigrettes (and salad dressings in general) are better for you about 99% of the time, it went on my sun-dried tomato to-do list.

You simply added some olive oil and red wine vinegar to a spoonful of Homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and whisk away. It seemed very acidic to me, so I sweetened it with some honey and that did the trick. After little pinch of salt and pepper it was done. I wanted to make a main-dish salad out of this instead of just posting the dressing recipe, so I made some balsamic grilled chicken to top my salad greens and threw some goat cheese crumbles on top. Because, goat cheese makes everything better. #truth

Um, yep. This one’s going in the file for sure. :)

Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette | salad recipes | gluten-free recipes | keto recipes | grilled chicken | sun-dried tomatoes |
Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Yield: Serves 4 as a main dish

This Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad is FABULOUS with homemade sun-dried tomato pesto vinaigrette. A sprinkle of goat cheese isn't a bad idea either.


For the salad:

  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts either pounded flat or cut in half to create thinner pieces
  • 1 10-oz bag of salad greens, rinsed and dried

Salad mix-ins (i.e. shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.)

  • 1 cup goat cheese crumbles

For the Dressing:

  • 1 Tablespoon Homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon preferred sweetener (sugar/honey/agave, etc.)
  • 6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • a couple big pinches of salt and pepper, to taste


To make the salad

  1. Combine the first five ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag, then add chicken breasts. Squish the bag around to coat the chicken, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat BBQ grill or grill pan (or saute pan, if not grilling) to medium-high heat. Grill chicken for 10-12 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until cooked thoroughly.
  3. Remove from grill and set aside. Let it rest for 10 minutes or so and then slice thinly.

To make the dressing

  1. Whisk together pesto, vinegar and sweetener in a small bowl. Add olive oil in a small, steady stream while whisking. Continue to whisk until the dressing thickens slightly. (The pieces of sun-dried-tomato will probably sink to the bottom. That's OK.)
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 2/3 cup of dressing.
  3. Assemble the salad by combining salad greens and mix-ins in a large bowl. Pour salad dressing over and toss to coat. Divide salad among plates, top with some slices of chicken and a sprinkle of goat cheese crumbles.
Easy Homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Marinated Grilled Zucchini

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Monday 8th of August 2011

Mmmmm I love sun dried tomatoes! And goat cheese! There is so much good stuff in this recipe!

Tanantha P.

Wednesday 5th of May 2010

This looks so great Natalie! I will definitely have to try it out soon. Thanks for sharing!

Natalie @ Perrys' Plate

Wednesday 5th of May 2010

Joanne - I totally agree :) Your comment reminded me of when I was making baby food for my girls. I noticed the baby food in a store one day and I didn't see any of the vibrant colors that I saw at home. Pureed peas, carrots, and sweet potatoes are amazingly bright. Not so with store-bought... which makes me wonder what they're doing to it or what else they're adding.


Tuesday 4th of May 2010

The color on that vinaigrette is some kind of vibrant. It makes you wonder about all of those vinaigrettes you see in stores. Hmmm.

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