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Spinach Chicken Salad w/ Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette

spinach chicken salad on a plate


It appears most of the country is either covered in snow or has crazy cold temperatures.  We did get a little on Saturday, but not nearly as bad as other parts of the country.  We had enough for a snowball fight in the backyard (I won), but not enough to use the snow blower.  I am hoping that it melts soon.  I have grown accustomed to the mild winters of Colorado.  It was in the 50’s pretty much all last week.

spinach chicken salad on a plate

I am all for being healthy, but it has to taste good.   I almost never make salads at home, because they don’t turn out like their restaurant counterparts.   I am not one to add cheese and all the creamy dressings, so I don’t think it is the toppings.  After some trial and error, I figured out that it all has to do with the lettuce.  Dry lettuce is the key to a good salad.  In the past, I have just rinsed the lettuce, chopped, and put immediately in a salad.  The dressing doesn’t stick, and it is never good.  So whether it is a salad spinner or drying with paper towel; making sure there is no moisture is an important step.

spinach chicken salad on a plate

The other thing that leads to a good salad?  The dressing.  I am talking about a quick and easy homemade vinaigrette.  I haven’t found any creamy dressings that I like, so I like creating different vinaigrettes depending on what I am putting in my salad.  For this spinach salad I used balsamic vinegar and a garlic olive oil, a little Dijon mustard for tang and it was perfect.  You can really top your salad with whatever you want, but I went for avocado, chicken, pepitas, shredded carrots, and caramelized onions.  This salad is hearty enough to have for dinner or lunch.  I doubled the recipe for the dressing, so I have some sitting in my fridge for my lunch tomorrow too.

Yield: 4

Spinach Chicken Salad w/ Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette

spinach chicken salad on a plate

A hearty salad with chicken, caramelized onions, avocado and topped with a Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes



  • 6 cups spinach
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup caramelized onions
  • 2 Tbls roasted pepitas
  • 1 small chicken breast
  • 1 tsp STAR Grilling, (Garlic) Cuisine Cooking Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tbls STAR Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 1/2 Tbls STAR Grilling, (Garlic) Cuisine Cooking Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. In a bowl combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Whisk thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan heat oil over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Saute chicken for 6 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Remove from pan, and slice into strips.
  3. Divide spinach onto 2 plates or bowls. Top with carrots, avocado, onions, sliced chicken and pepitas.
  4. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad to serve.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 613Total Fat 45gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 33gCholesterol 31mgSodium 470mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 14gSugar 5gProtein 36g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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 **I have an on going relationship with STAR Fine Foods for recipe development.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 
Erin S
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Monday 20th of March 2017

I love a good spinach salad - this looks delicious!

Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet}

Tuesday 14th of January 2014

I am so hungry right now - just wish I had this in front of me right now!!! YUM!

Wendy | Around My Family Table

Thursday 9th of January 2014

Now this is my type of salad! Looks great.

Shawn @ IWYD

Wednesday 8th of January 2014

Yum! This would be perfect for a delicious lunch!

Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction

Tuesday 7th of January 2014

Love the sound of this vinaigrette! Perfect way to top a salad!

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