Grilled Chicken Wilted Salad

April 16, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Posted in Chicken, Salads | 34 Comments
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During the week I try to plan lots of light-meal salads for dinner. They’re salads that contain lean meats, lots of greens and vegetables tossed into a single dish meal with a lively vinaigrette. Not only are they delicious and healthy, they also make way for weekends filled with cheeseburgers, Italian sausage laden pasta dishes, bacon and egg breakfasts and dare I mention…ice cream topped cinnamon bun bread.

This Grilled Chicken Wilted Salad is one of my favorites. It comes together in about 30 minutes and can practically be made one-handed without having to put down your after work/before dinner glass of wine.  The combination of flavors here are striking thanks to the warm dressing, Kalamata olives and rosemary dusted chicken tenders.  And with the techniques of tossing the chicken and onion in olive oil before cooking and finishing by steaming the whole dish covered with a plate, you end up with a nice texture and wonderful warm flavors. Let’s take a look:

Grilled Chicken Wilted Salad

  • 1 lb chicken tenderloin
  • 1 medium onion, halved lengthwise, cut into thin wedges (this might be the only time you’d have to set down your wine)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs snipped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
  • 3/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup cranberry or pomegranate juice
  • 2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 6-oz. pkg. baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup sliced pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted

Heat indoor electric grill or grill pan over medium heat.

In a bowl combine chicken and onions. Toss with two tablespoons of the olive oil, rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon each pepper and salt.

Grill chicken and onions on grill rack or in grill pan for ten minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink, internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F, and onions are tender, turning once. 

Meanwhile, for dressing, in a saucepan combine juice; vinegar; and remaining olive oil, pepper and salt. Bring  juice mixture just to boiling; remove from heat. Place spinach, olives, pine nuts, chicken, and onions in an extra-large salad bowl; toss to combine. Pour warm dressing over salad mixture. Toss lightly. Cover salad with a large plate for one to two minutes or just until spinach is wilted. Remove plate. Serve immediately. Makes six servings.

Grilled Chicken Wilted Salad…It’s What’s for Dinner.

One Year Ago: Ranch Grilled Chicken Tacos



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  1. This sounds really good Lea Ann and I’m sure the salad queen will love it. We’re harvesting leaf lettuce and spinach now and had our first wilted lettuce (southern style), using hot bacon grease and vinegar as a dressing. Not too healthy but very good.

    • I love that dressing that you’re talking about….LOVE it.

  2. Any salad I make tends to be wilted…no matter my intentions. 😉

    • Well that makes you the expert! 😉

  3. Sounds delicious – I’ll pass this on to the chef. I bought him a grill pan for xmas! We’re eating light these days 🙂 Nice work!

    • I love my grill pan, I’m sure Neal will too. Forgot to tell you, got the post card of Sophia, she’s on my refrigerator. 🙂

      • She will be happy to hear that 😉 I’ll let her know she is not in danger of being used for this dish.

  4. This sounds wonderful!

  5. First, thank you for giving us the proscribed wine break…whew; that is good to know!

    Second…this is a great weekday meal and similar to what I will often do; quick, easy and light. And yum.

    • Well I mean really, can you slice an onion with a glass of wine in your hand? 🙂

  6. I’ll have you know, I laughed out loud when I read that you could practically make this one handed so as not to interrupt wine-time! In fact, I laughed so hard I spilled a little of my wine, or at least that’s the excuse I’m going to use. After the third glass and all, it’s hard to say what caused the spillage. Now back to that killer recipe – this sounds like the perfect weekday meal. I like fast, healthy, one-dish dinners that don’t interfere with my drinkin! 😛

    • TOOOOOO funny! I knew you’d appreciate that one, but man I’m sorry to hear it caused a spillage. And yes, I’m convinced that’s totally the reason for the loss of beverage. I sure hope you like it if you try it.

  7. Liar! ‘Ice cream topped cinnamon bun bread’? Now how would you expect a girl to keep reading after that Lea Ann? I did reign in my overactive salivary glands, however and continued to read. What a yummy recipe. Love simple, good food (and the idea of ice cream topped cinnamon bun bread….)

    • Too Funny Toni. And yes, that ice cream topped cinnamon bun bread from last weekend caused an entire week of this type of food. 🙂

  8. Make with one hand and healthy? Now you’re talking. Fabulous photos as always Lea Ann.

  9. The bacon looks awesome! We’ve made candied bacon before, but not with the pepper and cayenne. We will be trying your version.

    We practically *always* bake our bacon now, as we love how well it cooks. A little tip – use a sheet of parchment paper on the pan. Makes clean-up much easier.

  10. This is one of my favorite ways to use leftover grilled chicken! Guilt free and tasty.

  11. This looks just wonderful. My mom used to make a wilted salad when I was a child. This brings back wonderful memories.

    • My mom made one with warmed bacon grease vinaigrette and it was soooooo good.

  12. OR…get your husband to cut the onions so you can keep sipping away! 🙂

    Love this recipe!!!!!!!!

    • I love how you think!!! 🙂

  13. This looks fantastic — I love the wilted salad with the kalamata olives. Plus, anything I can cook while drinking a glass of wine is a winner in my book!

    • The wine part is important! 🙂

  14. A definitely good salad when you are eating light but, need to be satisfied.

    Hope you have a awesome week.


  15. This recipe became my favorite when you included wine as part of the preparation! Think I’ll have to make it tonight…

  16. Great photo and delicious sounding salad!

  17. Delicious flavor combinations – everything I love! I thought I’d be eating more salads by now but it’s still chilly soup weather here! Soon.

    • I’ve been eating lots of salads already, even though it’s still pretty cold here.

  18. This looks and sounds so good. I just can’t wait to get our garden going so I can have fresh spinach!

    • I’m with ya sistah! I can’t plant anything until May 10, I imagine it’s ever later for you.

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