This gorgeous Chicken and Peach Salad is prepared on the grill, tossed with pecans, and dressed with maple dijon vinaigrette.
I’m on a peach kick lately, can you tell? We’ve been snacking on them for lunch, tossing them in smoothies, making them for breakfast in the form of Peach Cobbler Muffins, eating them with dinner, and eating them with my favorite summer dessert: Grain-Free Peach Crisp. Peaches are so delicious for such a short time during the year; let’s take advantage people!!
So for this recipe, I also made it more kid friendly by creating a pasta salad for my kids. They loved it, and asked for the leftovers with breakfast….
What makes it so delicious is the maple dijon vinaigrette, that also doubles as a quick marinade. Toss the peaches with some goat cheese as an option (or omit if you’re the Paleo or lactose intolerant type), and add some pecans for extra crunch and monounsaturated fat. I prefer my salad over greens, but the pasta may be a better option for your family.
To start this one, whip up the dressing. No food processor is required, you can whisk in a bowl. Use half of the dressing to marinate your chicken. The chicken will only need to marinate, for 15-30 minutes, but the longer the better. While this is happening, prepare your peaches:
I found these beautiful ripe peaches at my local farmer’s market. I halved them, and brushed with a little maple syrup. The peaches and chicken will grill together. The peaches take about 5 minutes on each side, the chicken a few minutes longer. Once the peaches and chicken are grilled, dice them up to add to your salad. Add the red onion, pecans, goat cheese, to your greens or pasta, and finally toss with the remaining dressing.
I served the kids chicken salad with pasta and told them they were eating chicken and peach pasta. They were thrilled:
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup, divided
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 large chicken breasts
- 5 peaches
- ½ cup sliced red onion
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)
- 15 oz mixed salad greens or 10 oz pasta
- Begin by whisking together your dressing. Combine oil, vinegar, lemon, mustard, 2 tbsp syrup, and salt in a tupperware bowl with lid and shake to combine.
- Use about half of the dressing (1/4 cup -1/3 cup) as your marinade for the chicken. Place in a large ziploc bag and mix to coat the chicken. Let marinate for 15-30 minutes.
- Prepare your grill.
- Prepare your peaches: Cut each peach in half and remove the pit. Brush both sides of the peaches with remaining maple syrup.
- Grill chicken and peaches. About 6-8 minutes per side for chicken until it is no longer pink, and about 5 minutes each side for the peaches. Remove, and dice peaches into small chunks and chicken into slices.
- Place greens or pasta in a large bowl. Add red onion, peaches, and chicken and toss. Top with pecans, goat cheese (if using), and drizzle the dressing on top.
- Serve immediately.