Grilled Chicken and Blackberry Salad is layered with fresh salad greens, luscious blackberries, pistachios, sliced avocado, and a sweet blackberry balsamic vinaigrette. A simple salad bursting with summer flavor!
This recipe developed over a craving I had while shopping in Trader Joe’s the other day (BTW: after living in Germany for 4 years it feels soooo good to say “shopping in Trader Joe’s”). I could not get my mind off grilled chicken, and a blackberry sauce. I am in loooove with this dressing. I used blackberry preserves to give it an extra sweetness, and it paired so well with the salad. I blended the dressing in a blender only about 10 minutes prior to preparing the grill:
The best part? It doubled as the marinade for the chicken too! With all of my salads, I love the addition of crunchy nuts and sweet fruit. Pistachios are the husband’s favorite, and the sweet and tart blackberries work perfectly with them. Avocados are a food that I eat on a daily basis, and I decided to throw them in as well.
A few other great things about this simple summer dinner: my kids ate the same salad but with the addition of noodles. I use this technique often when getting them to try new things. Always pair the familiar with unfamiliar. Most kids I know love pasta. I told them we were eating chicken pasta with berry sauce, and they licked their plates! Although this dish requires no marinade time for the chicken, the dressing can be made ahead early in the day to save time.
Did I mention Paleo and Gluten Free?
Grilled Chicken and Blackberry Salad
- For the dressing and marinade:
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp blackberry preserves
- 2 tbsp chopped shallots
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- For the Salad:
- 3 large chicken breasts
- 16 oz mixed greens I used kale and arugula
- 6 oz fresh blackberries
- 1 cup shelled pistachios
- 1 avocado chopped
Begin by placing oil, vinegar, and preserves into a blender. Blend until smooth. Keep motor running and add chives, shallots, and garlic. Add salt last.
Reserve about 1/2 cup of the marinade and pour into a large ziploc bag with the chicken. Mix around so the chicken is well coated.
Prepare your grill.
Once grill is ready, cook each chicken breasts for 6-10 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees and chicken is no longer pink.
For the salad, begin with mixed greens. Add blackberries, avocado, and pistachio. Layer on chicken and toss with dressing. (For kid friendly option, see notes below)
For kid friendly option, use any pasta with the mixed greens (or in place of the mixed greens)