The ultimate Grilled Chicken Salad recipe with leafy greens, vegetables, juicy grilled chicken breast and a delicious creamy poppyseed dressing.

This is one of my ultimate go-to summer chicken salads along with this BBQ chicken salad and classic chicken salad recipe.

Grilled chicken salad with poppy seed dressing in a bowl.

This grilled chicken salad packs in tons of flavor and is like summer in a bowl. It is a treat for your tastebuds with a delicious combination of protein, healthy fats, leafy greens, crunchy bacon and savory-sweet fruit and vegetables.

Whether you are firing up the grill fresh or made chicken breast on the grill the night before, learning how to make the best grilled chicken salad recipe is a must-do for all!

Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe

This grilled chicken salad is super versatile recipe. So if you want to swap some ingredients and use what you have on hand, just substitute it with the same food group item to maintain the perfect balance!

Grilled chicken breasts, cucumber, grape tomatoes, bacon, red onion, parsley, avocado, lettuce, raspberries, poppy seed dressing.
  • Leafy greens: I used chopped romaine lettuce as the base of my salad. Chopped kale or lettuce, baby spinach, spring mix or arugula would also be delicious.
  • Fruit: I added fresh raspberries, tomatoes and avocado. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, apple, peach, mango, or clementine will work.
  • Vegetables: Crunchy cucumbers and red onion.
  • Fresh herbs: I used fresh parsley. Cilantro, basil, dill, lemon thyme, chives or green onion would be great too.
  • Grilled chicken: I am using my leftover grilled chicken recipe. If you don’t have a grill or weather isn’t cooperating, other chicken for salad that works is air fryer chicken breast, pan fried chicken breast or baked chicken breast.
  • Salad dressing: Topped off with my creamy poppy seed dressing to finish.

How to Make Grilled Chicken Salad

Here is a quick overview how to make grilled chicken salad. Find full recipe card below.

Step by step process how to grill chicken breast, prepare salad dressing and assemble the grilled chicken salad.
  • Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, combine boneless skinless chicken breasts and chicken marinade and allow to marinate for 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  • Grill the chicken: Grill chicken breasts over medium-high heat (450F) for around 5 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. Once cooked, allow the chicken to rest covered for 5 minutes.
  • Prepare the salad ingredients: Meanwhile, either as the chicken is marinating or cooking, in a large bowl, add the lettuce, raspberries, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, parsley and baked bacon.
  • Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and use a fork or whisk to mix them well. 
  • Assemble grilled chicken salad: Slice it and top salad with grilled chicken. I recommend serving the dressing on the side, so everyone can add as much as they like and if you have any leftovers, they’ll store better.

How Long Should I Marinate and Grill Chicken?

If you use my grilled chicken for salad, then it has a simple marinade with lemon, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper and requires only 30 minutes of marinating.

However, want something with a little more flavor? Why not try grilled lemon rosemary chicken or here is how to grill chicken thighs with coconut cilantro marinade.

How long to grill chicken breast depends mostly on your grill and the thickness of your chicken breasts.

Here is a time chart for your quick reference.

Chicken breast thicknessWeightGrilling time
Under 2 inches6-8 ounces each6-8 minutes
2 inches8-10 ounces each8-10 minutes
Over 2 inches10 ounces or more10-12 minutes

As a general rule, make sure to grill the chicken until the meat thermometer inserted in the center reaches internal temperature of 165F.

Tips for Best Results

Here are my top tips for the best grilled chicken salad recipe in the world!

  • For even cooking: If you don’t have even sized pieces, pound chicken breasts lightly with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
  • Don’t forget the resting time: As soon as the chicken has reached the internal temperature, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest for 5 minutes while covered. This is critical for allowing the juices to redistribute for super tender, juicy chicken.
  • Use chicken thighs: You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs. The grilling time will be 2-3 minutes longer than for chicken breasts.
  • Match marinated chicken to similar flavors: Pair Greek chicken with other Mediterranean flavors like tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumber, avocado, and feta like in this traditional Greek salad.
Grilled chicken salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado and crispy bacon drizzled with the dressing.

Variations of Grilled Chicken Salad

Combinations I use in this grilled chicken salad just never fails. However, you can add in other ingredients and extras. Here are a few ideas:

  • Extra vegetables: If you want to pack in even more nutrients, include grilled corn, mushrooms, asparagus, olives. 
  • Toasted nuts: Nuts will help add crunch and healthy fats to the salad. When toasted, they also pack a punch of flavor. I like to use unsalted roasted mixed nuts. However, you could add walnuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, or even pine nuts. For a nut-free option, you could use sunflower seeds or pepitas.
  • Cheese: Cheese adds a salty, savory flavor and creamy texture. Soft cheese that is easy to crumble like feta cheese and goat cheese are our favorites. Gorgonzola cheese would also work but isn’t the most kid-friendly option.
  • Extra protein: Chicken pairs well with other proteins like hard boiled eggs. Make hard boiled eggs in Instant Pot or hard boiled eggs in air fryer.
  • Swap out the protein: This grilled chicken salad can also be served with grilled salmon, grilled shrimp skewers, or even carne asada steak instead of chicken!

What Other Salad Dressings Can I Use?

Luckily, grilled chicken salad recipe is versatile, so any of these healthy salad dressings will pair well with it.

For this salad, I used my healthy poppy seed dressing which is creamy with a slight sweet onion flavor.

However, based on the ingredients you add to your salad with grilled chicken, you could also use:

Or a simple combination of quality extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper to taste never fails!

Can I Make It Ahead of Time?

Yes. You can prepare all the components of this grilled chicken salad in advance. You can marinate chicken overnight. The salad ingredients can be prepared at the same time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. And you can make the dressing up to 1 week or more in advance!

You can also meal prep this grilled chicken salad recipe for work lunches. To do this, make up a layered mason jar with the dressing at the bottom, then add chicken, then the vegetables. Then just shake it up before eating. 

How to Store It

If the salad is dressed, then make sure to eat it on the same day within 12 hours.

If the salad and dressing are stored separately, then you can store them for up to 2 days in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. If you make a large batch or two of grilled chicken, then you can make a week’s worth of salads!

More Salad Recipes to Try

You might also enjoy browsing through my entire collection of healthy salads or healthy grill recipes for more inspiration!

A bowl with salad with grilled chicken, avocado, red onion, parsley, lettuce and bacon. Lemon slices and salad dressing on the side.
Grilled chicken salad recipe with poppy seed dressing in a bowl.

Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe

The ultimate Grilled Chicken Salad recipe with leafy greens, vegetables, juicy grilled chicken breast and creamy poppyseed dressing.
5 from 6 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 236
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


Poppyseed Dressing

Grilled Chicken Breast

Grilled Chicken Salad


To make grilled chicken:

  • In a large bowl add chicken breasts, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir with tongs and let marinate for 30 minutes-24 hours.
  • Grill chicken on medium high heat (450 degrees F) for 10 minutes, flipping once. Rest under foil for 5 minutes.

To make poppy seed dressing:

  • In a small bowl, add yogurt, maple syrup, vinegar, mustard, poppy seeds, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir well with a fork to combine. Set aside.

To assemble grilled chicken salad:

  • In a large salad bowl, add lettuce, grape tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, red onion, parsley, raspberries, bacon and sliced grilled chicken breast.
  • Drizzle with poppyseed dressing and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.



  • Store: If salad is dressed, then make sure to eat it on the same day (within 12 hours). If the salad and dressing are stored separately, then you can store them for up to 2 days covered in the refrigerator.
  • Leafy greens: Chopped lettuce, kale, spring mix or arugula would be delicious!
  • Chicken: Chicken thighs would work as well.


Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 583mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious. A crowd pleaser. I’ve made many of your recipes and they are all fabulous. My husband is on a low sodium diet. Can you recommend any other recipes that I can try. We eat a lot of chicken, pork and fish. Your fish and chicken tacos with all the sides are fantastic. I often omit the salt as you use wonderful spices.
    Your site is a wonderful find.

    1. Awe, you are so welcome! So happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes, Adrienne. Do you mean my recipes or from other healthy food blogs?

  2. 5 stars
    I made this salad for dinner and it was delicious. I could have come up with the idea for the salad myself, but would have never thought of making a poppyseed dressing to go with it. That dressing is great. Thanks again for the inspiration.

    PS: My comments get a bit boring as I keep repeating myself. Your recipes are all so delicious.

  3. 5 stars
    I used what I had on hand for the salad (chicken, tomato, cucumber, leftover roasted sweet potatoes along with romaine and spinach), but made the dressing. It was delicious! I’ll me making it again.

    1. Perfection! That’s exactly what I would like every single person to do – use what you have on hand. No waste of food or money. Happy to hear, Andrea.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this “Grilled Chicken Salad” Last night and it was fantastic! The poppy seed dressing was so delicious!
    I’ll never go back to store bought, fattening poppy seed dressing! Thank you so much! I’m excited to try more of your recipes!

    1. You are very welcome, Vicki. Store-bought poppy seed dressing is so sweet! Curious what fruit/veggies/nuts did you use?

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