Grilled Chicken Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing

Pretty colors. :D Chances are, if you’re a Cooking Light reader like myself, you’ve checked out this salad. It happens to be the first recipe featured in the “quick & easy” section this month. And after three and a half hours of gospel music and  National Honors Society volunteering, quick and easy was just what I was looking for.

The refrigerator just so happened to offer all of the ingredients too! I had some salad greens that needed to be used, left-over jicama from tacos, and a single, frozen, chicken breast. This isn’t the type of recipe that I would usually choose, but the bright combination reeled me in this time.

In about twenty minutes (excluding the chicken’s thawing time) this salad was ready for it close-up! The best part of the recipe was the crisp jicama and the juicy pineapple cubes. The purple onion wasn’t a bad addition either, but the red pepper certainly was unnecessary. I don’t like red food anyway, remember?

As for the dressing, it’s flavorful! Cilantro, jalapeno and pineapple make a zesty combination. ;) Left over dressing works well as a dipping sauce for hummus and veggie wraps, not that I had that for lunch today or anything.

Look at this; even Mr. Jakers was tempted! And he doesn’t appear to be the summery-salad type. I suppose the grilled chicken did it for him.

I’d recommend a creamy component to this salad. Goat cheese and avocado are welcome! Although, that wouldn’t really help the Cooking Light argument, now would it? Either way, I’d totally have it again. It was a bold, flavor-bomb. ;)

Grilled Chicken Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing

Adapted from Cooking Light. I used mixed greens instead of spinach because I had them on-hand. I also used jalapeno instead in lieu of habanero in the dressing, because Kroger limited my culinary options. If you’re making the salad for one, like I did, go ahead and make all of the dressing – it’s great!

Total: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • 1  pound  skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4  cups  (1-inch) cubed fresh pineapple (about 8 ounces), divided
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh orange juice
  • 4  teaspoons  apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  minced habanero pepper
  • 1  large garlic clove
  • 1/4  cup  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4  cup  julienne-cut peeled jicama
  • 2/3  cup  thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2  cup  thinly sliced red onion
  • 1  (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach (about 8 cups)


1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and pound to an even thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with chili powder and salt. Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook for 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; set aside.

2. Combine half of pineapple, cilantro, orange juice, vinegar, habanero, and garlic in a blender; process until smooth. With blender on, gradually add olive oil until blended.

3. Combine remaining pineapple, jicama, and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with 3/4 cup dressing, and toss gently to coat. Divide salad evenly among 4 plates. Cut chicken across the grain into thin slices; divide chicken evenly over salads. Drizzle salads evenly with remaining 1/4 cup dressing.

22 Responses to “Grilled Chicken Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing”
  1. What a beautiful salad! I always have a hard time making dishes I find in magazines look pretty…you definitely did not have that problem!

    Cute cat, by the way :)

  2. What a great salad! I can’t wait to try that dressing! Your cat is adorable!

  3. Mr. Jakers is too cute! :)

  4. Katherine: What About Summer? says:

    great looking eats! no cats on the table! (my parents used to have a cat that NEVER learned that concept; I still have a reaction to worry about cats jumping on the counter and stealing my food; if jankers is just sniffing, he’s in the green)

  5. maxinthegym says:

    Well, if your cat likes it then it must be good! :)

  6. Daisy says:

    beautiful bright colorful salad. I’d totally add in an avocado ;)

  7. teenagehealthfreak says:

    wow. this is really pretty. and it sounds REALLy good. :)..i need to motivate myself to take the time to make this! lol..

  8. Caren says:

    I just found your blog through a comment you left on Cooking Light. (Blueberry peach cobbler) I think you do a really nice job and what I’ve skimmed so far, your writing is great. I am adding you to my blog roll.

    I am a middle-aged gourmet who recently lost 90 pounds, I use Cooking Light and Eating Well magazines a lot and I look forward to seeing what else you cook and review! Keep up the good work.

  9. tcfoodie says:

    This salad looks tasty AND gorgeous! Thanks for the recipe and suggestions – I can’t wait to try it!

  10. Amazing colours! Your photos are just getting better and better – plus, this sounds soooo good. Especially the dressing! :)


  11. That dressing’s got me salivating :)

  12. This looks so good! That pineapple dressing sounds delicious, and what do you know, we just bought two pineapples today. Score. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 146 other followers

%d bloggers like this: