So, I was telling my mom about one of my all time favorite salads at a pretty well known fast-food chain the other day when she was looking for some quick lunch options. Anytime the family wants to 'be bad' and have chicken nuggets at this place, I always tend to opt for their Grilled Market Salad. It's a really large hearty salad that's extremely filling and easily could be turned into two meals rather than just one.
That discussion got me to thinking about the salad, how good it is, and how simple it is too. Surely there had to be a way to make it myself! The hardest part would be the zesty apple cider vinaigrette. Thankfully, I found a good starting place and made a few more tweaks to that to get exactly what I was looking for after reading the ingredients on the actual dressing packet.
What I ended up with was perfection. I'll honestly never need to go and buy this salad again because this is honestly that close to being the real deal. Plus, it's super simple to make both the salad and the dressing!
I did sort of cheat a little bit here and made this salad with a pre-grilled chicken breast that I had leftover in the fridge. It was grilled with just a touch of smoked paprika, but that's all. So feel free to use up your own leftover grilled chicken or cook some up real quick. Nothing too fancy here.
The zesty dressing is the star of this salad, so be sure that you don't leave that out. I'm always impressed with how easy vinaigrettes are to make. I love that you can get an explosion of flavors with such minimal effort and few ingredients. Why do we ever buy pre-made salad dressings?
Now the fast-food place serves their salad with optional packets of granola and mixed nuts, so I put a small amount of my own granola and a few sliced almonds on top of my salad here, but that is entirely optional when making and enjoying this salad. I've left both out of the nutritional count below.
Grilled Market Salad & Zesty Dressing (Chick-Fil-A Copy Cat)
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 Prepared Salad • Calories: 359.7 • Fat: 22.5 g • Saturated Fat: 4.5 • Carb: 23 g • Fiber: 4.2 g • Protein: 6.2 g • Sugar: 17.1 g • Sodium: 160.9 mg
Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing:
5 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp. 50/50 Honey & Agave
1 Tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tbsp. Pineapple Juice
1/4 Tsp. Ground White Pepper
1/8 Tsp. Onion Powder
1/8 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1/8 Tsp. Dried Cayenne
1/8 Tsp. Dried Italian Seasoning Blend
Salt & Pepper to Taste
8 C. Baby Spinach & Spring Mix
2 Large Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced
16 Strawberries, Halved or Quartered
1 C. Blueberries
1 Apple, Chopped (I used Granny Smith.)
1/4 C. Reduced Fat Bleu Cheese Crumbles
Granola, Sliced Almonds, Etc.
In a dressing cruet, mix together the 5 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 Tbsp. 50/50 Honey & Agave, 1 Tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice, 1 Tbsp. Pineapple Juice 1/4 Tsp. Ground White Pepper, 1/8 Tsp. Onion Powder, 1/8 Tsp. Garlic Powder, 1/8 Tsp. Dried Cayenne, 1/8 Tsp. Dried Italian Seasoning Blend, and season with Salt & Pepper to Taste.
Plate each salad with 2 C. baby spring mix, 1/2 of a sliced chicken breast, 4 sliced strawberries, 1/4 C. blueberries, 1/4 of the chopped apple, and 1 tbsp. of the bleu cheese crumbles.
Serve each with a side of about 2 tbsp. of the dressing.
Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container for a perfect little grab-n-go lunch through the week!