Herbed Chicken Strawberry Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

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A completely feel-good Herbed Chicken Strawberry Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette! This simple green salad is loaded with sweet strawberries & blueberries, herbed chicken breast, tangy goat cheese, farro, chopped almonds, & a drizzle of homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette to bring it all together! Full of texture & perfectly sweet-savory, this strawberry chicken salad is THE salad to make during berry season!

Perfect for low-key weeknight dinners, light meal prep lunches, or summer entertaining with friends!

An overhead shot of the strawberry chicken salad on a light pink surface. The bowl is surrounded by a white dish towel, a jar of vinaigrette, and small bowls of strawberries, almonds and goat cheese.

A Fruity, Feel-Good Salad for Berry Season! 🍓

While some people aren’t a fan of putting fruit in savory dishes, pairing sweet with savory is one of my favorite ways to enjoy fruit during the spring & summer months. I’m obsessed with a smoky-sweet Grilled Peach & Burrata Salad & sweet-savory Prosciutto Wrapped Cantaloupe, but pairing berries with balsamic is a next-level match made in culinary heaven! That’s exactly the inspiration behind this particular Strawberry Chicken Salad recipe.

It kicks the classic pairing up a few notches by layering on amazing textures & flavors: juicy-sweet strawberries & blueberries, tangy goat cheese, nutty farro, crunchy almonds, & herbed chicken breast all come together with delicate greens to create a salad that tastes fresh & satisfying all at once.

This herbed chicken strawberry salad is a lovely option for spring & summer gatherings, a quick & light weeknight dinner, meal prep lunches, or casual get-togethers with friends. It’s THE salad for berry season, or whenever you’re craving a taste of warm weather.

Strawberry Chicken Salad Recipe Highlights

We first shared this strawberry salad with chicken here on PWWB back in 2018, & I was thrilled when you loved it just as much as we do! We’re revisiting it today, with improved recipe directions & photography, to get it back on your radar just in time for berry season. If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re in for a treat! It’s…

A SIGN OF SUMMER. Freshly picked strawberries & blueberries are a sign that summer is right around the corner. Their juicy pop of sweetness is what makes this strawberry chicken salad so special!

TOTALLY FEEL-GOOD. This fresh & feel-good salad is well-balanced with delicate greens, in-season fruit, hearty grains & nuts, creamy cheese, & herbed chicken. Each bite comes with a little bit of the best of everything!

MEAL PREP FRIENDLY. This strawberry chicken salad is perfect for prepping at the beginning of the week & assembling for a quick & easy lunch or light dinner later on. It’s also a lovely option for summer entertaining – everyone loves it!

Your daily dose of fruit AND veggies! 🍓🥗 ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Herbed Chicken Strawberry Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!

Key Ingredients

Celebrating seasonal ingredients & complementary flavors is the name of the game in this chicken strawberry salad recipe! It’s built around fresh berries, herbed chicken, & homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette, but a few simple add-ins help create extra texture & balance out all the flavor.

Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.

You need…

  • Berries – The seasonal stars of this salad recipe! While you can make this strawberry chicken salad any time of year, it will always be exceptional in the spring & summer when fresh strawberries & blueberries are at peak flavor.
  • Herbed chicken – Simple pan-seared chicken breasts seasoned with hardy fresh herbs like oregano, rosemary, sage, or thyme. The powerhouse herbs add a TON of flavor without much effort, while the chicken gives the salad a welcomed boost of protein.
  • Greens – We like to use a delicate spring mix for this particular recipe, but any type of greens will do. Use whatever you love!
  • Goat cheese – This creamy, tangy cheese is the perfect pairing for anything fruity. Feel free to use a plain variety or spring for something fun like herbed goat cheese!
  • Texture boostersAlmonds are another natural pairing for strawberries & balsamic & add a great crunchy texture to an otherwise delicate strawberry salad. Farro is another one of my favorite salad add-ins. It’s a hearty whole grain with the best bouncy, chewy texture. Learn more! All About Farro.
  • Maple balsamic vinaigrette – We can’t rave enough about this homemade salad dressing! It’s a simple blend of fresh maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, & hardy herbs. Balsamic is a natural pairing with fruit, so this vinaigrette is the ideal finish for a balanced & delicious strawberry chicken salad. Learn more! Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Simple Swaps & Substitutions

There are tons of ways to prepare this strawberry chicken salad – all are equally delicious! This recipe is incredibly customizable by design, so free to add in whatever you love & omit anything you don’t. A few ideas to get you started…

  • Greens. ⇢ Swap the delicate spring mix with baby spinacharugularomaine lettuce, or even massaged kale.
  • Grains. ⇢ Feel free to use other grains like quinoa, wild rice, or pearled couscous. A ready-to-serve grain mix is also awesome for convenience!
  • Nuts. ⇢ Swap almonds for pecans or walnuts.
  • Cheese. ⇢ Swap goat cheese for feta cheese. Its salty flavor is another great complement for juicy-sweet fresh fruit.
  • Protein. ⇢ If you already have some in your fridge, feel free to swap the herbed chicken with grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken. For a vegetarian strawberry balsamic salad, skip the chicken altogether or swap it with chickpeas!

4 Easy-to-Prep Strawberry Chicken Salad Components

This chicken strawberry salad recipe has 4 core components that need to be prepped before you can dive in: hearty farro, fresh berries, herbed chicken, & homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette. They all come together pretty quickly & once they’re ready, serving your strawberry chicken salad is as simple as tossing everything together – easy!

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

How to Cook Farro Perfectly

Compared to other temperamental grains, farro is pretty foolproof. I always boil it (just like boiling pasta!) & it’s perfect every time. A few tips & tricks to get you started…

  • Rinse the farro well. The grains often have a starchy coating that can give the cooked farro an unpleasantly gluey texture. A quick 30-second rise will wash those starches right off!
  • Boil in plenty of salted water. I cook 1 cup of pearled farro in a 4-quart Dutch oven, which holds enough water for the lengthy cook time. Be sure to salt the water well, as this is the only chance to season the grain itself.
  • Meal prep it! Feel free to prep the farro ahead of time. It keeps it in the fridge beautifully for up to 5 days.

Learn more! Farro Tips & Tricks.

Wash & Cut the Berries

Overhead shot of sliced strawberries on a white cutting board resting on a light pink marbled surface. A bowl of blueberries and a colander of strawberries sit alongside it.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

Once you’ve picked out your beautifully ripened strawberries & blueberries, berry prep is pretty straightforward:

  • Give the berries a good rise. It’s best to do this right before your salad prep so they stay fresh longer. Why? ⇢ Excess moisture makes berries spoil faster!
  • How to cut strawberries for salad? Remove the stems from each berry, trim the ends, & then cut each berry into quarters. I think quartered strawberries make the best-sized pieces, but feel free to slice or halve them if you prefer.
  • Keep the blueberry whole. ⇢ Whole blueberries add fun pops of sweetness! Keep an eye out for any stems or underripe berries to discard as you wash them.

Simple Herbed Chicken

Juicy chicken breasts seasoned with classic fresh herbs are hard to beat. This herbed chicken is the perfect hearty protein for strawberry chicken salad or any other salad you love!

A cast-iron skillet with browned chicken breasts rests atop a pink marbled surface.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

To make the herbed chicken…

1

Season boneless, skinless chicken breasts with salt, pepper & finely chopped herbs. Suggested herbs ⇢ Hardier varieties like oregano, rosemary, sage, or thyme handle heat really well. Grocery stores often carry a “poultry blend” of herbs that give you a little bit of everything.

2

Cook in a skillet or grill pan. High heat helps give the chicken a beautiful golden-brown crust (color = flavor!). Let the chicken rest for a few minutes, then slice for serving. Alternative cooking method. ⇢ Feel free to quickly cook the herbed chicken on the grill, especially if the weather is warm enough!

Our Go-To Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Sweet & tangy balsamic vinegar is a natural pairing for fresh berries. This particular maple balsamic vinaigrette recipe is a PWWB staple – it’s lick-off-the-spoon delicious & ready in less than 5 minutes!

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

A few tips & tricks to get you started…

  • Use the good stuff! ⇢ A proper balsamic vinaigrette should be fruity, tangy, complex, & very lightly sweetened. The key to success is using high-quality ingredients! You don’t have to break the bank to make this dressing, but it’s definitely worth investing in great aged balsamic vinegar & real maple syrup. Fresh maple syrup balances the tanginess of the vinegar & adds a bit of caramelly sweetness without being too sweet.
  • Use leftover chopped herbs from your chicken prep. No need to get complicated – simply dip into the ingredients you already have on hand! Additionally, this is also a fun way to tie herbaceous flavor into several components of the strawberry chicken salad.
  • Meal Prep! ⇢ Dressings are fantastic to make ahead & store for later. This maple balsamic will last in your fridge for a week. Any leftovers double as a great chicken marinade!

Learn more!Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Chicken Strawberry Salad Assembly

With all the prep work taken care of, chicken strawberry salad assembly is as simple as tossing everything in a salad bowl & serving – easy!

An overhead close-up shot of the strawberry chicken salad in a bowl atop a light pink surface: greens, strawberries, chicken, almonds, goat cheese and vinaigrette. A wood-handled fork is resting in the bowl and a glass of water sits alongside it.

To assemble the chicken and strawberry balsamic salad. ⇢ First, add the delicate greens to your favorite serving bowl. Then, top them with fresh strawberries & blueberries then layer in the cooked farro, crumbled goat cheese, chopped almonds, sliced herbed chicken breast, & a drizzle of maple balsamic vinaigrette. Easy & ready to go!

You can serve this herbed chicken strawberry salad for a lovely spring or summer dinner with friends. It always feels so festive but is also simple enough for easy lunch meal prep or a light weeknight dinner. Worth enjoying over & over, for sure!

I can’t wait for you to try this Herbed Chicken Strawberry Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette! It’s a great example of how fun & flavorful a salad can be when it’s loaded with different textures & hearty add-ins. Plus fruity salads are the best seasonal twist!

If you do give it a try, be sure to let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!

Print
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An overhead shot of the strawberry chicken salad on a light pink surface. The bowl is surrounded by a white dish towel, a jar of vinaigrette, and small bowls of strawberries, almonds and goat cheese.

Strawberry Chicken Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 20 mintues
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Entrée Salads & Bowl Recipes, Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Description

While some don’t love the idea of using fruit in savory dishes, pairing sweet with savory is one of my favorite ways to enjoy fruit during the spring & summer months. That’s exactly the inspiration behind this particular Strawberry Chicken Salad recipe.

It kicks the classic sweet-savory pairing of berries and balsamic vinegar up a few notches by layering on satisfying textures & complementary flavors: herbed chicken breast, tangy goat cheese, nutty farro, crunchy almonds, & delicate spring greens. Fresh & satisfying all at once, this is seriously THE salad for berry season!

As is the case with any hearty salad, there’s a little bit of prep required to get to the point where you can just toss it all together. Be sure to check the Recipe Notes, below, for a few meal prep tips & the blog post, above, for some simple swaps & substitutions that help cut down on prep time even more. ♡ Happy berry season!


Ingredients

Scale
    • ½ cup farro, rinsed well
    • herbed chicken, below
    • maple balsamic vinaigrette, below
    • 5 ounces spring mix or tender greens of choice
    • 16 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled & quartered (approx. 2 ½ cups chopped)
    • 4 ounces blueberries (approx. 1 cup)
    • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
    • ¼ cup almonds, roughly chopped
    • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

    for the herbed chicken:

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin or butterflied (sliced in half lengthwise)
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped hardy fresh herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, sage, or thyme (see Recipe Notes)
    • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

    for the maple balsamic vinaigrette:

    • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
    • 1 clove garlic
    • scant 1 tablespoon finely chopped hardy fresh herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, sage, or thyme (see Recipe Notes)
    • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

Instructions

  1. Cook the farro: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Add the farro and boil 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until your desired al dente texture is reached. Drain & immediately rinse with cold water. Set aside to drain well or transfer to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.A colander filled with farro rests in a saucepan atop a light pink marbled surface.
  2. Cook the chicken: Meanwhile, as the farro cooks, prepare the chicken. Heat the oil in a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with the fresh herbs, 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Once the oil in the pan is hot & shimmering, place chicken breasts in the skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes per side, or until the chicken is beautifully golden brown & is cooked through. Remove from the heat & allow to cool slightly before slicing into bite-sized pieces. (Alternatively, if you have an outdoor grill, feel free to toss the chicken on the grill.)A cast-iron skillet with browned chicken breasts rests atop a pink marbled surface.
  3. Prep the maple balsamic vinaigrette: Combine all listed ingredients in a small bowl or jar, seasoning with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Whisk or shake to combine. Taste and season with additional kosher salt or ground black pepper as desired. Set aside, or store in an airtight container in the the refrigerator for up to 1 week.An overhead macro shot of a jar of maple balsamic vinaigrette sitting on a light pink surface. Herbs are scattered in the background.
  4. Strawberry chicken salad assembly: Place the salad greens in a large bowl, topping with the cooked farro, sliced chicken, strawberries, blueberries, crumbled goat cheese, & chopped almonds. Drizzle the maple balsamic vinaigrette over top, then toss to combine well. Taste & season with additional salt & ground black pepper as needed. Serve immediately. Enjoy!An overhead shot of the strawberry chicken salad on a light pink surface. The bowl is surrounded by a white dish towel, a jar of vinaigrette, and small bowls of strawberries, almonds and goat cheese.

Notes

  • Ingredient Notes:
    • Farro is an ancient whole grain – a distant relative to modern-day wheat – with nutty flavor & the best hearty texture. If you cannot find farro, wheat berries are the closest substitute, though I’d happily swap it for quinoa or pearl couscous in this particular recipe. Using a ready-to-serve grain blend is also a great shortcut here!
    • Fresh herbs: Rather than buying fresh herbs individually, many grocery stores that sell fresh herbs also carry a “poultry blend” consisting of fresh rosemary, sage & thyme – perfect for this strawberry salad recipe! Similar dried herbs & herb blends, such as dried oregano, dried rosemary, dried thyme or herbs de provence or Italian seasoning, work great in a pinch. If using dried herbs, use 3 teaspoons instead of 3 tablespoons as listed in the Ingredients List above.
  • Make-Ahead & Storage: Prepared strawberry chicken salad components will keep, stored in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days. If desired, reheat the chicken in the microwave until warmed through, then assemble salads as desired.
  • 10-Minute Meal Prep: A little bit of meal prep will goes a long way in making hearty salads a little easier to throw together during the week. Feel free to prep all of the salad components & store in individual airtight containers in the refrigerator, or pick & choose a couple to help streamline prep during the week. Personally, I like to…
    • Cook the farro according to Step 1 of Recipe Directions above. Drain well & store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (5 minutes active prep)
    • Prepare the maple balsamic vinaigrette according to Step 3 of Recipe Directions, above. Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (5 minutes active prep)

Keywords: spring salad recipe, summer salad recipe, strawberry salad, strawberry chicken salad, berry chicken salad

Recipe & Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.

Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest for more unfussy recipes that pack a big punch of flavor!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Comments

  1. 4.23.23
    Carole said:

    Absolutely perfect!! This is quite possibly my favorite salad ever, because of the textures and depth of flavor. It has already been put back on my meal planner for later this month. Thank you!!

    • 4.24.23
      Emma @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Hi Carole! It’s one of our all-time favorites as well!! So glad to hear you loved it, too 🙂

  2. 4.29.18
    Sheila said:

    I would have to agree that this is insanely good. The combination is just perfect. We loved it. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    • 5.1.18
      jess said:

      oh this makes my day, sheila! so glad you tried these strawberry salads & loved them!!! thank you for sharing. xo

  3. 4.25.18
    Kylie said:

    WOW what a gorgeous salad!!

    • 4.26.18
      jess said:

      thanks so much, Kylie! it tastes better than it looks, if you could believe that! xo