Roasted winter veggies and a lemon vinaigrette added to this chicken entree salad make it one that you will want on the menu all winter long!
I absolutely love roasted veggies. I think that roasting them, in most cases, is the best way to eat them. And it’s the only way I will eat sweet potatoes. I am not a fan otherwise. So, of course it makes perfect sense to add roasted veggies to a hearty chicken salad, right?!?
If I’m being honest, the original intent was to use Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, but the grocery store was out of sprouts, and I had some broccoli and a sweet potato that I needed to use so…why not?!?
I questioned myself a little bit with the broccoli, ahead of time – I’m not sure why – but all three of these roasted veggies were amazing in this salad. And the extra sharp cheddar cheese was perfect with it.
J can be a little finicky about salad sometimes, meaning he likes the toppings more than the actual greens, but he gobbled his up AND went back to add more spinach to it!
And Nat still isn’t quite to the point of eating an actual salad, she loved all the components of this one, on a plate with no spinach. Especially the cheese. I swear that kid is gonna turn into a block of cheese one day! But, she also really loves roasted veggies, so that’s a defininte mommy-win right there.
I took this for lunch the following day as well and enjoyed it cold, right from the fridge with a good drizzle of dressing. I really do love a good entree salad. Filling, usually on the healthier side, and delicious!
Roasted Winter Veggie & Chicken Salad
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tsp
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
- zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3-4 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup freshly grated extra sharp white cheddar
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss the veggies with 1 tablespoon of the mixture and then layout on a large baking sheet. (I tossed each veggie separately and then layed all out on the same baking sheet.) Place in oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Whisk the lemon zest and juice into the remaining olive oil-garlic mixture. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet set over medium high heat. Pat the chicken dry and season both sides with salt and pepper, then cook 3-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes, then chop into large dice.
- Toss spinach with the dressing,then gently mix in the vegetables, chicken, and cheese. Divide amonng your bowls, and enjoy! This salad is good warm, room temp, or even cold from the fridge!
Adapted from Pink Parsley