This easy Spring Salad with Chicken is the perfect light meal for lunch or dinner with a flavorful lemon parmesan dressing!
This delicious Spring Salad with Chicken is light, nutritious, and easy! If you’re looking for a healthy meal that requires very little work, this is the recipe for you. These pack easily for lunches and can be thrown together quickly for a busy weeknight dinner!
This salad is simple with very few ingredients, and it’s topped with a homemade lemon parmesan dressing. The fresh lemon juice and zest brings a bold, bright flavor while the parmesan cheese adds a tangy, delicious taste. This dressing is super tasty and works great as a chicken marinade, too!
What’s in a spring salad mix?
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need for this recipe. For exact measurements, keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card below.
- Chicken – Boneless, skinless chicken works best for this recipe. Use up leftover chicken or shred the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken to save time.
- Greens – I used a pre-mixed package that included spinach, arugula, red leaf, baby butter, and more. You can use any lettuce you prefer.
- Red onion – These are sliced thin and pack a big punch! If you prefer a milder flavor, dice them for less oniony flavor in each bite.
- Avocado – Should be ripe but not too soft if you want it to hold up to tossing. This is optional and can be skipped, but it adds a beautifully creamy texture to the salad.
- Shaved parmesan – The tangy, salty flavor from fresh parmesan really brings the best out of this salad and dressing! You can use grated parmesan if that’s easier, but I love the bite from the big shaved pieces of cheese.
Lemon Parmesan Dressing
- Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oils are usually more flavorful and best for dressings.
- Parmesan – The grated, powdered parmesan incorporates easier into this dressing, but freshly shredded parmesan can work if it’s all you have.
- Lemon Juice & Zest – A fresh, new lemon will produce the most flavorful zest and the most juice.
- Salt & Pepper – This adds great flavor. If you want to add a twist, you can use seasoned salt instead of regular table salt. If you want some added flavor, add a few dashes of garlic powder, too.
How to make a spring salad with chicken
This is so easy, and it requires very little work! Simply halve the salad greens between two bowls, then top each with half the chicken, parmesan, red onions, and pine nuts. Drizzle two tablespoons of dressing on each and serve immediately.
It’s best to make these salads fresh to keep the greens crisp. Prep the salad ahead of time by portioning out the chicken, onions, and parmesan into their own containers separate from the greens.
The parmesan dressing can be stored for at least a week in the fridge. This is the shaker I use–Super convenient for mixing and storing.
If you like this light salad, you’ll love these other easy salads:
- Spicy Thai Salad with Chicken – This Panera copycat recipe is bursting with flavor, and you’ll LOVE the peanut dressing!
- Keto Chicken Salad – Skip the greens and go full protein with this delicious, easy chicken salad.
- Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad – Absolutely bursting with flavor, this is an easy meal prep recipe.
- Chicken Taco Salad Board – This is a great party spread! You can set out the food and let people serve themselves.
- White Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette – The marinated beans perfectly distribute the bright flavor in this easy light salad!
FAQ’s about salads with chicken
A spring salad usually has a mix of greens like spinach, arugula, red leaf and green leaf lettuces, etc. Stores often sell pre-mixed blends, but any salad greens will work for this recipe.
I love to keep it simple, but a few toppings add great variety of tastes and textures! Croutons and nuts add a great crunch while roasted vegetables add great substance and flavor. You could push this salad over the top with some bacon, sliced cucumbers, and chopped tomatoes!
Salad dressing is entirely a preference. Some people love to use a ton while others prefer to barely dampen the leaves. I used 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) per salad for a moderately dressed salad.
Spring Salad with Chicken
- 4 cups mixed salad greens
- 6 ounces chicken shredded or sliced
- 1/8 cup red onions sliced
- 1 ounce parmesan shaved
- 1 avocado diced
- 2 ounces Lemon Parmesan Dressing (recipe below)
Lemon Parmesan Dressing
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Calories: 179g; Total Fat: 19.8g; Cholesterol: 3.6mg; Sodium: 463.9mg; Total Carbohydrates: 1g; Dietary Fiber: 0.1g; Sugars: 0.1g; Protein: 1.2g