This Blackberry Basil Grilled Chicken Salad is the perfect way to kick off spring. Fresh basil and arugula served with marinated grilled chicken and topped off with crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds, avocado and a sweet blackberry vinaigrette. One thing that I love about this recipe is how part of that blackberry marinade is used for the chicken and the rest becomes a dressing for the salad. Super simple, easy to make and packed with flavor. Healthy and gluten free, this blackberry chicken salad makes for a great summer side dish or main meal!
How to Make Blackberry Chicken Salad
- Make the marinade: The marinade for the chicken is super simple. All you need to do is combine the ingredients (listed in the recipe card below) and blend them up until smooth and creamy. For this, I used a high speed blender but a food processor will work too. Once you’ve blended everything, place a strainer on top of a wide bowl and pour in the blackberry mixture. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to press it through, leaving behind any seeds or excess pulp. This helps make the dressing/marinade extra smooth and creamy.
- Marinate the chicken: Since we’re going to need most of this delicious blackberry stuff to use a dressing, reserve about 3/4ths of it in a jar or other resealable container. The rest, pour over the chicken. I like to marinate my chicken for at least 30 minutes. Overnight is ideal, but just do whatever you have time for.
- Grill the chicken: For this one, I can’t give super specific instructions since everyones grill is a little different. I like to keep the grill around 400-425° F and cook the chicken with the hood down for about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. It’s really helpful to have a meat thermometer to remove any guesswork. Once the chicken comes off the grill, let it sit for about 10 minutes or so before slicing.
- Assemble the salad: For serving the salad, divide the arugula among bowls, top with some fresh torn basil, avocado and your sliced grilled chicken. Sprinkle over some fresh blackberries, toasted pumpkin seeds and toss with the reserved blackberry dressing. Enjoy!
Tips for Making Blackberry Basil Chicken Salad
- This may be really obvious, but I feel like I should just say it. Do not use the the marinade that the chicken was in as a dressing. Throw that out once you remove the chicken. Most of the marinade gets reserved and sealed up in a jar where its to be used later as a dressing. Anything that’s touched raw chicken is not safe to eat!
- If you want to make this more of a main meal, I recommend adding in some sort of grain or other carb such as quinoa, farro or sweet potato. Just make sure everything is cold or at room temperature before adding to the salad as it may wilt the greens.
- If the remaining dressing seems too thick to pour, add one or two tablespoons of water and shake it up until the desired consistency is reached.
More Recipe to Try:
- Superfood citrus salad with tofu feta and crunchy seeds
- Black bean quesadillas with mango chimichurri sauce
- Roasted strawberry salad with black rice and avocado