This Chopped Salad with Citrus Basil Dressing is one of the most delicious salads ever! It serves as a main dish because it’s got literally EVERYTHING in it. I personally love eating salads for dinner in the summer. If you are like me, check out these other amazing salad recipes.
The great thing about salads is that they are super versatile. They are perfect to use seasonal ingredients and create a delicious meal in minutes or for meal prepping. Salad dressing is usually what gives the salad that special touch and flavor. One of my favorite salad dressings is this Maple Mustard Balsamic Dressing, it is so good that it has become a staple at home.
Salads are not only delicious and refreshing on their own during the warmer months, but they are also a great complement to other dishes all year round, like this hearty Roasted Butternut Squash Salad.
Ingredients and Substitutions for Chopped Salad
- Eggs – a rich source of protein and vitamins to this Chopped Salad. They are an important ingredient and suggest not to omit them.
- Bacon – it adds a crispy and savory touch. You can use pork bacon, turkey bacon or a vegetarian bacon alternative if you prefer.
- Chicken Breasts – a great source of lean protein and an essential ingredient to make this salad a full meal. Boneless skinless chicken breasts work best.
- Romaine Lettuce – the thick and crispy leaves of Romaine lettuce are the best base for this salad. Baby spinach, arugula or endive are great choices too.
- Red Onion – red is usually a better choice for salads for its mild flavor and color, but scallions or white onion work well too.
- Carrots & Cherry Tomatoes – these veggies not only offer delicious flavor but great texture. I recommend using exactly this combo but if you don’t like them try and replace by veggies with similar texture such as bell pepper and cucumber.
- Corn – fresh corn is delicious, but canned or frozen corn works perfectly well too.
Ingredients and Substitutions for Citrus Basil Dressing
- Basil – basil and citrus fruits go incredibly well together but cilantro works fantastic as well of course. I don’t recommend parsley or any other herb in this. You need mild herbs such as basil or cilantro.
- Orange – any other sweet citrus works as well. Celementine and orange are the best but even grapefruit is awesome if you can find a super sweet one.
- Lime – lime or lemon both work or even rice vinegar for that touch of acidity.
- Avocado Oil – any other flavorless oil works great, too.
- Dijon Mustard – this mustard has such a delicate flavor and tastes way better than any other mustard in salad dressings. I don’t recommend replacing by anything else or any other mustard.
How to Make Chopped Salad with Citrus Basil Dressing
- Make Hard Boiled Eggs – my favorite way is to get water to a boil in a small pot and carefully add the three eggs. Set a timer for 10 minutes and prepare an ice bath for them. When done, place the eggs in the ice bath to stop from cooking.
- Fry Bacon – preheat a large pan over medium-low heat and once it is hot, add two rashers of bacon to it. Fry until golden and crispy. I prefer to fry it over medium-low to prevent the bacon fat from splashing all over the place. Make sure to flip the bacon to make it extra crispy. Remove from pan and set aside. Remove excess fat from the pan with a paper towel, making sure to leave enough fat to fry the chicken.
- Fry Chicken – add the chicken breasts to the hot pan with the bacon fat, still on medium-low, and season generously with sea salt and pepper. Cook for 4-6 minutes on one side without moving it around. Once it is nice and brown, flip it and cook for another 4-6 minutes on the other side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 °F. Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and place them on a cutting board to rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Prepare Lettuce – get another chopping board and cut a large head of Romaine lettuce into about 1-inch strips, then wash and spin dry the lettuce. It is much easier to wash when it is already cut. Make sure you spin it well so it doesn’t water down the dressing later. Add the lettuce to a large salad bowl.
- Slice Onion – thinly slice a quarter red onion and add it to the salad bowl in one row.
- Julienne Carrots – peel and julienne two carrots, and add them in a row on the salad bowl next to the sliced onions. Use your hands to break the crispy bacon into bits and pieces, and add them in a row to the other end of the salad bowl. Then add 1/2 cup of cooked corn kernels in one row next to the bacon.
- Cube Chicken – cut chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes and add them to the salad bowl next to the corn row. Chicken and eggs make this chopped salad a full meal instead of just a side dish.
- Slice Tomatoes – cut about 9 oz of cherry tomatoes in half, and arrange in the salad bowl in a row, like the rest of the ingredients.
- Cut Hard Boiled Eggs – peel the cool hardboiled eggs and cut them in quarters. Add them to the salad bowl in a row between the tomatoes and the carrots. Set the salad bowl aside.
- Make Citrus Basil Dressing – add a handful of basil leaves to a jar wide enough to fit your immersion blender, the juice of one orange, the juice of one lime, 3 tbsp of avocado oil, 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard, and sea salt and pepper to taste. Use the immersion blender to mix it all until the dressing is smooth and bright green, and there are no visible bits of basil in it.
- Add Dressing to Chopped Salad – pour the delicious Citrus Basil Dressing all over your salad and enjoy!
- 3 eggs
- 2 rashers bacon
- 9 oz chicken breasts
- 1 large romaine lettuce
- 1/4 red onion
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 cup cooked corn - defrosted or canned or homecooked
- 9 oz cherry tomatoes
- 1 handful basil
- 1 orange
- 1 lime
- 3 Tbsp avocado oil
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- sea salt
- Hard boil the eggs for 10-minutes in boiling water then add to an ice bath to stop from cooking.
- Preheat a large pan over medium-low heat and once hot add bacon and fry until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside and use a paper towel to remove part of the bacon fat leaving enough in the pan to fry the chicken.
- Pan-fry the chicken over medium-low for 4-6 minutes on one side, then flip and fry 4-6 minutes on the other side. Season with sea salt and pepper while pan-frying. Then let rest aside on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, chop Romaine lettuce, then wash and spin dry and add to a large salad bowl.
- Julienne 2 peeled carrots, thinly slice onion, and cut cherry tomatoes in half.
- Cut chicken into cubes and peel and quarter hard-boiled eggs.
- Assemble the salad by adding sliced onion, crumbled bacon, julienned carrots, halved cherry tomatoes, cooked corn, diced chicken, and quartered eggs on top of the lettuce in rows.
- Prepare the dressing by adding basil, orange juice, lime juice, Dijon mustard, avocado oil, and sea salt and pepper to a jar wide enough to fit your immersion blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour dressing over salad minutes before serving and enjoy!