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Published June 17, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This refreshing Lemon Chicken Chopped Salad Recipe is jam-packed with vegetables, marinated grilled chicken, and lettuce in a simple soy-vinegar vinaigrette. My family loves this salad, and we usually make some variation of it once a week.
Chopped salads, or as some people call them, “chop salads,” are a combination of fresh small, diced vegetables and protein that are tossed together with chopped lettuce and served up with a salad dressing. The chopped salad was said to be created by Jean Leon of La Scala restaurant in Hollywood in the 1950s. It has since evolved in a myriad of ways and can be completely customized to your liking.
There are so many wonderful fresh veggies in season that this salad is probably on the high end of how many things are in it, but I just couldn’t resist when I was at the grocery store. While my salad is best to be made in the summer. Chopped salads can be altered depending on the seasonality of the vegetables.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken – I used my chicken marinade recipe that has lemon in it.
- Vinaigrette – Almost any vinaigrette will work on this recipe. However, I made a very simple 4 ingredient soy and vinegar-based vinaigrette that perfectly complements this salad.
- Lettuce – I prefer to use romaine lettuce, and green leaf or butter leaf lettuce will also work.
- Vegetables – This is subjective, but I like to use bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, corn, and celery. You can use a few vegetables or a lot. Use what you have and what’s in season.
How to Make a Lemon Chicken Chopped Salad
- Add two tablespoons of your preferred cooking oil to a large frying pan over medium heat and heat for 1 minute. Place in the chicken and cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked throughout. Be sure to watch the chicken as it can brown very quickly and turn burning. If that is the case, turn the heat down to medium-low. Remove the chicken and slice.
- Chop the lettuce into small pieces.
- Prepare the vegetables.
- Add the vinaigrette ingredients to a container with a lid and shake until emulsified. Set it aside.
- Add the lettuce to a large bowl and evenly sprinkle on or fan out all of the small, diced vegetables and sliced chicken.
- Garnish with the seeds, green onions, and microgreens.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this chopped salad up to 1 day before. Just be sure it is not yet mixed with the dressing. In addition, it would be best to keep the ingredients separate.
How to Store: Cover and keep it in the refrigerator undressed for up to 3 days. This will not freeze. The salad could last 1 to 2 days longer if you keep the topping ingredients stored separately.
Chef Notes + Tips
- It is ok to serve the chicken cold or at any internal temperature.
- Feel free to swap out or remove any salad ingredients to what you’d like.
- This salad is much more malleable and can be made with whatever or how many ever of the ingredients you’d like. Make this salad work for you and your liking.
More Salad Recipes
Lemon Chicken Chopped Salad Recipe
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 8-12 ounces each
- 1 chicken marinated recipe
For the Soy Vinaigrette:
- ½ cup olive or avocado oil
- 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons ed wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
For the Chopped Salad:
- 1 head of small diced romaine lettuce
- 1 head of small diced green leaf lettuce
- 1 seeded and small diced red bell peppers
- 1 seeded and small diced yellow bell pepper
- ½ seeded and small diced cucumber
- ½ peeled and small diced sweet onion
- 1 ½ cups of small diced cherry tomatoes
- 2 shredded carrots
- 4 small diced radishes
- 4 small diced stalks of celery
- 2 trimmed cooked ears of corn
- sunflower seeds and sliced green onions for garnish
- Chicken: Place all ingredients into a plastic bag and mix until completely combined and marinate in your refrigerator overnight or for at least 12 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade to a hot pan over medium-high heat and sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown and cooked throughout, about 6 minutes per side. Slice and set aside.
- Vinaigrette: Add all ingredients to a container with a lid and shake until emulsified. Set aside.
- To Plate: Add the lettuce to a large bowl and evenly sprinkle on or fan out all of the small diced vegetables and sliced chicken.
- Garnish with the sunflower seeds and green onions.