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Healthy Autumn Chicken Salad makes it easy to eat well in the fall. This chicken chopped salad is filled with crunchy romaine lettuce and tender grilled chicken, crisp apples, cranberries and pecans. It’s topped with a sweet maple dressing and tangy feta cheese for an explosion of fall flavors.  

Chopped chicken salad on a platter with apples.
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Autumn chopped salad will leave you feeling good. It’s gluten free, loaded with the best ingredients and is perfect as a main course or a side salad. This healthy autumn chicken salad with apples and cranberries will grace your table all season long.

If you love apples and cranberries, try my Baked Mini Apple Pies or Homemade Cranberry Sauce.

Why You’ll Love This Autumn Salad Recipe

  • It’s seasonal. Enjoy the fresh flavors of fall with apples, cranberries and pecans. 
  • It’s diet friendly. This salad is gluten free and relatively low in carbs, so it makes eating healthy easy to do. 
  • It’s perfect as a main course. Serve as a main course or omit the chicken and serve smaller portions as a side dish. 

Chopped Chicken Salad Ingredients

Ingredients needed for healthy autumn chicken salad.

For the Chicken

  • Chicken – season whole skinless and boneless chicken breasts.
  • Seasoning – combine garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper or use your favorite seasoning blend. 
  • Olive Oil – or use your favorite oil for browning chicken. 

For the Mustard Salad Dressing

  • Olive Oil – Use extra virgin olive oil as it lends a nice flavor to the dressing. You can substitute your favorite oil. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – The slight apple flavor of ACV adds an autumn flavor to the salad dressing. Feel free to substitute red wine vinegar if desired. 
  • Maple Syrup – Be sure to use real maple syrup.
  • Dijon Mustard – We don’t recommend using yellow mustard, but you can use regular Dijon or stone ground Dijon mustard. 
  • Salt and Black Pepper – To taste. 

Salad Ingredients

  • Lettuce – Roughly chopped romaine lettuce makes a crunchy and satisfying base for this salad. 
  • Apple – Core and chop an apple. You can use your favorite kind of apple. 
  • Pecans – Substitute walnuts if you prefer. 
  • Dried Cranberries – You can also use dried cherries, raisins or golden raisins.
  • Cheese – Crumbled feta cheese adds a creamy, salty flavor. You can substitute your favorite cheese. Crumbled goat cheese or crumbled blue cheese would both be great options. 

How To Make Chopped Chicken Salad

Maple dressing for autumn chopped salad in bowl.
  • Prepare the dressing. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small jar or bowl. Keep it aside.
  • Season the chicken. Pat dry the chicken breasts with a kitchen towel. Season the chicken on both sides with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Grilled chicken breasts sliced on a platter.
  • Grill the chicken. Heat a grill pan or large skillet with olive oil; add the chicken breasts and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the chicken breasts are cooked through. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes, and then slice the chicken breasts.
How to assemble the healthy autumn chicken salad.
  • Mix the salad ingredients. Meanwhile, prepare the salad ingredients and mix them in a large bowl. Add the cooked sliced chicken to the salad and drizzle the prepared dressing over the salad and toss.
  • Serve. Serve the salad with extra dressing on the side to enjoy.

Tips To Make Autumn Salad Recipe

  • I love the crisp and crunch of romaine lettuce, but you can use your favorite salad greens.
  • Make this recipe even easier by using rotisserie chicken instead. 
  • You can cook the chicken on a grill pan, outdoor grill, or use a skillet or griddle. 
  • The chicken can be served hot or cold. 
  • Slice the chicken into strips for easy serving.
  • Pour all the salad dressing ingredients into a clean jar, seal and shake.
  • Double the salad dressing so you have extra on hand.  
  • Store the undressed salad and chicken in separate containers for easy meal prep. Combine with the salad dressing just before serving. 
  • For even more crunch, roast the pecans in a dry skillet before adding them to the salad. 
A platter of healthy autumn chicken salad with apples and cranberries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this Autumn Chicken Salad recipe healthy?

This chicken is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. The ingredients in the salad are nutrient-dense, so even with the addition of dried cranberries and feta cheese, you are still creating a healthy meal.

Can I use chicken thighs?

I like to use chicken breasts because they are lean and flavorful. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are tasty and incredibly juicy, making them a great option if you don’t want to use chicken breasts. 

Can I use store bought dressing?

Sure! Making homemade dressing is easy, and you can control the added salt and sugar. Although I love the simplicity of this dressing, a storebought dressing would be an easy alternative.

How do I store this chicken salad. 

The grilled chicken breast stores well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For the best results, store the salad, chicken and dressing separately and combine just before serving. 

What to serve with chicken chopped salad?

A spoon drizzles dressing over the autumn chopped salad.

More Salad Recipes

I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you, including this delicious Autumn chopped salad recipe. I hope you try it, enjoy it, rate it, and share it with your friends and family!

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5 from 1 vote

Autumn Chopped Chicken Salad

This chicken chopped salad is filled with crunchy romaine lettuce and tender grilled chicken, crisp apples, cranberries and pecans. It’s topped with a sweet maple dressing and tangy feta cheese for an explosion of fall flavors.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

For the chicken

  • 1.5 lb chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the dressing

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the salad

  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium apple, cored and chopped
  • ½ cup pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions 

  • Prepare the dressing by combining the dressing ingredients in a small jar or bowl. Keep it aside.
  • Pat dry the chicken breasts with a kitchen towel. Season the chicken on both sides with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Heat a grill pan or large skillet with olive oil; add the chicken breasts and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the chicken breasts are cooked through. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes and then slice the chicken breasts.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the salad ingredients and mix them in a large bowl. Add the cooked sliced chicken to the salad and drizzle the prepared dressing over the salad and toss.
  • Serve the salad with extra dressing on the side to enjoy.

Notes

  • I love the crisp and crunch of romaine lettuce, but you can use your favorite salad greens.
  • Make this recipe even easier by using rotisserie chicken instead. 
  • You can cook the chicken on a grill pan, outdoor grill, or use a skillet or griddle. 
  • Always cook the chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 degrees F. Check for doneness using a meat thermometer.
  • The chicken can be served hot or cold. 
  • Slice the chicken into strips for easy serving.
  • Pour all the salad dressing ingredients into a clean jar, seal and shake.
  • Double the salad dressing so you have extra on hand.  
  • Store the undressed salad and chicken in separate containers for easy meal prep. Combine with the salad dressing just before serving. 
  • For even more crunch, roast the pecans in a dry skillet before adding them to the salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 655kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 680mg | Potassium: 639mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 4269IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg
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