Sharing a fresh new salad for our January healthy kick! It’s my everyday roasted red pepper & chicken salad with crunchy fennel, watermelon radish, briny olives, roasted walnuts, fresh chives + oregano, and tossed in a simple dijon vinaigrette. It’s a salad you can make for a crowd, or prep all of the ingredients and eat a few salads yourself all week long. It’s also really simple to make and one of the tastiest combinations.
the story behind this chicken salad…
A few months back when we were in the midst of opening our family’s restaurant, Nancy’s Pizzeria, the long days and lack of time to grocery shop meant a lot of meals ended up being from our restaurant. Which means a lot of pizza…
After a week or so I just couldn’t eat one more slice, and so I ended up making this salad. I wanted nothing to do with cheese or bread or anything but really good, energizing, nutritious ingredients. This combination came together, and I’ve pretty much made it every other week since.
With no plan of creating this for the blog, I make it way too often not to share. And I’m so excited that some of you may end up loving this roasted red pepper & chicken salad as much as I do!
So the base of it all is the roasted chicken and red peppers. I take skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts and roast them until golden. Even though we end up shredding the meat, the bone and skin keep the chicken extra juicy when roasting (it makes a huge difference). The red peppers become charred and slightly sweet.
From there, I added raw fennel and watermelon radish for a nice detoxifying crunch. It keeps the salad fresh and crisp. Without any rich cheese in here, I needed to add other ingredients with a bit of flavor depth. The olives and deeply roasted walnuts do just that. And I definitely don’t add them sparingly. I like a LOT of flavor and crunch, and both of these ingredients are really good additions.
The vinaigrette is simple…and pretty much my go-to vinaigrette when I’m quickly throwing a salad together. It’s 4 parts white wine vinegar, 2 parts honey, and 1 part Dijon mustard. Simply emulsified with olive oil and seasoned well with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Slightly sweet + tangy.
This recipe makes about four good-size salads, and while you can serve this for your family or friends as part of a meal, I honestly love just making it for myself as a really healthy weekday lunch or dinner. I’ll prep all of the ingredients and store them separately, then toss together a fresh salad when the mood strikes.
And for some reason, I simply cannot get enough of it!
[If you missed it, I shared 24 Healthy Recipes to Inspire the New Year the other day. Such good recipes in here to refresh your cooking!]Print
Everyday Roasted Red Pepper & Chicken Salad
a simple, everyday roasted red pepper & chicken salad with fennel, watermelon radish, olives, roasted walnuts, and tossed in a dijon vinaigrette
- 2 skin-on, bone-in split chicken breasts
- 2 red peppers, halved and cored
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lb mixed greens
- 2 small fennel bulbs, quartered + thinly sliced
- 1 watermelon radish, peeled + halved + thinly sliced
- ½ cup castelvetrano olives, drained + halved
- 2 tbsp minced chives
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. Pat the chicken breasts dry and place onto the pan, skin-side up, with the red peppers alongside them, cut-side down. Coat both the chicken and peppers with olive oil on all sides. Season well with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is golden and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, heat a 10″ skillet over medium heat. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil. Once hot, add the walnuts. Toast for a minute or so until fragrant and slightly browned, stirring often (watch them closely so they don’t burn). Season with a pinch of salt.
- Make the vinaigrette by whisking the white wine vinegar, honey, and dijon mustard together in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle in the oil slowly, whisking continuously until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the chicken and peppers from the oven. Let cool. Remove the meat from the chicken and shred it into small pieces using your hands or two forks. Remove and discard the skins from the red peppers, and then roughly chop them.
- To assemble the salad, add the mixed greens, sliced fennel, sliced watermelon radish, olives, shredded chicken, red peppers, and chopped walnuts to a mixing bowl. Toss well while you drizzle in the vinaigrette to your desired amount.
- Transfer the salad to a large salad bowl and garnish with the herbs, plus more freshly cracked black pepper.
I’ll typically make this salad just for myself and eat it over 3-4 days. To do so, prep the chicken, red peppers, and walnuts. Make the vinaigrette. Slice the fennel and watermelon radishes. Store all of the ingredients separately. Assemble each salad as needed with a little bit of every ingredient in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in enough vinaigrette to your desired consistency. Cut the herbs fresh and sprinkle over top.