Tender chicken, juicy raspberries, and tangy goat cheese get together to party in this simple yet flavorful Chicken & Raspberry Salad. No need for a cafe salad today when you’ve got this going on!
It used to be that cafe salads were some of my favorites. Whether it was a local restaurant with a great salad menu or a national chain that pushed pastries alongside a great soup and salad combo, I was always ready to dig in.
And then I learned something life-changing.
I could make those salads just as well at home for less money. True story!
A homemade salad with chicken, fruit, nuts, and cheese is a veritable party in your mouth, and you can make it yourself for just a few bucks! This Chicken & Raspberry Salad is one of those salads!
Chicken & Raspberry Salad
A salad so colorful and beautiful has to be hard or complicated to make, right?
Nope. In fact, with a rotisserie chicken, you can make this salad in just a few minutes for your week’s lunches or for a delicious salad bowl dinner. With tender chicken, juicy berries, tangy goat cheese, and crunchy pecans, this salad is the answer to your cravings for fresh food after all the holiday heaviness.
How do you make Chicken & Raspberry Salad?
You’ll notice that the base of this salad is very much like my Meal Prep Salads. Baby greens, shredded cabbage, and shredded carrot add great flavor, fiber, and color to your salads.
Start with this base and then build from there, adding tender sliced chicken breast, chopped scallion, juicy raspberries, goat cheese crumbles, and chopped pecans.
Who knew something so delicious could be so simple?!
You can prepare this salad in four meal prep boxes or in one big salad bowl to share. Whatever you do, be sure to make the homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette for dousing it all in more raspberry flavor.
What are different types of salad?
I’m always confused when folks say they don’t like salad. Especially since there are so many different types to choose from. Green salad, Caesar Salad, and Chef Salad are all popular choices, featuring lettuce of some kind.
This raspberry salad falls in the category of Salade Composee, a composed or layered salad popular in France.
If you toss it all in a bowl, it’s just a green salad with fruit on it. 😉
How do you store salad so it doesn’t get soggy?
As I mentioned, I love making salads for meal prep. It takes just minutes on a weekend afternoon but I reap the rewards manifold throughout the week.
The trick, of course, is to keep the salad from getting soggy.
Moisture is the enemy when it comes to salads, so hold off adding the dressing until right before you serve it. Even before then, you can extend the shelf-life of your meal prepped salad by making sure the other components are very dry.
Use a salad spinner to get the salad greens very dry and pat the raspberries dry before adding them to the salad. My salads last a full four days when done in this manner with very fresh ingredients.
If you want to take it all a step further, in the vein of Mason Jar Salads, place the heavy, wet items (chicken, cheese, nuts, berries) in the dish first and top with the greens. You’ll need to invert the dish or have room to shake it all up before you serve it.
Savvy readers will notice that this salad follows a certain template:
greens + protein + fruit + nuts + onion + cheese = awesome salad
You can recreate this at home with whatever you have on hand. Will it taste the same as this salad? Of course not. But, the point of Good Cheap Eats is to help you make the most of what you have. So, if blueberries and walnuts are what you got, go with it!
What kinds of nuts are good in salad?
Any nuts or seeds will be great in a salad, but consider these options if you want to veer from pecans:
- pine nuts
- sunflower seeds
What kinds of fruit are good in salad?
Fruits are a wonderful addition to green salads. They add flavor, fiber, color, and texture. Some of the best ones include:
- berries – sliced strawberries or whole blackberries, raspberries, blueberries or boysenberries
- sliced or chopped apples or pears (watch for browning and consider adding at the last minute)
- sliced or chopped oranges or grapefruits, preferably cut into supremes
- chopped or sliced mango and avocado (yes, avocado is a fruit)
- stone fruit such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums
- pitted cherries
- sliced figs
- dried fruit, such as cranberries or raisins
How to make this good and cheap:
A salad with fruit, cheese, and nuts tastes like a million bucks, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. The cheese and raspberries are the high price items in this recipe. Watch for sales and stock up.
- Freeze the cheese. Stretch your cheese purchase by freezing it in small containers. This will extend the shelf life of your purchase and help you enjoy it for several weeks to come.
- Make your own dressings. Bottled dressings are either way too expensive or full of junk. I love to make my own dressings. Not only are they quick and economical to prepare, but they allow me to control the ingredients that I use.
How I make this recipe easy:
This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:
- plastic cutting boards – I have blue boards for veggies and white boards for meat.
- Ergo Chef chef’s knife – I’ve had my set for several years and they work well.
- salad spinner – I love this large model salad spinner with a salad serving bowl.
Chicken & Raspberry Salad
- 1 6-ounce package baby greens
- 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1/4 cup carrots (shredded)
- 2 cup chicken (cooked and cubed) (Great for rotisserie chicken!)
- 6 oz raspberries
- 2 oz goat cheese crumbles (1/2 cup)
- 2 tbsp pecans (chopped)
- 2 tbsp chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup Raspberry Vinaigrette
To serve this salad in a bowl:
- In a large salad bowl, combine the baby greens, cabbage, and carrots.
- Add the chicken slices, raspberries, goat cheese, pecans, and scallions. Drizzle the dressing over all and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately. Leftovers will not be good later as the salad is already dressed.
To make this recipe for meal prep salads:
- In four meal prep containers, divide the salad elements: greens, cabbage, carrots, chicken slices, raspberries, goat cheese, pecans, and scallions.
- Divide the dressing into four sauce containers with lids.
- Store the salad and dressing containers in the refrigerator until ready to serve.