Our Lemon Chicken Salad with Crispy Croutons is a versatile and filling main course salad and the perfect choice for anyone looking for a refreshing and satisfying dish. This delicious recipe can easily be served warm, making it an ideal option for a nice summer lunch or a delicious addition to a picnic. The combination of tender, lemon-infused chicken, crunchy vegetables, and crunchy croutons creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that’s sure to leave you wanting more.
- 4 boneless chicken breast fillets
- Juice and grated zest of one lemon (store separately)
- 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
- 1 small focaccia loaf
- 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino or Parmesan
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 Little Gem lettuce hearts, separated
- 2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted and sliced
- 6 roasted peppers (from a jar), drained and roughly chopped
- small bunch of chives, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
- Place the chicken breasts comfortably in a small roasting pan.
- Drizzle with half of the lemon juice.
- Sprinkle with lemon zest, rosemary, salt and pepper.
- Roast the chicken for 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
- While the chicken is roasting, cut the focaccia into bite-sized cubes.
- Spread the cubes on a baking tray.
- Sprinkle cheese over the focaccia cubes.
- Bake the focaccia for 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden brown.
- Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and cut it into thick slices.
- In the roasting pan, stir together the remaining lemon juice and olive oil and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom.
- In a very large serving bowl, combine the sliced chicken, lettuce leaves, avocado, croutons, peppers and chives.
- Pour the lemon juice from the roasting pan into the bowl.
- Mix all ingredients well.
- Only serve the lemon chicken salad warm.
Equipment and tools
Here are the tools and equipment you’ll need to make this lemon chicken salad:
- cutting board
- Large mixing bowl
- salad bowl
- Serving plate
This lemon chicken salad with crispy croutons contains the following allergens:
- Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- Gluten (from the focaccia loaf)
If you have specific allergies or dietary restrictions, please be sure to check the ingredients and make substitutions if necessary or omit certain ingredients accordingly.
Storage and leftovers
If you have leftovers from this lemon chicken salad, you can save them to enjoy later. Here are some tips:
- Place the salad in an airtight container.
- Store the salad in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Store the crispy croutons separately to preserve their texture.
When ready to serve the leftovers, toss the salad thoroughly and add fresh crispy croutons if desired.
Health Benefits of Lemon Chicken Salad with Crispy Croutons
When it comes to a refreshing and nutritious meal, lemon chicken salad with crunchy croutons is the way to go. Packed with a range of healthy ingredients, this vibrant salad offers numerous health benefits that are perfect for anyone looking to eat a balanced diet.
1. Lean protein
The boneless chicken breasts used in this recipe are a lean source of protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissue, maintaining muscle mass, and supporting a healthy immune system.
2. Vitamin C powerhouse
With the combination of lemon juice and grated peel, this salad becomes a vitamin C powerhouse. Vitamin C is known for its antioxidant properties, which help protect cells from free radical damage. Additionally, vitamin C is crucial for collagen production, promoting healthy skin, and boosting immune function.
3. Aromatic herbs
The addition of chopped rosemary not only gives the dish a delightful aroma and taste, but also brings potential health benefits. Rosemary contains various antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may help improve digestion, increase concentration, and improve memory.
4. Nutrient-rich focaccia
The small loaf of focaccia used to make crispy croutons offers an explosion of flavor and texture. Although it should be enjoyed in moderation, this bread can provide valuable carbohydrates for energy and fiber for digestive health.
5. Healthy fats
Avocado slices not only add creaminess to the salad, but also provide healthy fats. Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to improved heart health and reduced inflammation.
6. Colorful roasted peppers
The roasted peppers add bright colors and a number of important nutrients to the salad. Roasted peppers are rich in vitamins A and C and antioxidants and can promote vision and strengthen the immune system.
7. Nutrient boost from chives
Sliced chives round off the lemon chicken salad with its mild onion flavor. This little green is packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like calcium and iron. They also contain antioxidants that contribute to overall health.
Incorporating Lemon Chicken Salad with Crispy Croutons into your meals is a delicious way to enjoy a variety of health benefits. From lean protein and vitamin C to healthy fats and antioxidants, this salad delivers the nutrients your body needs, along with a burst of refreshing flavors.