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Create an exciting dish from fresh fruits and veggies with this fall harvest salad, a hearty and healthy salad everybody will love.
With just a few simple steps and basic ingredients, this fall harvest chicken salad is a winner!
Getting tired of the same, boring recipes? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! When you taste this easy salad you will be smacking your lips and begging for more. I’m excited to share this delicious fall salad because it’s packed with flavor and is anything but boring.
Fresh apples steal the show and bring a crisp crunch to each bite. Filled with healthy ingredients, you are going to want to add it to your regular recipe rotation.
And if you love chicken, be sure to check out my Asian sesame salad with chicken, grilled chicken with caramelized lemon vinaigrette, or crispy smoked chicken wings. They are all simple and are sure to be a new family favorite.
Key Ingredients & Substitutions For Harvest Salad
- Chicken — You can use grilled, baked boiled or rotisserie chicken. Try it with leftover chicken from a previous meal to save time!
- Kale — Loaded with nutrients, adding kale just makes sense! However, you can easily swap it with fresh baby spinach or your favorite leafy greens.
- Roasted Almonds — The crunch texture and smoky flavor of roasted almonds is perfection! Not in the mood for almonds? No problem, use walnuts or pecans instead.
- Sweet Potatoes — Packed with vitamin c, potassium, manganese, and fiber, they add a burst of flavor and color. Keeping the pieces the same size will make the salad much easier to eat.
- Sunflower Seeds — I love the slight crisp that sunflower seeds give. Plus, they have a little bit of saltiness that pairs well with the other ingredients. You could also use pine nuts.
How to make Harvest Chicken Salad?
STEP 1 | Prepare your chicken
Remove the chicken skin first, then take out the meat from the bone. Slice the chicken meat into bite-size pieces.
STEP 2 | Slice kale into bite-sized pieces
You can manually shred the kale or use a food processor to make the process quicker. If using a food processor, don’t over-mince.
STEP 3 | Cook the sweet potatoes
Steam them using the directions on the package. Then peel, slice, and pitch them into your salad bowl.
STEP 4 | Prepare the apples
You may peel or leave the apple skin (entirely up to you), then dice it into smaller pieces. Drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and toss gently.
STEP 5 | Put it all together
For meal prepping, set out 5 containers. Add a layer of kale, layer of chicken, and layer of sweet potatoes. Place the apple slices in each container and top with blue cheese and roasted almonds. Place in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Serve with your favorite dressing or balsamic vinaigrette.
Frequently asked questions about Fall Harvest Salad
You can make, prepare and eat the salad right away, or it makes a fantastic meal prep idea. As long as it is kept cold in the fridge, it will last up to 5 days.
I want to point out that the apples will become more tender instead of super crunchy. This is completely normal and it still tastes fantastic.
Made with nutrient-rich foods, like sweet potatoes, chicken, and kale, this is about as healthy as you can get. You will get plenty of protein, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and more!
If you added the dressing to the salad before storing it in the fridge it’s going to end up soggy. I recommend not adding salad dressing until you serve it for best results.
As the salad ages, it can become a little bit soggy as well. You shouldn’t eat it after the 5-day mark because the ingredients will begin to break down and start to spoil.
This harvest chicken salad recipe is filling and satisfying, so you don’t have to serve it with anything else. However, sometimes we like to serve it with a bowl of baked potato soup or alongside one of my turkey melt sandwiches.
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Fall Harvest Chicken Salad
- 1 bunch kale shredded
- 1-2 medium apples thinly sliced
- 5 petite sweet potatoes
- 1 rotisserie chicken
- 5 tablespoons blue cheese
- 5 tablespoons roasted almonds
- balsamic vinaigrette (bottled or homemade balsamic vinaigrette)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Remove skin and chicken from the bone. Pull into large chunks. (Some grocery deli departments sell rotisserie chicken already removed from bone and ready to use on salads, etc.).
- Shred kale into bite size pieces (use a food processor and pulse for a few seconds at a time, being careful to avoid mincing the kale).
- Steam sweet potatoes according to package directions. Cool and peel. Cut into bite-size chunks.
- Peel and slice apples. Place in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and toss to combine.
- Layer into each container, 1-1/2 cups kale, 1/2 cup chicken, and 1/2 cup sweet potatoes. Evenly divide apple slices (discarding any lemon juice) between containers. Top each bowl with 1 tablespoon blue cheese and 1 tablespoon roasted almonds. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to eat. Serve with your favorite bottled or homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
About Sheila Thigpen
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.
Salad recipe is one of my favorite dish. This salad is very tasty and healthy. Thanks for sharing.
The apples on my tree are nice and ripe so I made this with a couple of modifications. It was nice and fresh and a perfect way to use the kale from the CSA.
Forget Panera Bread, I’m just coming here whenever I need a salad! This was so delicious and satisfying!
I love, love, love this salad for an easy lunch! It’s perfect for me as I still work from home, and I love all the flavors it combines.
Wow Sheila, thank you for a great, filling, healthy salad. I made this for an afternoon bookclub and the girls went crazy! So filling, but loaded with beautiful colors and flavors of fall!
I was trying to find a new salad recipe for Thanksgiving this year and tried a couple. This one is the WINNER! This is going to be so perfect on our Thanksgiving table – I can’t wait to share it with my family!