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Fall Harvest Chicken Salad

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!

harvest chicken salad in a bowl drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.

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.

ingredients for harvest chicken salad on a wooden tray: a bunch of curly kale, apples, blue cheese crumbles, balsamic dressing, a lemon, sunflower seeds, a bowl of sweet potato chunks, and almonds.

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.

preparing kale for harvest chicken salad: stripping from the stems; chopping in a food processor.

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.

squeezing a fresh lemon into a bowl of apple slices.

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.

a salad bowl on a table top filled with chopped kale, sweet potatoes, blue cheese, apples, and chicken with a side of balsamic dressing.

Frequently asked questions about Fall Harvest Salad

How long does this salad last?

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.

What makes harvest chicken salad healthy?

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!

Why is my salad soggy?

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.

drizzling balsamic dressing from a spoon onto a bowl of salad.

Serving suggestions

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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Yield: 5 servings

Fall Harvest Chicken Salad

harvest chicken salad in a bowl drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.

Harvest Chicken Salads: Prep a week's worth of delicious lunches in less than 30 minutes with just a few convenience items!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, shredded
  • 1-2 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

Instructions

Salad Prep:

  1. 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.).
  2. 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).
  3. Steam sweet potatoes according to package directions. Cool and peel. Cut into bite-size chunks.
  4. Peel and slice apples. Place in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and toss to combine.

Salad portioning:

  1. 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.

Notes

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. Don't toss with the dressing, however, until you are ready to serve the salad.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 454mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 7gSugar: 16gProtein: 23g

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sheila thigpen in her kitchen

Sheila @ Life, Love & Good Food

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Home Cook, Wife, Mom, Nana

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 Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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