This salad truly has something for everyone. I like to prep all the ingredients and leave them in neat little piles on a pretty board so people can assemble their own salad. This way, you can serve the same thing to vegans, vegetarians, meat eaters and everything in between. They can pick and choose what they’d like on their salad and it actually makes the meal perfect for guests. The spice rub on the chicken isn’t super Spicy, so don’t let that word scare you. It’s a subtle heat that only makes your lips tingle a little bit and when combined with your favorite ranch or caesar- it’s an out of this world combo. This salad has creamy avocado, crispy bacon, salty feta, an extra shot of protein from the eggs, some bright freshness from the tomato and is full of juicy, juicy chicken. If you are following this recipe to a T, you’ll only have to cook the eggs, chicken and bacon.
I don’t provide instructions for boiled eggs on this post, but click here to see step by step directions: Perfect Boiled Eggs (I toss my yolks and just eat the whites on my salad, my husband likes the yolks.) This salad easily serves 3-5 people in Huge portions, or you could stretch it further by adding more toppings like my Crispy Roasted Chickpeas (use in place of croutons)
For the Chicken+Spice Rub:
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (mine were LARGE)
- 3/4 Teaspoon Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Chipotle Chili Pepper powder**
- 1 TBSP +1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
For the Salad:
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled ( I bake mine on a baking sheet in the oven while the chicken cooks, just keep an eye on it. When you start to smell it it’s probably done!)
- 1 avocado, sliced thin
- 2-3 Boiled eggs, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- A good, sturdy lettuce like Iceberg, Romaine or Butter lettuce
- Feta Cheese, Crumbled (I use reduced fat Athenos)
- A good quality Ranch or Caesar- I use Tessemaes Ranch or Primal Kitchen Foods Ranch. They are both vegan, gluten free, sugar free, avocado oil based & really delicious. Use what you like!
- Make the chicken. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil or use a silicone baking mat. Place the chicken on the baking sheet. In a small bowl prepare your spice rub, starting with the olive oil first. Add your cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chipotle chili powder.
2. Whisk all ingredients together really well until there are no huge lumps and everything is mixed with the oil. Use a spoon or spatula to spread a thin layer on the tops of both chicken breasts. Then, use your hands to press the rub into the meat. Flip each breast over and use the rest of the rub for both sides. Press the spice rub in and rub all over the chicken to make sure the sides are covered and the tops and bottoms as well.
3. You chicken needs to bake at 375 for 30 minutes. While the chicken bakes, use this time to chop all of the other ingredients. When the chicken is done, you’ll need to remove it from the baking sheet, place a piece of foil loosely over the top and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting it open (this keeps it juicy). When it is done resting slice thinly and leave on a large cutting board with the rest of the ingredients.
4. This is what your finished product should look like. The chopped bacon, the sliced chicken, the avocado (sprinkled with salt and pepper), a pile of feta, tomatoes and some sliced eggs. I chop my lettuce while the chicken is baking and keep it in a glass bowl in the fridge until I need it so that its nice and cold and crisp.
Serve in really pretty bowls with some ice cold white wine and you’ve got yourself a party. Remember you could add sliced almonds, roasted unsalted sunflower seeds, diced cucumber, some super thinly sliced red onion, and even some crispy chickpeas. Make this one your own- but it’s pretty perfect as is.
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***You will probably have leftover chicken unless you are feeding an army, and its AMAZING in tacos, diced on top of a bowl of rice and some black beans+avocado, served in a BLT sliced really thin, or even tossed in some cream sauce and thrown over pasta.