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Easy dinner recipes: Chicken chopped salad and 27 other salad ideas

June 20, 2013|By Noelle Carter

Looking for something crisp and refreshing? Not overly heavy and easy to prepare? Salads are the perfect one-dish meal any time of year.

Consider a chicken chopped salad with avocado vinaigrette. Avocado lends richness to the dressing, which blends fresh lime juice, a touch of Champagne vinegar, cilantro and green onions and is a bright and tangy addition to any salad. Find it in Bluewater Grill's recipe for chicken chopped salad.

Or go for a spin with the chopped salad from Chaya. Chopped romaine lettuce tossed with fresh corn, avocado, cucumber and nicely spiced shrimp, this salad is fresh and bright, and it packs no shortage of heat from its jalapeño-spiced dressing.

RECIPES: 27 favorite salad recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

A little cheddar, some cubed pepperoni, olives, raisins, cucumber, crunchy pistachios and delicate lettuce strips are tossed with a bright yet creamy Champagne vinaigrette in this Luggage Room's colorful take on the classic salad, the recipe for which you can find below.

For more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at


Total time: 35 minutes

Servings: 4

Note: Adapted from Bluewater Grill.

Avocado dressing

1/3 cup lime juice

2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar

3/4 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/3 bunch (about 15 sprigs) cilantro, chopped

1/3 bunch (4 to 6) green onions, green tops only, chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch cayenne pepper

1/3 avocado, diced

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup canola oil

In the bowl of a blender, combine the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, cilantro, green onion, salt, cayenne pepper and avocado and blend. With the blender running, slowly add the oils to form a thick, creamy dressing. Taste and adjust the flavorings, and seasoning if desired. This makes a scant 2 cups avocado dressing, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 days.

Chicken chopped salad

About 2 hearts (1 pound) romaine, chopped

4 grilled half chicken breasts (boneless and skinless), chopped

8 ounces crumbled feta cheese, divided

2 ounces toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), divided

8 ounces cherry or other small tomatoes

1 cup julienned red onions

1 avocado, diced

Avocado dressing

In a large bowl, combine the romaine, chicken, one-half each of the crumbled feta and pumpkin seeds, the tomatoes, onions and diced avocado. Add one-third cup dressing and toss gently to combine. Taste the salad, adding additional dressing as desired and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the salad among 4 plates, topping each with the remaining cheese and pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 826 calories; 60 grams protein; 20 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams fiber; 58 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 171 mg cholesterol; 8 grams sugar; 850 mg sodium.


Total time: 50 minutes

Servings: 4

Note: Adapted from Chaya. For the celery seed powder, grind celery seeds in a spice or coffee grinder, or use a mortar and pestle.


2 jalapeños

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Juice from 1 lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1. Roast the jalapeños: Place the jalapeños on a rack set over a stove-top burner and roast until charred on all sides. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel and seed.

2. In a blender, combine the jalapeños, mayonnaise, lemon juice and olive oil, and blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This makes about 1 cup dressing. Cover and chill until needed.

Sautéed shrimp

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/8 teaspoons cumin

1 1/8 teaspoons onion powder

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Pinch cayenne pepper

Pinch celery seed powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

12 ounces medium shrimp

1. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, salt, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and celery seed powder to make a spice blend.

2. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot, then add the olive oil. Add the shrimp and sauté until slightly opaque, 1 to 2 minutes, then sprinkle over the spice blend and continue cooking just until opaque. Remove from heat and set aside.

Chopped salad

2 hearts of romaine, chopped

1 cucumber, diced

1/2 avocado, diced

1 whole cob white corn, kernels removed (about 1 1/3 cups kernels)

Sautéed shrimp

Dressing, divided

1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese

16 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup chopped cilantro, as a garnish

1. In a large bowl, toss the chopped romaine with the cucumber, avocado, corn kernels and shrimp. Add half the dressing and gently toss to coat. Add additional dressing, a couple of tablespoons at a time, to coat as desired.

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