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This hearty and satisfying BLT salad with chicken is a deconstructed version of a BLT sandwich, with golden buttery croutons, juicy chicken, and bacon on a bed of romaine and vegetables.
Summer in my home means a lot of salads and sandwiches. I love making them on those hot summer days where a) I really don’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking, and b) I want to eat something light.
One really nostalgic sandwich for me is still the classic BLT Sandwich. There’s just something about sinking my teeth into that perfect combination of crispy bacon, juicy tomatoes, and fresh lettuce on a warm summer day. It’s like a flavor explosion that instantly transports me to picnics, beach trips, and lazy backyard barbecues.
So I wanted to deconstruct the BLT Sandwich into a salad form. And this BLT salad with chicken ended up totally exceeding my expectations! It was filling and satisfying in a way that few salads are to me, and the flavors worked just beautifully.
Is this BLT salad with chicken “healthy”?
I will admit that, as salads go, this is not your most “low fat” option. But to me, “healthy” means a lot more than low fat. It means fresh, high quality, nourishing ingredients, lots of vegetables and a bit of lean protein.
This BLT salad with chicken has all of that. So what if there’s a little bacon and mayo thrown in there too? We don’t skimp on the flavors!
P.S.: If low CARB or keto is your thing, it is definitely that… if you skip the croutons.
Why You’ll Love this BLT Salad with Chicken
It’s a complete meal: This BLT salad with chicken combines protein from the grilled chicken, essential vitamins and minerals from the fresh lettuce and tomatoes, and the satisfying crunch of bacon. .
Quick and easy: When you’re looking for a meal that comes together in a flash, this BLT salad with chicken is your go-to option. With minimal prep work and simple assembly, you can have a nutritious and delicious meal on the table in no time.
Perfect for summer gatherings: When you’re hosting a summer get-together or attending a potluck, this BLT salad with chicken is a crowd-pleaser. It’s visually appealing, packed with flavors that everyone loves, and can easily be scaled up to feed a larger group.
Meal prep-friendly: If you’re a fan of meal prepping or need a grab-and-go option for busy weekdays, this BLT salad recipe is your new best friend. Prep the ingredients ahead of time, store them separately, and assemble your fresh and tasty BLT chicken salad whenever you’re ready to enjoy it.
Classic for a BLT sandwich, and since we are trying to translate the same flavors – it’s best to use fresh romaine lettuce for this blt salad recipe.
I used some halved cherry tomatoes for this BLT salad with chicken, but you can also just slice a large tomato.
This is optional. You can skip the red onion, but if you’re only skipping it because of the sharp taste – try soaking thin onion slices in cold water before use, that helps mellow it out a lot.
Another must-have in a BLT salad is bacon. Of course, you can use turkey bacon, or vegetarian bacon instead.
You can absolutely skip the chicken in this salad. I like to include a lean protein to make it a complete and filling meal, and chicken breast works great in this salad, but some sliced hard boiled egg would be lovely too.
Since this BLT salad with chicken is a twist on the classic BLT sandwich, we need bread, in this case in the form of buttery croutons. French baguette is great but you can use any other bread you have on hand! I prefer a crusty, chewy bread for croutons.
Step by Step Instructions
For the Croutons
Heat up some salted butter in a pan over medium heat and add your cut up bread pieces. Stir them around until they are nice and toasty. It should take about five minutes for them to turn into this crunchy, golden brown goodness!
I like to leave the croutons a little chewy and not too hard, as this makes them easier to eat.
For the Bacon
Use the same skillet (wipe it clean of any bread crumbs) and add your chopped bacon. Cook it over medium-low heat while stirring it ocassionally, for about 5 minutes.
Once the bacon turns brown and crispy, remove it from the pan and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain all the bacon fat – leaving about just 1 tablespoon. Return your skillet to medium heat.
For the chicken
Season your chicken breast on both sides with salt and pepper. Now cook the chicken in the skillet, for about 6 minutes per side, until it is completely cooked through.
After removing the chicken from the pan, let it rest on a cutting board for approximately 10 minutes. This resting period is important! It allows the chicken to settle and retain its juices.
Once rested, slice the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces.
For the Dressing
While the chicken is resting, take a small bowl and whisk together the mayonnaise, whole grain mustard, maple syrup and lemon juice until smooth and creamy.
Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the BLT salad with Chicken
Start with the chopped up romaine lettuce on a plate. Add in the cherry tomatoes, followed by sliced chicken, croutons, bacon, and red onions, if using.
Now drizzle the creamy dressing on top – and your BLT salad with chicken is done.
If you love salad for dinner like we do, head over to my salad category for more inspiration like these favorites!
Absolutely! If you have pre-cooked, or rotisserie chicken on hand, it can be a time-saving option for this BLT salad recipe. Simply slice or shred the chicken and incorporate it into the salad during assembly.
Yes, you can prepare the dressing in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. Give it a good stir or shake before drizzling it over your BLT chicken salad.
Of course! If you prefer turkey bacon, are vegetarian, or have other dietary restrictions, feel free to use it as a substitute for regular bacon. It will still provide that savory, smoky flavor to the salad.
The assembled BLT salad with chicken is best enjoyed immediately after preparation for optimal freshness. However, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days.
BLT Salad with Chicken
- 2 hearts of romaine sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4 small red onion thinly sliced (optional)
- 1/4 french baguette or other bread
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 strips bacon sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 lb chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 4 teaspoons whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- salt to taste
- Distribute the lettuce, tomatoes and red onion between 4 plates.
- Make the croutons: In a medium size skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the bread pieces and toast, stirring frequently until golden brown, (about 5 minutes). Remove the bread from the skillet and set aside. Return the pan to medium heat.
- Cook the bacon: Wipe the skillet clean and cook the bacon over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until brown and crispy, (about 5 minutes). Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Drain most of the fat from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Return the pan to medium heat.
- Cook the chicken: Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook the breasts, about 6 minutes per side, cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken from the pan and allow the chicken to rest on a cutting board while you prepare the dressing. Slice the chicken breasts after about 10 minutes of resting.
- Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, whole grain mustard, maple syrup and lemon juice until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble the salad: Divide the croutons and bacon evenly between the four plates, and drizzle each with the dressing.