Loaded Strawberry Fields Salad Recipe

Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 9-10 oz mixed salad greens (spinach, arugula, spring mix, etc.)
  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz goat cheese, feta cheese, or blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 14-16 oz), pounded to an even thickness
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Prepare the Honey Pecans:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a small bowl, melt the butter. Add the pecans, honey, a pinch of salt, and stir to combine.
  • Spread pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Let cool completely.

Cook the Chicken:

  • Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
  • Set aside to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Cook the Bacon

  • While the chicken rests, cook the bacon in a separate skillet until crispy. Drain on paper towels and crumble.

Assemble the Salad:

  • In a large bowl, combine the mixed greens, strawberries, red onion, crumbled cheese, sliced chicken, crumbled bacon, and cooled honey pecans.

Make the Dressing:

  • Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

Serve:

  • Toss the salad gently with the desired amount of dressing just before serving.

Tips and Variations:

  • Vegetarian option: Replace the chicken with grilled tofu, tempeh, or extra cheese for a meatless version.
  • Nut allergy: Use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds instead of pecans.
  • Additional toppings: Consider adding avocado, dried cranberries, or other fresh seasonal fruits.
  • Make-ahead: Prep the salad components in advance and assemble right before serving to keep the greens crisp. Store the dressing separately.

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