I wish I had a better name for this salad, but my favorite salad is all I can think to call this. It’s easy to make, loaded with Italian-seasoned chicken and chopped hard-boiled eggs. It’s a perfect salad recipe for a night when you don’t feel much like cooking.
I love a good salad with chicken, and this salad is one of my favorites. You only need a few ingredients, and even fewer if you use store-bought salad dressing.
For this salad, I dress it with Caesar dressing, which you can easily make at home or buy at the store. My favorite is Newman’s Own Creamy Caesar Dressing (this post isn’t sponsored by them; I’m just a fan). A tangy Italian dressing or even a balsamic vinaigrette would work beautifully on this salad too.
In this recipe, I will give you a basic homemade Caesar dressing if you have time to whip up a batch but feel free to use your favorite store-bought dressing.
How to make my favorite salad recipe:
The Italian-seasoned chicken marinade:
First, marinate the chicken. I use a blend of the following:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Italian seasoning
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Cayenne powder
- Salt and pepper
You can use chicken thighs or breasts, but I prefer chicken thighs since you won’t need to worry about them drying out.
Hard-boil the eggs:
While the chicken marinates, make a few hard-boiled eggs. Give them an ice bath, and then chop them up and set aside.
Once the chicken finishes marinating, toss it into a hot skillet and cook for 15–20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. The time will vary depending on whether you use breasts or thighs.
Chop it all up:
While the chicken cooks, prep your salad ingredients. Use whatever veggies you like. I keep it simple with the following:
- Fresh chopped Romaine lettuce
- Fresh basil or parsley to give it an herby flavor
- Sliced radishes
- Sliced cucumbers
- Finely grated Parmesan
You can add croutons, tomatoes, red onion, roasted red bell peppers, avocado, blanched asparagus or sugar snap peas, or any other veggie that you love! It would be great with a sweet component too. Try it with roasted grapes, raspberries, or diced apples.
My Favorite Salad
- Medium pot
- Large skillet
- Food processor
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder, plus more to taste if you like a kick
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, for frying
Caesar dressing (optional):
- 2 eggs
- 5 ounces Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 5 radishes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
- 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
- 10 basil leaves
- Salt and pepper
Marinate the chicken:
- Pat the chicken dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Combine all the marinade ingredients, excluding the chicken, in a bowl. Whisk to combine until smooth. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Make the Caesar dressing (optional):
- Add the anchovy fillets and garlic to a food processor and pulse until minced. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard and blend until completely combined and smooth. Add the extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan and blend until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste and blitz one final time. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate until needed.
Make the hard-boiled eggs:
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the eggs and reduce heat to medium. It should still be bubbling, but not vigorously. Cook the eggs for 15 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath and then peel and chop. Refrigerate until needed.
Cook the chicken:
- Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken in an even layer without moving for 5–6 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 5–6 minutes. Continue cooking, flipping occasionally, until the chicken reaches 165ºF. Transfer to a cutting board and chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Make the salad:
- As the chicken cooks, make the salad. Gather the Romaine lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, and chopped hard-boiled eggs in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and toss to combine. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Finish the salad:
- Right before serving, add ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan and the basil leaves to the salad and toss to combine. Drizzle the Caesar dressing on top and toss gently to coat. Taste and add salt, if needed.
- Transfer the salad to a large serving platter and pile the chopped chicken on top. Enjoy!