Balsamic Chicken Salad with Fresh Berries and Feta


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Fire up the grill (or a skillet) for this balsamic chicken salad with fresh berries and feta. It also gets great crunch from candied almonds and tart, sweet flavor from balsamic vinaigrette.

overhead image of salad in a white bowl

Remember those Sweet and Salty Candied Almonds from earlier in the week? They started as an idea for this salad that celebrates the flavors of early summer. Fresh basil, chicken on the grill, fresh strawberries, crumbled feta cheese. This is a salad I could eat every day and probably never get tired of it.

Hopefully you have some outdoor dining planned in the days ahead. It’s been an unusually chilly spring here in Kansas City, so my grill pan (shown in photos below) is getting far more of a workout than my outdoor grill. Even if you decide to just cook the chicken inside in a skillet, you’ll love the way these classic flavors come together in this twist on the classic balsamic chicken salad. 

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  • Chicken Breast – Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the salad. These can be quite thick and will take a long time to cook, so I almost always like to slice them in half lengthwise to thin. Halving them also gives you more surface area for the balsamic marinade. 
  • Salad Greens – Any salad greens will work here. I like mixed greens, but baby spinach, baby arugula, or Bibb lettuce would all be great. 
  • Cucumbers – Fresh cucumbers add crunch but are optional. This is also great with avocado or steamed and chopped green beans. 
  • Strawberries – Fresh strawberries are key in this salad. They add natural sweetness and bright color.
  • Fresh Basil – Don’t skip the fresh basil in the vinaigrette, but add some to the salad too. Fresh basil makes everything feel so fresh and summery. 
  • Feta Cheese – Crumbed feta cheese is a great salty counterpoint to sweet strawberries. Lots of other cheeses would be great here as well – see below for ideas.
  • Sliced Almonds –  Finish the salad with almonds for great crunch.
pouring dressing into a small glass jar

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How to Make Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette

In the summer, I love to add basil to almost any vinaigrette, and it feels right at home with balsamic vinaigrette. You can chop the fresh basil very finely and just whisk it into the vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, and extra virgin olive oil. There will be small flecks of fresh basil which are nice, but if you have an Immersion Blender or small blender, you can also blend it until smooth.

Check out my post on How to make Balsamic Vinaigrette for more details on this delicious classic.

Vinaigrette for Marinade and Dressing

The balsamic basil vinaigrette for this salad does double duty. Use a small amount as a marinade for the chicken which will add flavor and help the chicken to get golden brown on the grill or pan. The rest of the vinaigrette is saved to drizzle over the finished salad. One vinaigrette – two uses!

chicken on a grill pan

Possible Variations

  • Serve with toasted or candied almonds – Plain sliced almonds are great in this salad but you can get more toasted flavor and crunch by toasting the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often. The salad also feels extra special with Sweet and Salty Candied Almonds
  • Add avocado – Avocado adds a nice creamy element and more substance to the salad.
  • Mix up the cheese – Salty feta balances the sweetness of the strawberries, but this salad is also great with goat cheese, blue cheese, or cubed white cheddar. 
overhead image of candied almonds in a small bowl

More Summer Salads

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salad in a white bowl
5 from 3 votes

Balsamic Chicken salad with Fresh Berries and Feta

Fire up the grill for this savory grilled chicken salad with the natural sweetness of fresh berries, salty feta, and crunch from candied almonds. Fresh basil gives this summery salad extra fresh flavor.
Use a small portion of the balsamic basil vinaigrette as a marinade for the chicken. Keep in mind that the chicken needs to marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to a day before cooking.
To adjust the servings in this recipe, click on the number next to servings.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4


  • Outdoor Grill or Grill Pan
  • Mixing Bowls


Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette:

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped Fresh Basil
  • 3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Grilled Balsamic Chicken Salad:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, halved if thick
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 8 ounces Mixed Salad Greens (use your favorite mixed salad greens and / or spinach, butterhead, or romaine)
  • 8 ounces Cucumbers, chopped
  • 2 cups Strawberries, quartered (use other fresh berries if you'd like)
  • 8 leaves Basil, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 6 ounces Feta, crumbled
  • 1 cup Sliced Almonds (the salad is great with Sweet and Salty Candied Almonds – see below)


  • Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake well (or whisk together in a bowl) to combine.
  • If chicken breasts are quite thick, slice them in half lengthwise to thin. (I find that this helps them to cook more evenly and gives you more surface area for the vinaigrette to flavor the chicken.)
  • Combine chicken with 3 Tablespoons of vinaigrette (reserve the rest of the vinaigrette for the salad), turning the chicken to coat. Refrigerate chicken and let it marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to a day.
  • While chicken marinates, whenever you're ready to serve, heat up the grill, leaving one part with direct heat and another part over indirect heat. (If you prefer, you can also just cook the chicken indoors using a grill pan or skillet.)
  • Drain marinade off chicken and season chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  • Grill chicken over direct heat until grill marks appear. Transfer to indirect heat and continue cooking 4 to 6 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
  • Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes (this will help keep it tender and moist). Thinly slice.
  • In a large bowl, combine greens, cucumbers, strawberries, basil, and feta. Gently toss.
  • Top salad with chicken and almonds. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Garnish with extra basil leaves. Serve immediately.


Sweet and Salty Candied Almonds – Check out this recipe for sweet and salty candied almonds to use as a topping. They really make the salad feel extra special.


Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 720mg | Potassium: 965mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 981IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 252mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00
Calories: 364
Keyword: easy chicken recipe, easy dinner, easy salad, easy salad recipe, gluten free, summer
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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