I pack my family's lunches nearly every day of the week. While I know that the meals that I pack are generally much, much fresher and healthier than take out or the calorie and sodium loaded ones offered at school; packing healthy lunches can also be a little time consuming! I love healthy lunch ideas that may be prepared mostly in advance and are quick and easy to put together on a hectic morning. This Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad is packed with a rainbow of fresh vegetables--which can be prepped and chopped ahead of time--and grilled chicken which can also be grilled and stored in advance. I think this is my favorite lunch (and dinner) these days! And--the kids love it too! What is my recipe for a Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad?
Ingredients for Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad
6 c. Green Leaf Lettuce, Torn or Shredded
1/2 c. Red Onion, Diced
1 Medium Green Bell Pepper, Diced
1 Medium Yellow Bell Pepper Diced
1 Medium Red Bell Pepper Diced
1 Medium Cucumber, Diced
1/2 c. Black Olives, Sliced
1/2 c. Feta Cheese, Crumbled
4 Roma Tomatoes, Seeded and Chopped
1 Pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1-2 Tbsp. Greek Seasoning (I use this Greek Seasoning recipe from Taste of Home)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/4 c. Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar, I use Pompeian Gormet Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions for Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad
Grill the Chicken. Brush each side of the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with Greek Seasoning. Grill the chicken breasts over medium high heat until cooked through--plan to cook for 10-12 minutes, turning once at the halfway point. Allow to rest for a few minutes and slice into thin, even slices.
Mix up the Dressing. In a plastic bowl with a lid, add the olive oil, the red wine vinegar, and the Oregano. I usually add in just a dash of salt and about an 1/8 of a teaspoon of ground, black pepper. Place the lid on the bowl and shake vigorously to blend the ingredients.
Toss the Mediterranean Salad. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the vegetables and toss with the prepared dressing. Add the feta cheese and toss again to combine.
Serve the Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad. Portion the salad onto 4-6 plates and top with sliced chicken breast. We sometimes serve with warm, cheese-topped garlic bread.
Some Make-Ahead Tips.
Chop the veggies (except for the salad greens) in advance and store in lidded containers or storage bags until ready to use. If you have a picky eater; store the veggies individually so that the salad may be suited to the individual's tastes. My middle daughter hates tomatoes--so I am always sure that I leave out tomatoes in her serving.
Grill a few pieces of the chicken on Sunday, slice them and store them for use during the week in these salads. Simply grab the sliced chicken when ready to pack the salad for lunch.
Double the salad dressing ingredients and portion a Tbsp. or 2 into individual, storage containers, like 1/2 c. Rubbermaid storage containers in this set. We love the salad tossed in the dressing and served immediately--but, I find that the salads soak up a little too much of the dressing flavor after several hours for my taste. We prefer to add the dressing at lunchtime.
When ready to make and pack a salad for lunch--toss a cup or two of salad greens into a lunch container with 1/2
c. to a cup of the vegetables--and top with grilled chicken and 1-2 Tbsp of Feta cheese. Then, pack the individual portion of salad dressing to drizzle over the salad at lunch time!
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