Roasted Fall Salad
It’s Fall, and it’s my favorite time of year to cook because of all the fruits and vegetables that are in season. I’m known for making large pans full of roasted vegetables on a weekly basis during these cooler months, as they are delicious, filling, and warm you from the inside out. My Roasted Fall Salad is no exception. This salad is served with sweet and juicy red pears, shredded chicken breast, cinnamon roasted sweet potatoes and toasted pecans for a true taste of the season. Drizzle a little homemade balsamic vinaigrette over the top, and you have a healthy, warming and satisfying salad that you will want to make again and again.
Here are a few tips for making this salad:
For this recipe, I boiled my chicken, so it came out very moist. If you have never boiled chicken breasts, it is the same process as boiling noodles. You add your chicken breasts to a pot of boiling water and cook 10-15 minutes, or until your chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. You can also grill or pan cook your chicken. If you cook it one of these ways, you will want to season your chicken before cooking. If you plan to boil your chicken, you will season it once the chicken is done.
As for the homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette, I have a feeling this will become your new favorite salad dressing. I use this dressing on almost every salad I make and actually prefer it over store bought Balsamic Vinaigrette’s.
Dicing sweet potatoes by hand is time consuming. I suggest using a chopper. This chopper is the one I like, and I use it constantly. It also makes the perfect gift for the family cook on your Christmas list!
Fair warning, this will become your new favorite salad, and your new Fall comfort food. If you are looking for other Fall comfort food recipes, try my Balsamic Chicken and Roasted Vegetables. This is also the perfect salad to share with Friends and Family at Thanksgiving. If you try it out, let me know what you think in the comments!
- For the Salad
- 8 C. Spinach or Spring Mix Salad (I used both)
- 4 Cooked Chicken Breasts, shredded
- 3 Medium Sweet potatoes, diced
- 2 Red Pears
- 1 C. Raw Pecans
- 2 T. Olive Oil
- 1 t. Salt
- 1 t. Garlic Powder
- 1 T plus 1 t. Ground Cinnamon
- Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
- ¼ C. Balsamic Vinegar
- ¾ C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 T. Dijon Mustard
- 1 Clove of Garlic, minced or crushed
- 2 T.Honey
- ½ t. Salt
- ½ t. Pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes and begin dicing them. Once your sweet potatoes are diced, spread them on a pan and drizzle the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the 1 tablespoon of cinnamon over them. Mix with a spoon or cooking utensil to coat all the pieces. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until soft
- While the sweet potatoes are baking, cook your chicken breasts your desired way. Season your chicken with the salt, garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon either before or after cooking, depending on your cooking method (see above for more details).
- While the chicken is cooking, add 2 cups of greens to 4 plates. I used a mixture of baby spinach and spring salad mix.
- Cut, core and dice the red pears and add on top of the salad greens. You should have roughly ½ a pear per salad.
- Once the chicken has cooled, using your hands, or 2 forks, begin to shred your chicken and add to the salad. You should have roughly 1 shredded chicken breast per salad.
- When the sweet potatoes are done, set aside to cool for a few minutes. On a separate pan, spread out the pecans and place this pan in the oven. NOTE: the pecans will toast quickly (2-3 minutes), watch them closely so they do not burn.
- Add a few warm spoonfuls of sweet potatoes to the salad and top it off with a handful of toasted pecans. Drizzle with the homemade balsamic vinaigrette and serve.
- You can make the chicken, dressing and roasted sweet potatoes ahead of time to make this meal quicker.