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This salad is definitely a hearty full-meal type of salad. It’s great served warm, making it perfect for the cooler months. If you’re looking for a nutritious meal packed with veg and protein then look no further than this chicken and bacon salad.
Is it healthy?
While this isn’t the lightest salad in the world, it is packed with nutrient-dense lettuce and pepper. It also uses lean chicken breast which is a lot lighter in fat than other cuts of chicken. The full dish comes in at 600 calories and 38g of fat which is moderate for a full meal.
The dressing is a creamy mixture of mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard. While I use full-fat mayo, you can opt for a lighter version to reduce the amount of fat and calories in the dish. You could also use a yoghurt-based dressing to lighten it up more. The dressing I use here for this healthy Waldorf salad would work really well.
Finally, you can also bake or grill the chicken and bacon rather than pan-frying. Which will reduce the amount of oil you need to add to the dish.
Can you make it in advance?
Yes you can make this in advance, however, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps to make sure it’s as fresh as possible when you serve it.
- Keep the lettuce leaves separate from the rest of the salad until you are about to serve it.
- You can keep the cooked bacon, onion, potato and peppers together in a bowl in the fridge and, if you want a warm salad, heat them on the hob before mixing.
- Store the chicken breast wrapped in clingfilm on its own if you want to use it to top the salad, or you can store it sliced with the bacon and onion mixture if you are happy to have everything mixed in.
- Make the dressing in advance but store it in the fridge on its own and don’t use it until you are about to serve.
- Make sure you store everything in the fridge covered tightly.
What can you serve it with?
This salad really is a meal in itself. It contains a great balance of nutritious vegetables, carbs and protein. You don’t need to serve it with anything else. If you do want to mix things up a little then you could serve it with some crusty bread.
You could also make this more of a side salad by omitting the chicken breast and serving it alongside a main course. It’s also great for a BBQ side dish.
- Yellow, red or orange pepper – if you are making more than one portion then you can use a combination to add extra colour to the salad. Deseeded and cut into quarters.
- Baby or new potatoes – cut into halves or quarters depending on the size
- Olive oil – since this is for cooking and not the dressing you can substitute for a different oil if you prefer – such as rapeseed/canola oil
- Chicken breast – skinless and boneless
- Bacon – smoked or unsmoked are both fine, cut into small strips
- Red onion – finely sliced
- Mixed leaves – you can really use any salad leaves you prefer here. Using mixed leaves adds extra visual appeal to the dish
For the dressing:
- Mayonnaise – I used classic mayo as it’s so creamy. However, you can use a lighter version if you want to reduce the calories and fat in the dish
- Dijon mustard – feel free to omit this if you aren’t a mustard fan.
- Lemon juice
- Parsley – chopped very finely
How to make it
There are a few elements to making this salad, but it’s really not that difficult. If you are good at juggling several things at once in the kitchen you can have it prepped, cooked and on the table in 30 minutes.
- Firstly get the cooked ingredients on the go. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and add the peppers to a baking tray. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and season. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Once the peppers are cooked transfer to a plate and place an upturned bowl over the top of them to allow them to steam (making them easier to peel later).
- While the peppers are cooking get a bowl of salted water on a high heat. Add the potatoes. Once they reach the boil cook for 10 minutes before draining.
- Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breast and add to the pan and cook for 12 minutes, turning every 4 minutes (don’t turn more frequently than that, as you want the skin to seal nicely to lock in all the juices). Once the chicken breast is cooked set it aside for at least 5 minutes to rest. Leave the pan on the heat.
- While everything is cooking prepare the salad dressing by mixing together the mayo, lemon juice, dijon and parsley. Stir until fully combined and smooth.
- Peel the peppers carefully, by pulling off the thin layer of skin from the outside layer. Place in a large bowl.
- Add the bacon to the frying pan that you had cooked the chicken in and fry for around 3-5 minutes until crispy. You may need to increase the heat. Once crispy add the drained potatoes and red onion and toss everything together. Cook for a couple more minutes to warm through.
- Add the potato and onion mixture into the bowl with the peppers along with the lettuce leaves. Pour over the dressing and toss everything together until everything is coated.
- Add the salad mixture to a plate and then thinly slice the chicken breast and place on top.
Products that work great for this recipe:
Beeswax Food Wraps
GoEat Salad Box
Veggie Saving Reusable Bags
This is hearty, warm and creamy chicken and bacon salad is perfect for the cooler months. Packed with protein, it’s perfect to make for a filling lunch or a lighter dinner.
The default recipe serves one.
- 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper/capsicum, deseeded and quartered (around 80g / 2.8oz)
- 3–6 baby potatoes (depending on size), cut into small pieces (around 100g / 3.5oz)
- 1 tsp olive oil + extra for drizzling
- 1 small skinless chicken breast (around 100g / 1.75oz)
- 2 rashers of bacon (around 50g / 1.75oz), cut into small strips
- 1/2 small red onion, finely sliced (around 40g / 1.4oz)
- a small handful of mixed leaves
- 2 tbsp mayo
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- few pieces of parsley, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Place the pieces of pepper onto a baking tray and drizzle with a little oil. Season and place in the oven for 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Once done place them onto a plate and place an upturned bowl over the top (this will help them steam which makes it easier to peel them).
- Add the potatoes to a pan of salted water and place over high heat. Bring to the boil and then cook for 10 minutes.
- Make the dressing by combining the mayo, mustard, parsley and lemon juice in a bowl until you have a smooth consistent texture.
- Add the olive oil to a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breast on both sides and then add to the pan and cook for 12 minutes, turning every 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Leave the pan over the heat.
- While the chicken is resting, add the bacon to the frying pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until crisp. Tip the potatoes into the pan along with the red onion. Toss everything together and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Peel the peppers by gently pulling the thin layer of skin away from the flesh and discard the skin.
- In a large bowl combine everything but the chicken breast. Season to taste. Toss together until everything is coated and pile onto a plate. Thinly slice the chicken breast and place on top of the salad mixture.
- For a lighter option, substitute the mayo with natural yogurt to reduce the total fat and calories in the recipe
- You can also bake the chicken in the oven to reduce the amount of oil needed in the recipe.
- The bacon can also be grilled/broiled. Simply add the onion and potatoes under the grill for the last few minutes to heat through.
- You can use any lettuce leaves you prefer for this recipe, although mixed leaves add a lot of visual appeal to the finished dish.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: Hob
- Cuisine: British
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 600
- Fat: 38g
- Carbohydrates: 24g
- Protein: 45g
Keywords: salad, lunch, bacon, chicken, dinner, potatoes