This Spring Salad is made with Baby Spring Mix, chicken, Craisins, bacon, mozzarella cheese, candied almonds, and a gorgeous pink dressing that is to die for! Once you start eating it, you won’t be able to stop!
I recently attended a lovely luncheon where this salad was served. It was so amazingly delicious that I had to have the recipe. The hostess told me that I already had it in a church cookbook I had put together years ago!
She told me that the original name of the salad was “Book Club Chicken Salad,” and that she had altered the ratios of the ingredients for the dressing.
The first chance I got, I made this salad for my family. But I wasn’t there to eat it with them, since I was working. My husband and youngest daughter had dinner, then set out for piano lessons. They left the salad and dressing out for my high-school-age daughter to eat when she got home.
She saw the pink dressing in a blender, thought it was a smoothie, and poured herself a glass. She took a big swig–and then spit it out into the sink! What a surprise to be drinking salad dressing instead of a strawberry smoothie!
No, I don’t suggest drinking the dressing. But it sure is tasty on this salad! And look at that gorgeous pink color! Such a lovely salad to serve to friends!
This is one of those easy recipes you’ll want to make again and again! Don’t let this simple salad fool you! It has the perfect blend of ingredients that bring such a great, fresh flavor and satisfying crunchy textures to your meal!
Ingredients for Spring Salad
- Baby Spring salad mix (or you can use a mix of baby spinach, romaine lettuce, red-leaf lettuce, etc.)
- Chicken breasts (you can use canned white chicken breast meat to make things even easier)
- Craisins (dried cranberries)
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Slivered almonds
- Red onion
- Dry mustard
- Red wine vinegar
- Vegetable oil
How to Make Spring Salad
First, cook your chicken breasts at 350 degrees F. until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. and juices run clear. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts, and whether or not they are frozen before cooking.
Once cooked, allow the chicken to cool a little, and then cut into cubes, or shred.
While the chicken is cooking, you can cook and crumble the bacon, and prepare the candied almonds.
Add a tablespoon of sugar and two ounces of slivered almonds to a small skillet. Turn the heat onto medium and occasionally stir the almonds and sugar. At some point, the sugar will melt and become liquid. Keep stirring the almonds until they are all covered with the liquid sugar. Then remove from the heat and transfer to a plate or bowl to cool.
Prepare the dressing by adding some red onion, sugar, dry mustard, salt, and red wine vinegar to a blender. Process until frothy. Then open the lid just a touch (hopefully your blender lid has a small removable piece so that you don’t have to take the whole lid off) and slowly pour in 1/2 cup of vegetable oil while the blender is running on low. This will help emulsify the ingredients so that the oil doesn’t separate.
When ready to eat, assemble the salad by putting all the greens in a large bowl, topped with the chicken, crumbled bacon, Craisins, mozzarella cheese, and candied almonds. (If desired, or of people have allergies to dairy or nuts, you can serve the cheese and nuts separately and let people add them to their own salads if they wish).
Toss and serve with the dressing on the side.
For the Salad
- 10 ounces Baby Spring Salad Mix (or Romaine lettuce, red-leaf lettuce, baby spinach, etc.)
- 2 chicken breasts, baked and cubed or shredded (about 2 or 3 cups chicken)
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 cup Craisins
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 ounces slivered almonds
For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. dry mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Make the dressing by adding the chopped red onion, granulated sugar, dry mustard powder, salt, and red wine vinegar to a blender. Blend on medium or high until frothy.
- Stop the blender. Open a corner of the lid, or the small removable piece in the middle of the lid. Start the blender on low speed, then carefully and slowly pour in the vegetable oil in a steady stream with the blender running. Once all the oil has been poured in, stop the blender. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Prepare the salad by adding all the lettuce to a large bowl. Top with the cooked chicken, crumbled bacon, Craisins, and shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Prepare the sugared slivered almonds by adding one tablespoon of sugar to a small skillet along with the 2 ounces of slivered almonds. Turn the heat on to medium. Stir the almonds occasionally until you see the sugar melt and become liquid. Continually stir the almonds until all are coated with the liquid sugar. Then remove from the heat and transfer almonds to a bowl.
- Add the sugared almonds just before serving, or keep on the side to let people add them to their individual salad servings.
Feel free to adjust the amounts of all of the salad ingredients to your liking.
Choose your favorite to pin!