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Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad with Fried Goat Cheese

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This recipe for Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad features tender, grilled chicken, marinated in a luscious balsamic blackberry vinaigrette, that doubles as a dressing; bright, sweet blackberries, pistachios, avocado, pickled red onions, crisp bacon on a bed of spring lettuce, and the piece de resistance are the creamy, crispy discs of fried goat cheese.

If you love bright, fresh spring recipes you need to try a couple of these: Fresh Orange Scones, Strawberry Rhubarb Salad or this delicious Chipotle Chicken Marinade.

white plate on sliced wood charger with a bright salad with greens, avocados, chicken, blackberries and a luscious blackberry vinaigrette along with two discs of fried goat cheese

Why I love this recipe

Oh my goodness, ever had fried goat cheese??

Crispy outside crunch, oozing with creamy delicious goat cheese inside, it’ll melt in your mouth. Inspired by Closet Cooking’s recipe.

Close up of blackberry balsamic chicken salad with dressing, fresh blackberries and fried goat cheese.

Once a month a group of girlfriends get together and we spend the day scrapbooking.

Taking turns hosting, laptops in tow; we spend the day creating beautiful memory books for our families and even better, we are creating memories with one another; we laugh, we cry; sometimes we laugh until we cry.

Most importantly we share our fears, hopes, failures and dreams…and we eat, we always eat. This blackberry grilled chicken salad seemed perfect!

Blackberry chicken salad with gooey blackberry dressing, sliced avocados, pistachios and friend goat cheese.

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette and Marinade Recipe

This salad might sound complicated, but it’s not, it just takes a little pre-planning.

And your friends will thank you! Let’s start by making this fresh, tangy, berry-licious blackberry balsamic vinaigrette and marinade!

In a medium bowl (or blender), place your blackberries in a bowl and pour your white balsamic over the berries (give regular balsamic a try too).

Suggested substitutions:

  • Sub walnuts, sweet pecans, slivered almonds or toasted pine nuts in place of pistachios or a mixture!
  • Instead of blackberries, try strawberries, raspberries or blueberries or maybe go crazy and try fresh cherries.
Pouring vinegar in small bowl for Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad |
Pouring olive oil for dressing Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad
  • And then honey, reduce honey if desired.

PRO TIP| If you use the same measuring device used for your olive oil the honey should slip right out!

pouring honey into Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad

Now the Dijon mustard…

Adding Dijon to Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #freshsalad #springsalad #blackberrys #friedgoatcheese

A teaspoon and a half of tamari or soy sauce or soy alternative.

Tamari into Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #freshsalad #springsalad #blackberrys #friedgoatcheese

One large clove of garlic; sometimes I mince, sometimes I use my garlic press.

Adding garlic to the Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #freshsalad #springsalad #blackberrys #friedgoatcheese

Add in some sea salt and pepper to taste, I used about 1 teaspoon of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper.

Adding salt to dressing for Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #freshsalad #springsalad #blackberrys #friedgoatcheese

Toss in a blender or an immersion blender, blend until well combined. A few chunks of blackberries are just fine!

blending dressing and marinade. Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #freshsalad #springsalad #blackberrys #friedgoatcheese

Lay chicken breasts in a shallow glass dish and pour about 1/3 of the marinade (vinaigrette) over the chicken, lifting to marinate on all sides.

Reserving the rest of vinaigrette in the refrigerator for the salad dressing. Marinate chicken at least 30 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD TIP | Make the dressing the day ahead, marinate chicken and store both in refrigerator. 

Pouring marinade over chicken breasts for Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #freshsalad #springsalad #blackberrys #friedgoatcheese

Refrigerate leftover dressing in a container until ready to use.

Small vase of blackberry balsamic vinaigrette.

GRILL AND ASSEMBLE 

Over medium-high heat grill the chicken until slightly charred and cooked. Want grill marks? Make sure your pan or grill is slightly oiled and pretty hot! Rotate slightly about 2 minutes into grilling to get the “hashmarks”.

TIME SAVING TIP | Grill your chicken the night before or in the morning, slicing thin when ready to assemble.

I used my favorite grill pan, I’m terrible about burning things when I grill outside, probably because I’m running around doing 18 other things at the same time. You can also just use your grill of course!

Grilled Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #freshsalad #springsalad #blackberrys #friedgoatcheese

Once cooked through about 6-8 minutes per side if they are thick breasts like these were! Slice thin once cooled. (Here’s my favorite, most used knife)

sliced grilled chicken for Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #freshsalad #springsalad #blackberrys #friedgoatcheese

Once you are ready to assemble your salads, start with a generous handful of baby spring mix lettuce on the bottom.

How to slice an avocado like a pro

Cut through skin around the pit, twist gently to separate the halves. Carefully smack your knife (sharp edge) into the pit, twisting and pulling to remove pit, slice through the skin and gently peel back the skin revealing the flesh of the avocado. Watch this video if you’re not quite following me.

Sprinkle some blackberries, sliced chicken, a little crumbled bacon if desired and a good handful of pistachios (or other nuts).

Don’t forget those delicious pickled red onions, or just slice some fresh red onions if preferred.

Sweet Pickled Red Onions in a jar with a fork.

Fried Goat Cheese {+Gluten Free Option}

Lightly beat one egg and in two separate bowls measure your flour* (optional) and your Panko bread crumbs. Use Gluten Free Panko and Gluten Free flour if desired.

*I’ve since made these several times and realized that the flour is optional; I’ve used just the egg wash and the Panko and they turned out just as lovely. 

Ingreds for fried goat cheese for Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #freshsalad #springsalad #blackberrys #friedgoatcheese

Slice the goat cheese into 1/4 in discs; it will crumble on you, that’s okay, press together, nobody is going to care if the discs aren’t perfect!

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat.

Working quickly, dip goat cheese disc into egg wash, then flour*, then Panko.

Dipping goat cheese in egg wash for Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #freshsalad #springsalad #blackberrys #friedgoatcheese

Carefully lay them in the hot oil and fry until golden and crispy, repeating the process with all of your discs.

Laying panko crusted goat cheese in hot oil in pan for Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #freshsalad #springsalad #blackberrys #friedgoatcheese

Flip gently when they are golden brown.

Grilled goat cheese Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #freshsalad #springsalad #blackberrys #friedgoatcheese

Lay on paper towels for a minute to absorb some of the oil, then gently lay on the salad; drizzle with reserved blackberry balsamic vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Pin for blackberry balsamic chicken salad with close up of fresh blackberries, crispy fried goat cheee and sliced chicken.

Oh my, not only are the fried cheese discs beautiful to look it, they are a mouth watering sensation! Try this recipe as well as be inspired to host your own luncheon, this salad is perfect for Spring and Summer! And the chicken—gah! 

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️star rating in the recipe below!

Yield: 4 servings

Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad with Fried Goat Cheese

white plate on sliced wood charger with a bright salad with greens, avocados, chicken, blackberries and a luscious blackberry vinaigrette along with two discs of fried goat cheese

The perfect salad to serve for a luncheon. A fresh salad with marinated blackberry grilled chicken with blackberry balsamic vinaigrette, fresh blackberries, pistachios, avocado and topped with crispy, creamy fried goat cheese!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

BLACKBERRY VINAIGRETTE & MARINADE

  • 3/4 - 1 cup fresh blackberries (washed and patted dry)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or dark balsamic)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Tamari or Soy sauce
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • couple grinds of pepper

FOR THE SALAD

  • 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts)
  • 6 cups organic Spring Baby Greens (or one small container)
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries, washed and patted dry
  • 1-1 1/2 avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced or try these pickled red onions
  • 1/4 cup pistachios (or try walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds or toasted pine nuts)
  • 3-4 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
  • Fried Goat Cheese discs (see below)

FRIED GOAT CHEESE

  • 8 oz goat cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch discs
  • 1/4 cup flour* (optional, regular or gluten free)
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup gluten free Panko breadcrumbs (regular may be substituted)

Instructions

FOR THE DRESSING & MARINADE

  1. Place blackberries, vinegar, olive oil, honey, dijon, tamari, garlic, salt & pepper in blender or small bowl and blend until smooth - a few chunks are fine. Pour 1/3 dressing over the top of chicken to marinate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Refrigerate reserved dressing for salad.

SALAD & CHICKEN

  1. Once chicken has marinated, heat grill pan or grill to medium-high heat, brush or spray with a little oil and grill for 6-8 minutes per side if breasts are thick. Rotating 1/4 turn after 2 minutes if grillmarks are desired.
  2. Flip chicken and cook another 4-6 minutes. Remove to plate and allow to cool before slicing.

ASSEMBLE SALAD

  1. Place generous handful of spring mix on each plate. Slice and arrange avocado slices on side of lettuce. Arrange 1/4 of the chicken slices onto lettuce. Toss some blackberries (5-8 depending on how big they are) on salad. Sprinkle on some pistachios. Slice some red onions and place on greens (or use pickled red onions)
  2. Make Fried Goat Cheese

FRIED GOAT CHEESE

  1. Slice goat cheese into 1/4 inch discs. Heat pan with a couple tablespoons oil (olive or avocado oils work nicely). Dredge goat cheese disc in egg wash, flour (optional) and panko breadcrumbs and carefully place in hot oil.
  2. Repeat with remaining goat cheese discs. Fry until golden, then turn to crisp other side. Remove from pan to paper towels to drain for 1 minute, then place 2 discs on each salad. Drizzle with reserved Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette and serve immediately

Notes

If chicken is still pink in center when you slice it, toss back in a hot pan and stir around for a minute or microwave for 20-30 second intervals until no longer pink.

Other berries may be substituted, try sliced strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. Also try toasted walnuts, sweet pecans, slivered almonds, or pine-nuts.

GLUTEN FREE | To make GF, substitute GF flour and Panko or breadcrumbs.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 730Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 1287mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 16gSugar: 17gProtein: 35g

The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Go ahead, MAKE MY DAY! PIN on Pinterest and Comment on the blog!

Spring Luncheon Menu

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Saturday 20th of July 2019

Wow! This is an orchestra of a salad! A celebration of summer. Delicious!

Kathleen

Saturday 20th of July 2019

I love that description!! And yes it’s a total party in your mouth.

Dianne

Wednesday 26th of June 2019

The dressing was a bit too sweet for my taste so I remade it with no honey and then mixed the two batches together. That was perfect for my taste. I think my balsamic was a bit on the sweeter side to begin with. The next day I did add a bit of fresh basil since I had some on my counter. It was a good addition.

I love the pickled onions. I think I'll have to make some pork carnitas to help use them up. I might even toss a couple of cloves of garlic in to infuse their flavor in the onions.

I love serving fried goat cheese on a roasted beet and greens salad but it was even more decadent with the berries. I will definitely make this again.

Kathleen

Wednesday 26th of June 2019

Oooh Dianne, I’m drooling!! I loved your modifications. That’s what my blog is all about!! Finding your tastes, tweaks and likes!!! Thanks for sharing.

Kristen Chen

Sunday 14th of April 2019

This dressing is out of this world. My parents are here for a week and my mom is a great cook, so I wanted to make something different and special. I didn't have time to do everything in this salad, but I did what I could and my parents pretty much licked the plate clean, dipping bread into the extra dressing left after the salad was eaten. Incredible.

Kathleen

Monday 15th of April 2019

Thank you Kristen! So very glad they (and you) loved it!!

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