Honey Mustard Chicken, Bacon & Avocado Salad
This Honey Mustard Chicken Salad is a filling and flavour packed salad packed with crispy bacon, creamy avocado, red onion and tomatoes plus grilled honey mustard chicken all smothered in a delicious sweet and tangy dressing. This delicious honey mustard salad is Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
WHY YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN SALAD
- Every last bite (see what I did there, wink wink) is packed with so much bold flavour and texture, this is definitely not your average salad. This honey mustard chicken salad is packed with crunchy bacon, creamy avocado, chicken and tomatoes all smothered in a delicious sweet and tangy honey mustard dressing.
- The honey mustard sauce is multi purpose and used as both a marinade for the chicken and a dressing for the salad.
- If you are looking for an easy to make salad to please someone who isn’t into salads, look no further. This hearty salad is absolutely delicious and sure to win over hungry carnivores too.
- You can make the chicken, honey mustard dressing and bacon a few days in advance which will drastically cut down on prep time. Before serving all you have to do is toss everything together into a bowl and serve, so easy!
- This salad just so happens to be Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal too!
WHAT IS IN THIS HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN SALAD
To make this Honey Mustard Chicken Salad you will need:
- Lettuce – I like using romaine lettuce as the base of this salad, but mixed leaf lettuce or spinach would also work.
- Bacon: Lets be honest, crispy bacon makes everything better, especially salads! You can cook the bacon a day or two in advance to save time.
- Avocado: hold an avocado in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze it. If it has slight give to it then its ripe and should be perfect for eating.
- Tomatoes: Personally I prefer cherry tomatoes because I find that they are sweeter then grape tomatoes, but either would work well in this salad.
- Red onion: thinly sliced red onion adds a nice spicy kick to each bite. You can roughly chop the red onion, or thinly slice it into strips depending on what you prefer. If you find red onion to be too strong a taste you can also swap it for thinly sliced/finely diced shallots which I find to be milder in flavor.
And for the honey mustard dressing
- Honey: one of two key ingredients in the dressing, it adds sweetness which balances the tangy mustard flavour.
- Dijon Mustard: Dijon mustard adds a tangy flavor and creamy texture and I recommend using it over grainy or yellow mustard.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: it adds a sweet but sour flavor to this dressing that helps to cut through the sweetness of the honey. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, an equal amount of white wine vinegar or lemon juice can be used in its place.
- Garlic: minced fresh garlic adds a nice bold flavor to the dressing.
- Olive oil: I recommend using good quality extra virgin olive oil. The oil helps the dressing to coat the lettuce. If you find that the flavour of the honey mustard sauce is too overpowering you can add more olive oil.
HOW LONG SHOULD I MARINATE THE CHICKEN?
Ideally I recommend leaving the chicken to marinate in the honey mustard dressing for 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. That being said I totally get it, sometimes you aren’t able to plan ahead and leave things to marinate for very long. Because the chicken is cooked in the sauce and the same sauce is used as a dressing, there is no shortage of honey mustard flavour, so don’t stress if a few minutes of marinating is all that you have time for.
CAN I USE CHICKEN BREASTS?
Absolutely! If using chicken breasts I recommend cutting them in half width wise before marinating them in the honey mustard sauce. This will help the marinade to penetrate more of the chicken and will also reduce the cooking time for the chicken. Chicken breasts which have been cut in half will take approximately 6 minutes per side to cook or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 165° Fahrenheit.
WHAT ELSE CAN I ADD TO THIS SALAD?
I love the combination of flavours and textures in this salad, but if you are so inclined, you can add even more to the salad including:
- Sliced hard boiled eggs – Hard boiled eggs are really not my thing, but if you like them and want to add a bit of extra protein, they would be a great addition to this salad.
- Cucumber – thinly sliced cucumber will add a nice amount of freshness to this salad
- Crumbled feta or goat cheese for added creaminess.
- Strawberries – sliced strawberries would be delicious in this salad and a great compliment to the creamy avocado and crunchy bacon.
- Chopped pecans or almonds for a nice crunch (plus extra protein!).
CAN I USE STORE BOUGHT HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE?
You could, but I strongly advise against it. Not only does this honey mustard sauce take a matter of minutes (less then 3!) to make, it is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy with a great kick of garlic. Store bought honey mustard sauce often contains a lot of fillers such as corn syrup, processed sugar and additives. For better flavor and better ingredients, I highly recommend skipping the bottled stuff and making the honey mustard sauce in this recipe.
CAN I MAKE THIS HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN SALAD IN ADVANCE?
While I don’t recommend assembling the entire salad hours in advance, you can prepare all of the components ahead of time so that all you have to do is quickly toss it together before serving. The bacon can be fried, honey mustard sauce made and the chicken marinated and then cooked up to 3 days in advance. A few hours in advance you can put the lettuce in a large bowl and top it with the bacon, cherry tomatoes and red onion. Right before serving simply warm up the chicken, slice the avocado and toss the salad in the dressing. The honey mustard dressing may separate slightly in the fridge if made a day or more in advance, so give it a stir before pouring it over the salad.
WHAT ABOUT LEFTOVERS
Leftover chicken once cooked will last up to 4 days in the fridge. I like to make extra honey mustard dressing that I can store in the fridge and use as a salad dressing or dipping sauce for up to two weeks. You can pour the honey mustard dressing over roasted veggies, use as a dipping sauce for chicken strips, or spread it on salmon and bake it in the oven for an easy weeknight dinner.
Here are a few more chicken salad recipes that you might enjoy…
- Vietnamese Chicken Salad
- Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad with Tahini Dressing
- Chicken Fajita Salad
- Chicken & Pomelo Salad
- Tandoori Chicken & Grilled Peach Salad
- Thai Chicken Larb Salad
If you make this Honey Mustard Chicken Salad recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
For the chicken
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cloves garlic minced
For the salad
- 5 strips bacon
- 6-8 cups romaine lettuce roughly chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 large avocado halved and thinly sliced
- In a bowl whisk together the dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic until smooth and fully combined. Place the chicken thighs in a bowl and pour half of the sauce overtop. Transfer them to the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Pour the remaining sauce into a bowl (this will be the salad dressing) and store in the fridge until it's time to dress the salad.
- Heat a large sized nonstick pan on medium heat and cook the bacon until crispy. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel and drain all but 2 teaspoons of the bacon grease from the pan. Increase the heat to medium high and add the chicken in. Cook the chicken for approximately 5 minutes per side until its golden brown in colour and completely cooked through. Transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and slice into strips.
- Add the lettuce to a large salad bowl. Roughly chop the bacon and add it overtop along with the cherry tomatoes, red onion, sliced avocado and chicken. Right before serving drizzle the salad with the reserved dressing and toss.