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Grilled Chicken Club Salad

A deconstructed version of the classic Club or Clubhouse sandwich, this Grilled Chicken Club Salad features grilled chicken, bacon, tomato, homemade croutons, avocado, and a creamy avocado dressing… It’s quick, healthy, and loaded with flavor!

Grilled Chicken Club Salad in 2 square white bowls with a jar of creamy avocado dressing and a glass of white wine.
Old 2015 photo!

de·con·struct – to reduce something to its constituent parts in order to reinterpret it.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Recipe Inspiration

A pic of the author Tamara.

I must admit to being a skeptic when it comes to this particular culinary trend. I have seen some deconstructed dishes that really needed more construction. ๐Ÿ˜‰ However, my Grilled Chicken Club Salad is a fine example of a successfully deconstructed classic – the chicken club (or clubhouse) sandwich.

At its worst, deconstruction can mean a classic dish is broken down into its individual components, and the components are just plopped on a dish. This approach may appeal to a child just learning to eat, but it doesn’t appeal to those with well-developed palates.

At its best, deconstruction takes the essential ingredients of a classic dish, and those ingredients are re-interpreted in a new and interesting (and delicious) way.

I have always loved the flavors of a club sandwich, a favorite since childhood. Who can resist chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and bread? Of course being the avocado lover that I am, mine always had ripe avocado as well! You will find each of these ingredients in this delicious and healthy salad.

Grilled Chicken

  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika (we like hot)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • several grinds pepper
  • 16 ounces chicken breast, trimmed of fat

Creamy Avocado Dressing

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

Salad

  • Homemade croutons
  • 4 slices bacon, fried crisp, and crumbled
  • 6 cups leafy greens
  • 4 ounces tiny tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • grilled chicken, cubed
  1. Preparethe chicken – Preheat grill. Combine rub ingredients for grilled chicken. Rub spice mix into the chicken breast. Grill chicken (careful not to overcook). When cool, cube, and set aside.
  2. Make the croutons – Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 convection bake). Cube bread. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet – a single layer. Bake until golden brown – about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Make the dressing – Combine all ingredients in blender. Pulse until smooth. Check for seasoning and consistency. If the mixture is too thick, add additional buttermilk. Dressing should be thick and creamy, not runny. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the salad – To a large salad bowl, add greens. Toss with a conservative amount of dressing. Add crumbled bacon, tomatoes, cubed avocado, cubed grilled chicken, and croutons. Serve remaining dressing on the side.
  • I like to start with a dry-rubbed and grilled chicken breast, but a rotisserie chicken is a great time saver. Smoked paprika adds a smoky kick to the chicken. You can substitute chipotle chile powder if you can’t find smoked paprika.
  • Beautiful tomatoes make all the difference; I love tiny heirloom tomatoes of different varieties, as colorful food is not only more pleasant visually, it is actually more likely to provide a variety of nutrients and contribute to a healthydiet
  • Baby kale is my preferred green, but if red leaf lettuce or spinach looks fresher, I will go with what looks best.
  • Sometimes finding a ripe avocado is difficult as they tend to be picked too early. You will need one for the dressing, and one for the salad itself.
  • My favorite bread for the croutons is a poppy seed and onion ciabatta roll I find in the WalMart bakery of all places. The flavor of the bread is fabulous with the other ingredients. Of course you may substitute your favorite!

If you read my blog regularly, you know my penchant for homemade salad dressings. This creamy avocado dressing is “finger-licking” good, and you may want to make it for other salads as well.

I would love to hear your thoughts and/or experiences with deconstructed foods. It is an interesting concept, and can be a fun and creative way to come up with new dishes. Thoughts?

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.
Grilled Chicken Club Salad in a square white bowl with a close up of a silver spoon with avocado dressing in it.
Old 2015 photo!
Yield: 4 servings

Grilled Chicken Club Salad

Grilled Chicken Club Salad

A deconstructed version of the classic Club or Clubhouse sandwich with grilled chicken, bacon, tomato, homemade croutons, avocado, and a creamy avocado dressing...

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

Ingredients

Grilled Chicken

  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika (we like hot)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • several grinds pepper
  • 16 ounces chicken breast, trimmed of fat

Creamy Avocado Dressing

  • 1 avocado, skin and pit removed
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk +/- (to desired consistency)

Salad

  • Homemade croutons*
  • 4 slices bacon, fried crisp, and crumbled
  • 6 cups leafy greens**
  • 4 ounces tiny tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • grilled chicken, cubed

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill. Combine rub ingredients for grilled chicken. Rub spice mix into the chicken breast. Grill chicken (careful not to overcook). When cool, cube, and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 convection bake). Cube bread. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet - a single layer. Bake until golden brown - about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Make dressing. Combine all ingredients in blender. Pulse until smooth. Check for seasoning and consistency. If the mixture is too thick, add additional buttermilk. Dressing should be thick and creamy, not runny. Set aside.
  4. To a large salad bowl, add greens. Toss with a conservative amount of dressing. Add crumbled bacon, tomatoes, cubed avocado, cubed grilled chicken, and croutons. Serve remaining dressing on the side.

Notes

* We LOVE poppy seed and onion ciabatta croutons. I use 1 roll for 4 servings. Use your favorite bakery quality bread, and be more generous with them if desired.

** Baby kale is a nutritional powerhouse, and our favorite in this salad. Feel free to substitute any leafy green - spinach, red leaf lettuce, spring mix, etc.

I lightly dress salads to keep them from becoming limp and to cut back on calories. I toss the greens with the dressing, and then add the "goodies" to the bowl to keep them from ending up on the bottom of the bowl. You may also choose to make individual bowls as I did for the photos.

A rotisserie chicken can be used in place of the grilled chicken if you're in a hurry...

Nutrition Information:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 360Total Fat: 14g

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16 Comments

  1. On our grill at home, chicken breast takes about 8 minutes on a side, at medium-low heat. If you pound it out, it may take a bit less time.

      1. Once you do homemade croutons the store-bought have no appeal. This looks so good, will try next week!