This is one of my favorite go-to recipes for workweek lunches. It's a lighter take on chicken salad that is dressed with Dijon vinaigrette instead of the traditional mayo-based dressing. The chicken is mixed with crispy crunchy celery and flavorful roasted red peppers, and topped with chives to create a refreshing salad that makes for the perfect summer lunch. It can be served with bread, as a sandwich or with salad greens and a little olive oil. I like to make it into a sandwich with a handful of spinach or arugula and some extra dressing. Brown bag it with some yogurt and grapes for a light, but filling midday meal.
In addition to being uber tasty, this salad is simple and easy to throw together once you have all the components. I like to make my own chicken and roasted red peppers, but if you're pressed for time or feeling lazy, just pick up some roasted red peppers and a roasted chicken from the grocery store. Once you have all your ingredients, actual prep time is 15 minutes or less.
With summer around the corner, this is a great dish to keep in mind for picnics, lunchboxes and brown bags.
Chicken Salad with Roasted Red Peppers
2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 whole grain, 1 regular
1 tsp white wine or sherry vinegar (Balsamic also works, but gives the dressing a different flavor)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, if desired
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken, skinless or skin removed (I prefer dark thigh meat)
2 stalks celery, chopped
4-5 tbsp chopped roasted red bell peppers
1 tbsp chopped chives
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whole wheat bread or crusty white bread, for serving, optional
Mixed salad greens, for serving, optional
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly add the olive oil until fully incorporated.
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, celery, red peppers and chives. Fold in the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and serve, either made into a sandwich or over salad greens tossed with a little more olive oil and sprinkled with salt.
Yep, it's really that simple.
Source: adapted from Epicurious