A plate loaded with a chicken spinach salad topped with apple chips, feta, tomato and pecans

Crispy Apple Chip, Pecan, Chicken Spinach Salad (with a Sweet Cranberry Balsamic Vinaigrette)

This back to school Chicken Spinach Salad recipe has been sponsored by Martin’s Apple Chips. I received monetary and product compensation for this recipe. Find more information in our Affiliate Disclosure. All opinions are my own.

 

Back to school is a busy time of year. From planning meals for the kids, school supplies and clothes shopping, to actually cooking and packing food for the whole family, it can be overwhelming. That’s why I thought this simple chicken spinach salad would be the perfect recipe to incorporate into your meal planning.

Loaded with crispy apple chips, pecans, and of course chicken, this easy to pack salad meal is a healthy and down right easy alternative to all those un-healthy options out there, and let’s face it there are a lot those!

Why Martin’s Apple Chips?

As I’m sure you noticed this recipe is sponsored by Martin’s, a family run fruit farm located in Waterloo Ontario, Canada. I’m all about making food from scratch, but with kids, work/school life, and all the unexpected things life throws our way, not everyone can always make everything from scratch and that’s totally okay.

Occasionally I look for and enjoy working in partnership with Canadian companies who create healthy, quality products, that simply make our lives easier. – Chef Markus Mueller

I’ve tried many different apple and fruit chips, (my own included), and I was honestly never blown away by any of them. What everyone wants in a chip is first and foremost, a crispy texture.

If it isn’t crispy, it’s not a quality chip!

A lot of them are dry, sure, but they lacked that crispy crack when you bite into them. The first time I tried the Martin’s brand apple chips though, I was blown away by actually how crispy they are, not to mention delicious.A snack sized bag of martins family apple chips on a wooden table

Slightly sweet, convenient, and best of all healthy, they are addicting all on their own. If a truly delicious, and crispy apple chip wasn’t enough Martin’s apple chips even come in different flavors ideal for snacking on. Chocolate drizzled (my daughter’s favourite), cinnamon, and caramel!

Your New Favorite Chicken Spinach Salad

Let’s get to the good stuff though, the actual salad. The key to this salad is it’s simplicity. By using made ahead oven baked chicken breasts, you can easily prep at least one other meal and have enough protein left over for this lunch salad. Using Martin’s apple chips takes care of the apples, so all you really need to do for this salad is cut a few tomatoes and make a salad dressing.

Related:  Simple Oven Baked Chicken Breasts

Easy enough no?

To make 4 packed and ready to go lunch salads you’ll need:

For the Salad

  • 2 pre-cooked oven baked chicken breasts
  • 1 clam shell baby spinach (or home grown spinach!)
  • 1 package Martin’s Apple Chips (These can be purchased across the country and are available at Costco, Starbucks, Sobeys, Winners, Bulk Barn, Farm Boy and many other retailers)
  • 1/4 cup roasted pecans
  • 1 cup cherry tomato cut in half
  • 1/4 cup feta crumbled
  • dried cranberries to garnish (optional)

For the Dressing

  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dijon or yellow mustard
  • pinch of salt

Meal Prepping This Chicken Spinach Salad

As I mentioned above, this salad is ideal as a school or work lunch. It easily fits into tupperware containers, and because the pre-cooked chicken is cold anyway, there is nothing more that’s needed but to top the salad with the crispy apple chips, and the sweet cranberry dressing before mixing it all together and digging in.

If you are planning this as a make ahead meal, start with the oven baked chicken breasts as they are the ‘hardest’ part of this recipe. Simply mix together your favorite spices, top boneless, skinless chicken breasts with the mixture and bake at 425F for 20 minutes. Cool the chicken breasts and then dice them for use in this salad.uncooked chicken breasts being covered in homemade chicken seasoning.

Next, quarter the cherry tomatoes, and make your cranberry balsamic vinaigrette. The cranberry dressing is a simple emulsion of oil and vinegar with cranberry sauce, and mustard working as the emulsifier, binding it all together and creating a thick creamy vinaigrette. I highly recommend using a food processor or blender of some sort to mix this, it’ll create a really creamy dressing. It can be mixed by hand with a whisk, just note. it wont be as smooth.

Store the cranberry balsamic vinaigrette in a glass bottle or jar in the fridge for future use. You can pre-portion individual serving sizes into 1 ounce sized tupperware containers for easy addition to the chicken spinach salad!

When all the salad toppings and dressing have been prepped, simply layer the toppings (minus the apple chips, we’ll add those last minute) on top of the spinach in a pack and go container, or in a plate or bowl to be served immediately.A vertical image of the chicken spinach salad with garnishes prior to adding the cranberry balsamic vinaigrette

Martin’s Crispy Apple Chips are added to the salad right before eating to keep them as crispy as possible! Drizzle the salad with the cranberry dressing and you’re ready to go! For even more flavour and a seasonal feel, you can add dried cranberries to the mix!

Super simple isn’t it? It’s what I love about salads in general, they are so easy to prepare, travel well, and are jam packed with various textures and flavours. Perfect for a quick and healthy meal any time of the year!

A plate loaded with a chicken spinach salad topped with apple chips, feta, tomato and pecans

Looking for more Salad and Salad Dressing Recipes? Check out the following:

Have you tried this chicken spinach salad or Martin’s Family Apple Chips? Leave a comment and rating below, then take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire. For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

A plate loaded with a chicken spinach salad topped with apple chips, feta, tomato and pecans
5 from 10 votes
Print

Crispy Apple Chip Chicken Spinach Salad

A simple chicken spinach salad with a crispy twist! Martin's Crispy Apple Slices are mixed with baked chicken, pecans, cherry tomatoes, and feta, to create the perfect back-to-school/work salad meal.

Course Lunch
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword back to school lunch ideas, cranberry balsamic vinaigrette, recipes using apple chips
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 1341.6 kcal
Author Chef Markus Mueller

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 2 Whole pre-cooked oven baked chicken breasts
  • 1 pkg baby spinach
  • 1 pkg Martins Apple Chips
  • 1/4 cup roasted pecans
  • 1 cup cherry tomato cut in half
  • 1/4 cup feta crumbled

For the Dressing

  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dijon or yellow mustard
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Start by preparing the oven baked chicken breasts. Simple mix together your favorite spices, top boneless, skinless chicken breasts with the mixture and bake at 425F for 20 minutes.  Cool the chicken breasts and then dice them for use in this salad.

  2. Next quarter the cherry tomatoes, and crumble up some feta. Set aside roasted pecans for use as a garnish.

  3. Make your cranberry balsamic vinaigrette by adding all the dressing ingredients into a blender or food processor and mixing until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Layer the various toppings (minus the apple chips) on top of the spinach in a pack and go container for later, or in a plate or bowl to be served right away.

  5. Add the crispy apple chips to the salad right before eating to keep them as crispy as possible! Drizzle the salad with the cranberry salad dressing, and you're ready to go!

© 2018, Markus Mueller | Earth, Food, and Fire. All rights reserved. Please contact Earth, Food, and Fire, if you wish to use any media or other content contained on this site.

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A simple apple and chicken spinach salad with a crispy twist!  Martin's Crispy Apple Slices are mixed with freshly baked chicken, roasted pecans, cherry tomatoes, and feta, to create the perfect back-to-school/work salad meal. #sponsored #trulycrisp #purelyfun #spinachsalad #applechip #backtoschool #lunchideas

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17 Comments

  1. I love the mixture of sweet and savory in a dish! The dressing sound so good I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a perfect fall salad. My kids might actually eat this with those apple chips. And love how thick and creamy the dressing is!

  3. Perfect for fall! Sweet and savory savory salads are my favorite. I like the burst of fruit with savory cheese. The crunchy apples are a great alternative to the usually fresh fruit.

  4. This salad looks amazing!! I love those apple chips as well. SO good!

  5. Salads with sweet and savory ingredients are my favorite types of salads. I cant wait to try it. Too good!

  6. Love the combination of ingredients. sounds so delicious and flavorful. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I was just looking through my old pin on pinterest and came across a bunch of recipes for apple chips. I love that this recipe is quick for dinner and I can use leftover chicken to toss everything together last minute!

  8. I am such a fan of Harvest Salads and I never thought about adding apple chips to a salad! I bet this tastes great!

  9. Oh wow – this is a deilcious fall salad! I love the addition of apple chips since I love a some crunchy texture in my salads.

  10. Love the flavour combo in the salad, so perfect for fall! The apple chips are such a creative addition!

  11. It a very interesting idea to add apple crisps in the salad. It makes it so nutritious and crispy!

  12. This looks amazing! Super easy to make and very creative .. perfect for busy light weeknight dinners or a great middle of the day lunch!

  13. What a genius idea to put apple chips into a salad! This sounds amazing. I bet the apples pair so well with the feta. I love that you have cranberry in the dressing as well. Everything about this sounds like perfection!

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