This Parmesan chicken salad recipe with a caprese vibe is made with peppery arugula, sweet roasted tomatoes, crispy Parmesan-crusted chicken breast, mozzarella pearls, and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
With leftovers of my Parmesan Crusted Chicken in the fridge, I rustled the shelves to see what would go with it for my usual craving for a salad for lunch. While regular leafy greens would have been just fine, a package of peppery arugula sounded even better. Next, I zeroed in on a container of mozzarella pearls sitting next to a jar of my homemade balsamic vinaigrette. This Italian theme with a caprese vibe was creating itself. I kept the amoré of my lunch flow rolling with a pile of soon-to-be-expired grape tomatoes in need of roasting and plucking fresh basil from their vase on the counter.
Not only does this hearty salad tick all of the boxes (flavorful, healthy but crave-worthy, easy to make, varying textures, something crispy, tangy, salty, and peppery), but it’s so easy to prep in advance. When you have some time, roast those tomatoes, whip up your balsamic vinaigrette, and bake your crispy Parmesan chicken. It’s versatile too. Don’t have any arugula? Mixed greens or kale would work great. No mozzarella? Shave some Parmesan. You catch my drift. Let’s dig in, shall we?
What’s in This Parmesan Chicken Salad
With just a handful of ingredients, this salad is quick to prep for lunch but filling enough for dinner.
- 2 filets of Parmesan-crusted chicken (make it fresh or meal prep ahead)
- Roasted grape or cherry tomatoes
- Mozzarella pearls
- Balsamic dressing
- Fresh basil leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Balsamic vinaigrette
How to Make Parmesan Chicken Salad
Prepare the roasted tomatoes. Roasting cherry or grape tomatoes for just 15-20 minutes makes these sweet bites even sweeter and more savory. Toss them with a few cloves of garlic, olive oil, kosher salt and pepper, and a few thyme sprigs for maximum flavor, served warm or at room temp.
Bake the Parmesan-crusted chicken. A swath of mayonnaise helps bread crumbs adhere to the split boneless chicken breasts making them crisp on the outside and moist inside.
Mix the balsamic vinaigrette and toss with the mozzarella pearls. Mix the dressing by shaking the ingredients in a small jar with a fitted lid or whisking in a bowl. A few spoonfuls of vinaigrette drizzled over the mozzarella pearls gives them a quick marinade of flavor.
Assemble the salads. Divide the arugula, tomatoes, and mozzarella pearls between two bowls then toss with a healthy drizzle of vinaigrette. Top with sliced chicken and serve warm or at room temperature.
How to Meal Prep This Salad
One of the best things about this salad is it lends itself well to being prepped in advance. Here’s how:
- Buy pre-washed arugula
- Make your balsamic vinaigrette a day or two before
- Bake your Parmesan-crusted chicken breast ahead of time
- Roast your tomatoes in advance (I think the tomatoes are most flavorful when they’re a couple of days old and the flavors have had more time to meld)
More Salads With Chicken Recipes
- Classic Chicken Salad
- Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Chicken and Avocado
- Greek Chicken Gyro Salad
- Thai Chicken and Cucumber Salad
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