Pistachio Crusted Chicken Salad

*This Pistachio Crusted Chicken Salad is an amazing light and healthy dinner. Caramelized onions, chopped apple, crumbled goat cheese, and a homemade honey mustard dressing are all paired with pistachio baked chicken.*

This Pistachio Crusted Chicken Salad - with caramelized onions, chopped apple, and goat cheese - is an amazing light and healthy dinner! | The Millennial Cook #salad #chicken #pistachio

Many of the recipes I make were inspired – more or less directly – by dishes I’ve seen in a magazine, noticed on Instagram, or eaten myself at a restaurant or friend’s house. Most often, I’ll simply take the concept, or a certain flavor combination, and reinterpret and modify until I end up with a dish of my own. Perhaps it’s pairing tart lemon and fragrant rosemary, or roasting carrots in a sweet, syrupy sauce. Today, however, I’m sharing a recipe that I created to mimic, quite literally, a favorite salad of mine.

This Pistachio Crusted Chicken Salad - with caramelized onions, chopped apple, and goat cheese - is an amazing light and healthy dinner! | The Millennial Cook #salad #chicken #pistachio

This Pistachio Crusted Chicken Salad - with caramelized onions, chopped apple, and goat cheese - is an amazing light and healthy dinner! | The Millennial Cook #salad #chicken #pistachio

This particular salad makes me smile not only because it’s delicious but also because it reminds me of some of my most favorite memories. My aunt and uncle live on the Monterey Peninsula, an idyllic little beachside area a few hours south of San Francisco. Growing up, I would often stay with them for a week or two during the summer. And I loved it! My aunt and uncle are some of the sweetest, most generous people I know, and these visits were just like the best summer camp you could imagine. We would go to the aquarium, stay up past my bedtime, and work through an elaborate scavenger hunt my aunt organized across the town that excited me to no end! We would also eat at least one meal at a favorite local restaurant, and always, without fail, we’d order one particular salad.

This Pistachio Crusted Chicken Salad - with caramelized onions, chopped apple, and goat cheese - is an amazing light and healthy dinner! | The Millennial Cook #salad #chicken #pistachio

This pistachio crusted chicken salad is my interpretation of that dish – as close as I can get to the original, at least. This salad is easy to prepare, but the flavors are exquisite! A base of crunchy romaine lettuce is topped with creamy goat cheese, tart and sweet dried cherries, caramelized onions, and fresh apple chunks. The star of the show is healthy baked chicken breasts, coated in finely chopped pistachios for the perfect crunch. An easy homemade honey mustard dressing – both sweet and sharp – ties everything together. I’ll be honest – the week I made this salad my boyfriend and I enjoyed it for dinner two nights in a row, because it’s just that delicious! Nothing will ever replace my fond memories of those sweet summer adventures, but this healthy, light and filling chicken salad has definitely become a favorite dinner that I can whip up at home anytime.

This Pistachio Crusted Chicken Salad - with caramelized onions, chopped apple, and goat cheese - is an amazing light and healthy dinner! | The Millennial Cook #salad #chicken #pistachio

This Pistachio Crusted Chicken Salad - with caramelized onions, chopped apple, and goat cheese - is an amazing light and healthy dinner! | The Millennial Cook #salad #chicken #pistachio

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

This Pistachio Crusted Chicken Salad is an amazing light and healthy dinner. Caramelized onions, chopped apple, crumbled goat cheese, and a homemade honey mustard dressing are all paired with pistachio baked chicken.

Ingredients

For Chicken:

  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts

For Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For Salad:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 apple
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Very finely chop pistachios. Place in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  4. Dip chicken into olive oil mixture, turning to coat completely, then in pistachios, pressing nuts into chicken until it is well coated.
  5. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake until cooked through, about twenty minutes. Let cool slightly, then slice into strips.
  7. Meanwhile, to make dressing, stir together honey, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl with a fork.
  8. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, stirring constantly, until a thick dressing forms.
  9. Next, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium.
  10. Peel onion, then slice in half. Slice each half into thin strips.
  11. Add onion to skillet and let cook, stirring regularly, until caramelized and browned, about fifteen minutes. Let cool slightly.
  12. Half and core apple. Slice each half into chunks.
  13. Wash and dry lettuce leaves. Chop leaves into strips, then transfer to a large bowl.
  14. Add half the dressing, and toss to coat leaves.
  15. Divide lettuce between four plates.
  16. Top each with chicken strips, caramelized onions, chopped apple, dried cherries, and crumbled goat cheese.
  17. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

This Pistachio Crusted Chicken Salad - with caramelized onions, chopped apple, and goat cheese - is an amazing light and healthy dinner! | The Millennial Cook #salad #chicken #pistachio

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