Simple Summer Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Simple Summer Salad—Using What You Have

Some people refuse to eat leftovers, but I’m a big proponent of using what you have whenever possible. One of my favorite things is when my husband grills chicken and we have some left!

My favorite recipe for grilled chicken is the Brown Sugar Chicken from Stolen Moments Cooking. They call it “Angel Chicken” and I absolutely agree! I’ve cooked it in the oven, but we like it best grilled. That brown sugar gives it just a touch of caramelization—it’s amazing!! One thing I do change is I double the recipe (because I usually use at least 3 pounds of chicken) and I use a mixture of Dijon Mustard and Spicy Brown Mustard. The Spicy Mustard just gives it a little extra spice without overpowering it.

Now, I won’t promise that you’ll have a ton of chicken left, but if you do there are tons of possibilities for using it up.

Things like:
• Tacos/burritos
• BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
• Fried Rice
• Chicken Salad

You’re only limited by your imagination and if you can’t imagine, then Pinterest is my go-to place for recipes!

Personally, I love to make salads with leftovers and this Simple Summer Salad doesn’t disappoint! I basically just use ingredients that I have on hand. If you don’t have an ingredient or don’t like it, just substitute it with something that you have in the fridge.

Simple Summer Salad ingredients

I arranged my Salad in a 9×13 baking dish so that I could keep the ingredients separate and everybody could get what they wanted. Plus, it looked pretty. It’s perfectly acceptable to just toss it all together in a bowl though!

Here’s how to make it:
1. Cut or tear lettuce and spinach and put it on the bottom.
2. Cube the leftover chicken (I heated ours a little, but it tastes as good cold) and arrange it in a layer on top of the greens.
3. Cut tomatoes in half and make another layer. I used a tomato snacking blend that had red and yellow tomatoes.
4. Cube or dice avocados and cucumbers. Make a layer with each of these as well.
5. Boil and chop the eggs. You guessed it, another layer!
6. Fry and crumble bacon. This didn’t make it in the layers…my husband was afraid he wouldn’t get enough so we put it in a separate bowl and just sprinkled it on top.
7. Once you’ve taken a picture of your beautiful salad, it’s time to eat it! Scoop out what you want and sprinkle the bacon, croutons, dried cranberries, and any other toppings you want on top.
8. Dress the salad with your favorite dressing. A mixture of homemade Bacon Vinaigrette and O’Charley’s Honey Mustard is absolutely fabulous!
9. Eat and enjoy!!!

Simple Summer Salad

Chicken (leftover), cut into cubes
Lettuce, spinach, and/or any salad greens you have on hand
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, yellow/red snacking blend
4 Eggs, boiled and chopped
1 lb Bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
3 Avocados, cubed or diced
2 Cucumbers, diced
Croutons, cheese, dried cranberries
Dressing of your choice


Homemade Bacon Vinaigrette

¼ Cup bacon drippings
3 Tablespoons white vinegar
1-2 Tablespoons sugar
Couple dashes of salt
Dash of pepper

Add sugar, salt, and pepper to bacon drippings. Heat over medium-low heat until sugar melts. Add vinegar, stir, and heat thoroughly. For an amazing dressing, mix equal amounts of Bacon Vinaigrette with O’Charley’s brand Honey Mustard. (I don’t have a picture of this as I was busy eating my salad and couldn’t be torn away long enough to snap a pic. Just trust me…it’s that good!)

And there you have my recipe for a Simple Summer Salad. Let me know what you think!!

Simple Summer Salad graphic for Pinterest pin