Apr 11, 2012

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette



Chicken marinaded with lemon, garlic and oregano, then grilled to perfection. Served over a colorful salad with a white balsamic vinaigrette, does it get better than that?

And trust me, you'll never make grilled chicken any other way. This is my favorite marinade for grilled chicken, the longer it marinates the better.  You can even freeze the chicken in the marinade when you first buy it, then let it thaw in the refrigerator the day before you are ready to use it.

This recipe was first posted in 2008, I'm slowly re-photographing my older recipes with slight adjustments if needed to bring light to recipes otherwise hidden in the archives. Hope you enjoy!





Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th • Old Points: 4 pt • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 183.1 • Fat: 8.1 g • Protein: 17.5 g • Carb: 11.7 g • Fiber: 3 g • Sugar: 1.7 g
Sodium: 101.7 mg (without salt)

Ingredients:
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (3 oz each)
  • 7 oz bag baby spinach
  • few thin slices of red onion
  • 1/2 sweet red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 carrot, sliced into ribbons
For the Marinade:
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed
  • kosher salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
For the White Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
    Combine the marinade ingredients - lemon juice, oregano, garlic puree, salt and black pepper and pour over chicken, let it marinade in the refrigerator a minimum of two hours, but preferably 4-6 hours or longer.


    Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

    Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high, make sure your grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent sticking. When the grill is hot, lay the chicken on the grill. Cook the chicken until well browned on both sides and firm, but not hard to the touch. Transfer to a plate when done.

    Divide spinach, onions, carrots, tomatoes and peppers on 4 plates. Top with the chicken and drizzle with balsamic dressing over each.

    77 comments :

    1. This sounds too good. I just had grilled chicken with a balsamic vinegar reduction for the first time. Best chicken I ever had. I have become addicted to balsamic vinaigrettes. I am going to try this tomorrow night!

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    2. I've always had issues with my weight and was on my first diet at age 11. But before I got married, I stayed with my parents and my mom used to cooked meals like this to help me on the quest for a thin body. Now that i am married with 2 children, I'm afraid I have fallen off the wagon a bit... You've inspired me to give it a go again.

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      1. You will love all of the recipes on this blog. I cook about 95% of the meals in my house from this blog. All the recipes are easy to follow plus easy to add to or make substitutions. The 3 Bean turkey chili is a must in our house with only a few small additions (hubby likes THICK & spicy chili), the chicken piccata, meatloaf, etc. I'm not on weight watchers but I love fresh easy meals that I never have to worry about the calories. Enjoy!

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      2. How do you make the chili thicker? I just made it in my crock pot last week and it came out pretty watery.

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    3. I have been eating this for the last 3 days for lunch! It is so delicious, can't get enough of this salad. Its nice and filling, keeps me full until dinner. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes, have tried many and have lost 23 pounds so far! I check your site often for new and exciting recipes. I don't usually make a new recipe without photos, so i very much apprciate your beautiful pictures. Thanks again and congrats on your new baby, :)

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    4. You're welcome! I'm with you, I hate recipes without photos.

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    5. This recipe looks very quick and easy. Looks like I found something to eat for lunch today.

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    6. Hello! I just marinated and refrigerated my chicken. BUT I added oil in the marinade due to the typo. Just saw in the comments that was an oppsy-poopsy. Oh well, I'll letcha know how it came out. :)

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    7. ok, here's how it came out. I used lime, orange and lemon juice, 'cause I had them on hand, and I baked it instead of grilling. It was great. The family loved it, lot's of flavor. Thanks...Now to try those oatmeal banana pancakes.

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    8. Tried this tonight - it was amazing! Great job - sooo tasty! Thank you so much for your recipes!

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    9. Hi Gina,

      This looks amazing and I can't wait to try it. Also, do you happen to know the new points+ value would be?

      Thanks so much!

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    10. I can't choose which recipes to make!! EVERYTHING on this website looks absolutely amazing!! So glad I found it!!

      www.skinny-jeans-dreams.blogspot.com <-- my weight loss blog.

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    11. I made this recipe for dinner tonight, as is (No oil in marinade). It was delicious! I was hoping to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow, but my family ate it all!
      I just started using your website after a friend suggested it. I have chosen 14 recipes to make over the next two weeks, this one being the first. I love the pictures too! I am hoping for the same success with the rest of the recipes!
      Thank you!

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    12. Hi Gina...this looks delish. Do you know how many points plus is in this recipe?

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    13. Do you have nutritional information available? I see you have WW points listed, but can't seem to find the calorie info? Or maybe I'm being stupid and can't see the wood for the trees? :) x

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    14. I second Hayley's request!..Any possibility of a calorie count?..This looks phenomenal and so delicious/nutritious for the Lenten season...Bookmarked!

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      Replies
      1. Just added the calories and points plus!

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      2. Gina, do you have the points for just the chicken?

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    15. Your recipes never disappoint. I'll be trying this one too!

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    16. Oh that looks delish! I'll have to try this. Been looking for different kinds of new salads for lunch!

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    17. I like these easy and fresh meals. Keep 'em coming:)

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    18. MMM I am drooling over your pictures. i love salad.. would love to try that.

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    19. Oh my gosh that looks so good!

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    20. I'm not normally technology-retarded, but I'm having a hard time pinning this recipe. ?

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    21. It's fun to revisit recipes from the archive (I'm doing that, too) -- a great way to bring old favorite dishes back into the repertoire.

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    22. I just made a less awesome version of this last night! Haha theres always next week.

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    23. Your marinade sounds great. I have been using a version of Pita Pit's "secret sauce" based on information a friend of mine who worked there gave me. It's a mixture of oil, garlic, oregano, and the juice from a jar of banana peppers! Yum.

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      1. I've been desperately trying to recreate Pita Pit's secret sauce recipe (for years! haha), but with no luck! I would love to learn the recipe you're using, if you would be okay with sharing it :)

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    24. I bet that's great! Gotta try that : )

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    25. Sounds wonderful. I wish I could have this for lunch today, but I"m stuck at work! :(

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    26. "marinated" not "marinaded".

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      1. Thanks for noticing the typo

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      2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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      3. of course the big, bad grammar nazi posted anonymously! screw them, gina! lol.

        i cant wait to try this marinade! i have just been grilling my chicken with salt and pepper and im getting bored of that. I just got a new foodsaver freezer thing so I love the idea of freezing with the marinade! thanks!!!

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      4. Well if the grammar is wrong it's distracting.

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      5. If you live in the UK (as I do) marinade is correct.

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    27. As usual Gina, looks delish....
      vinegarettes tend to be to acidic for me...

      any suggestions...
      diane

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      Replies
      1. You can go with my buttermilk ranch. Would be great too.

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    28. Beautiful colorful and healthy....and seems to have great flavour. Wht more can anyone ask for

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    29. Looks fabulous! I adore a good chicken salad. This sounds wonderful :)

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    30. This looks great. However it doesn't seem like amount of marinade is enough for 4 chicken breasts?

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      1. I can assure you it is, but if you wish you can double it.

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      2. I tried this and it is wonderfully delicious but did have to double the marinade for 2 normal size chicken breasts. 3 oz chicken breasts or 12 oz total is more like 4 chicken tenders than a full chicken breast. I understand the portions are smaller for dietary reasons and do appreciate all the nutritional values you have on your recipes.

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    31. I have an abundance of fresh oregano. How much of that could I substitute for the dried?

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    32. Looks great.. Will try it have you ever tried it with Kale in place of spinach?

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      1. Sure, I eat it on any greens I happen to have.

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    33. Do you know the fat grams if you do not use the vinaigrette dressing?

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    34. Gina, you must know the way to my heart is through a lemon. I loooooove lemon anything. And the trick about marinating and freezing the chicken....that's why we need you...I'd never have thought of that one on my own. Can't wait to give this a go. Positive it will be my very favourite chicken and just in time for the grilling season. One question: 1/4 cup of basil leaves? That sounds like a lot of basil. Is that correct? Was that fresh basil? What is the substitute for dried? Thanks Gina!

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      1. Yes fresh basil!! Won't be as good with dry, but if you must use 1 tbsp.

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    35. This looks amazing! I am in such a rut with lunches so this salad is sure to fix that! I also wanted to thank you about the idea to marinate the chicken before you freeze it - never thought of that but such a good idea! I'm all about making things simple! :)

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    36. I love this marinade but switch out the oregano for rosemary. I have a rosemary bush as well as a lemon tree in my backyard so both ingredients are fresh!!

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    37. Hi Gina, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
      http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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    38. Loved this marinade (and that the marinade is 0 pts!) I chucked in on the George Foreman and grilled it that way and wish there were some leftovers. Will have to make it again.

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    39. I made this salad last night for dinner. The boyfriend and I both LOVED it!

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    40. Just made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Thanks for posting all of these wonderful recipes Gina! I cook something from your website at least once a week if not more. Fantastic job! :)

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    41. Love everything I have made from your blog. My Skinny Taste Cookbook is filling up with all 5 star recipes! :)

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    42. The photos are exclusively perfect captured. They are more inviting to a lot of viewers. I tried this recipe at home, all I could say is AWESOME! The taste is absolutely perfect to my taste buds. Moreover, to make them more stylish and attractive you can use Bamboo Clear Acrylic Flower Skewers for fork alternative or replacement.

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    43. Hi,

      Just wondering what the difference between shallots and red onion and scallions is? I checked google and pictures of both of those kinds of onions came up when I looked up shallots.

      Thanks!

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    44. This looks amazing, and I bet that the chicken would be great on a whole wheat bun with fresh lettuce, tomatoes & pickles.

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    45. This was really good-I used just the chicken marinade for some thin breasts and it was delicious. I will be using this again. I putt them in the broiler on low since I have no grill and they were perfect--tender and not dry. TY SO MUCH for posting this because white breast chicken is usually something I avoid due to dryness.

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    46. We used 2 pt chicken breast portions and less olive oil for a 4 pt dinner. And then paired it with some corn on the cob. Lovely summer grilled dinner!!!

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    47. Can you cook chicken effectively by using one of those one calorie sprays?

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    48. Another fabulous meal!!! I love your website and have enjoyed every recipe I have tried, Keep em coming! THANKS!

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    49. I've made this a few times now, LOVE it! The salad dressing is amazing! You never disappoint :)

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    50. what would the WW old points be if i swapped out the spinach for iceberg,as i dont have it in the house right now.and took out the peppers and carrots.

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    51. I Love the dressing and have made other salads with it. Do you have any idea what the calories are for just the dressing?

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    52. I was wondering if I can replace regular balsamic vinegar instead of white balsamic vinegar? Thanks

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    53. I'd like to know about the regular balsamic as well. Thank you Gina.

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    54. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    55. I know this is an older post, but I was looking for a healthy chicken marinade for a spinach salad, and this one is awesome! I was a little skeptical given the minimal ingredients, haha, but the flavor is perfect! Fresh and tasty! Thanks, Gina!!!

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    56. Love this recipe.Having friends over next week end for a BBQ so will give this one a shot. Just thinking as you love this recipe you might wanna try that http://www.fitnessfirst.com.au/healthy-eating/salt-and-pepper-chilli-chicken-with-lime/. It's s a little more on the spicy site but it's really good.

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