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Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad

Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad
  • Quick & Easy!
  • Gluten Free!
Serves: 4Ready In: 20 minutes

Why We Like It

Another incredibly good way to incorporate watermelon into a summer meal!  The dressing is a balsamic reduction and makes enough so you will have dressing leftover for future salads!  You can also use a good aged balsamic as a substitute for making the balsamic reduction (see quick tip).

Preheat the Grill

Make the Balsamic Reduction:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

Add to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, but continue simmering until it is reduced by almost half and starts to thicken, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (If you cook it too long it will become too thick, like caramel.  You want it to coat the back of a spoon.  Keep in mind, it will thicken slightly as it cools).  Set aside.

Season and Grill the Chicken:

  • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 3 chicken breasts)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil

Place the chicken on a plate, and then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle both sides of each piece of chicken with seasonings.  Grill the chicken for about 15 minutes, or until it is cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes.  Cut into bite size pieces and set aside.

Toast the Nuts and Seeds:

  • 1/4 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds

Add to a small dry skillet over medium heat.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted and fragrant.  Set aside to cool.

Put it All Together:

  • 6 cups baby spinach leaves (or greens of your choice)
  • 2 cups watermelon (cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese (crumbled)

Add to a large bowl, along with the chicken and toasted walnuts.  Drizzle balsamic reduction on top.

Serve and Enjoy!

Quick Tips

Balsamic reduction is just a fancy way of saying a thick, flavor-enhanced balsamic syrup.  By boiling and simmering the balsamic vinegar, it enhances the flavor and creates a syrup that can be used as a dressing but is also excellent on fruits, vegetables, and meats.  It will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  If it is too thick when removed from the refrigerator, just place the container in warm water to soften it.

If you don’t want to make your own, a good aged balsamic vinegar is a great substitute for balsamic reduction.  A good aged balsamic has a thicker consistency (almost like a syrup) and a deep, rich flavor.  A couple of options we really like include:

Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve Balsamic (25 Stars)

Fustini’s 18-Year Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

Nutrition Information for one serving

  • Calories: 340
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 22 g
  • Cholesterol: 89 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugars: 14 g
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Sodium: 230 mg
(Recipe adapted from