Embrace all of the autumn vibes with this tasty Fall Harvest Salad. Made with sweet potato, chicken breast, cranberries, and pecans, it’s a delicious meal sure to leave you full and satisfied for hours.
A rich and delicious autumn salad
I’m a firm believer that no meal should be boring, not even salads. In fact, salads should be exciting! When created correctly, they pack in so much flavor and can serve as super filling, satisfying, and delicious meals.
On my quest to create the perfect autumn-inspired salad, I knew that I somehow needed to include cranberries, chopped pecans, and sweet potatoes. After all, those are total fall-approved ingredients!
So I combined those with chicken, honeycrisp apple (another great fall staple), goat cheese, and a delicious balsamic vinaigrette to create the fall harvest salad to end all fall harvest salads.
It includes so much flavor in each and every bite and is the perfect combination of sweet and savory!
Ingredients in this autumn chicken salad recipe
For this dish we have four parts: the salad base (with the bed of kale and various toppings), the sweet potatoes, the chicken and seasonings, and the balsamic vinaigrette! Each portion of this recipe is easy to prepare.
- Honeycrisp apple
- Goat cheese
- Chopped pecans
- Dried cranberries
- Sweet potato (diced into cubes or thin slices)
- Avocado oil
Chicken & Seasoning:
- Chicken breasts
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
What you’ll need to create a fall harvest salad
To prepare this recipe you’ll need a number of kitchen tools. Gather the following items and dive right in!
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Large mixing bowl
- 2 small mixing bowls
- Stirring utensil
- Measuring cups: 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, 1 cup
How to make homemade fall harvest salad
This fall harvest salad is as simple to make as any other. We’ll start by baking the sweet potato, as this is the most time consuming portion of the recipe. Then we’ll move onto seasoning and cooking the chicken, creating the vinaigrette, and assembling the dish on a fresh green bed of kale!
To begin, preheat the oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the seasoning for the chicken, and then sprinkle it onto the the chicken breasts.
Next, take the sweet potatoes out of the oven, toss, and then add the chicken to the same (or separate) pan, and place everything back in the oven.
Bake for another 16-18 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
While baking, prepare the vinaigrette by mixing all of the dressing ingredients together.
Add vinaigrette to the kale and toss until fully coated. I massage the kale with my hands to make sure the leaves break down and everything is coated.
Then, layer on the sliced apples, cooked chicken, sweet potatoes, goat cheese, pecans, and cranberries.
Finally, toss to coat it all and enjoy!
Just in case you aren’t convinced…
I could come up with 1,005 reasons why must try this salad, but for the sake of time I’ll give you three:
- Pecans, cranberries, and goat cheese: Need I say more? The combination of these three ingredients is absolutely unbeatable. Make sure to grab these with your fork for each and every bite, and your taste buds will be happy.
- It’s simple: This recipe is very easy to whip together. It takes about an hour to prepare, but that’s only because the sweet potato and chicken like to take their sweet time in the oven. The prep itself is very quick!
- It’s über filling: Salads that leave you craving more are the worst! This salad, however, is very filling and satisfying because it covers the protein, carbs, and healthy fats.
How to store fall harvest salad
If you find yourself with leftovers, that’s a-okay! It just means tomorrow’s lunch will be extra exciting when you can whip out these leftovers to enjoy for a second time.
To store, keep the different ingredients separate if possible. You may want to assemble only what you’re guaranteed to eat so that this is possible. When stored separately, the kale won’t get so soggy!
However, if you want to store the salad in just one container that’s fine too. Securely seal the container, and enjoy within 1-2 days.
More filling and satisfying salads to try
Craving some more nutritious salads that will leave you feeling nice and full? I have a ton of options for you. Choose from a yummy cranberry quinoa salad, an avocado corn dish, and more!
- Zucchini Noodle Caprese Salad with Walnut Pesto
- Thai Noodle Salad with Walnut Butter
- Cranberry Quinoa Salad
- Pear Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
- Avocado Corn Salad
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 4–6 cups shredded kale
- 1 sliced large honeycrisp apple
- 4oz goat cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup avocado oil (or olive)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp dijon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 large sweet potato, about 3 cups, diced into cubes or thin slices
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3 small breasts chicken
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Start by preheating your oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss together sweet potato with avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Mix together seasoning for chicken, then sprinkle it on the breasts.
- After 20 minutes, take sweet potatoes out of the oven, toss, and then add the chicken to the same pan as the sweet potatoes. Bake both for another 16-18 minutes or until chicken reaches 165F.
- While baking, prepare vinaigrette by mixing all ingredients together.
- Add vinaigrette to kale and toss till full coated. Let sit at least 15 minutes. I use my hands to massage the kale and break down the leaves, the more you do this, the easier it is to eat.
- Layer on sliced apples, cooked chicken, sweet potatoes, goat cheese, pecans, and cranberries.
- Toss to coat! Enjoy
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