Harvest Chicken Salad

I hope your week is off to a great start! I’ve been listening to the soundtrack to A Star Is Born for the past several days. My husband and I were able to sneak away to see the movie this past weekend, and I can’t get the song Shallow out of my head. This week the kids are dismissed from school early every day. I’m looking forward to enjoying some extra time with them and hopefully squeezing in a few activities we haven’t had time for yet including flu shots and Halloween costume shopping. I promised a special lunch out to make up for the unpleasantness of the shot. Speaking of lunch…

One of my favorite fall lunches is this Harvest Chicken Salad that I discovered in Self Magazine many years ago. It is a healthy, gluten free and easy to make meal (especially if you follow my shortcuts). I buy the Trader Joe’s Roast Chicken Breast and Fully Cooked Organic Quinoa to cut down on prep time. Quinoa would normally take 20 minutes to prepare on the stovetop, but the Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Organic Quinoa is ready after just 3 minutes in the microwave. I especially enjoy making the Harvest Chicken Salad for lunch during the fall when apples are in season and I’m in the mood for a something light and fresh. This would be an ideal recipe if you enjoy planning and preparing your lunches in advance for the week ahead. I use the GladWare soup and salad containers when I am making several servings at once or if I am packing a lunch to go.

Harvest Chicken Salad

Serves 1

The original recipe is from SELF Magazine and can be found here


  • 3 ounces Trader Joe’s Roast Chicken Breast
  • 2 cups spinach
  •  ⅓ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 chopped small, red apple
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons blue-cheese crumbles
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • black pepper


Toss spinach with oil and vinegar. Chop a small red apple and place on top of spinach. Cut roast chicken into bite sized pieces and place on salad.  Add cooked quinoa. Top with crumbled blue cheese and chopped pecans. Add black pepper to taste.

Tip: If you are eating the salad right away, I prefer to toss the spinach and dressing first so that the dressing evenly coats all of the spinach leaves. If you are packing your lunch, keep the dressing in a separate container. Add the dressing right before you are ready to eat to prevent your salad from becoming soggy. 

What do you like to eat for lunch? Do you tend to eat a hot or cold lunch. Would you like to see more lunch ideas?  I find that I eat either dinner leftovers or the same things over and over again. It is nice to find something new that can be made quickly with minimal prep and mess. Here is another easy, gluten free recipe that you can use the Trader Joe’s Roast Chicken Breast and Fully Cooked Organic Quinoa.  I would love to hear about some of your favorite lunches.

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