Grilled Chicken and Watermelon Salad with Watermelon Vinaigrette

We love this Grilled Chicken Watermelon Salad! Blackened grilled chicken, arugula, watermelon, cucumber, feta and pistachios drizzled in a watermelon vinaigrette. Super delicious for the summer!

You know how much I love a good summer salad.

Blackened Chicken Watermelon Salad

This Blackened Chicken Salad has so many favorite things, plus plenty of texture, tons of flavor, and everything you need to make an amazing weeknight dinner.

blackened chicken

If you have a copy of Daily dinners, then you know there’s a grilled chicken and watermelon salad in the book. OH MY WORD. That salad, folks… the second I started making grilled chicken and watermelon salads? My summer was done.

I photographed this recipe in 2019 and tested it in 2018…which means I’ve got plenty of chicken and watermelon salads under my belt. The combination is so fabulous. It’s the best summer salad because of the smoky, charred chicken paired with the juicy, refreshing watermelon. There are so many things about it that I love.

Watermelon Vinaigrette

So this isn’t exactly that salad. I know. Which can be a disappointment as I was just raving about it. Yes you can grab the book!

See, the thing is, Eddie picked up some pre-packaged salads for his work lunch at the grocery store last fall. That was in September, so the watermelon season was drawing to a close. But one of the salads he grabbed had a watermelon vinaigrette on it. Like a pre-made bagged watermelon vinaigrette.

I almost died. WHAT! Why hadn’t I made watermelon vinaigrette in my entire life?

So that was it, and I’ve been making watermelon vinaigrette ever since.

I had to wait until it was season to share it with you, but it was worth the wait. I promise.

Blackened Chicken Watermelon Salad

PS if you are wondering about dressing the book version of this recipe – it’s my Chili Lime Vinaigrette, which is just as amazing. A little spiciness and lime on this salad is perfect too.

But back to TODAY’s Watermelon Chicken Salad.

I like making blackened chicken on the grill because it’s very flavorful and I love eating chicken. Sometimes I double up this chicken and grill it, chop it up, then store it in the fridge for salads, quesadillas, and even a quick pasta out of the fridge.

Blackened Chicken Watermelon Salad

That makes this salad unique!

  • Arugula. Crispy, peppery rocket as a base. Maybe it’s my favorite green? I love the bite so much. Of course – use whatever salad you like here. Kale would be good, you just have to massage it beforehand. Butter lettuce, romaine lettuce, everything!
  • The blackened chicken – preferably still warm. It doesn’t have to be, but have you eaten warm grilled chicken on a cold, crispy salad? It’s so damn good.
  • watermelon! Naturally.
  • cucumbers too! I love the savory, icy, refreshing coolness of the cucumbers in this salad. There is also a little crunch here.
  • feta cheese. I like it crumbled. You could also make goat cheese or even cheddar here. However, the combination feta + watermelon is a classic.
  • pistachios! Live here for a super crunch. Any nut will work, but the pistachio is so buttery, nutty, and doesn’t hurt with a pretty hint of green.
  • Finally, the watermelon vinaigrette. Um, it’s bloody amazing.

Blackened Chicken Watermelon Salad

This vinaigrette is easy. I strongly recommend getting a Nutribute and use for dressings. It’s what I use it for 95% of the time.

I throw in some watermelon cubes the nutri ball. Any blender will work. No additional liquid is needed since the melon is filled with water. I puree it, then pass it through a fine mesh sieve (a tiny one like this) to remove the pulp.

Once I have the watermelon juice, I measure out about ¼ cup. You can drink the rest! It is delicious. Use it in cocktails too, omg.

Then here happens a classic vinaigrette! Some red wine vinegar, a drop of honey, some garlic, some olive oil. The dressing can be that crazy orange hue once it’s emulsified. If you just whisk the dressing, it may never fully take on that color — but if you use a mixer to mix the vinaigrette, it will. It still tastes the same and is practically drinkable.

Blackened Chicken Watermelon Salad

So there you have it! A new summer salad. One for dinner tonight. Enjoy all season long!

Blackened Chicken Watermelon Salad

Grilled Chicken and Watermelon Salad

Blackened Chicken and Watermelon Salad

We love this Grilled Chicken Watermelon Salad! Blackened grilled chicken, arugula, watermelon, cucumber, feta and pistachios drizzled in a watermelon vinaigrette. Super delicious for the summer!


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8th ounces Baby Arugula Greens
  • 2 cups diced watermelon
  • 2 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • Cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Cup chopped roasted, salted pistachios

Watermelon Vinaigrette

  • ½ to 1 Cup diced watermelon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 Clove of garlic, chopped
  • ½ Cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • Preheat grill to high.

  • I like to pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet so they’re all evenly thick. This is required but helps! In a bowl, whisk together the smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, a large pinch of salt and pepper, and the crushed red bell pepper. Scatter it over the chicken on both sides.

  • Once the grill is hot, place the chicken directly on the rack and grill about 5 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken and let it sit for 10 minutes while you assemble the salad.

  • Place the arugula in a bowl and toss with a pinch of salt and pepper. Garnish with watermelon, cucumber, feta and pistachios. Cut the grilled chicken into slices or pieces and place on top of the salad. Drizzle with the watermelon vinaigrette and serve!

Watermelon Vinaigrette

  • Place the watermelon in a blender and puree until pureed. After pureeing, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the pulp and collect the juice. Measure out ¼ cup watermelon juice. That’s all you need for the dressing – you can drink the rest! The amount of cubes you need depends on the water content of your melon.

  • I like to use a mixer for the dressing, but you can use a whisk too. In a blender, combine ¼ cup watermelon juice, vinegar, lime juice, honey, a large pinch of salt and pepper, garlic, and olive oil. Mix until emulsified. This will keep in the fridge for a few days and only needs to be shaken or whisked before use.

Blackened Chicken Watermelon Salad

Perfect Bite!!

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