When the nights start getting cooler and the daytime sky gets that crisp autumn blue, I start to crave apples, pecans, and blue cheese. Something about that combination says “fall” to my senses.
I’ve used these ingredients, along with chicken, to create two salad recipes you’ll want to make over and over again this season.
The first is a big green salad with chicken, lots of toppings, and honey mustard dressing. The second is a delicious seasonal update to a classic mayonnaise chicken salad.
And, per usual, I had all my groceries delivered via Kroger’s Boost Membership, where I get free delivery in as little as two hours, and I get 2x fuel points! Kroger sponsors our recipes, but I use their house brand products and delivery services because they work.
Autumn Salad with Butter Lettuce, Chicken, Pecans, and Blue Cheese
- 1 head butter lettuce I like the Simple Truth Organic Living Butter Lettuce at Kroger.
- 1 chicken breast OR 1½ cups rotisserie chicken. For the chicken, I used the Simple Truth Organic Air Chilled Boneless Skinless Chicken at Kroger.
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup celery chopped
- 1/2 cup pickled onions
- 1/2 cup gorgonzola or blue cheese
- 1 Honeycrisp apple
Honey Mustard Dressing
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- black pepper to taste
- Cook one chicken breast on a grill or in a skillet. Or, use 1½ cups of rotisserie chicken.
- Using one large head of butter lettuce, divide between two bowls. Tear the lettuce by hand into smaller pieces.
- Add half of the chicken to each salad.
- Slice as much apple as you'd like, depending on the apple's size, and add to each salad.
- Dice up one stalk of celery and add ¼ cup to each salad.
- Place ½ cup of pecans in a plastic bag and lightly hammer with the back of a spoon or a can of food to break up the nuts a bit. Then, add half to each salad.
- Add ¼ cup gorgonzola or blue cheese to each salad.
- Add pickled onion to each salad (if you don't have some on hand, thinly slice up a red onion and place in a glass bowl or mason jar. Boil one cup vinegar (apple or white), one cup water, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Then, pour this mixture over the red onions to cover them completely. If you do this when you start this salad and place the onions on the salad last, they will have that pickled taste. They are best, however, after sitting in the vinegar mixture for at least an hour). You can use thinly sliced red onion, NOT pickled, as an alternative.
- Whisk up the honey mustard ingredients.
- Pour desired amount over each salad.
- Salt and pepper as desired.
SB Tip: For slicing red onions, or any vegetable, into thin strips, a mandolin is the way to go. If you do not have one, I highly suggest buying one and always using the safety guard. This kitchen tool is a must-have. My favorite is the OXO brand, on sale here for $71.98. OXO also makes a handheld version for quick needs for just $18.99.
Over time, I have also found that I prefer thin, flexible cutting boards for all this chopping. They are so easy to clean and move around. And they make getting chopped items into a bowl so much more efficient, as they bend to make a chute right into the bowl! This set of 8 (which comes in various sizes for less than $20) is found on Amazon and a huge kitchen helper.
Now, onto the next fall salad recipe:
A Fall Version of Classic Chicken Salad
- 3 cups chicken This is approximately two chicken breasts; I used the Simple Truth Organic Air Chilled Boneless Skinless Chicken at Kroger. OR use 3 cups rotisserie chicken.
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped Honeycrisp apples
- ¼ cup diced yellow onion
- ¼ cup gorgonzola or blue cheese
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup honey mustard dressing
- ½ cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chop up two chicken breasts for 3 cups of meat. Or, use 3 cups of rotisserie chicken. Add to a large bowl.
- Chop celery, apples, and pecans. Add to the same bowl.
- Dice up onion and add to the bowl.
- Add ¼ cup blue cheese.
- Add ¼ cup honey mustard dressing and ½ cup mayonnaise.
- Mix all ingredients together. Add some salt and pepper to taste.
- Best to let sit for at least 20 minutes for flavors to combine.
- Serve and enjoy!
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