Winter Citrus Salad with Lemon Garlic Chicken

I love adding fruits to my salads, they add such a nice texture and flavour. In this Winter Citrus Salad with Lemon Garlic Chicken you’ll find grapefruits and my all time favourite topping for fresh salads – pomegranate arils. The sweet and sour combo in this recipe is simply delicious.

The citrus adds an incredible zing and refreshing aftertaste and the pomegranate arils add a crunchy texture. The lemon garlic chicken is sooo delicious you’d want to eat it both in the salad and on its own. Furthermore, the tahini dressing bonds everything together with its creaminess and unique flavour. In addition to all that, look at how colourful this salad looks!

winter citrus salad

How to Make this Winter Citrus Salad

Let’s be honest, this salad needs a little bit more prep work than usual – you’ll have to marinate the chicken beforehand. However, with a bit of prep work you can make the tahini dressing and lemon garlic chicken ahead of time. Then all it’s left to do is to assemble everything into a big bowl and start enjoying this nutritious salad.

  1. Stir the marinade ingredients together, add the chicken and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Cook until the thickest part of the chicken breast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, about 5-7 minutes on each side. I try to discard some of the excess marinade off the chicken, mainly the garlic, because it will burn a little bit.
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together. You’ll end up with a creamy, finger-licking sauce. I love to drizzle this dressing over leftovers and even sandwiches!
  3. Assemble the salad! Chop the baby spinach and fresh parsley, drain and rinse the chickpeas, slice the red onion, peel and cut into pieces the grapefruit and open the pomegranate. Slice the cooked lemon garlic chicken and drizzle the tahini dressing.

If you’re planning to make this winter citrus salad ahead of time, prepare all the ingredients, but don’t mix them until you’re ready to serve. Otherwise, the baby spinach will become soggy. I know many people dislike grapefruits, but you should give them a chance in this recipe.

winter citrus salad

Tips for a creamy Tahini Dressing

This tahini dressing adds an incredible creaminess and umami flavour to this winter citrus salad, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s so easy to make that I always make a double batch just to have some to drizzle for the next week.

  • To make this tahini dressing you need ice-cold water – this helps emulsify the sauce and it gives that creamy, smooth texture at the end. So make sure your water is really cold before adding it.
  • Tahini is quite bitter and tangy, but you can balance this with honey or maple syrup. Salt helps too.
  • Buy good tahini – there’s so much variation in flavour and consistency. Don’t buy the already separated kind, it’s a pain to heat and mix it back.

Notes for a delicious and juicy Lemon Garlic Chicken

Firstly and most importantly, don’t overcook the chicken! That’s the main reason most people ruin their chicken breast. A proper cooking method avoids turning what was supposed to be a juicy and tender chicken breast into a chewy, stringy and dry mess. A meat thermometer is like a magic wand in your kitchen.

Other delicious salads you could make: Quick Greek Chickpea Salad with Feta, Classic Caesar Salad and this Grilled Halloumi Salad with Nectarines.

5 from 1 vote

Winter Citrus Salad with Lemon Garlic Chicken

This winter citrus salad is the best use of leftover chicken breast, topped with juicy grapefruit supremes and a creamy, delicious tahini dressing.
Servings 2
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Marinating 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients

For the Lemon Garlic Chicken Marinade

  • 1 lb chicken breast boneless, skinless
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper freshly ground

For the Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tbsp water ice-cold

For the Winter Citrus Salad

  • 2 cups baby spinach roughly chopped
  • 1 grapefruit peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 7 oz canned chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • fresh parsley roughly chopped

Instructions

  • Make the lemon garlic chicken: Add olive oil, garlic powder, dried basil, dried oregano, minced garlic cloves, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, fresh parsley, salt and pepper in a ziploc bag. Seal it and mix the marinade ingredients. Add chicken breast and coat in the marinade. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours. Heat a grill over medium heat, discard the extra marinade and cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Make the tahini dressing while the chicken cooks: In a medium bowl mix olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk until smooth. Add ice-cold water and whisk again. Taste and add more seasonings or lemon juice if needed. If it's too thick, add 1 tbsp cold water at a time until creamy. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Assemble the winter citrus salad: Toss all salad ingredients, add the sliced lemon garlic chicken and drizzle with tahini dressing. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: baby spinach, chickpea, citrus, lemon garlic chicken, quick meals, salad, tahini dressing
salad with lemon garlic chicken

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