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Do you love Chick-fil-A’s salads, but you want one on a Sunday when the restaurant is closed? Well, we’ve got you covered with our copycat market salad. Keep reading to learn how to make the chicken marinade and the famous zesty apple cider vinaigrette. Plus, get the scoop on all the tasty ingredients that make this Chick-fil-A’s healthiest salad on their menu.
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Chick-fil-A market salad has a lot of yummy ingredients–some are optional–but it tastes amazing when you use all the ingredients. This salad has a lot of different textures which makes it so interesting.
- Salad Greens: shredded romaine with baby greens (we used spring salad mix)
- Fresh Fruit: blueberries, strawberries, red and green apples
- Vegetables: julienned carrots, shredded red cabbage
- Cheese: crumbled blue cheese
- Nuts: sliced almonds, candied pecans (optional)
- Grains: granola (optional)
- Dried Fruit: raisins and craisins (optional)
- Salad Dressing: copycat Chick-fil-A zesty apple cider vinaigrette (optional)
- Meat: grilled marinated chicken breast (optional)
Is the market salad healthy?
A 2 1/2 cup serving size with half a large chicken breast is 839 calories, 54.2g of carbs and 54.6g of fat. For more nutritional facts on this recipe, scroll to the end of the recipe card.
If you omit the nuts, granola, and dried fruit, it has 648 calories, 31.9g of carbs, and 43.8g of fat.
If you omit the chicken for a vegetarian version, it has 511 calories, 53.4g of carbs, and 32.3g of fat.
If you omit the salad dressing, it has 643 calories, 44.8g of carbs and 35.9g of fat.
How much does the market salad cost at Chick Fil-A?
If you order it with chicken, it is $8.19. If you want the vegetarian or vegan version, it is $6.19.
What dressings are paired with the market salad?
Chick-fil-A has two dressings paired with each of their salads. One is the lighter choice and the other is more indulgent. For the market salad, the two dressings are the zesty apple cider vinaigrette and the light balsamic dressing. For this recipe, we decided to use the more indulgent zesty apple cider vinaigrette as it is the one that Chick Fil-A recommends.
Can you make this recipe ahead of time?
Why certainly, and we encourage you to do so, as the chicken tastes better when it’s marinated for at least 6 hours or overnight.
If you are planning on making the whole salad the night before, keep each ingredient in a separate covered bowl. This will ensure proper texture and will keep the salad greens the freshest.
If you are making this for meal prep, it’s best to keep all the ingredients separate, and then assemble the salad that morning before you leave for work. Remember to keep the dressing separate so the greens don’t wilt. The sliced strawberries keep firm for about 48 hours.
What can I serve this recipe with?
Since this salad is a meal in itself, especially if you include half a chicken breast, you really don’t need to serve any other side dish with it. You can round out your meal with some other Chick-fil-A favorites.
- Drink: lemonade, sweet tea
- Dessert Drinks: copycat frosted sunrise, or copycat frozen lemonade (both recipes on Savor the Flavour)
- Dessert: vanilla ice cream, large chocolate chunk cookie
How do you store this salad?
For the freshest tasting salad, refrigerate any leftovers in separate bowls. If you have any dressing leftover, it will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Shake the dressing well before using, as the oil and vinegar separates in the fridge.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients.
Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towel, then place them on top of plastic kitchen wrap. Cover with plastic wrap and pound thin with a meat mallet, then transfer to a zip top bag.
Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup until well mixed.
Pour the marinade over the chicken. Close the bag and squish the marinade around a bit with your hands to coat.
Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 2 to 24 hours. When ready to cook, let the chicken rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, then remove it from the marinade and pat off any excess marinade with a paper towel so it won’t burn. Discard the marinade.
To cook, heat a 10 inch cast iron skillet to medium high with 2 tablespoons of olive oil inside. (FYI, Chick-fil-A uses peanut oil.) Place one chicken breast in the center of the skillet, and after one minute, reduce the temperature to medium and allow to cook for 4 minutes more.
Flip the chicken over only once. If the meat is sticking to the pan, wait a little longer, then try again.
Place the cooked chicken breast on a plate and tent with foil or wax paper for 10 minutes.
Allow the chicken to cool more before thinly slicing.
Gather the ingredients.
Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, the lime juice, and the honey (swap for agave nectar, if you’re vegan).
Whisk in the dry spices (salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper).
Finish by slowly adding the extra virgin olive oil while whisking.
Store in a closed container and place in the fridge. When ready to use, shake well.
Gather the salad ingredients.
Place two cups of spring salad mix on a plate or shallow bowl. Sprinkle on the shredded carrots and red cabbage.
Add the blueberries, strawberries and the red and green apple chunks.
Add the optional toppings: raisins, craisins, granola, sliced almonds, candied pecans and blue cheese.
Arrange the chicken slices on top. (Omit if you want this vegan or vegetarian.)
Just before serving, drizzle on the zesty apple cider vinaigrette and enjoy.
- Need this vegan? Omit the chicken and blue cheese, and sub agave nectar for the honey in the vinaigrette.
- Need this vegetarian? Omit the chicken.
- Need this nut free? Omit the almonds and candied pecans.
- Need this gluten free? Omit the granola.
- Need this oil free? Omit the salad dressing.
- Can’t eat lettuce? Swap out the romaine lettuce or spring salad mix for kale and swiss chard.
- Marinate the chicken for at least 6 hours, then let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
- Don’t flip the chicken over if it is sticking; let it cook a bit longer, then flip it.
- To get thinly sliced chicken, allow it to cool first.
- Don’t assemble the salad until you want to eat it.
- Serving this to company? Let guests put on their own toppings for a customized salad.
Looking for other salad dressing recipes?
- Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Copycat Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette
- Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Caesar Dressing
Looking for other copycat Chick Fil-A recipes?
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Skip the drive through, and learn how to make a healthy copycat version of Chick-fil-A’s market salad. The homemade zesty apple cider dressing recipe and the chicken marinade will leave you wondering why you didn’t try this delicious recipe sooner.
For the Chicken and Marinade
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (240 ml)
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (80 ml)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (45 ml)
- 3 tablespoons honey (45 ml)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (22 ml)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (120 ml)
For the Market Salad
- 2 chicken breasts, marinated, cooked, and thinly sliced
- 8 cups spring mix
- 1/4 cup julienned carrot (30g)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red cabbage (17g)
- 1 cup blueberries
- 12 strawberries, hulled and quartered (202g)
- 1 cup Granny Smith apple, diced (120g)
- 1 cup red Gala apple, diced (120g)
- 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup glazed pecans (67g)
- 1/2 cup granola
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds (13g)
- 1 tablespoon raisins (12g)
- 1 tablespoon craisins (14g)
- 3/4 cup zesty apple cider vinaigrette
Chicken Marinade (Makes 1 1/4 cups)
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels, cover in plastic wrap, and place on a cutting board. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to flatten each chicken breast one at a time, then transfer them to a gallon size zip-top bag.
- Put all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl and whisk them together. Pour it into the zip-top bag so the chicken is fully covered. Squish the marinade around in the bag so the chicken is coated.
- Place in the fridge for a minimum of six hours or overnight.
- Let the chicken rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Remove the chicken from the zip-top bag and place on a plate. Blot off the extra marinade with a paper towel, then discard the marinade and bag.
- In a 10 inch cast iron skillet, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. (CFA uses peanut oil instead.) Place one chicken breast in the skillet, reduce the temperature to medium after a minute, and cook for a total of 5 minutes. Flip once and cook the other side. Cook until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165 F. Repeat with the other chicken breast.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and place on a plate. Tent with foil or wax paper and let the meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once the meat has cooled, slice thinly against the grain.
Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette (Makes 3/4 cup)
- Put all the ingredients except the olive oil in a small bowl and whisk.
- Slowly add the oil while whisking constantly.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, adding a bit more honey, lime juice, or black pepper as desired.
- Pour into a salad dressing container or small mason jar and store covered in the fridge.
Market Salad (Makes 10 cups)
- Place 2 cups of spring mix on each plate. Sprinkle on the carrots and the red cabbage.
- Add the fresh fruit next (the green and red apples, blueberries, and strawberries).
- Add the dried fruits (raisins and craisins), the nuts (sliced almonds and candied pecans), and the granola.
- Sprinkle on the crumbled blue cheese and place strips of chicken breasts on top of the salad.
- When ready to eat, drizzle on the zesty apple cider vinaigrette. Enjoy immediately.
- For the best flavor, marinate the chicken for at least 6 hours.
- Let the chicken cook a bit longer before flipping if it’s sticking.
- Allow the cooked chicken to cool before slicing to get it to slice thinly.
- Keep the ingredients separate until you want to eat it for maximum freshness.
- For a customized salad, let guests put on their own toppings.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chick fil a, salad dressing, copycat