Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad

Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad - blue cheese, watermelon, almonds, spinach, chicken, and a balsamic reduction. Like summer on a plate! 300 calories. |

Watermelon on a salad like what is going on.

I’ve had this idea written up on my nice little kitchen chalkboard for at least three weeks now. The name “Watermelon Chicken Salad” sat there happily on the board right next to all my other random ideas, most of which have since gotten scratched off and erased and replaced with something new because I actually made them and posted them. For whatever reason, this little guy lingered. Another week would pass with no sign of a watermelon chicken salad, but for whatever reason when I’d clean off my board for the week, I really didn’t want to erase the idea just yet. I had this premonition of great things to come.

Speaking of great things.

Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad topped off with a simple balsamic reduction. YUM! |

In the three weeks that “Watermelon Chicken Salad” has been staring me down from the chalkboard, I’ve bought 8 million watermelons with very good intentions, thinking that each of them would be the one I’d use to make some kind of inspired and beautiful salad. But then I discovered this drink instead and every single piece of watermelon since has been doomed for the blender. Or my mouth. Today I ate it for breakfast, which is so weird, but actually not as weird as watermelon in a salad.

And I have a really important question. Why is watermelon like candy? It’s so incredibly good. Juicy, bright, sweet, red… it’s basically large cubes of all-natural Jolly Ranchers. Have you ever frozen watermelon cubes? <— That. You’re welcome.

So I got a really great bottle of balsamic and starting thinking about salads, and BAM. The inspiration for this salad finally hit and wowzzer. The long wait to actually make this combo happen was totally worth it. Here she is, in all her blue cheese crumbled, rainbow colored, crunchy almond, sweet balsamic glazed glory.

Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad - blue cheese, watermelon, almonds, spinach, chicken, and a balsamic reduction. |

Pinky promise, as I am writing this, I can hear Bjork’s fork + plate clinking together at record speed as he is devouring this in the next room.

The salty blue cheese to me was the thing that tied it all together. You have the sweetness of the watermelon and the balsamic glaze, the savory of the seasoned chicken, the crunch of the almonds, the freshness of the spinach, and then that blue cheese. Oh, the salty, creamy tang that makes my heart go wild. I am making a weird “I LOVE IT” face right now as I’m writing this because I don’t even really know how to describe what I’m trying to say – you get it, though, right? Through computer food osmosis, are we kind of experiencing it together?

Color, crunch, and yum. I want that to be the tagline of my life.

Pretty salad, come to mama.

Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad - tangy blue cheese, crunhcy almonds, sweet juicy watermelon, grilled chicken, and balsamic reduction. fresh summer deliciousness. 300 calories.|

4.8 from 10 reviews
Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 teaspoons all purpose seasoning (I used a spice mix I got at a specialty food store)
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups baby spinach or greens
  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup sliced or crushed almonds
  1. Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the balsamic vinegar is significantly reduced and starting to become syrupy.
  2. Meanwhile, turn a grill or nonstick skillet to high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with the seasoning on both sides and drizzle with the olive oil. Transfer to the hot grill and cook until no longer pink on the inside and nicely browned on the outside. Let rest for 5 minutes; cut into small cubes.
  3. Layer the spinach with the chicken, watermelon, blue cheese, almonds, and drizzle with the balsamic reduction to taste. Top with additional olive oil if desired.

Nutrition Watermelon Salad


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  1. I have been seeing those whole watermelon + salad thang e’rywhere lately and have been DYING to try it. But, like this salad was for you, I just keep kinda of not trying it.
    With the whole balsamic and chicken addition, I think I am going to move it to the top of “Things I need to stop not doing” list and just make it already.
    P.s I can’t wait to try frozen watermelon – BEST TIP.
    P.P.S – I am LOVING your white photos lately – gorg! Pinned!

  2. Who knew all that deliciousness can come from something so simple? Gorgeous shots too!

    I truly love watermelon in salads but heart is still with feta. Blue cheese and pear is the one for me.

  3. I have never tried watermelon in a salad , much more with chicken. I bought this huge watermelon since I came back from the Philippines and we are smoothi-ing it lke crazy. This is such a change that I can try. Thanks.

  4. OOOOH, I’ve never tried frozen watermelon so I’ll have to get on that. This salad is gorgeous and the ingredients sound amazing together. I’m sorry you waited so long but glad you didn’t erase it before making it. YUM! Pinned :)

  5. I have also been on a watermelon kick…can’t get enough and now I have another way to enjoy it. Looks SO yummy!

  6. Love it! This one goes to the daughter in college! Watermelon for breakfast? Yes, ma’m! It’s fruit isn’t it? I’ve been known to have a bowl of homemade ice cream for breakfast…after all it has eggs in it! :)

  7. We love watermelon salad, but we’ve never tried with chicken. It must be as good as it looks on the picture!

  8. Every time I take a bite of watermelon, I get a happy rush that says, “yes THIS is summer.” Love the idea of turning that feeling into a yummy salad. Worth the wait :)

  9. Woooow, it’s only 9AM and my mouth is watering. Watermelon is so perfect for summer!

  10. I haven’t bought one watermelon this summer yet – what am I thinking?? I think I need to go out and purchase a large one for this amazing salad and that delicious looking drink. YUM!

    I am in love with the white photos, Lindsay – gorgeous! :)

  11. This kind of makes me wish I still ate chicken! The texture of it all just looks fantastic.

  12. I had most of the ingredients for this recipe so I made it. I used feta for blue cheese and salt and pepper for all purpose seasoning. The balsamic vinegar is a great topping for this flavorful salad. Looking forward to having it for lunch!

  13. Looks unreal! I have been obsessed with watermelon this year. I made a watermelon and tomato salad with a balsamic dressing which was amazing. The watermelon and tomatoes look very similar when dressed, so you don’t know what you’re going to get!

  14. I’m on a huge balsamic kick myself these days…it just can’t be beat! And I love, love, love the idea of balsamic and watermelon – genius!

  15. Watermelon and chicken! WOW! Such a great combo ! Love the idea of blue cheese too, as a cheese lover, I’m satisfied! :)

  16. Thanks for the idea, have all the ingredient at home will try it for sure tonight, inspiring.

  17. Love watermelon salads (although have never thought to add chicken), and LOVE Oliviers & Co. balsamic. Their Premium Balsamic of Modena is the most amazing thing in the world. I could drink the stuff it is so delicious. I usually won’t ever cook with it because it is so good straight, but maybe I will try it here!

  18. This looks like the perfect summer salad. Such a fun and delicious combination, love it!!

  19. I am crazy about watermelon salads! LOVE LOVE LOVE! This one looks so simple, but so yummy, thanks for posting Lindsay.

  20. Love your new background. And chicken + balsamic + watermelon sounds amazing.

  21. Holy Moly, come to mama is right! I need to devour this salad asap…

  22. Thee s nothing about this salad that I dont like. Plus it is perfect timing for hot summer and watermelon.

  23. This looks so refreshing! I never would have thought to put watermelon on a salad, but I can totally imagine how great of a compliment it would be with the balsamic. Might have to put this on the menu for an upcoming cookout!

  24. I’m with you – watermelon is like candy. I just made a Watermelon Feta Salad last week, and at almost half of the watermelon before I could even measure out enough to create the recipe. Ha!
    This looks fabulous!! Blue cheese + watermelon… yes, please!

  25. Just watched a video last night of a man cutting up a watermelon into cubes in under a minute. I hate cutting watermelon! But now I have a reason to test out his process – because of THIS SALAD! Love the flavour with the balsamic, so summer.

    If you’re a cheese fan, here are some words on some consumed last night:

    Hope you enjoy!

  26. This salad looks so summery tasty. Do you think I could sub feta for the blue cheese?

  27. this looks and sounds wonderful.

  28. What a fabulous idea! The blue cheese here was such a good choice! I love how it pulls all the flavors together!

  29. I cut up a giant watermelon earlier this week and it is like candy! Every time I open the fridge I sit there and sneak a few (10+) pieces. I’ve been making watermelon chicken salads all week for lunch! Love them. Soo good.

  30. pjs2780 says:

    YES! thank you! i am having some folks over for dinner this weekend and was going to make BBQ chicken in the crockpot and was looking for a salad to go with. i was planning to make the rainbow chicken salad with the almond dressing (minus the chicken) but instead i am going to make this (minus the chicken, because double food is only good if it’s double dessert). also we have half of a 25 lb watermelon in our fridge (hubby and preschooler went shopping without me…). perfection! (without the chicken, how much less balsamic would you recommend?)

  31. This looks like an awesome combo! I grew up eating bread with watermelon , I guess it was a Russian thing :) sounds weird but tastes really good though so any watermelon combo’s I’m open to!

  32. Gigi Guerrette says:

    – Phew …. “Through computer food osmosis”, we ARE experiencing it together.

    Lindsay – this is by far the best narrative and recipe – ever. Ever!
    I’m looking forward to enjoying this plate of ‘yummy’ for dinner tomorrow evening.

    Keep up the great work. :)

    Gigi ~

  33. This looks amazing. I love watermelon and eat tons of salads during the summer. It is the perfect combo. I will have to try this very soon.

  34. Moira Y says:

    Lindsay…this was delicious! My husband and I just had it for dinner….perfect for a late supper after an extremely hot day. Licking the bowl! Would love to know more about your seasoning mix.

    • I don’t remember the brand off the top of my head but it was Italian, pretty basic… like oregano, thyme, parsley, basil, salt, etc.

  35. This sounds and looks delicious! We are a watermelon for supper kick and this would definitely change it up a little.
    PS – had not used the save to Ziplist from your recipe recently. Very spiffy! Saved, added to shopping list and pinned. On the menu! Thank you!

  36. What a perfect summer salad! I feel the same way about watermelon, definitely like candy, it’s the only fruit I can eat one after the other after the other after the other…

  37. That combination! Oh my. Blue cheese, chicken, balsamic AND watermelon. I have never eaten it before, but it seems so perfect together now. You make me want to make this for dinner tonight! Thanks (:

  38. Lindsay, this salad is a summer flavor explosion! As soon as I saw it I fell in love! I love all of the textures, sweet and salty flavors, and the beautiful color. Pinning and adding to the menu next week!

  39. Oh my gosh – YUM!!!! Will definitely be trying this soon!

  40. The first sentence of the blog post is exactly what i said in my mind! I LOVE your creativity with this recipe! Its sounds refreshing yet savory!

  41. I made this for dinner and it was SO yummy! If anyone is looking for a vegetarian option, I used tempeh and followed the maple glazed tempeh recipe from 101cookbooks. It went so well with this! Also I loved the crunch from the watermelon and it paired so well with the balsamic and blue cheese. This is a new summer staple for sure!

  42. I added heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers, used arugula as the base and snuck in extra watermelon and almonds. This was so so delicious!

  43. I’m making this using Quorn chicken pieces and roasted seeds :)

  44. OK, just made and DEVOURED. That was dee-lish! Used a rotisserie chicken purchased from Meijer and herbed goat cheese. YUM YUM YUM (and I thought I didn’t even like strong cheeses!).

  45. I normally don’t comment on things, but for this I HAD to make an exception! So delicious! When I first saw the recipe I fell in lust and had to make it. And it was EVEN BETTER than I thought it would be! Thank you for this yumminess!!

  46. Catherine says:

    This looks incredible! Intending to make it tomorrow but I can’t eat dairy, any tips to replace the cheese to tie the flavours together?

    • That’s tough! Blue cheese has such a distinct flavor. Sorry I don’t have any awesome ideas… let me know how you like it or if you end up using something else!

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  48. No it’s such a perfect couple! I live in Israel and watermelon & feta salad is the norm in the summer. They both come cubed and piled up in a bowl! Love your recipes :)

  49. Your recipes are loaded with an awful amount of sodium. :(

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