Chick-fil-A’s Market Salad is fresh, fruity, and a fun summer meal. This version has everything you love about that salad with its fresh bed of crisp greens, ripe strawberries and blueberries, creamy blue cheese, and crunchy apples. The good news is this Copycat Chick-fil-A Market Salad contains healthier ingredients and a smaller price tag made right in your kitchen.
I recently discovered Chick-fil-a’s Market Salad and let me tell you this. If you think their Cobb Salad is good… you MUST give this one a try!
Copycat Chick-fil-A Market Salad Ingredients
This salad is packed with fresh ingredients and your taste buds are going to love it!
Romaine Lettuce– Chick-fil-a uses mostly romaine lettuce in their Market Salad, but feel free to use any combination of greens you like. You will need about 8 rounded cups to make 4 salads, or more if you like larger salads.
Green Cabbage– This is a standard ingredient in the Market Salad lettuce mix. You can use purple or red cabbage for a pop of color or omit this ingredient and add more romaine lettuce if you will not find a use for the rest of the head of cabbage.
Strawberries & Blueberries– Berries are so sweet and flavorful during the summer months, making that the perfect time to enjoy this salad.
Gala Apple– Feel free to use any red apple you have on hand. The only variety of red apples that will not work well in this salad is Red Delicious because of the thick, bitter peel and mild-flavored flesh.
Green Apple– Tart and tangy green apples work so wonderfully in a salad. If you need to swap out this ingredient, select another apple that is more tart than sweet.
Blue Cheese– If you are not a fan of blue cheese, you can use chevre, feta, or goat cheese. You can also omit this ingredient.
Roasted Almonds– Chopped roasted almonds are an optional ingredient but give the salad a pleasant crunch. Pecans or walnuts make good additions as well.
Granola– Harvest nut granola is served in a packet on the side of the Market Salad, making this another optional ingredient. If using, select a vanilla or honey-flavored granola, avoiding strong flavors like chocolate or peanut butter. Be sure to select certified gluten-free granola if you need to follow a gluten-free diet or this ingredient can easily be omitted. I used Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grains Granola
What kind of dressing is on Chick-fil-A market salad?
The dressing that is served with the Market Salad is their Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette dressing and it is absolutely delicious. It pairs well with the fruit and lettuce making it a delicious addition to this salad, and you can make a copycat version at home!
Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Ingredients
This dressing is sweet, tangy, and such a fresh compliment to the vibrant and flavorful salad. This dressing tastes shockingly close to the Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette dressing from Chick-fil-A but with healthier ingredients that you will love!
Here are some ingredient notes and possible swaps for the dressing:
Honey– Honey tastes wonderful in this dressing recipe and is an unrefined sugar, but you can use your preferred sweetener as a substitute. If using a granulated sweetener, you may need to add a little more water to get the right consistency.
Olive Oil– Olive oil is not used in the original Chick-fil-A recipe, they use soybean oil. I like olive oil because it is less processed and contains less polyunsaturated fat. Avocado oil makes another great option, but any neutral-flavored liquid cooking oil will work.
Citrus Juice– It may seem like overkill to use pineapple juice, lemon juice, and lime juice, but it is really important in order to get the flavor just right. If you don’t care about the dressing tasting so comparable to the dressing provided by Chick-fil-A, you could replace the lime juice with lemon juice to reduce the number of ingredients.
Xanthan Gum– Xanthan gum is listed as an optional ingredient because the dressing recipe still tastes great without it. The xanthan gum is used to thicken and emulsify the dressing (to keep the oil from separating). If omitting this ingredient, you will need to shake or stir the dressing before serving. If using xanthan gum, be careful not to use more than ¼ tsp or the dressing will become too thick.
How long can I store this Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette?
You may end up with more dressing than you will use for all 4 salads. This dressing stores well when sealed in an airtight container or jar and stored in the fridge. Consume within 1 week for best quality.
Chicken Marinade Ingredients
One of the best parts of this grilled market salad is the chicken breast that is tender and juicy… and you can make it at home! It has an unconventional ingredient, but trust me, you are going to love the healthy options preparing this grilled chicken filet at home and it’s a great way to save some money and make a healthy choice!
Here are some ingredient notes for this portion of the recipe:
Dill Pickle Juice– Pickle juice is a secret ingredient used in all Chick-fil-A chicken recipes. It is tangy, salty and helps to tenderize the chicken while infusing it with flavor.
Milk– Milk is used to tenderize the meat. I used whole milk, but any type of milk can be used. I did not test any dairy-free options, but I imagine unflavored almond milk would work also. If you try this, please let me know how it works in the comments below!
Honey– Feel free to use any type of sweetener in this marinade. Since such a small amount is used it will not make a big difference. Powdered sugar is commonly used in Chick-fil-A copycat marinade recipes.
Apple Cider Vinegar– ACV is another ingredient that helps tenderize the meat. You can also use regular white vinegar.
Celery Salt– If you are sensitive to salt, consider using ground celery seed instead of celery salt in both the marinade and seasoning mix.
Can I meal prep this salad?
Absolutely! This salad makes a great meal prep for workday lunches. To meal prep this salad, you will want to store the dressing in separate individual containers. I also found that the salad stayed the most crisp when the chicken and blue cheese were also stored separately.
The rest of the salad can be assembled as long as you plan on consuming the salad the following day. If you want all 4 salads prepared for lunches, it is best to keep all ingredients prepped and stored separately and simply assemble the night before (keeping the dressing, chicken, and blue cheese separate until ready to eat).
*The cooked chicken should stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days (but always keep the “use by” date on the package in mind).
This salad would make a great side dish for summer gatherings, you could omit the chicken if serving it as a side salad.
I used to always get Chick-fil-a’s Spicy Southwest Salad, but since trying this salad, this is my salad of choice and I am so glad we can make it at home!
Copycat Chick-fil-A Market Salad with Grilled ChickenPrint Recipe
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to about 1" thickness
- 1 TBS olive oil for basting
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp celery salt
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ cup dill pickle juice
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp celery salt
Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 2 TBSP water
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 TBSP lime juice
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp xantham gum optional
- 8 cups romaine lettuce chopped
- 1 cup green cabbage thinly sliced
- 8 strawberries quartered
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 gala apple
- 1 green apple
- ½ cup blue cheese crumbled
- 4 TBSP Roasted almonds
- 4 TBSP Granola
- Remove chicken breasts from the packaging and pat them dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag and seal. Using a rolling pin or a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness of about 1-inch, taking care to keep the shape of the breast intact to make slicing easier and more uniform.
- In a small bowl, combine ingredients for the marinade and whisk together until the honey is dissolved. Pour marinade in the Ziploc bag with the chicken, shake and seal. Lay the sealed bag flat on a plate or in a dish and place it in the fridge to marinate for at least 8 hours, up to 24 hours.
- Once the chicken has marinated, preheat the oven to 425℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove the chicken from the Ziploc bag and discard the marinade. Pat the chicken dry using paper towels and place them on the lined baking sheet. Brush the chicken breasts lightly with olive oil on both sides.
- In a small bowl, combine ½ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp celery salt, ½ tsp garlic powder and ½ tsp paprika. Sprinkle this seasoning mix over the chicken, coating both sides evenly.
- Place chicken in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165℉ (be sure to check the internal temperature as cooking times will vary based on your oven). Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to cool.
- Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a 16-ounce jar and seal with a lid. Shake vigorously until the dressing is thick and well combined. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
- Prepare the ingredients for the salad by hulling and quartering the strawberries, dicing the apples, shredding the cabbage thinly, and crumbling the blue cheese. Mix the cabbage with the lettuce and divide the salad ingredients between 4 bowls.
- Once cooled, slice the chicken as thinly as possible and divide between the salads. Serve immediately with the dressing on the side.
- Allowing the chicken to marinate for at least 8 hours will help produce the most flavorful chicken breasts, but if you are in a hurry, you can get away with closer to 4 hours.
- In order to get this recipe to taste like Chick-fil-A chicken, we use quite a bit of salt. This recipe may be more on the salty side for some peoples’ taste buds. If you are sensitive to salt, swap the celery salt for ground celery seed in both the marinade and seasoning mix for the chicken.
- Keep the dressing separate until serving and allow people to dress the salad themselves. Dressing proportions are so personal, and you can’t undress a salad.
- Slice the chicken as thinly as possible if you want the salad to closely resemble a Chick-fil-A salad. Pounding the chicken to an even thickness, allowing it to cool, and using a very sharp knife make this process easier.