warm chicken salad with ranch style dressingI made this winter appropriate salad for dinner on Saturday night and both my vege-dodging husband and super-fussy friend scoffed this.  In fact, my husband ate so much he complained “I’ve eaten too much” for the rest of the evening. However, this might have something to do with the chocolate fudge self-saucing pudding I made for the kids… That he tucked in to.

When I made this I marinaded the chicken breasts for a couple of hours. That said, I make versions of this salad on week nights and, not being a particularly organised creature, thinking ahead to put the chicken on to marinade is in the too-hard basket. So, as I do when I’m in ‘quick-cook mode’ simply pan fry the chicken sprinkled with some of your favourite seasoning (I love Masterfood’s Tuscan Seasoning, Moroccan Seasoning, or Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning).  Actually on that note, this whole recipe, like many of mine that you’ll find on my blog, is very much of the ‘improvise or get creative’ type. No kumara? Use pumpkin. No green beans?  Use capsicum.  No cashew nuts? Use almonds. No bacon? Leave it out.  Lastly, the ingredients look like a lot – I get that. Take some shortcuts if you like, hell buy a pre-made Ranch Dressing to speed things up (Paul Newman’s is a goodie). 

If you do make the dressing though – save the recipe, you’ll want to use it over and over…

Note: Usually I use a special feature on my blog to layout my recipes, but this app I use is misbehaving itself and I’ve admitted defeat for now. So if you are reading the recipe below and moaning at the layout (and lack of a print button) – sorry! I’ll try redoing it next week,b ut for now, my patience has, errr, expired… Lou x

Warm Chicken Salad with Ranch Style Dressing  (Serves 4)

For the chicken
4 medium sized chicken breasts – each chopped into three equal sized pieces
Large handful of chopped fresh herbs (I used basil)
Good glug of olive oil (I used Village Press lime flavoured oil) – approx 2 tablespoons
2 crushed cloves of garlic
Grated zest of one lemon
2 tsp lemon juice
Salt and Pepper

For the roast kumara
4 small kumara, peeled and chopped into smallish chunks
1 tlb coconut oil, melted
Salt and pepper

For the ranch style dressing
1/2 cup of mayonnaise (I use this recipe if you can’t be bothered making your own, I highly recommend using Best Foods mayo in this recipe!)
1/3 cup of sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme (or fresh)
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 heaped teaspoon of onion flakes
2 teaspoons of water
1 teaspoon of honey
2 pinches of paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad
Large handful of mixed lettuce leaves per person (I used a bag of mixed salad)
3 radishes – Sliced thinly
Large handful of cooked green beans (I put them in a saucepan, cover them with boiling water, simmer for 3-4 mins until tender)
1/2 cup cashew nuts – toasted (dry fry them in a frying pan, let cool).
4 rashers of streaky bacon, cooked


First, heat the oven to 180 degrees (regular bake)

For the chicken
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover. Place in fridge to marinade for at least a couple of hours. If time is of the essence, read the blurb at the top of this blogpost for tasty and speedier alternatives.

For the kumara
Line a medium sized roasting dish with baking paper and add kumara. Drizzle with coconut oil. Season. Roast at 180 degrees until golden brown (approx 30-40 mins). Turn halfway through cooking so it browns all over.

For the dressing
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine with a fork. Set aside.

Cook the beans and pan fry the bacon.  Set aside.  When the kumara is nearly ready, pan fry the chicken in a hot frying pan until lightly browned and cooked through, don’t stir it too much otherwise it won’t brown.  

To plate up
Place lettuce on dinner plates. Add radish, hot kumara, chicken, reheated beans and bacon (microwave!). Attempt to artfully arrange these on the plate!  Top the salad with the hot chicken. Drizzle with the dressing. Top with toasted cashew nuts. If you’ve got fresh herbs on hand, chuck some of these on too.  Done.

Ranch style dressing