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Chicken pear salad on a white platter.

Grilled Chicken Arugula Salad with Pears and Walnuts

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  • Author: Jessie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American


This easy arugula chicken salad features grilled chicken, fresh pear slices, and toasted walnuts. Easy to customize!



For the Lemon Dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

For the Salad: 

  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced (see recipe notes)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 pear, sliced
  • 4 heaping cups fresh arugula


Make the Dressing:

  1. Add dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a small mason jar with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Attach the lid and shake the jar vigorously for at least 30 seconds, until the dressing is smooth and emulsified. Note: If you don't have a jar, whisk the dressing together in a small bowl or mix it in a small blender.

Assemble the Salad:

  1. Add sliced grilled chicken, toasted walnutspear slices, and arugula to a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Drizzle your desired amount of lemon dressing over the salad; toss to combine. Serve immediately. 


What kind of chicken to use. We typically grill several chicken breasts or thighs for meal prep at the start of the week, and keep it in the fridge to make assembling this salad quick and easy. We are also often able to find ready-to-go grilled chicken at our grocery store. You can grill your own chicken here, or grab a rotisserie chicken at the store to keep things easy.

Additions and Substitutions. Use grilled salmon or steak in place of the chicken if you like. Add cooked grains (quinoa, farro, barley, brown rice), sliced shallot or red onion, or chick peas to this recipe to bulk it up. Use almonds or pepitas instead of walnuts. Swap the pears for apples, fresh berries, or peaches. Use kale, spinach, or mixed greens in place of some or all of the arugula.

To adjust the dressing: Add a splash of maple syrup or honey for a sweeter dressing; for more tart flavor, add extra lemon juice. Use avocado oil in place of olive oil if you like. Use a good olive oil here (we love EXAU olive oils!) because you'll definitely taste it in the dressing. 

This recipe makes enough for a light coat of dressing. If you like a heavier dressing on your salads, or if you add extra ingredients to the salad, you may want to double the lemon dressing here (you likely won't need the full double-batch, but extra dressing will keep up to a week in the fridge!) 

This is a VERY forgiving recipe: Feel free to eyeball the exact amount of each ingredient here, and make adjustments as needed to suit your palate! 

Serving sizes. This recipe makes two large servings (perfect for a main course) or 4 side salads.