Chicken & White Bean Salad

Chicken & White Bean Salad

14 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine May/June 2010

Zucchini and celery give this chicken-and-bean salad a nice crunch. We like serving it over a bed of slightly bitter escarole and radicchio, but any type of salad greens will work. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • Vinaigrette
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons fresh orange juice, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salad
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast (see Tips)
  • 2 cups diced zucchini and/or summer squash (about 2 small)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 1/4 cup finely diced ricotta salata, halloumi (see Tips) or feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped, well-drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, plus whole basil leaves for garnish
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)
  • 2 cups torn escarole or romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups torn radicchio leaves


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. To prepare vinaigrette: Peel the garlic and smash with the side of a chef's knife. Using a fork, mash the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl to form a coarse paste. Whisk in 5 tablespoons oil. Add 6 tablespoons orange juice, vinegar and mustard; whisk until well blended. Taste and whisk in up to 4 tablespoons more juice to mellow the flavor; season with more salt, if desired. Set aside at room temperature.
  2. To prepare salad: Combine beans, chicken, zucchini (and/or summer squash), celery, cheese and sun-dried tomatoes (if using) in a large bowl until well blended. Add chopped basil and 3/4 cup vinaigrette; toss until combined. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper, if desired.
  3. Toss the remaining vinaigrette with escarole (or romaine) and radicchio in a medium bowl. Serve the salad on the greens, garnished with fresh basil leaves.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2 (omitting basil), cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Stir in chopped basil just before serving.
  • To poach chicken breasts, place about 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add lightly salted water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Ricotta salata and halloumi are both firm, salted cheeses that can be found at large supermarkets and cheese shops.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 2 cups
  • Per serving: 428 calories; 23 g fat(5 g sat); 8 g fiber; 24 g carbohydrates; 34 g protein; 85 mcg folate; 79 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1499 IU vitamin A; 28 mg vitamin C; 120 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 647 mg sodium; 648 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (47% daily value), Vitamin A (30% dv), Folate (21% dv), Potassium (18% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 3 fat

Reviews 14

October 08, 2016
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By: Dawn
The dressing is strong so I didn't add any to the greens. I mixed the greens in with it and it turned out really good.
July 23, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Easy, healthy, and fast lunch I made this for lunch the other day. Instead of eating it over greens, I ate it in a pita. It was absolutely delicious. Pros: delicious, easy to make, had most of the ingredients in the house, healthy Cons: You have to like vegetables therefore maybe not the best kids meal
July 16, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious and filling! I just had this for lunch and it was amazing! I subbed red and yellow bell pepper for the celery because it's what I had on hand. I also used spring mix for the lettuce. Only tossed a cup of the dressing with the bean and chicken mixture because another reviewer said it was overwhelming, and I generally like less dressing. This was nice because it let me control the amount. I love how many variations are possible and also that I can make the mixture on Sunday and then put it on greens all week long. This will make for super easy lunches! Pros: Can make most ahead, protein makes it filling, easy, delicious, Cons: None
August 20, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Really worthwhile! This was a great recipe! I left out the raw zucchini, as I'm not fond of it. I used arugula and radicchio as the greens. I also made homemade Fresh Herbal Vinaigrette as the dressing. A good dressing can make or break a salad. Homemade is usually best. This recipe is a keeper!
May 13, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious Pros: high protein Cons: i'd use different beans
January 20, 2012
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By: Alice
Served it at Ladies Luncheon I substituted chopped ham for 1/3 of the chicken and used Paul Newman's Italian dressing with a clove of garlic, and people did like it. One person asked for the recipe. Pros: Light in calories Cons: Light in flavor without ham
January 05, 2011
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By: KL.Smith
Fresh Flavors I have to admit I didn't love this salad as much as I thought I would when I read the recipe. I found the vinaigrette a bit overpowering and wasn't fond of the ricotta salata. Overall though the salad was flavorful and fresh. I would like to make it again with a few adjustments I think the feta would be nice in the salad and a lemon & olive oil dress might lighten up the flavor.
October 30, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I think i will try it for lunch it seems safe for children and adults from breanne
September 01, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Delectable. Made the following substitutions based on what was on hand and what we like: 1 c. shredded chicken, cherry tomatoes instead of dried, extra mozzarella in place of the feta and missing chicken, a homegrown cucumber in place of the zucchini, white balsamic and sherry vinegar in place of the wine vinegar, and an extra garlic clove in the dressing. A delightful main course salad.