Chicken & White Bean Salad

13 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

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 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 13

July 23, 2015
profile image
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
profile image
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
profile image
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
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Delicious Pros: high protein Cons: i'd use different beans
January 20, 2012
profile image
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
profile image
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
profile image
By: EatingWell User
I think i will try it for lunch it seems safe for children and adults from breanne
September 01, 2010
profile image
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.
July 29, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
I added mint leaves and decreased the amount of celery because I would like children to enjoy greens gradually. Celery is welcomed by adults but not kids. Also, I added more mango, just like what elong had done. Added goat cheese. Added some red beans for a little bit color. I would say that sprinkling lemon juice would be optional. Added walnuts too. Thank you for sharing this recipe and will definitely share this with relatives and friends as well this weekend.