Feta, Corn & Chicken Salad with Smoky Tomato Dressing

May/June 2012

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This hearty chicken salad recipe is full of grilled sweet corn, scallions, salty feta, escarole, pine nuts and spicy chicken. Smoked paprika gives the tomato dressing a bacon-like flavor.

Feta, Corn & Chicken Salad with Smoky Tomato Dressing

Makes: 4 servings, about 2 cups each

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 large head escarole
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (see Tips), divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 ears corn, husked
  • 2 bunches scallions, trimmed
  • 2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta or Cotija cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (see Tips)


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Leaving root ends intact, quarter escarole lengthwise; brush with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each paprika and salt.
  3. Take the escarole, chicken, corn, scallions and tomatoes out to the grill. Oil the grill rack (see Tips). Place escarole and scallions on the grill. Grill, turning occasionally, until charred in spots: 2 to 4 minutes for the scallions, 3 to 4 minutes for the escarole. Transfer to a plate. Place the chicken, corn and tomatoes on the grill, with the chicken on the hottest part and the tomatoes skin-side down. Grill the chicken, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165°F, 8 to 16 minutes total. Grill the corn, turning occasionally, until tender, 8 to 12 minutes. Grill the tomatoes, turning once, until charred in spots, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Place the tomatoes in a blender; add garlic, vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each paprika and salt. Puree until smooth.
  5. Cut off the root ends of the escarole; coarsely chop the leaves and put in a large bowl. Cut the corn kernels off the cobs and coarsely chop the scallions; add to the bowl. Toss the salad with 1/2 cup of the dressing. Divide among 4 plates. Thinly slice the chicken and divide among the salads. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and sprinkle with cheese and pine nuts.

Tips & Notes

  • Tips: Smoked paprika is made from smoke-dried red peppers and adds earthy, smoky flavor to food. Look for different types of paprika: sweet, bitter sweet and hot at well-stocked supermarkets, gourmet markets or online at
  • Toast chopped or sliced nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Spread whole nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes.
  • Oiling a grill rack before you grill foods helps ensure that the food won’t stick. Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to coat the food with cooking spray.


Per serving: 498 calories; 27 g fat (7 g sat, 11 g mono); 104 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 39 g protein; 8 g fiber; 726 mg sodium; 1150 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (78% daily value), Folate (68% dv), Vitamin C (46% dv), Potassium (33% dv), Magnesium (30% dv), Calcium (26% dv), Zinc (27% dv), Iron (22% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 4 1/2 lean meat, 3 1/2 fat

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Recipe Categories

Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique
Health & Diet Considerations
High calcium
High fiber
High potassium
Gluten free

Ease of Preparation
Total Time
1 hour or less
May/June 2012
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