Grilled chicken with a lemony arugula salad topping is one of my favorite easy and healthy recipes. A simple garlic marinade and homemade lemon vinaigrette are the only two things that need to be made for this dish, both of which come together in a matter of minutes. Other than taking time to let the chicken marinade, this can be whipped up in under 20 minutes.
There is something so simple and easy about this recipe but once dished up looks really impressive. It is a meal that is refreshing and a warm weather staple!
Chicken breasts can dry out easily when cooked, this marinade helps keep the chicken juicy and flavorful. It is simple with only a few ingredients, but makes a big difference in texture and flavor of the chicken. All you need is;
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Ideally letting the chicken marinade for at least an hour before grilling would be best. That way the flavors really have time to penetrate the chicken.
If you don’t have time to let the chicken marinade that is just fine. Add the marinade and chicken to a ziplock bag and mix around massaging the marinade into the chicken. Let rest while the grill heats up.
The homemade vinaigrette comes together in a matter of minutes with just a few simple ingredients.
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice and zest
- Salt and pepper
Tips and Tricks:
This is an optional extra step. To help tenderize the chicken and insure it cooks evenly you can place the chicken breasts in between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Using a meat mallet or small heavy sauce pan, pound the chicken evenly to 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick. Place in marinade.
This grilled chicken with lemony arugula salad topping is great for leftovers. If you know you will have leftovers, do not add the vinaigrette to all the arugula. Store in separate containers in the fridge and combine once ready to eat. This will insure the arugula does not wilt and gives you the same fresh taste.
A fresh wedge of parmesan is always much better than parmesan bought in a can. This recipe does not call for a lot of parmesan but since it is a hard, fairly dry cheese it stores wonderfully. Put in a ziplock bag and squeeze as much air out as possible before fastening the seal. Once sealed the cheese will stay good for almost 2 months in the refrigerator and 6 to 8 months in the freezer.
Wait to toss the arugula in the lemon vinaigrette until just before serving, that way it will keep the best texture and taste fresher.
Store any extra vinaigrette in an airtight bottle or jar in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Shake before use as the ingredients may separate a little.
Garlicky chicken piled high with a bright lemon arugula salad and big ole parmesan shavings. One of my very favorite quick and healthy meals.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!:)
Grilled Chicken with Lemony Arugula Salad Topping
- 5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 5 cups baby arugula
- Parmesan, shaved on top of arugula
- 1/3 c. Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1/2 lemon zest
- 1 1/12 lemons, juiced
- 1 1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp finely grated parmesan
- In a ziplock bag or bowl add chicken breasts. Add 1/3 c. olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tsp kosher salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour, or several hours. If in a pinch it will still turn out nice with a quick 5 to 10 minute marinate.
- Heat a grill to high heat and be sure grates are clean and well oiled to prevent sticking.
- Place chicken breasts on grill (discard marinade) and cook chicken turning every couple of minutes. Cook the chicken about 3 to 6 minutes on each side, until grill marks appear and the chicken is cooked through. Chicken breasts dry out easily so you want watch closely and take the chicken off when it still feels tender.
- While the chicken is resting, assemble the vinaigrette.
- In a glass measuring cup or small bowl add ¼ c. olive oil, ½ lemon zested, 1 ½ lemons juiced, 1 ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and 1 tsp finely grated parmesan. Whisk together.
- In separate bowl add arugula and pour half of the vinaigrette over and toss. Keep incorporating until arugula is moistened as desired. You may not use the entire amount depending on your preference.
- Pile around 1 cup of arugula on top of each chicken breast. With a vegetable peeler, shave fresh parmesan on top of arugula. Serve immediately.