Fennel Salad (With a Bright & Tangy Dressing)

This tangy orange and fennel salad is bright and fresh with a quick zesty orange dressing!

This combo of citrusy, savory, nutty, and crunchy ingredients is an amazing side or perfect topped with salmon or grilled shrimp.

top view of Fennel Salad in a bowl with dressing on the side

A Fresh Side

Shaved fennel is often used as a garnish, served roasted or even on pizza! The flavor of fennel is similar to anise or black licorice and it’s both fresh and crunchy.

Fennel can be eaten cooked or raw in slaws or salads like in this recipe.

ingredients to make a Fennel Salad


FENNEL Fresh fennel should but cut into thin slices for this recipe.

GREENS Any greens you’d like work well, I prefer a greens mix with tender leaves for this recipe.

CITRUS Sectioned orange slices add fresh zesty flavor (grapefruit is another great addition). While it takes a little bit of time, sectioning oranges makes for a great salad and it can be done days ahead of time.

DRESSING Orange juice, rice wine vinegar, honey, garlic, and oil are used to make this citrusy, zesty dressing!

pouring dressing over Fennel Salad


  • Switch out orange segments for canned mandarin orange segments and add the juice to the dressing or use small pieces of fresh grapefruit and the grapefruit zest in the dressing.
  • Sliced black olives make for a dramatic and colorful garnish!
  • Freshly roasted and cooled beets make a colorful addition.
  • Granny smith apples and cucumber or radishes, fennel salad takes on a whole new look!
  • Try the citrus-like salad dressing as a marinade or add some soy sauce to it and use it as an Asian-style stir fry marinade!

How to Cut Fennel for Salad

If you’ve never cut fennel before, it’s easy.

  1. Cut bulb from the green stalks (which can be eaten raw or added to stir frys or soup recipes).
  2. Cut bulb in halves so it lies flat & slice thinly vertically (a mandoline works well if you have one).


How to Make Fennel Salad

Fennel salad looks gourmet, but it’s actually super easy to make!

  1. Add sliced fennel to the celery & mixed greens. Toss.
  2. Prepare dressing (per recipe below) in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake.
  3. Drizzle over salad & garnish with nuts & orange segments.

Fresh & Flavorful Salads

Did your family love this Fennel Salad? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

top view of plated Fennel Salad

Fennel Salad

Bright & colorful, this Fennel Salad is a healthy, flavorful dish that’s perfect as a light lunch or side dish!
Course Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 279
Author Holly Nilsson


  • 1 large bulb fennel
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 8 cups mixed greens
  • 1 orange divided
  • ¼ cup candied pecans , or walnuts, chopped


  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • teaspoon salt


  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake until combined. Set aside.
  • Cut the rind off of the orange and cut into segments. Thinly slice celery on the diagonal.
  • Cut off the top stems of the fennel (these can be reserved for stir fries) and remove any discolored outer leaves. If the bulb is really large, cut in half from root to stem.
  • Using a mandoline (or a very sharp knife) thinly slice the fennel bulb and place in a bowl, add celery and mixed greens. Drizzle with dressing and toss well.
  • Garnish the salad with walnuts and orange pieces.


Calories: 279 | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Sodium: 133mg | Potassium: 537mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1140IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg
close up of plated Fennel Salad with writing
close up of dressing being poured over Fennel Salad with writing
pouring dressing over Fennel Salad with a title
ingredients to make Fennel Salad with finished dish and a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Avocado Chicken Salad

Creamy chunks of avocado are combined with tender pieces of chicken in a fresh and slightly spicy dressing to make this Avocado Chicken Salad.

Avocado enthusiasts will love this dish but even if you’re not wild about the creamy green fruit, I encourage you to give this recipe a try. My family hasn’t always loved avocados, but they went crazy over this chicken salad recipe.

Avocado Chicken Salad

After my boys decided they loved guacamole a few years ago, the Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole and the Pomegranate Guacamole have been on regular rotation.

(Side note, don’t knock that Pomegranate Guacamole until you’ve tried it, my friends. It’s incredible!)

We almost always have avocados in the house these days, because I buy as many as possible every time they’re on sale. I do my best to use them before they are overly ripe, but occasionally we wind up with several ripe avocados that need to be used asap.

There are worse problems to have than an overabundance of avocados, right? Whenever this happens, I take the opportunity to do what I do best: have some fun getting creative in the kitchen.

This Avocado Chicken Salad was the fortunate result of having a few too many avocados in the house along with a rotisserie chicken that was begging to be made into a salad for sandwiches.

When we tried Avocado Chicken Salad for the first time, we couldn’t believe how great it turned out! 

Everyone in my family opted to eat their chicken salad in a different way, so we can vouch that it’s delicious however you consume it.

My boys enjoyed Avocado Chicken Salad on top of toasted slices of sourdough bread. I ate my chicken salad with a handful of multi-grain crackers and Sean opted for eating it lettuce wrap style.

The Avocado Chicken Salad would also be tasty in a wrap or on top of a garden salad. Another time we made this recipe, we ate it layered in between a couple slices of bread for more traditional chicken salad sandwiches.

How To Make Avocado Chicken Salad

To make this recipe, combine bite-size pieces of chicken and avocado in a medium size mixing bowl. Stir together mayonnaise, Cholula or other hot sauce of choice, salt, pepper, and fresh lime juice. That’s it!

I love to serve this Avocado Chicken Salad with a little chopped cilantro on top. The herb adds a wonderful fresh flavor that goes well with the spice and creaminess in the recipe. If you’re not a cilantro fan, parsley is also a wonderful garnish.

The hot sauce is optional, however it adds a depth of flavor and very little heat. I highly recommend trying it. The lime juice and the hot sauce combine for a terrific flavor combination.

Avocado Chicken Salad served in lettuce cups

Chicken Salad Recipes

Chicken salads are one of our go-to lunch options around here. They’re delicious, versatile, easy to make and a great use for leftover cooked chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken.

I often find myself making these recipes on hot summer days when I want to cook a homemade meal without turning on the stove or oven.

If you like this Avocado Chicken Salad recipe, you might also enjoy 5 Minute Ranch Chicken Salad. It’s one of my most frequently eaten fast and easy lunch recipes and I love it as a chicken salad sandwich, in a wrap or eaten a top of a garden salad of fresh raw veggies. It would also be a fantastic hearty dip for raw veggies!

Then there’s Cashew Chicken Salad, a recipe I created when I had a craving for a certain chicken salad served at a favorite restaurant. It has sweet juicy red grapes, crunchy roasted cashews and a little lemon juice that gives the chicken salad a bright tangy flavor.

Another of my favorites is this Chicken Salad Wrap. Eaten on a homemade or store bought tortilla and with plenty of tang, it’s a great option for a packed lunch, picnic or quick meal at home.

For chicken salads without mayonnaise or other creamy dressings, check out Chinese Chicken Salad with Ginger Sesame Dressing and Fuji Apple Chicken Salad.

Avocado Chicken Salad served on toast

Avocado Recipes

For more avocado recipes you might enjoy, check out this Bacon, Bleu Cheese, and Shrimp Chopped Salad, and this Fresh Corn Dip with Avocado and Bacon. This Avocado Cream Sauce is a favorite for dipping grilled chicken or for topping burgers.

For an avocado centered dinner idea, how about Taco Stuffed Avocados with Chipotle Cream? or these Low Carb Spicy Tuna Stuffed Avocados?

How to Tell if Avocados are Ripe

If you don’t buy a lot of avocados, it can be tricky to figure out which ones to select from the produce bin.

If you’ll be eating or using the avocados in a recipe the same day, aim to buy them ripe. If you won’t be using them for a couple of days, look for avocados that are not yet at peak ripeness. A ripe avocado can become overly ripe within as little as a day!

A ripe avocado will be a little firm but yield when gently squeezed. Under-ripened avocados are rock hard while overly ripe avocados will feel soft and mushy. If you buy avocados that aren’t yet ripe, simply leave them on the countertop for a few days or until they ripen.

Avocado Chicken Salad served on toast, with crackers, or in lettuce cups

Rotisserie Chicken Recipes

Who doesn’t love rotisserie chicken? Tender and savory and conveniently available at many grocery stores, rotisserie chicken is such a great starter for lots of quick and easy meals.

You can use any cooked chicken for this chicken salad recipe, but I happened to have rotisserie chicken on hand and it worked like a dream.

For more ways to use rotisserie chicken, check out Southwest Chicken Salad, BBQ Chicken Nachos and Strawberry Chicken Salad with Warm Vinaigrette.

Kitchen Tip: I use this knife and this bowl to make this recipe.

Avocado Chicken Salad served in lettuce cups


Avocado Chicken Salad

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Creamy chunks of avocado are combined with tender pieces of chicken in a fresh and slightly spicy dressing to make this Avocado Chicken Salad.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword avocado chicken salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 325kcal


  • 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 large avocados, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-3 tablespoons Cholula hot sauce, adjust to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh lime juice, about 1 small lime
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley


  • Combine the chicken and avocado in a medium size mixing bowl. In a small bowl or large glass measuring cup, stir together the mayonnaise, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and lime juice. 
  • Add the dressing to the chicken and avocado and stir well to coat. Serve on sandwiches, on toast, on lettuce, or with crackers. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro or parsley before serving. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate if not eating immediately. This salad will keep nicely in the refrigerator for a few days. Enjoy.


I use a rotisserie chicken to make this recipe most of the time. However, any leftover chicken will work nicely.

I add the full 3 tablespoons of Cholula hot sauce in the recipe and there is almost no heat at all. It simply adds a nice depth of flavor to the salad. If you’re leery of that, start with just a small amount and taste as you add it until it is the right amount for you.


Calories: 325kcal | Protein: 17g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 147mg | Vitamin A: 75IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.9mg

{originally published 6/25/18 – recipe notes and photos updated 2/12/21}

Avocado Chicken Salad served on toast, with crackers, or in lettuce cups

The post Avocado Chicken Salad appeared first on Barefeet in the Kitchen.

Originally posted at Bare Feet in the Kitchen

Kale Caesar Salad (with shortcut dressing)

This delicious Kale Caesar Salad is rich and delicious with a shortcut dressing so good, you’ll almost want to drink it!

Everyone loves a great caesar salad topped with bacon and croutons and we love a fresh kale salad too. Combining the two makes for the most perfect meal or side dish!

close up of Kale Caesar Salad in a bowl


Panera Power Kale Caesar Salad and the Sweetgreen Kale Caesar are menu favorites but they can’t compare to this fantastic homemade version!

A Hearty Salad

Kale is a superfood packed full of flavor and nutrition, it only makes sense that it would be a good stand-in for the more traditional romaine lettuce.

One thing I love about using kale in salads in place of lettuce is that leftover salad (even with dressing) will last a couple of days in the fridge! Just leave the croutons aside if you’re making this ahead of time.

TIP: Leave out the croutons for a low carb version!

ingredients to make dressing for Kale Caesar Salad

What’s in a Kale Caesar Salad?

VEGGIES Kale, of course, but feel free to add in some romaine or spinach as well.

TOPPING/FILLING Bacon, croutons, and Parmesan are favorite topping ingredients for this crisp and crunchy salad.

DRESSING The real star here is the creamy Caesar dressing! While my traditional caesar salad recipe has a from scratch dressing, this one starts with mayonnaise as a base. The result is a creamy and delicious dressing in no time at all!

Make it a Meal: Grilled chicken or shrimp are the perfect toppers to convert this from side to an full meal. Serve it with garlic bread.

adding dressing to kale to make Kale Caesar Salad

While chicken can be added to make a chicken caesar salad, the addition of pasta makes for a great caesar pasta salad too!

Tips & Tricks

  • After rinsing and patting dry the kale leaves, gently “massage” each piece between your hands until the leaves are somewhat softened and a darker green.
  • Be sure to cut the spine out of each leaf before tearing it into bite-sized pieces. Tender kale is the result, but it still has all the healthy benefits!
  • Kale Caesar dressing will keep in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.

Our Fave Salads

Did you love this Kale Caesar Salad? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

Kale Caesar Salad with croutons and lemons on a plate

Kale Caesar Salad

Creamy Caesar dressing with crisp kale, croutons, bacon, and parmesan!
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 583
Author Holly Nilsson


  • 1 bunch kale washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup croutons store-bought or homemade
  • 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • cup parmesan cheese shredded


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup parmesan shredded
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste* see note
  • fresh black pepper


  • Combine all dressing ingredients until smooth.
  • Wash kale and dry well. Gently “massage” the kale with your hands until the leaves are somewhat softened and a darker green. While this is optional, it makes for a more tender leaf.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine kale and croutons. Top with dressing as desired and toss to combine.
  • Sprinkle with ⅓ cup parmesan cheese and bacon bits.


You may not need all of the dressing in this recipe, leftovers will last about 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.

Be sure to cut the spine out of each leaf before tearing it into bite-sized pieces.

Anchovy adds a salty and briny flavor to the dressing and adding a small amount really boosts the flavor of this dressing. If you literally can’t tolerate anchovy, skip them and add finely minced or chopped capers instead.


Calories: 583 | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 863mg | Potassium: 281mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3410IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 240mg | Iron: 1mg
close up of Kale Caesar Salad on a plate with lemons and writing
adding dressing to kale to make Kale Caesar Salad with writing
close up of Kale Caesar Salad with a title
adding dressing to Kale Caesar Salad with finished dish and a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Roasted Veggie & Grain Salad with Feta

Harvest farro salad is colorful and full of flavor. This beautiful salad can be served warm or chilled and can be a side or a meal.

It’s loaded with healthy winter veggies (like roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts), some farro (of course), and a punch of flavor from feta and pomegranate!

Harvest Farro Salad with a spoon

Farro Facts

So what the heck is farro anyhow? It is a whole grain that is shaped like barley and has a chewy, slightly nutty taste. It’s considered an “ancient grain”.

If you don’t have farro for this recipe you can use another grain like quinoa, barley, or even brown rice.

Where to Buy Farro

To find farro in the grocery store, look where the rice or grains are. If you don’t find it there, check the health food or organic foods area (or try one of the substitutions below).

You can also buy farro on Amazon or other online stores.

ingredients to make a Harvest Farro Salad


VEGGIES We added roasted veggies like butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and red onions. And don’t forget the arugula for its unique peppery taste that gives hearty salads like this one some kick! If you happen to have leftover roasted veggies or sweet potatoes, use those instead.

DRESSING I use a super easy homemade dressing but you can use your fave vinaigrette. Balsamic is a great choice!


        • Feta cheese gives the salad a bright, tangy flavor. Soft goat cheese would taste great in a salad like this, as well.
        • Pecans and pomegranate arils are added for a shot of color & crunch.

process of adding vegetables and to make a Harvest Farro Salad


Feel free to switch out the pomegranate arils for cranberries, or the arugula for kale. Try adding carrots, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, beets, or even roasted asparagus spears. Green peas, corn, and artichoke hearts are all nice additions, too!

PRO TIP: To make an entrée salad, add some cooked leftover grilled chicken or roasted chicken thighs!

How to Make Harvest Farro Salad

  1. Roast veggies per recipe below.
  2. Meanwhile, simmer farro.
  3. Combine dressing ingredients and shake until combined.
  4. Toss it all together with the dressing.

process of adding final ingredients to make Harvest Farro Salad

Make It a Meal

Farro salad is jam packed with flavor and nutrients and can easily be served as a meatless meal. If you’re looking to add protein, leftover turkey or shredded chicken are great options.

Serve it warmed or chilled with homemade french bread, or add some Parmesan garlic and herb croutons.

Fresh & Flavorful Salads

Did your family love this Harvest Farro Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

close up of plated Harvest Farro Salad with a spoon

Harvest Farro Salad

Crisp & colorful with a balsamic dressing, this Harvest Farro Salad is sure to be the star of any dinner plate!
Course Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 454
Author Holly Nilsson


  • ¾ cup farro uncooked
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • cup pecans toasted
  • cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 ½ cups arugula packed
  • ½ cup balsamic dressing or homemade dressing below

Roasted Vegetables

  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups butternut squash ½” diced
  • 1 ½ cups Brussels sprouts washed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Toss onion, butternut squash, and brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. Place on a baking sheet and roast 15 minutes. Stir and roast an additional 10-15 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.
  • While vegetables are roasting, place farro in a pot with 3 cups of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until farro is tender about 14-16 minutes. Drain well, rinse under cool water and cool slightly.
  • If using homemade dressing below, combine all dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooled farro, butternut squash mixture, pomegranate, half of the pecans, and half of the feta cheese. Toss with ⅓ cup of dressing. Stir in arugula.
  • Top with remaining pecans and feta before serving.


Homemade Dressing

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

Farro can be substituted for cooked quinoa, barley, or even brown rice.

Find farro in the grocery store where the rice or grains are.


Calories: 454 | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 422mg | Potassium: 548mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 6060IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 2mg
Harvest Farro Salad on a plate with a spoon with writing
plated Harvest Farro Salad with a title
close up of Harvest Farro Salad with a title
Harvest Farro Salad and cut up vegetables with a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Grilled Bread Salad with Spinach, Tomatoes and Blue Cheese

This salad may be my favorite thing about grilling, and it’s all because of the bread.

Charred bread – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and tossed with oil and balsamic. It’s seriously the perfect bite. If you haven’t grilled bread for salad before, you need to do it ASAP.

I first made this salad several years ago. It has changed a bit over the years so I am sharing this updated post.

When making this bread, you don’t want soft, fresh bread. Buy day old bread, or buy your bread the day before. The best bread for this salad is day-old ciabatta bread. Slice it open down the middle, brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and char it as little or as much as you want.

Once charred, you chop it into bite sized pieces and let it soak in an oil bath with cilantro and red onions for 15 minutes before finishing the salad.

At this point I guarantee you will be stealing pieces of the bread to eat!

The salad is finished with baby spinach, chopped tomatoes, blue cheese, balsamic vinegar, and a touch of sea salt and black pepper.

Grilled Bread Salad with Spinach, Tomatoes and Blue Cheese


  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 c good olive oil plus more for brushing the bread
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, sliced open (see pics above)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 c baby spinach
  • 2 juicy red tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp blue cheese
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pre-heat your grill
  • Put the onions and cilantro in a large bowl with the oil; let sit in the fridge while you prep the bread
  • Brush both sides of the bread with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place on the grill for 4-7 minutes per side, depending on how charred you want it. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bite sized pieces. Add the bread to the bowl with the oil/onions/cilantro and toss. Let sit 15 minutes.
  • Add the spinach, tomatoes, blue cheese, and balsamic vinegar. Toss. Adjust oil/vinegar/salt/pepper.
  • Serve immediately.

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations