My Chicken Cordon Bleu Salad is a hearty romaine lettuce salad loaded with chicken, ham, and Swiss cheese. It's then topped with a lightly sweet and tangy homemade honey Dijon vinaigrette that balances this delicious salad perfectly!
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This delicious and filling meat and cheese salad is a snap to make! Dinner (or lunch) will be on the table in 20 minutes or less with no fuss and hardly any cleanup.
Today's recipe was inspired because I'd had some leftover Spiced Apricot Glazed Ham. This ham was so good that I knew I wanted to use it to make another dish. This salad is the result.
*Please note that the exact measurements along with a new "shop the recipe" feature from Instacart is available in the printable recipe card.
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ROMAINE LETTUCE - I chose to use romaine lettuce in this recipe because its nutrition level is higher than iceberg lettuce. Did you know that romaine is packed with vitamins A and C and is also high in magnesium and folic acid?
However, use whatever lettuce is your favorite or that you have in the fridge. The important thing is that you make this salad, not particularly what type of lettuce you use.
COOKED CHICKEN - If you have leftover cooked chicken, use it for this recipe. I did not, so I used the trusty grocery store convenience food; the rotisserie chicken! You'll need about 2 cups of chopped chicken, white meat, dark meat, or both.
COOKED HAM - I had leftover ham in my fridge that I needed to use (which is basically how this recipe came to be). But, if you don't have leftover ham in your fridge, the cubed ham sold in the meat case is a great option.
SWISS CHEESE - I adore Swiss cheese now but didn't always. If Swiss isn't something you fancy, feel free to substitute any semi-hard cheese you enjoy. I had Swiss slices when I made this recipe, but a block of cheese will also work. You'll need about 1 cup of cubed cheese.
PARMESAN CHEESE - You won't require much, but using the best quality Parmesan you can afford is the difference between a good salad and a great salad. Whenever possible, I like to grate my own Parmigiano-Reggiano. But when I can't, I buy my Parmesan cheese in the cheese case at the supermarket, either pre-grated or shredded for convenience.
SALT AND PEPPER - Kosher salt is always my "go-to" salt because of the mild flavor, and I appreciate that it's not iodized. Using freshly cracked black peppercorns are also something I strongly prefer to buying already cracked pepper in a tin from the store. The flavor of freshly cracked pepper is FAR superior. Plus, you know for 100% sure what you're actually sprinkling on your food!
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL - I recommend using the highest quality extra virgin olive oil you can afford. Extra virgin olive oil is always the first press olives have, making extra virgin the best-tasting olive oil for homemade vinaigrettes.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR - This is an ingredient I adore and use very frequently when making homemade vinaigrettes. I always like using cider vinegar with the "Mother" included. The "mother" of apple cider vinegar is the byproduct of the yeast and bacteria added to apple cider turning a sweet apple cider into an acidic vinegar.
Apple ciders, including the mother, are a non-filtered cider vinegar, which leaves healthy bacteria, promoting good gut health.
Learn more about the health benefits of using apple cider vinegar with the mother.
DIJON MUSTARD - This ingredient provides additional flavor and works as an emulsifier preventing the vinaigrette from breaking into separate oil and vinegar layers once vigorously shaken.
HONEY - Honey adds a light floral sweetness to the tangy bite of the vinaigrette. You can use whatever type of honey you have on hand or your favorite. I always tend to use wildflower honey.
GROUND CORIANDER - Did you know that coriander seed is from the cilantro plant? Making ground coriander is when dried coriander seeds are crushed into a powder. To me, ground coriander has a lively, fresh flavor. It brightens up the taste of whatever dish you're making.
GROUND GINGER - This warm, spicy, and earthy addition adds a beautiful depth of flavor to this homemade Dijon vinaigrette. To me, it also lends a very slight floral note to this highly flavored dressing.
Not using ground ginger in this dressing isn't a deal breaker, but if you have it on hand, you'll be wonderfully pleased with the flavor it gives this homemade Honey Dijon vinaigrette.
POPPY SEEDS - I'm all about adding a little texture and crunch to a dressing, and poppy seeds are great for that, and yes, poppy seeds do come from the opium poppy plant. Of course, poppy seeds can be an optional ingredient in this dressing if you cannot digest them easily.
Swaps and substitution suggestions:
Cubed cooked turkey would be a nice substitution for the chicken if you have it.
Cooked and crumbled bacon would make a nice swap for the ham.
Avocado oil would make another healthy swap for the olive oil.
Maple syrup can be used in place of the honey.
Any type of mustard can be used in place of the Dijon. Just make sure to use it sparingly so it won't overpower the dressing.
Iceberg, Boston bib, butter lettuce, and red leaf lettuce would all make wonderful replacements for the romaine. Just remember, for optimal nutrition, a darker leaf provides more nutritional value.
Keep this dressing in a jar with a tight fitting lid for up to 10 days. Shake well, if needed, before using after refrigeration.
Yes, but don't dress the salad until right before serving. Layer all the ingredients on a platter (minus the dressing), and cover with plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator no longer than 24 hours before serving. Serve cold.
If serving as an entrée, it will feed 4-6 people comfortably.
If serving as a cold side dish, it will feed 8-12 comfortably.
Yep. Leave out the ham and chicken. Still yummy. Add more veggies and you'll be a happy camper.
Suggested salad add-ons and add-ins:
- cooked and crumbled bacon
- drained capers
- toasted sesame seeds
- nutritional yeast
- frozen peas (thawed)
- shredded carrot
- shredded red cabbage
- diced red onion
- diced celery
- toasted walnuts
- diced avocado
- berries; blue, raspberry, diced strawberries, blackberries
Additional outstanding salad recipes:
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Crunchy, healthy, and completely addictive. This copycat Sunflower Crunch Kale and Cabbage Salad has it ALL going on!! Dig in! You're going to love this colorful salad!
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Printable Recipe Card
Chicken Cordon Bleu Salad
For the salad:
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 cup chopped cooked chicken
- 1 cup chopped cooked ham
- 1 cup cubed Swiss cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
For the dressing:
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or to taste
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
To make the vinaigrette dressing:
- Place all the dressing ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously until the dressing comes together. Chill until ready to serve.
To make the salad:
- On a large serving platter or salad bowl, layer the romaine lettuce, ham, chicken, Swiss, and Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Drizzle the dressing lightly over the salad and serve.
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