Chopped Chicken Club Salad

published May 28, 2024
Salad Person
Chicken Club Chopped Salad Recipe

Chop chop! Lunch is already made.

Serves1

Prep5 minutes

Cook10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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overhead shot of the chicken club chopped salad in a white bowl, with some missing from the bowl and a fork resting in it
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

As a self-proclaimed Salad Person, I have a strong set of salad beliefs. One of them is — and I’m being so serious right now — If it will sandwich, it will salad. That means if you have a beloved sandwich, odds are it would also make a pretty fantastic salad. I’m not saying you should never have a sandwich again, just that it’s a great way to enjoy your favorite flavors in a different, more vegetable-forward way.

Take for example, the club sandwich. While delicious, it’s cumbersome to eat and the signature middle piece of bread is too much for me sometimes. With a little flip in proportions (more lettuce, less bread), I can keep all the flavors of the classic sandwich, and I don’t feel like I have to unhinge my jaw like a snake to take a single bite.

This sandwich-turned-salad is incredibly fun to make. Stack all of your ingredients on a cutting board and just chop, chop, chop until everything is bite-size. Then, toss it in a creamy vinaigrette with mayo and Dijon mustard (classic sandwich spreads) and you have lunch in about 10 minutes.

Why You’ll Love It

  • The too-tall club sandwich is so much better in salad form! It’s easier to eat, and you get a little bit of everything on your fork.
  • It’s speedy to make. If I can make a sustaining, delicious lunch in about 10 minutes, it’s an instant keeper.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

Key Ingredients in Chicken Club Chopped Salad

  • Chicken. Use a few slices of your favorite deli chicken. If you have a choice, opt for slightly thicker pieces.
  • Cheese. Presliced cheddar cheese makes this recipe even easier.
  • Bacon. Crispy bacon adds a boost of flavor. Plus, you can use the drippings to toast the bread.
  • Vegetables. Use club sandwich classics, lettuce and tomatoes, to give the salad bulk.
  • Bread. Instead of the traditional three sandwich slices, one slice of toasted bread makes the perfect quick crouton.
  • Mayo. Use mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, classic sandwich spreads, to make a quick, creamy vinaigrette with olive oil and vinegar.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

How to Turn a Sandwich into a Salad

  • Up the greens. If the sandwich typically has a slice of lettuce, handful of arugula, or other greens, add more as the base of your salad. If the sandwich usually has no greens, pick your fave and add it anyway.
  • Pick a dressing. Sandwiches with a simple swipe of mayo or mustard do well with a creamy mayo vinaigrette (like this recipe). Sauces like tangy chimichurri, pesto, and creamy tzatziki make excellent dressings straight from the jar. Plus, you can turn most sandwich spreads into salad dressing by thinning them out with a little water, lemon juice, or olive oil — or a combination. Or, use a store-bought dressing that goes with the flavor profile.
  • Rearrange the flavors. You can swap a spread of hummus for chickpeas and tahini dressing, classic guacamole for diced avocado, and sliced cheese for shredded or diced. Find the version of the ingredients and flavors that make the most sense to you in salad form! This is a great time to swap proteins or add in more vegetables.
  • Toast the bread (or skip it). Croutons and toasted breadcrumbs are delicious sandwich bread conversions. You can use the type of crouton that goes with the corresponding sandwich, like pita chips or toasted rye. You don’t always need to have them, but something crunchy will add good texture. If you skip the bread, try some crushed potato or tortilla chips, or even a handful of chopped roasted nuts.

Helpful Swaps 

  • Pop the bread in a toaster instead of griddling in the bacon skillet.
  • Swap the chicken for sliced turkey, ham, or even grilled chicken breast.
  • Use your favorite store-bought ranch or other dressing instead.
  • This salad is easily doubled if you need lunch for two people.
  • Add some tang with pickled red onions, pepperoncini, or a chopped pickle.
  • If you like potato chips in your sandwich, sneak a few in!
  • Use red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar in place of apple cider or white wine vinegar.

More Sandwiches That Will Most Definitely Salad

Salad Person is my column dedicated to making better, more delicious salads at home that you’re actually excited to eat. Each month, I’ll provide tips and techniques so you can enjoy them as much as I do — which is a lot! Follow along and find the recipes here.

Chicken Club Chopped Salad Recipe

Chop chop! Lunch is already made.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 2 slices

    thick-cut bacon

  • 1

    medium heirloom or beefsteak tomato

  • 1/2

    medium romaine heart

  • 1 (about 1/2-inch thick) slice

    sourdough bread

  • 2 ounces

    sliced chicken deli meat (2 to 3 slices)

  • 2 slices

    medium or sharp cheddar cheese

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon

    mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon

    apple cider or white wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon

    Dijon or whole grain mustard

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place 2 slices thick-cut bacon in a medium skillet and cook over medium-low heat until browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, cut 1 medium heirloom or beefsteak tomato into 1/2-inch slices. Separate the leaves of 1/2 medium romaine heart, discarding the core. Make the dressing.

  2. Place 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider or white wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon Dijon or whole grain mustard in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

  3. When the bacon is ready, transfer with tongs to a paper towel-lined plate. Turn off the heat and do not clean the pan. Lightly brush both sides of 1 slice sourdough bread with the rendered bacon fat, then discard the remaining fat. Place the bread in the same pan and toast over medium heat until golden brown and crisp, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cutting board.

  4. Stack the romaine leaves, tomatoes, bacon, 2 ounces sliced chicken deli meat (2 to 3 slices), and 2 slices medium or sharp cheddar cheese on the bread. Coarsely chop until everything is in bite-size pieces. Transfer to the bowl of dressing and toss to coat.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Whisk with a fork before using.