Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing

On Monday I shared these multigrain rolls, which pair wonderfully with today’s main dish salad. This spinach salad is topped with red bell pepper, red onion, pineapple, and grilled chicken. The chicken is sprinkled with chili powder and salt before grilling to give it a little spice. In the salad dressing, I substituted a jalapeno pepper for the habanero, because I was concerned that the habanero would be too spicy for my tastes. However, Brad and I both agreed that the dressing as I made it wasn’t quite spicy enough. Next time, I might just go for it and try the habanero, or I might add a dash of cayenne pepper to the dressing.

I’m always looking for salad recipes that are filling enough to be a main dish for dinner, and I’m happy to add this salad to my list of light, healthful dinner options.

One year ago:  Vegetable Quiche with Oat Crust

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing

Printable Recipe

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups cubed fresh pineapple (about 8 ounces), divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (I omitted this)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced habanero pepper (I used one jalapeno pepper, minced)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach (about 8 cups)


  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat, or heat an outdoor grill. Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with chili powder and salt. Grill chicken until cooked through. Remove from heat; set aside.
  2. Combine half of pineapple cubes, cilantro, orange juice, vinegar, habanero, and garlic in a blender; process until smooth. With blender on, gradually add olive oil until blended.
  3. Combine remaining pineapple, spinach, bell pepper, and red onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with 3/4 cup of dressing, and toss gently to coat. Divide salad evenly among 4 plates. Cut chicken across the grain into thin slices; divide chicken evenly over salads. Drizzle salads with remaining 1/4 cup dressing.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, July 2010

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