Bistro Chicken Salad with Garlic-Thyme Vinaigrette

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My favorite types of restaurants to eat in are small, local cafes and bistros that offer simple dishes with organic ingredients. These types of restaurants used to be quite hard to come by, but with the ongoing food revolution they have become easier to find!

Even prior to starting Paleo and AIP, I almost always ordered salads when I was dining out. You get what you see, generally, and salads are my favorite way to ensure I’m getting my personal goal of 10 to 15 servings of vegetables a day. I recently traveled to California for four days with my husband and every one of my meals out was a salad!

Usually restaurants are more than happy to custom-build one for you if you explain your food allergies and intolerances. I always choose grilled salmon if it’s on the menu and then build around that with avocado, greens, onions, and olive oil. If I’m traveling and I feel I need to round out the meal with a carbohydrate, I’ll pick up a piece of fruit like an apple or sliced cantaloupe and have that as my post-lunch dessert.


At home, I include at least one salad per day in my menu planning, so I’ve become quite the salad expert over the past 15 years! The trick is to make your protein and dressing as flavorful as possible and include a variety of textures and temperatures after that. Creamy avocado, crispy bacon, refreshing grated carrots, and warm, juicy seasoned chicken breast (yes, JUICY chicken breast) are combined here for a brunch, lunch or dinner that will surely remind you of your favorite neighborhood bistro cafe!

You could easily serve this dish to company for a weekend lunch with some sparkling lemon water for a crowd-pleasing spring or summertime meal!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Bistro Chicken Salad with Garlic-Thyme Vinaigrette
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breast
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large head red leaf lettuce, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Optional: freshly grated carrots and sliced avocado
  • Garlic-Thyme Vinaigrette (below)
  1. In a large cast iron skillet, cook bacon until crispy on both sides over medium heat. Transfer cooked bacon to a cutting board and dice with a sharp knife. Leave the rendered bacon fat in the skillet. Set chopped bacon aside.
  2. Pat the chicken breasts dry. Mix together the thyme, garlic powder and sea salt and rub on all sides of the chicken breasts.
  3. Cook the chicken in the bacon fat over medium heat until golden on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes per side, until slightly pink in the center. Transfer the chicken breasts to a large cutting board and slice into ½-inch thick slices.
  4. Return chicken to the skillet and finish cooking for 5 minutes until cooked through and juicy. Sprinkle the balsamic vinegar over the chicken and toss until coated.
  5. Arrange the salad by layering the lettuce, warm chicken, shallot, garlic, bacon, and optional carrots and avocado. Drizzle with Garlic-Thyme Dressing.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Garlic-Thyme Vinaigrette
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: ¼ cup
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon pureed avocado
  1. In a glass jar, whisk together the oil, vinegar, thyme, garlic, and sea salt. Whisk in the avocado until the dressing is creamy and emulsified. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


About Alaena Haber

Alaena Haber is the recipe creator and blabber, err… blogger, behind Grazed and Enthused, an Autoimmune Protocol diet and lifestyle blog. Alaena initially began blogging in 2014 to re-spark her passion for cooking while on the elimination phase of the Autoimmune Protocol, which she uses to address Hashimoto’s and leaky gut symptoms. Enthused by her rapid health progression, she decided it was time to help others by devoting more (okay, all) of her spare time to the autoimmune community. Alaena has three requirements for her recipes: they must be creative, accessible, and make others excited about nutritional healing. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram where she shares both tiny and victorious moments in her healing journey.


  • Christine B. says

    This recipe is bomb! So satisfying for this warm weather we’ve been having. I ended up making the recipe as is and shared it with my non-Paleo friends, and they really enjoyed it, too! 🙂

  • Olivia O. says

    Love this salad- great salad to bring the day after for lunch at work!

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  • Sherrie Au says

    This is so delicious, and appealing-looking! I make it so there is leftover chicken and use it the next day with zoodles, artichoke hearts and kalamata olives. Yum!

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