It’s summer, and you know what that means: it’s salad time. Not only are the farmer’s markets flooded with fresh produce and the first summer tomatoes, but it’s also just too warm outside to want to eat a hot meal most nights. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to make a salad that counts as an actual entree. A watermelon and feta salad is a refreshing side dish, but it won’t keep you full. An entree salad needs plenty of protein and healthy fats along with produce to keep you satisfied. When television star and cookbook author Rachel Ray recently posted her recipe for Rotisserie Chicken Cobb Salad, we knew it fit the bill, and even better? It relies on one of our favorite storebought ingredients to cut back on cooking time.
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The secret is in the name: rotisserie chicken! We love rotisserie chickens from the grocery store (and at Costco they’re only $5). They’re flavorful, juicy, affordable, and can be turned into a million different things. In this case, the rotisserie chicken meat is pulled into bite-sized pieces, then used to top your salad. Freeze the carcass for later, and you can make a batch of chicken broth in your Instant Pot or slow cooker with it.
Our other favorite part of this salad is the creamy dressing. It tastes rich, thanks to a combo of blended avocado and Greek yogurt, but stays vibrant and fresh because of the addition of green summer herbs, citrus juice, and white wine vinegar.
But there’s more! No one wants to eat a sad salad, and Rachel Ray is the last person who would ever serve a boring meal. She also adds oven-baked bacon, quartered hard-boiled eggs, and blue cheese crumbles (she recommends smoked blue cheese if you can find it), then adds in some ripe vine tomatoes and a bunch of spring onions to brighten things up.
The combination of tender butter lettuce leaves, juicy rotisserie chicken, savory bacon, smoky blue cheese, and the creamy herb and avocado dressing makes for a perfect bite every time. Other salads might leave you hungry after you eat them, but this one will fuel you right up.
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
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