Winter Chicken Salad With Tangy Miso Dressing
Winter Chicken Salad With Tangy Miso Dressing

This Chopped Chicken Salad is easy to put together and filling enough to eat for dinner! Made with fennel, tangerines, avocado and a tangy miso dressing, it’s perfect for winter but also endlessly adaptable to the seasons.

Miso is an ingredient with great potential in your kitchen, a true secret weapon to add flavor to a variety of dishes that reach far beyond the borders of Japan.

Take this salad for example: Just a tiny tablespoon of miso makes an ordinary, bright-flavored dressing pop.

Miso is fermented soybean paste. The soybeans are inoculated with a type of mold. That might sound creepy until you consider that so many favorite foods are fermented, including yogurt, cheese, wine, and sourdough bread.

Over time, the soybeans turn into a salty, funky, flavorful paste that keeps indefinitely in the fridge. Miso is widely available and is usually sold in plastic tubs in the refrigerated section of supermarkets.

Why fermented foods are good for you

Interest in fermented foods has definitely increased in recent years. This is partly because research from the National Institutes of Health suggests that our gut bacteria may play an important role in overall health.

As such, there is a lot of talk about “feeding the gut,” which means helping the good bacteria in the gut thrive. Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and miso are a source of good bacteria, which is why some nutrition experts advise consuming fermented foods regularly. Adding miso to the dressing is an easy way to do this.

What kind of miso to buy

I use white miso for this dressing. White miso is fermented for a shorter time than red miso, so it’s milder in flavor and not as salty. White miso adds flavor and a bit of body to this dressing, allowing it to coat the veggies nicely. Since miso is naturally salty, no additional salt is needed in the dressing.

If you only find red miso, you can swap it out for white. Just be sure to reduce the amount a bit as red miso has a stronger, saltier flavor.

The best way to cook the chicken

The recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, the leanest cut of chicken available. With so little fat, chicken breasts can become terribly dry when overcooked. When done right, they are juicy and tender.

I recommend tapping the thicker end of the chicken with a mallet or the side of a rolling pin so it’s about the same thickness along the breast. Then, over the stovetop in a heavy skillet, sear the chicken until the center is no longer pink and the outside is nicely browned.

If you’re short on time, you can use a rotisserie chicken for this salad instead.

Which vegetables in the salad?

This salad is suitable for many variations. The recipe calls for it Fennel, tangerines and avocadobut depending on your mood and season, endless combinations work like:

  • Sliced ​​apples, chopped pecans and crumbled goat cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes, cucumber and olives
  • Halved grapes, toasted walnuts and thinly sliced ​​celery
  • Thinly sliced ​​radishes, carrots and roasted pepitas

Make-ahead tips for chopped chicken salad

If you do a little work ahead of time, putting this salad together for dinner is a breeze. Here are some steps you should do in advance:

  • Make the dressing. Take it out of the fridge about half an hour before serving the salad and whisk it once it has reached room temperature. Tip: Make a double batch and use the extras later in the week.
  • Cook the chicken breast. They can be added to salads cold, at room temperature, or gently warmed in the oven. Wait until just before serving to cut.
  • Wash and dry lettuce and stash it in your vegetable drawer.
  • shaving fennel and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

More recipes with miso

  • Steak salad with miso vinaigrette
  • Miso Glazed Salmon
  • Harvest Salad with Roasted Miso Maple Butternut Squash
  • Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto
  • Miso Glazed Chicken Wings

Winter chicken salad with spicy miso dressing

preparation time
25 minutes

cooking time
16 minutes

total time
41 minutes

up to 4 servings


  • For the salad

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 lettuce, washed and dried

  • 1 large handful of arugula or watercress, washed and dried

  • 1 small or 1/2 large fennel bulb, very thinly sliced

  • 3 seedless tangerines, peeled, sliced ​​and torn into chunks

  • 1 small avocado, diced

  • For the miso dressing

  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon of honey

  • 2 spring onions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Pound Chicken: Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Use a mallet or the side of a rolling pin to tap the thicker end of the breasts so they’re about the same thickness all along the breast. Season both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper.

  2. Cook the Chicken: In a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until nicely browned on one side and opaque halfway down the side, about 8 minutes.

    Flip and cook on second side until no longer pink in center, another 8 minutes or so. Place on a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into 1/3-inch-thick slices.

  3. Make the miso dressing: In a small bowl, stir together the miso, apple cider vinegar, honey, scallions, and cumin until smooth. Keep stirring while you drizzle in the remaining olive oil.

  4. Assemble the Salad: In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, arugula, and fennel with just enough dressing to coat lightly. Pour into 4 serving bowls. Place the avocado, tangerines and chicken slices in the shells and drizzle over a little more dressing. Serve immediately.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!