Grilled pineapple, chicken and quinoa salad is a a healthy, summery salad loaded with protein and lots of sweet and savory flavor, as well as a deliciously creamy yogurt dressing.
It’s feeling a lot like summer here in Minnesota. Highs today are going to soar into the upper 80s and we’ve got bright sunny skies. It’s so nice, in fact, that Steve and I are going to play hooky from work this afternoon and meet some dear friends in downtown Minneapolis for some fun. I’m pretty sure some quality time at an outdoor patio will be part of the plan.
The other thing this summery weather gets me thinking about is summer food. When I think of summer food, I think of grilled foods of all kind, as well as fresh, crisp salads. What I have here for you, friends, is the marriage of those two summer favorites. Grilled chicken and grilled pineapple combine with cabbage, quinoa, a little jalapeño and a LOT of cilantro, all of that is bathed in a super creamy and flavorful yogurt dressing. Grilled pineapple, chicken and quinoa salad is a sweet and savory treat for your tastebuds!
Have you ever grilled pineapple before? Grilling the pineapple brings out its sweetness and makes it extra juicy, it also adds just a touch of smokiness, which is absolutely divine. Please don’t skip that step!
I used whole milk yogurt for the dressing and I highly recommend that. There’s a lot of talk out there that eating full-fat dairy is actually better for you than fat-free and I have to tell you, it makes this dressing super creamy and rich. The flavor is amazing.
Finally, this recipe makes a lot of salad, like 8-10 main dish servings, so it would be great to bring to a barbecue or picnic. It will feed a crowd. And since the cabbage doesn’t wilt like lettuce, it’s a great dish to make ahead. If you don’t have a party to take it to, it would be great to keep in the fridge and eat for lunch throughout the week.
- 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
- 4 tbsp mayonaise
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ½ tsp celery salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- olive oil
- 1 lb chicken tenders
- 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into quarters (you will save ½ for another use)
- ½ head of napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayo, orange juice, celery salt, salt and pepper, until well combined and creamy.
- Combine quinoa and water in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed. (Mine took 15 minutes)
- Allow quinoa to cool.
- Heat a grill pan or the outdoor grill to medium heat. Brush grill lightly with oil.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Grill chicken for about 3 minutes per side, until cooked through.
- Grill pineapple quarters a minute or two on each side, just until they have grill marks. The pineapple should take less time than the chicken.
- Slice cooked chicken crosswise into thin strips.
- Slice pineapple quarters in halve lengthwise and then into thin pieces crosswise.
- Toss all ingredients together, except for dressing, in a large mixing bowl.
- Once ingredients are well combined, stir in dressing until salad is well coated.