Giada’s Chopped Chicken Salad in Butter Lettuce Cups

Because we’re huge fans of every food item Giada has ever made (pretty much), we were extra happy in our house when she came out with her latest cookbook, Feel Good Food.  It focuses on healthy food that will make you feel good.  See what they did with that clever title thing?

Thanks to said cookbook, we recently tried Giada’s Chopped Chicken Salad in Butter Lettuce Cups:

photo from Feel Good Food (not sure what page, but it’s on the Google Books preview, too)

Giada didn’t let us down.  The recipe is healthy, extremely flavorful, and one of my personal favorites–easy to put together and hold for as long as you need to until it’s time to eat.  I think the only major way I strayed from the recipe was in fennel use or lack thereof.  Couldn’t find any in the store, so I’m here to attest that it’s tasty without fennel, too.  (We might have also used more chicken than listed in the recipe… didn’t measure, and we always go a bit protein-heavy when possible.)

Without further ado:

Giada’s Chopped Chicken Salad in Butter Lettuce Cups (with very slight modifications)

Ingredients (dressing in first chunk, salad in second)

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup diced chicken (or more)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped arugula (or more!)
  • 1/4 fennel bulb, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced or crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup thinly-sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 8 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (or if you like olives like I like olives, go crazy and use something more like 16 or 20 olives, which you will of course eat as you go along to leave 12-16 in the mixture)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • butter lettuce (1 leaf per scoop or 3-4 leaves per plate, either way is pretty)


  • For dressing: put all dressing ingredients together in a jar.  Put lid on, and shake until mixed well.  Giada has whisking instructions that I’m sure make for a better dressing, but my way is easier.  Sometimes laziness just has to win.
  • For salad: combine the chicken, arugula, fennel, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, salt, and pepper.  Add dressing and make sure everything is more or less evenly coated.  Place servings into butter lettuce any old way you’d like–little servings per piece of lettuce, which could be good for finger food.  (Maybe?  I’m not a good judge of finger food, since I’m messier than the average bear.)  Or you could put 3 or 4 lettuce leaves in a bowl, put the salad in the middle, and call it a day.  Or you could come up with your very own serving plan.  Whatever gets lettuce and salad ingredients into the same dish is fine by me.  This is what it looked like in our non-professional photo shoot:

ImageThere you have it–tasty and simple, with a side of green.


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