This recipe for warm chicken and green bean salad was born one day when I had a bowl of leftover green beans in my fridge, and since I have a strict No Ingredient Left Behind rule in my house, I was pondering what I could do with them other than serve them on the side of something else. Then I spied a hunk of feta cheese in my fridge as well, and the wheels started turning…what if I poached a chicken breast, shredded it up into bite-sized pieces, and then tossed it with the beans and the feta? And maybe some grains for extra heartiness? And a little while later I had a bowl of warm chicken salad deliciousness. Let’s make it!This easy warm chicken and green bean salad can be customized all kinds of delicious ways!Click To TweetNow, if you also have leftover chicken in your fridge you can absolutely use that as well, either cold, room temperature or warmed up in a little chicken broth if you want to keep true to the warm vibe of this recipe. I’ve put directions in the recipe below for my tried and true way to poach a chicken breast, which is the way I make this salad most of the time. It always yields the most tender chicken, which is key to a top-rate chicken salad.
Simply place a boneless chicken breast in a pot and cover it with water. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper – if I am feeling especially fancy, I also toss in a carrot and/or a piece of celery and onion. Bring it to a boil, let it simmer for about 5 minutes and then turn off the heat and let the chicken stay in the water until the water is just barely warm. Now scoop out the chicken and shred it into bite sized piece.
Now toss it in a bowl with some cooked green beans, a handful of feta cheese, and your grain of choice. My grain of choice is almost always farro, which I continue to have a major crush on, but you can also use brown rice or barley – this recipe is all kinds of flexible. You can also sub in goat cheese for the feta, and I bet this would also be good with cherry tomatoes tossed in there. It’s freeform! You be you!
Once you have tossed the main ingredients together, drizzle on a teeny bit of olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and voila! Supper is ready.
You just never know where gazing into your fridge at containers of leftovers can lead!
- I large boneless, skinless chicken breast half
- 2 cups cooked green beans
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- 2 cups cooked farro, barley or brown rice - your choice!
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Place the chicken breast in a pot and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and then let the chicken cool in the water until the water is just barely warm. Remove and shred into pieces.
- Combine the chicken with the beans, feta and grains in a bowl and toss.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil (a tablespoon or two will be enough and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper.