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Grilled Chicken and Melon Salad with Crispy Shallots

4 Servings

Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins

Chill Time
1 hr

Total Time
2 hrs 30 mins

If you’re looking for a guest-worthy main-dish salad, stop right here. This one delivers a blend of firm and tender textures and sweet-spicy flavors, plus make-ahead options and a time-saving method for browning shallots in the microwave.

Tip: The leftover shallot oil can be used for a second salad.

Grilled Chicken and Melon Salad with Crispy Shallots

Iain Bagwell
Crispy Shallots and Shallot Oil
 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
 1 cup vegetable oil
 1 tbsp each toasted sesame oil and minced fresh ginger
 3 garlic cloves, minced
 Zest and juice of 1⁄2 lime
 1 green onion, finely chopped
 2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce
 1 tsp Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
 1 ¼ lbs boned, skinned chicken breast halves
  cup lime juice
 2 tbsp each honey and minced shallot
 3 tsp Sriracha chili sauce
 2 tsp Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
 3 cups loosely packed baby romaine lettuce leaves 1 cup small basil leaves
 1 cup small basil leaves
 ½ cup each mint leaves and cilantro leaves
 ½ green melon (about 13⁄4 lbs.) such as honeydew, Galia, or Ha’Ogen, seeded, peeled, and cut into 3- by 1⁄4-in. wedges
 ½ cup chopped salted roasted peanuts
 Kosher salt (optional)

Make shallots and shallot oil: Scatter shallots evenly in an 8-in. square glass baking dish and pour oil on top. ­Microwave on high until shallots are deep golden brown, 9 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally and watching closely toward end of cooking time to make sure they don’t burn. With a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to paper towels. Strain oil through a fine strainer. Set shallots and oil aside.


Prepare chicken: In a deep medium bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp. shallot oil with everything except chicken. Add chicken, turn to coat, and chill, covered, at least 1 hour.


Make dressing: Whisk  1/3 cup shallot oil with all ­ingredients in a bowl until combined. Set aside.


Heat a grill to medium-high (400° to 450°). Remove chicken from marinade and grill, covered, turning once, until cooked through and grill marks form, 10 to 15 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest a few minutes.


Make salad: Toss lettuce, ­basil, mint, and cilantro in a large salad bowl. Cut chicken into small slices and toss gently with salad, half of melon, and about 1/3 cup dressing. Transfer to a platter. Top with peanuts and remaining melon, give salad a loose toss, and scatter with crispy shallots. Serve with more dressing on the side, and season to taste with salt if you like.

MAKE AHEAD: Shallots and shallot oil, marinated chicken, and dressing (recipe through step 3), chilled, up to 1 day; ­lettuces and herbs prepped and chilled in paper towel–lined ­resealable bags, up to 1 day

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 730Calories from Fat 452
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 51g79%

Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 103mg35%
Sodium 774mg33%
Total Carbohydrate 33g11%

Dietary Fiber 6.5g26%
Protein 39g78%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.