So SURPRISE! I love huge salads. I know some people think salad is a quintessential “diet” food. I think they’re huge and colorful, and a canvas for all the flavors and textures you want! This macro-friendly arugula barley salad with lemon and parmesan is fresh and filling– perfect for a Spring night or lunches all week.
What You’ll Need for the Arugula Barley Salad with Lemon and Parmesan:
- Rotisserie chicken breast
- Kosher salt
- Garlic powder
- Cooked barley (or farro)
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Apples, diced
- Good shaved Parmesan Romano
- Red onion, diced
- Fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Lemon white balsamic vinegar (or sub any balsamic)
- Fresh lemon (optional if you’re using the lemon-infused vinegar)
- Olive oil
- Roasted pistachios
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make the Arugula Barley Salad with Lemon and Parmesan:
I like using store-bought rotisserie chicken breast for this Arugula Barley Salad, but you can use whatever you like! Obviously a tasty grilled chicken would be great. If you use an already seasoned grilled chicken etc, just skip ahead to building your salad.
If using rotisserie, I like to get in there with my hands to shred it, but you can totally chop a little if you like shorter pieces. Whatever you choose, just be sure to not do too much! You don’t want it to feel like canned chicken.
Once your chicken is broken down, heat a pan with a mist of olive or avocado oil spray until it’s nice and hot. My favorite pan when I want tons of HOT surface area, is my large cast-iron skillet. I never have to worry about spilling anything or overcrowding the pan, because it’s MASSIVE.
Once your pan is nice and hot, season your rotisserie chicken with salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika and throw it in the hot pan. Leave it undisturbed to get some color, then flip and cook the other side for just a minute or less.
Remove seasoned chicken from heat and let cool a bit. You don’t want to cook this so long that it tastes like re-cooked chicken. Just enough to bring the seasoning to life and give the chicken a little facelift. If you are using a yummy grilled chicken etc, skip this step!
Time to Toss
Chicken is done and now it’s time to build this delicious arugula salad with lemon and parmesan. Grab a large bowl and toss together your slightly cooled chicken, barley or farro, tomatoes, apples, parmesan, red onion, and basil. Drizzle with vinegar, lemon, and olive oil. If making this salad ahead, you can store this in the fridge and toss it with the arugula later.
You might already know I absolutely LOVE my fruit-infused vinegars! I actually use them on almost EVERY salad. This salad is so yummy with the lemon one from Baker and Olive. Baker and Olive is a local store for me, but they do sell online! If you’ve got any local olive oil shops, you’ll have similar products. Amazing, naturally sweet… you’ll hardly need oil on your salad anymore. BUT you can also use your favorite white or dark balsamic vinegar and add a squeeze of fresh lemon.
I love to cook a bunch of barley or farro to throw in other salads all week, so I’d just measure out a cup of the cooked grain. Brown rice is a yummy option too! But if you don’t want any grains left over, you’ll want to cook just about 60 grams of raw farro or barley.
When ready to eat, toss with arugula, and top with roasted pistachios and salt and pepper to taste. Split into two bowls. Enjoy! I also like to serve this on top of even MORE arugula if I want dinner to last forever haha.
Salads are one of my love languages and this arugula barley salad with lemon and parmesan checks all the boxes for me. If you are looking for other macro-friendly ideas, you need to check out my cookbooks. Follow me on Instagram @lillieeatsandtells to see what new recipes we’re trying. And don’t forget to tag me @lillieeatsandtells when you try one of my recipes. I love seeing your creative take on healthy food.
Arugula Barley Salad with Lemon and Parmesan
Disclaimer: the grams I’ve listed manually after each ingredient are accurate for a single recipe, but they will not multiply if you choose the 2x or 3x option. Please make sure and multiply on your own!
- 1 heaping cup rotisserie chicken breast*
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 cup cooked barley (or farro) 145 g cooked weight**
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (150 g)
- 1 cup apples, diced (110 g)
- 1/2 cup good shaved Parmesan Romano (40 g)
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced (40 g)
- 2-3 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped (6 g)
- 1 Tbsp lemon white balsamic vinegar* (or sub any balsamic)
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon (optional if you’re using the lemon-infused vinegar)
- 1 tsp olive oil (5 g)
- 3-4 cup arugula (110 g)
- 2 Tbsp roasted pistachios (14 g)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- If using basic rotisserie chicken breast, pull it apart and remove any gross stuff! Shred with your hands and chop a little if you like shorter pieces. Not too much, you don’t want it to feel like canned chicken. Heat a pan with a mist of olive or avocado oil spray until it’s nice and hot. Season your rotisserie chicken with the salt, pepper, garlic and paprika and throw it in the hot pan without stirring for just about a minute until fragrant. Flip and let cook for just another minute or less. Remove from heat and let cook a bit. (You don’t want to cook this so long that it tastes like re-cooked chicken. Just enough to bring the seasoning to life and give the chicken a little face lift.) Skip this step if you’re using a yummy grilled chicken etc!
- In a large bowl, toss together your slightly cooled chicken, barley or farro, tomatoes, apples, parmesan, red onion and basil. Drizzle with vinegar, lemon, and olive oil. (If making ahead, you can store this in the fridge and toss with the arugula later.)
- When ready to eat, toss with arugula, and top with roasted pistachios and salt and pepper to taste. Split into two bowls. Enjoy!
Vinegar: I absolutely LOVE my fruit infused vinegars and use the lemon one for this. I get mine at Baker and Olive which is a local store for me but they do sell online! You might see if you have any local olive oil shop where you could find some. They add SO much to my salads, but if you don’t have a special lemon vinegar, just use your favorite white or dark balsamic vinegar and add a squeeze of fresh lemon. I also like to serve this on top of even MORE arugula if I want dinner to last forever haha. MFP: “Lillie Eats and Tells Arugula Barley Salad with lemon and parmesan”