Posted: Jun 18, 2012 10:00 AM
A quick sweet-savory salad with grilled chicken, dried cranberries, Vermont cheddar cheese and croutons on a bed of Boston Bibb lettuce.

Can a salad be something special? It can when it's a delicious, easy, fast lunch salad eaten in a stolen moment of quiet. As a mom, you know how rare the elusive quiet time can be. So when you get it, don't waste it with a time-consuming lunch preparation. Instead, whip up a quick and easy lunch salad.

This salad is filled with flavors of New England: using ingredients like Boston bibb lettuce, which is a smooth, mild and slightly sweet variety that makes a killer salad (but is also awesome for lettuce wraps). There are dried cranberries too, in all their sweet-tart glory. Cranberries are grown in the Cape Cod region of New England, where cranberry bogs are flooded and harvested in the fall. And then there is Vermont cheddar, a creamy, sharp cheese that adds dimension to the salad.

Drizzle this with your favorite vinaigrette and then dig in. Hint: Red wine vinaigrette goes really well with these flavors.

New Englander salad ingredients

New Englander chicken salad

Serves 1


  • 2 cups Boston bibb lettuce, rinsed
  • 1 (4 ounce) grilled chicken breast, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup croutons
  • 1 ounce sharp Vermont cheddar cheese, cubed
  • Vinaigrette


  1. Tear the Boston bibb lettuce into pieces and arrange in a shallow, wide salad bowl. If desired, use some large leaves to create a pretty backdrop.
  2. Arrange the chicken, dried cranberries, croutons and cheddar cubes on the lettuce bed.
  3. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  4. Devour.


  • Your best bet for the chicken is to make extra grilled chicken whenever you grill. You can store leftovers in the fridge for a few days or freeze them for up to three months. Then, just pull them out (defrost if frozen), slice and enjoy!
  • Do you really need Vermont cheddar for this? Well, technically no. But nothing beats the smooth sharpness of cheddar straight from Vermont. It's recommended, but you could use a non-Vermont cheddar too. New York and Wisconsin do make good cheddars too.
  • Want to go low carb? Skip the croutons and use cubed raw summer squash instead. It has a pleasant flavor and goes well with the other ingredients in the salad.

More quick and easy lunch recipes

Grown-up pigs in a blanket
Fennel, orange and olive salad
English muffin pizzas