Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
17 Apr

Bacon, Chicken and Avocado Salad

Lauren Seaver had us with the first three ingredients in her salad: bacon, chicken and avocado. What is there not to love? This combination is not new to most of you, in fact, you might even throw it into salads all the time. But if it’s been awhile, let us remind you how insanely delicious this simple combination is.

Crispy, salty bacon is a perfect topping for cool, creamy avocado and the chicken thighs seared in bacon fat take on a deep, rich flavor that chicken doesn’t always have. It’s a comforting and satisfying combination, familiar ingredients that each take on a new dimension of flavor when paired with the others. You can toss this salad with any green you like, but there is something especially tasty about the combination of crisp romaine lettuce with bacon. While not a “dark, leafy” green, romaine still packs a nice nutritional punch and pretty much everyone loves the mild flavor, which makes it a good choice if you’re serving this salad to others (like picky family members).

Lauren turns the flavor dial up a notch by garnishing with chopped walnuts, red onion and apple. Like any good garnish, this heightens the flavor in the salad and adds texture. You get a little sweetness, a little crunchiness and a nice bite from the red onion. All in all, this is exactly the type of salad that satisfies our hunger and provides the type of protein and good fat we all need to get through the day.

For dressing, you can use any vinaigrette you like, or even just a drizzle of olive oil. If you want to try something new, however, Lauren has included her favorite Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette.

Servings: Approx. 4


  • 1/4 pound bacon, or 4-5 slices, cut into 1/2 inch bits
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 2 inch pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 avocado – peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnut
  • 1 apple – cut into 1 inch chunks (optional)


In a pan over medium heat, cook the bacon “bits” until crisp.

Remove and set aside, but save the bacon grease in the pan. Next, add the chopped and seasoned chicken thighs to the pan and sauté in the bacon grease. Cook the chicken and turn so that every side is browned.

Allow it to simmer over low heat while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Toss the chopped romaine, avocado, chicken and bacon together. Top with red onion, walnuts and apple. Dress with your favorite vinaigrette, or use Lauren’s:

Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients except olive oil (using a whisk, food processor, or blender). Slowly add in olive oil drop by drop to make an emulsion (like you would when making mayo) until it is all incorporated.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. This looks unbelievably good!

    Carrie wrote on April 17th, 2010
    • Just made this salad and it was so good!! Cloud 9 is all mine!

      JasonBaney wrote on April 20th, 2010
    • I eat the same salad but, add raspberry vinaigrette and some diced peaches

      tcseacliff wrote on July 17th, 2011
    • It may look unbelievably good but the author left out one of the key ingredients in his picture of ingredients: The AVOCADO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Debby wrote on November 2nd, 2012
      • Nope, it’s there. Between the romaine and the onion.

        Samuel wrote on July 5th, 2013
  2. YUM!

    Mountain Dew wrote on April 17th, 2010
  3. Although I’m not really a vinaigrette guy, everything else in this salad sounds delicious. You had me at bacon, avocado, and chicken.

    Big salads like this with plenty of protein and fat completely slay my hunger. I don’t know whether you have ever really talked on this site about the many different aspects of being hungry because as best as I can tell it is more than just one thing.

    Some people say that hunger is all about stretch receptors in the stomach so you should aim for low nutrient density in the foods you eat.

    There are other studies on animals that show they will keep eating until they get their bodies’ caloric requirement.

    I’m sure we are all familiar with the first sensation of just being a bit empty. Also I think the sensation on the second mechanism is that real gnawing hunger.

    It seems to me that big salads like this hit both sides by giving plenty of calories and plenty of volume.

    Salads like this are probably also something you might see Grok eating. In hunter gatherer tribes, the men get the animals and the women get the plant foods, then they put it all together.

    John Solter wrote on April 17th, 2010
    • “In hunter gatherer tribes, the men get the animals and the women get the plant foods, then they put it all together.”

      More often it’s the men getting the big animals and the women getting the small animals, the eggs, the grubs and bugs and maybe some plants, fruits and tubers if they happen to be in season and available. Don’t discount the womens’ role in acquiring fat and protein just because they don’t do the big hunting. :-)

      fireandstone wrote on April 17th, 2010
  4. Hmmm, looks great!!

    Organic Gabe wrote on April 17th, 2010
  5. Yummy! I need to start making these salads!

    I am going to make this one this one next week – I am salivating over the flavors way too much right now! And, I have ALL the ingredients :)

    Todd wrote on April 17th, 2010
  6. Tzatziki sauce (thinned out a little) makes a great dressing for this salad.

    Chaohinon wrote on April 17th, 2010
  7. makes me wanna go primal!

    mac wrote on April 17th, 2010
  8. I haven’t eaten a salad in years (digestive issues) but was going to try one soon. This might just be the recipe I have to make.

    Kat wrote on April 17th, 2010
    • So what do you eat in place of salads? Is that quite restricting?

      Anyway I just made this salad, its pretty awesome so if you are gonna test out eating salads i highly recommend this recipe!

      Jeremy McMinn wrote on April 18th, 2010
      • I eat all vegetables cooked, but focus more on fats, meats and organ meats. I include dairy as homemade yogurt every day and some fruit & nuts. Not as restricting as it sounds when you have a bunch of wonderful farmers around with all different kinds of meat.

        I was thinking of trying salads soon and looking for something with meat and lots of fat in it.

        Kat wrote on April 18th, 2010
  9. oooh this is something like i made the other day. but it was more:

    baby spinach
    grilled onions
    blue cheese (optional but my husband loves it and i dont mind it so i put it in lightly for mine)

    the dressing was some white vinegar, black pepper, paprika, garlic, olive oil and bacon grease (warmed up of course) shaken up in a glass bottle i keep around from my days of eating commercial salad dressing.
    it was so so good.
    now i am gonna have to make it again for sunday lunch! (since roast chook is on the menu tonight)

    shastagirl wrote on April 17th, 2010
  10. That looks absolutely delicious. I’m so thankful for the site. I’ve had some athletic injuries for the past couple months (played too hard while snowboarding), I haven’t been able to really work out for 2-3 months. My weight has been completely stable thanks to PB diet.

    My wife however thinks its hogwash. The funny thing is she has a gluten allergy, still eats lots of other grains and now she eats the fats I’ve been enjoying. So long story short she’s been gaining weight, irritable, etc etc etc…

    I’ve tried to direct her to this site and Fat Head. She just doesn’t see the empirical data. She’s stuck in this mindset

    I hope something clicks soon so she can snap out of it.

    Jeff wrote on April 17th, 2010
    • My daughter’s gluten allergy and my husband’s Crohn’s disease contributed to us going Primal. When we first gave up grains, we used almond flour as a transition food. We made waffles, bread, cookies and brownies with almond flour and honey. After a few weeks, we cut way back on these and only have them as occassional treats now. When we were eating a lot of these items, we limited our bacon to once per week and ate more lean proteins. I maintained my weight during that time. My 9 year old daughter lost 3 pounds. We have to make sure she eats enough carbs, protein and fats everyday to maintain her weight.

      Lisa Stafford wrote on April 21st, 2010
  11. I had a salad with similar flavors to this for lunch. Spring greens, roasted turkey, avocado, bacon, apple, almonds, and a champagne vinaigrette. So good.

    amgee wrote on April 17th, 2010
  12. *Drool*

    Thanks for sharing this; I can’t wait to try this!

    MmmFat wrote on April 17th, 2010
  13. i sent this yesterday on the previous blog but this one seems more appropriate (its about avocados) so i’ll repost it here:

    mark what is your policy on avocados? they are full of healthy fat and vitamins and so on paper sound like a paleo’s wet dream. but there is no such thing as a free lunch and i find it hard to believe a plant would invest so much energy to provide an animal with a meal, instead of the usual package of cheap sugar like most fruits.

    as u and others have mentioned before, most energy-dense plant-foods (and even eggs) are packed with toxins and anti-nutrients etc to protect them from being eaten since they cant run away. is mr avocado an exception?

    wikipedia says “The avocado fruit is poisonous to some birds, and the ASPCA and many other sites list it as toxic to many animals including cats, dogs, and horses.[26]”

    are we to believe avocados are toxic to such a wide range of different types of animals but not humans??

    mr avocado wrote on April 17th, 2010
    • Not Mark and I’m not an evolutionary biologist, but there is an evolutionary advantage to providing nutrition; flowers feed the bees nectar and, in the process, spread their pollen to the next flower, fertilizing the ovum and generating the next iteration. Flowers that didn’t have tasty treats inside wouldn’t be visited as regularly as those that do, so would have a negative selection pressure and their genes would not be passed on.

      Similarly, the pits and seeds of most fruit are hard, undigestable and poisonous while the fruit itself is tasty. This promotes the fruit being eaten and the seeds dispersed, either by discarding or by passing through the digestive tract of a migrant beast. This allows the genes to spread around and colonize new territory.

      I certainly buy that the vegetative and tuberous portions of plants have an advantage if their poisonous, but the fruit is specifically evolved to be eaten. Why would a plant waste so much energy growing a fruit body that is just meant to drop and rot when it could just drop seeds?

      Alchemyguy, Science Bulldog wrote on April 17th, 2010
      • damnation! their*they’re

        Alchemyguy, Science Bulldog wrote on April 17th, 2010
    • same reasons why we crave and enjoy chocolate and this would kill your pet! and I am gaining weight on PB!(nature is cruel!)

      tcseacliff wrote on July 17th, 2011
  14. Another BAS that satisfy’s the soul! Excellent. Make this salad quite frequently, I do a bit of dairy and don’t skimp on the gourmet cheeses. An ounce or two would replace the apple for me. . . and maybe an apple slice after to cleanse the pallete : ) Awesome dressing.

    Allison wrote on April 17th, 2010
  15. That’s the kind of salad that I have at least once/week! Pan-sautéed pecans in butter add a nice touch. Cilantro adds another depth of flavor too.

    Sterling wrote on April 17th, 2010
  16. That can make anyone try this type of eating. Signing up for the free recipes, it would be great if the finished product was delivered. Oh well, I guess it time to start cooking.

    I love the combination of raw greens with some cooked protein and the option of some fruit.

    Blanche Scharf wrote on April 17th, 2010
  17. AHHHHH! The one day I wait until the evening to check MDA and my recipe is here!!! WOW!! I’m so honored you chose this recipe–and I agree it’s totally delicious!

    Hope you enjoy it if you try it! Can’t wait to read the cookbook!!!! YAY!

    FairyRae wrote on April 17th, 2010
  18. I am Middle Eastern, and I have now noticed that most of our meals are primal.. For instance a typical vegetable dish:

    – half pound of lean ground beef
    – 1 onion
    – two garlic
    – tomato and pepper paste
    – any kind of vegetable (you name it cabbage, green beans, green peas, zucchini)

    Saute beef with onions. Add other ingredients with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups of water. Cook it until the veggies are done.

    Very simple and primal.. And tastyyyyyyy!!!

    lale wrote on April 17th, 2010
  19. Looked so good, I made it for dinner tonight. Used baby spinach, chicken breast, and skipped the nuts. Delicious.

    KJ wrote on April 17th, 2010
  20. Read it, made it, ate it, loved it.

    Marc wrote on April 17th, 2010
  21. I’m hungry now!

    Keith McNeill wrote on April 18th, 2010
  22. I’ve made this dressing for a salad and it is phenomenal! Works with all kinds of salads. Thanks for posting this deliciousness!

    Primal K@ wrote on April 18th, 2010
  23. I’ve just sown my salad seeds in my garden yesterday. This recipe will be one of the first to put my organic salad leaves into (if the slugs don’t pinch them first!)
    Thanks for sharing Mark.

    Luke M-Davies wrote on April 18th, 2010
  24. Wow! Just made this for dinner. Fantastic!!!

    Yoga Untwisted wrote on April 19th, 2010
  25. I just made this tonight and it’s truly amazing. The dressing is totally worth the time, as it makes the salad. Thank you!

    kathy wrote on April 21st, 2010
  26. This is the best salad I ever had! Thanks for posting.

    Debra wrote on April 23rd, 2010
  27. Lale, are you Turkish? Because I don’t really consider Turkish meals to be primal seeing as how we eat carbs with more carbs ie rice with bread, pasta with bread..Also explains all the potato sack bodies you see around Istanbul….

    deniz wrote on April 24th, 2010
    • Deniz, Istanbul’da oturuyormusunuz? Yeni geldim, ve pazar’daki satılan taze meyve sebzeyi çok seviyorum! Lâkin iyi et pazarını henüz bulamadım. İstanbul’da güzel kasabı biliyormusunuz? Olursa haber verin, lütfen. Çok teşekkür ederim!

      İngilizce tercih ederseniz…

      Deniz, do you live in Istanbul? I just arrived and I love all the fresh fruits and vegetables that are sold in the markets! However, I have not been able to find a good place to buy meat. Do you know a good butcher in Istanbil? If so, please let me know. Thanks!

      Joey wrote on September 7th, 2012
  28. This salad cannot be reasoned with!!! I make enough to feed all five of us and have difficulty not consuming it all myself!!!

    Boru wrote on April 25th, 2010
  29. Mm mm good!! Made it for supper, I BBQd everything the bacon, chicken too… I only put 1 clove of garlic, I don’t really like garlic, I know, I’m one of the few who don’t… For the familly I made rice and they were very happy…

    Robeil wrote on April 25th, 2010
  30. best salad ever!!! the dressing is so worth it, it’s all i use now. thanks for the great recipe!!! i love eating like a grok!

    erik wrote on April 27th, 2010
  31. My fiancee made this salad the other day and my mouth is watering still thinking about it. Mmmm tasty.

    Brad wrote on May 25th, 2010
  32. Just made this tonight. Incredible!

    Todd Helmkamp wrote on June 10th, 2010

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