Lemon Basil Chicken Salad – Gluten Free

by Sharon on August 12, 2018

This easy and healthy Lemon Basil Chicken Salad recipe is one you will make over and over. Gluten free and full of flavour, this is a great lunch to tote to school or work. Use leftover rotisserie to make it even easier!

Salad in a glass bowl on a white wooden surface with cut lemons and fresh basil in the background

Lemon Basil Chicken Salad! <—singing

Your taste buds will be singing too once you get a mouthful of this deliciously light and super fresh tasting salad.

It started out as a mission to use up a crisper of odds and ends before grocery shopping day. Leftover chicken and some cooked brown rice contributed to the amazing-ness.

Salad in a glass bowl on a white wooden surface with cut lemons and fresh basil in the background

Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

I love adding grains to salads.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, always cook extras! I made chicken fried rice earlier in the week and cooked double the amount of rice that I needed as well as an extra chicken breast.

That means this dinner came together lickety-split on a busy Thursday night.

Salad in a glass bowl on a white wooden surface with cut lemons and fresh basil in the background


After chopping up my leftover veggies from the depths of my fridge ( two pepper halves, half a red onion, and some romaine lettuce that was on it’s last legs), I layered up the rest of the components in a large bowl.

Cooked brown rice (you could use any cooked grain really), the chopped veggies, diced cooked chicken, and some garlic and fresh basil for that punch of flavour.

I scored a basil plant from Whole Foods a few weeks ago and it has been basil city up in here ever since. 🙂

Salad in a glass bowl on a white wooden surface with cut lemons and fresh basil in the background

After giving those ingredients a good toss it was onto the dressing.

Simple goodness consisting of fresh lemon juice and olive oil.

My favourite method for emulsifying your dressing is an old fashioned jar and lid. Give it a good shake and you’re good to go.

Glass jar with salad dressing on a white marble surface


Pour it over the goods in your big salad bowl. To full incorporate the dressing, I got in there with my hands and gave everything a nice massage. Lemony basily deliciousness all over.

Salad dressing being poured over ingredients in a white mixing bowl


This made two good sized portions, but I would definitely double up for leftovers on this one. Cold out of the fridge for a quick lunch the next day is killer.

Salad in a glass bowl on a white wooden surface with cut lemons and fresh basil in the background



Salad in a glass bowl on a white wooden surface with cut lemons and fresh basil in the background

Yields 2 servings

Serves 2 large

Lemon Basil Chicken Salad – Gluten Free

10 minPrep Time

10 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 pepper, diced (I used ½ a red one & ½ an orange one)
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, torn
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, diced
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt & fresh pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine cooked brown rice, peppers, lettuce, chicken, basil, onion, and garlic and stir well
  2. In a small jar, shake together the lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Pour over the brown rice mixture and stir again to combine.
  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, until serving


Allergy :    
gluten free
dairy free
egg free
soy free
wheat free
peanut free
seafood free
treenut free
sesame free
mustard free

Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen @ Lushious Eats August 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm
This salad looks ridiculous! and to think, I have everything at home to do this tonight....Oohh I just might have to dig out my brown rice and put it to some good use! LOVE this recipe Sharon, the dressing is so easy yet I bet its amazing!
Sharon August 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm
SO easy! Get that brown rice cookin'! ;)
Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens August 18, 2014 at 7:30 pm
Wow! This is gorgeous! And so simple, too! Plus, I'm so with you on loving grain salads! Seriously ... what's not to love!?!? Definitely pinning this awesomeness! But I gotta tell ya - no matter how my tastebuds may be singing, you for sure don't want me to join in! :D
Sharon August 18, 2014 at 10:41 pm
Thanks so much Shelley! Nothing better than an easy salad of leftovers. Except maybe sing-alongs? ;)
Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods August 18, 2014 at 11:21 pm
Yum, I love a good salad and this one looks like a perfect meal. I really love that you can make it ahead of time for a quick work lunch :D
Sharon August 19, 2014 at 10:10 am
Leftovers for lunch is so my thing! I absolutely loved this salad. :) Thanks Cindy!
Olivia - Primavera Kitchen August 19, 2014 at 7:40 am
I can believe this salad was made with some leftover! It looks so delicious and super fresh. I also love to add some grain in my salad. I also love your tutorial pictures! This looks perfect to the last few days of summer ;-)
Sharon August 19, 2014 at 10:12 am
So sad that summer is coming to an end ... But happy that I can eat this salad whenever I choose! ;) Thanks Olivia!
Christina Floisvik August 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm
Can you recommend a good olive oil? With the debate over olive oil lately, picking one out is a daunting task!
Sharon August 28, 2014 at 10:57 pm
The brand I use is called Maison Orphee that is made with olives from Argentina. I'm not in the know about the debate on olive oil though! What's being said? Is it to do with GMO's?
Christina Floisvik August 29, 2014 at 9:10 am
I've been trying to avoid cooking with oils in general since reading about the process of finding a good olive oil. I've read a lot of articles but this one sums it up fairly quickly! http://paleoburn.com/6-peculiar-steps-choosing-real-olive-oil-easy-obvious/
Sharon August 29, 2014 at 11:33 am
Interesting read! Thanks for sharing that. Luckily, the brand I buy hits those marks: One country of origin, dark bottle, etc. I guess there is always risk involved with anything bought off the store shelves. Coconut oil is something I have been using a lot lately, yet the same problems can arise with that as well. We just have to keep our eyes open and keep each other informed. Like you did! I appreciate that. Have a great weekend Christina!! :)
Elaine Nessman August 21, 2018 at 2:50 pm
Wow! This couldn't have come at a better time! I have leftover chicken in the fridge and lots of fresh basil in the garden. Wonderful recipe! Thanks for sharing.
Sharon August 21, 2018 at 3:03 pm
It so easy Elaine! You will love it. :)

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