Copycat Newk’s Favorite Salad Recipe
Looking for a dinner salad recipe that’s filling, flavorful, fast, and easy? I love this copycat Newk’s Favorite Salad recipe for all those reasons! But first, a little background. . . One of our favorite restaurants to grab food from when on the road is Newk’s; the food is fresh and tasty and doesn’t break the bank. We order our food ahead online, and turn our stop into a bathroom break while we grab our food. (This is not a sponsored post, I promise — I’m just dishing on our road trip hacks!) One of our favorite dishes on the menu is the Newk’s Favorite Salad — it’s stuffed full of delicious tasty toppings with lots of crunch and heft, and is more food than one person can eat! Even though our children are many, they are still small; we can currently get away with ordering a sub sandwich, a Mediterranean pizza (SO GOOD), and our aforementioned favorite salad for dinner. Everyone gets full, but the food is fresh and light and doesn’t leave you feeling gross. (I don’t love eating at most fast food places when on road trips — greasy food does not make me feel any better after sitting in the car all day!) The Mediterranean pizza has killer flavor and is loaded with vegetables, but alas, is a little hard to recreate at home. But the salad — that’s EASY to make at home, and just as delicious!
- Bonus: this salad can be made up to a day ahead and be ready to go after a day of work/running around. Just leave the pecans, croutons, and dressing out until you’re ready to serve.
- In my version of this copycat Newk’s Favorite Salad recipe I’ve tweaked the ingredients slightly for extra flavor (you can read the original ingredients here) — I toast the pecans to deepen their flavor, and use marinated artichoke hearts instead of plain ones. Toasting the pecans may take a few extra minutes, but trust me, it’s SO worth it! I do this to almost every recipe (and I’m not alone). Plus I’ve kept everything else super easy (give it up for rotisserie chicken, my favorite meal hack!)
- If you’re still working on turning your kids into adventurous eaters, you could also prep the toppings and then let everyone in your family assemble their salad to their liking. (My kids aren’t wild about the gorgonzola, so I add just a little in the big salad, then extra to my bowl.)
- Speaking of which, adjust these ingredient amount to your liking. I’ve gone heavier on the pecans and lighter on the cranberries that in the original Newk’s salad.
- In the recipe I’ve listed my favorite dressings, but you can use any light/slightly fruity vinaigrette you like.
- I’ve (tried) to give proportions that are about right for two people, but this very easily scales up, and I never actually measure anything when making it; I just add/sprinkle stuff on until it looks right to me!
There are no wrong answers with this salad, only a delicious answer to your dinner dilemma.
Copycat Newk's Favorite Salad
- 6 cups (4 oz) mixed salad greens
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded/chopped cooked chicken -- I use rotisserie chicken
- 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup (1 oz) pecan pieces, toasted
- 1/4 cup (2 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
- 1/2-3/4 cup (4 oz) halved grapes
- 3 Tbsp (1 oz) crumbled gorgonzola (can substitue blue cheese)
- 3/4 cup (1.5 oz) croutons
- vinaigrette, to taste I like either Newman's Own Raspberry & Walnut or Trader Joe's Champagne Pear Vinaigrette
- To toast the pecan pieces, spread on a tinfoil lined cookie sheet and bake at 350* for about 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until the pecan pieces start to color and you can smell them cooking. Let cool. (This can be done days in advance. Or toast extra for future salads!)
- Place salad greens in a bowl with all the other salad ingredients, and toss with dressing to taste. Serve immediately.
- To make ahead: Mix all the ingredients except the croutons, pecans, and dressing. Cover until ready to serve, then add the croutons, pecans, and dressing.