Insalata Napoli (copycat recipe from Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill)

Insalata Napoli

Insalata Napoli

It’s getting about that time of year when we can enjoy outdoor dining as our evenings remain warm and the daylight extends.  It’s a magical time for me.  I gather the family around our big outdoor table, dress it up with colorful tableware and occasionally hang Chinese lanterns overhead.  We usually grill meats, fish and veggies, add vibrant salads; basically it’s eating light and enjoy relaxing time with each other.  Going out to eat AND dining outside is a great combination.  One of our favorite outdoor dining restaurants is Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill.  It’s a small restaurant chain located here in Idaho with one location in Utah.  I love so many wonderful recipes there that it’s pretty hard to choose.  Several months ago I posted my copycat version of the Sonoma Chicken recipe because that’s one of the best entrees on the menu, but as the weather warms up, I’m in the mood for a fresh salad.  When they added this one to the menu a few years ago I was in heaven.  It has everything I love, is packed with healthy ingredients and is paired with a dressing that is to die for.  I’m so partial to this fabulous salad served with grilled chicken, fresh spinach, artichokes, red bell peppers, tomatoes, feta and crumbled bacon.  Smoky Mountain serves it over a bed of penne pasta because, after all it is an Italian pizza and pasta restaurant.

Insalata Napoli 3

I’ve recreated this beautiful, healthy salad but have opted out of the pasta just to save some calories and to focus more on the wonderful flavors of the other toppings.  It is colorful, rich in anti-oxidants on so many levels especially the dressing–the balsamic vinaigrette is tangy and creamy thanks to Dijon mustard and olive oil.  Looks like I won’t have to go out to enjoy this dish, unless I want someone else to do the cooking, of course.  So here’s to great outdoor dining to come.  I’m ready!

Insalata Napoli 2

Insalata Napoli (copycat recipe from Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • Insalata Napoli
  • 3 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and stems removed
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (I use 8-10 slices center-cut bacon)
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Flatten each chicken breast by placing between layers of plastic wrap and pounding with a meat mallet to about 1/4-inch thickness. Remove from wrap and season with salt and pepper. Place on heated grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until chicken is done and juices are no longer pink. Remove from grill and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Slice across the grain into 6-8 slices per breast.
  3. Arrange spinach leaves in a large serving platter. Top with bell pepper, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, red onion, feta cheese, crumbled bacon and chicken slices.
  4. For the Vinaigrette: Combine vinegar, mustard, garlic, oregano and salt in a small container. Whisk to combine. Slowly add olive oil to incorporate into the dressing, whisking to combine.
  5. Pour over salad and toss to combine.



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