I don’t know about you, but when we’re in the middle of a summer heat wave I don’t feel like turning on the oven and eating a hot and heavy meal. Something cool and refreshing sounds soooo much better. This meal idea is something my sister-in-law served one summer while I was visiting, and it fit the bill for a delicious meal on a hot summer day so perfectly. It’s kind of a coleslaw-meets-Waldorf-Salad-meets-chicken-salad dish, with a refreshing flavor mix of lime and thyme that my family has nicknamed Summer Thyme Salad. I’m including a printable of the recipe at the end of the post.

The base of the salad is cabbage, like coleslaw, which makes it quite economical as well. We don’t have a garden at our apartment, but a friend with a garden recently gave us a HUGE head of cabbage. I knew right away that we would be having some Summer Thyme Salad! But it was more cabbage than would even reasonably fit in my big serving bowl. If you have more cabbage than you want to use in this salad, go ahead and shred it all up, and put the extra in a bag – now it’s handy and prepped for another meal later.

You can chill the entire salad together, but I like to make the salad part of it ahead of time, and let it chill and marinate together, and add the chicken and herbed butter right at the last minute, so that the salad is cold but the chicken is warm. It makes a nice contrast – just like the tangy lime sauce contrasts nicely with the mellow savoriness of the thyme. That is partly why there is a fair amount of butter with the chicken … the thyme and herbs infuse the butter and send all those earthy flavors throughout the salad. The fruit in the dressing is reminiscent of Waldorf Salad … usually I do apples and grapes, but you can substitute the grapes with other fruits, especially if it’s something tart like dried cranberries. Which is handy if, like me, you forget to buy grapes. ;)

Just click the recipe below to get the PDF file. If you trim the recipe out of the page after printing, it comes to a handy 5×7 size:

What are your favorite cold meals for hot days? Leave your thoughts and comments below, I love to hear from you!