👨‍🍳 Crispy Fried Chicken Salad Recipe | Easy & Tasty

by | Jul 2, 2024 | Chicken Recipes, Fried Chicken Recipes

Ever wanted the best of both worlds with crunchy fried chicken and fresh salad? You’re not alone! Our crisp chicken salad does just that. It brings together the crunch of fried chicken with the coolness of a salad. It’s easy to make and tastes great.

The main star is Tyson Uncooked Chicken Tenderloins, which you can get for a good deal at Costco. We use a mix of Hidden Valley Ranch with mayo and buttermilk. The salad has lots of fresh romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions. You can fry the chicken in oil or use an air fryer. And the end result is a tasty meal for two. It’s perfect for a quick lunch or a hearty dinner.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Tyson Uncooked Chicken Tenderloins are a cost-effective choice for this recipe.
  • The crispy chicken salad can be completed in less than 25 minutes.
  • Hidden Valley Ranch dressing adds a familiar, rich flavor.
  • The recipe provides a balanced meal with protein, veggies, and delicious dressing.
  • Cooking the chicken in an air fryer is a quicker, healthier option.
  • The versatile recipe can be customized with your favorite toppings.
  • The homemade sriracha honey BBQ dressing elevates the salad’s taste profile.

Introduction to Fried Chicken Salad

The homemade fried chicken salad is not your average salad. It’s a mix of amazing flavors and textures that will surprise you. It includes crispy homemade breaded chicken tenders on top of a mix of fresh romaine lettuce and veggies. This salad is a great choice to impress others or make a simple dinner special. The fried chicken salad will surely hit the spot.

What makes this salad special is the crispy, juicy fried chicken. It’s seasoned and brined perfectly to bring out the flavor. Brining takes 8 to 12 hours while the whole recipe takes 12 hours. This ensures the chicken tenders are moist and tasty. Even though it takes time, the effort is worth it.

A thermometer is key when frying the chicken. Chicken thighs, which stay juicy, are fried for 8 to 9 minutes. This gives them a golden, crispy outside and a moist inside. Doing this right is vital for the perfect crunchy chicken.

The salad is topped with vibrant veggies like heirloom cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and purple onions. They add a fresh crunch. Plus, medium cheddar cheese, herbs, and cheddar biscuit croutons bring a mix of flavors and textures.

The homemade dressing is the heartbeat of this salad. It’s a sriracha honey BBQ mix that combines sweet and spicy perfectly. With the crispy chicken and fresh vegetables, each mouthful is full of tasty joy. This salad with fried chicken is a must-try.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Let’s get started on the best fried chicken salad. First, we gather the essential ingredients. You’ll need chicken, salad parts, and the right dressing.

For the Chicken

  • 1 small boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • ¾ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

For the Salad

  • 1 ½ cups iceberg lettuce
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 egg (hard-boiled)
  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup tri-colored tortilla strips

For the Dressing

We need these ingredients for a tasty honey mustard dressing:

  • ½ cup (4-ounces) of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons (1.5-ounces) of honey
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (0.75-ounces) of yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon (0.5 ounces) of fresh lemon juice
Nutrition Facts Amount per Serving
Calories 779
Fat 63g
Carbohydrates 8g
Protein 44g
Saturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 126mg
Sodium 403mg
Dietary Fiber 3g
Total Sugars 2g
Vitamin C 4mg
Calcium 100mg
Iron 3mg
Potassium 572mg

Preparing the Chicken Marinade

Making a delicious marinade is key to a great chicken salad. It ensures the chicken is full of flavor. This makes preparing the salad fast and fun.

easy fried chicken salad prep

Key Marinade Ingredients

The marinade brings together rich and tasty flavors. It makes the chicken in the recipe amazing. Here is what you need:

  • Buttermilk
  • Sriracha
  • Honey mustard dressing
  • Garlic powder
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Salt and pepper

These ingredients mix to make a slightly spicy and tangy marinade. It’s perfect for the fried chicken.

Marinating Tips

Make sure the chicken soaks up all the marinade’s flavor. Here are some tips for the best results:

  1. Duration: Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes. Overnight is better for deeper flavors.
  2. Even Coating: Turn the chicken breasts over now and then to coat them well.
  3. Chill: Always marinate in the fridge to keep it safe.

By keeping these tips in mind, your fried chicken will be top-notch. It will stand out in the easy fried chicken salad prep.

Setting Up the Breading Station

To make the perfect, golden-brown crust on your crispy chicken salad, prep a breading station. It makes sure your fried chicken is just right and keeps everything organized. This step is crucial for a delicious outcome.

Three-Step Breading Process

The best fried chicken salad breading involves three steps. Each piece of chicken first gets coated in flour. Then, it’s dipped in whisked eggs. Finally, it’s covered with panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.

  1. Flour Mixture: Mix flour with garlic powder, smoked paprika, and parmesan cheese. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper to add flavor.
  2. Whisked Eggs: Beat eggs with water in another bowl. This makes a layer for the breadcrumbs to stick to.
  3. Panko-Parmesan Blend: Coat the chicken in panko mixed with parmesan. This adds crunch and cheesy taste.

Pro Tips for Extra Crispy Chicken

Follow these tips for the crispiest fried chicken salad:

  • Season Each Layer: Season all parts of the breading. This keeps your chicken extra tasty.
  • Keep it Thin: Keep each layer of breading thin and even. It avoids a soggy finish.
  • Rest Before Frying: Let your breaded chicken sit for a bit. It makes the coating stay on better.
  • Use a Heavy Skillet: Cook the chicken in a heavy skillet. This keeps the oil temperature steady. Make sure the chicken reaches 165 degrees inside while cooking.

By using these steps and tricks, you’ll have an amazing and crunchy chicken salad.

Frying Perfect Chicken Tenders

To get that crispy outside on chicken tenders, you need the right steps and components. Follow these tips for cooking perfect chicken tenders each time.

Best Oils for Frying

It’s key to pick a good oil for frying chicken tenders. Go with oils known for high smoke points, like peanut, canola, corn, or vegetable oil. These oils stop the tenders from burning and make them crunchy.

Type of Oil Smoke Point (°F)
Peanut Oil 450
Canola Oil 400
Corn Oil 450
Vegetable Oil 400

Cooking Time and Temperature

For the best outcome, fry chicken tenders at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to check the oil’s temperature. Here’s how to cook them:

  • Preheat the oil to 360°F before frying.
  • Maintain a frying temperature of 350°F during cooking.
  • Cook the tenders for 3-4 minutes, turning halfway through for even browning.
  • To ensure thorough cooking, the internal temperature should reach 165°F.

Stick to these steps, and perfect chicken tenders are in your future. They’ll be great for a snack or a big meal. Keep the oil at the right temp, and cook them for the correct time. Your tenders will turn out crispy and tasty every time.

Assembling the Fried Chicken Salad

Making a delicious crispy fried chicken salad is all about how you put it together. This approach lets every part of the salad mix perfectly. It’s the key to a salad that’s not just tasty but satisfying in every bite.

Layering the Salad

Start by putting chopped romaine lettuce in the salad bowl. Then, add fresh tomatoes, avocados, and red onions. Sprinkle some almonds on top. The final touch is placing fried chicken tenders over it all. This step-by-step creates the ideal base for your crispy chicken salad.

assembling crispy chicken salad

Dressing the Salad

For the finishing touch, pour your favorite dressing over everything. The dressing recipe makes enough to enjoy and saves the rest. Consider using honey mustard or ranch to add extra flavor. Or try blue cheese for something different. To keep your salad fresh, toss it with dressing just before you eat.

Category Details
Base Greens Romaine Lettuce
Additional Veggies Tomatoes, Avocados, Red Onions
Toppings Fried Chicken Tenders, Almonds
Dressing Options Honey Mustard, Ranch, Blue Cheese

By sticking to these steps, you can create a tasty crispy chicken salad at home. It’s easy to adjust it to what you like and need. Making your own chicken or using pre-made chicken both work well. Either way, you’ll end up with a salad that’s full of flavor.

Alternative Dressings for Variation

Make your crispy fried chicken salad exciting by adding new homemade dressings. They can make it tastier and more fun to eat. Here are some great options to try.

Simple Ranch Dressing

A simple ranch dressing gives your salad a creamier and tangy taste. It’s made from mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk. Then, add herbs and spices for a flavorful kick. Try this easy recipe:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Just mix all the ingredients well in a bowl. Make sure the taste is right with more salt or pepper. This ranch pairs perfectly with your fried chicken salad.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Want something lighter and tangy? Try a balsamic vinaigrette. It adds acidity and sweetness to your salad. It balances well with the fried chicken. Here’s a simple recipe:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pour all the ingredients in a jar with a lid. Shake it well until it’s mixed. This vinaigrette brings a zesty flavor to your salad dressings.

Tips for Preparing in Advance

To avoid stress and save time in the kitchen, these tips for making fried chicken salad will help. First, you can make the sriracha honey BBQ dressing and keep it in the fridge for two weeks. This dressing adds a tasty kick to your salad. Marinating the chicken tenders in advance also helps a lot. You can freeze them and then defrost in the fridge. This cooking method ensures your chicken is moist and delicious.

Also, preparing the salad components early makes life easier. Cut your veggies and fruits, like celery, onions, and nuts, ahead of time. By keeping them in the fridge, they’ll stay fresh. You can enjoy your chopped chicken salad for up to four days. It’s a smart move for a hectic week.

Want to make your own salad dressing? Mix one part acid, like vinegar or citrus, with three parts oil. This simple dressing can be kept in the fridge for two weeks. It’s a healthier option than store-bought ones.

Preparation Step Advance Time Storage Method
Marinate Chicken Tenders Up to 3 Days Freeze and Defrost Overnight
Prepare Dressing 2 Weeks Refrigerate in Airtight Container
Chop Vegetables 2-3 Days Refrigerate in Separate Containers
Bake Chicken Up to 3 Days Refrigerate in Airtight Container

Finally, store your fully made salad in an airtight container. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days or can freeze for a month. By following these easy steps, you’ll always have a tasty salad ready to go. No more daily cooking worries.

Making a Healthy Fried Chicken Salad

Making a healthy fried chicken salad is tasty and good for you, especially when you use an air fryer. It lets you enjoy the crunch of chicken without all the excess calories. Just make a few wise choices to keep the dish healthy.

Using Air Fryer for Healthier Cooking

An air fryer is great for cooking crunchy foods with less oil. Here’s how to make a healthier version of fried chicken salad:

  1. Start by preheating your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Season 1 lb of chicken breasts or tenderloins with salt and chicken seasoning.
  3. Dredge the chicken in a mix of 2 large eggs and ¼ cup of plant-based milk.
  4. Coat the chicken with a mix of 1 cup pork rind breadcrumbs and ½ cup GF baking flour.
  5. Cook the chicken in the air fryer for 4-6 minutes until it’s crispy and golden.

This method uses much less oil, making your air fryer crispy chicken salad healthier.

Low-Calorie Ingredient Alternatives

If you aim for a healthier salad, consider these low-calorie swaps:

  • Choose almond flour or gluten-free panko instead of regular breadcrumbs for fewer carbs.
  • Pick plain or Greek yogurt over mayonnaise for the dressing to cut calories and fat.
  • Add a lot of fresh veggies like romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, and more to your salad.

These changes make your healthy fried chicken salad recipe more nutritious and tastier. For a unique taste, you could try Paleo Running Momma’s recipe with honey mustard dressing.

Recipe Component Ingredients Prep Time Cook Time Calories per Serving
Chicken 1 lb chicken breasts, eggs, plant-based milk, pork rind bread crumbs, GF flour 15 min 6 min 806
Salad Romaine lettuce, pickled red onions, avocado, shredded carrots, corn, cherry tomatoes 20 min 170
Dressing Mayo, dill, parsley, lemon juice, garlic powder, mustard powder, salt, pepper 5 min 120

Customization Ideas for Your Salad

Make your crispy fried chicken salad more exciting by trying new add-ins and ingredients. Here are some great ideas to make your salad unique to your tastes.

Add-Ins and Variations

  • Bacon Bits: Add a crispy, savory element to your salad.
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs: Rich in protein, they add a creamy texture.
  • Cheese Varieties: Try feta, shredded cheddar, or Parmesan for different flavors.
  • Different Greens: Swap romaine with spinach or arugula for a varied base.
  • Herbs: Fresh basil or cilantro can provide a refreshing twist.
  • Olives: Black or green olives add a briny bite.
  • Cucumbers: Offers a cool and crunchy contrast.
  • Crispy Tortilla Strips: Adds a crunchy texture.
  • Sourdough Croutons: Homemade or store-bought, they bring extra crunch.

Change your salad with new greens or add different cheeses and crunch. These tips will take your salad to the next level.

fried chicken salad recipe variations

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Marinating Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 1 minute
  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Calories: 421kcal

Note: Keep preferences and diets in mind. This way, your fried chicken salad recipe will be just right for you.

The Best Fried Chicken Salad Recipe

This fried chicken salad is a mix of textures and flavors. It guarantees joy with each mouthful. It has crispy chicken, creamy avocado, and a zesty dressing. These ingredients work together for a perfect taste.

The whole recipe takes about 12 hours. This includes 8 hours of brining. But, the hands-on cooking is only an hour long. It makes enough for 4 people to enjoy.

Ingredients Quantity
Skinless boneless chicken breasts 2
All-purpose flour ½ cup
Panko bread crumbs 1 cup
Cooking oil (canola) 3 quarts
For the brine See notes
For the dredge See notes
Salad dressing See notes

This salad is complex in nutrients like its taste. A serving has about 1043 calories with 85g of fat! The variant with crispy chicken is lighter, offering 691kcal. It has 39g of fat. Both provide essential vitamins and minerals.

You can add avocado, cucumbers, and more to make it tastier. This also boosts its health benefits.

Ready for the challenge? Here’s a straightforward guide to making this amazing salad:

  1. First, brine the chicken for 8 hours. Use salt, maple syrup, and herbs in the brine.
  2. Next, coat the chicken in a mix of flour and spices.
  3. Fry the chicken until it’s crispy and golden.
  4. Finally, toss it with fresh greens, extras, and dressing.

This guide will help you cook a dish that will be hard to forget. It’s something everyone will enjoy.

FAQs and Troubleshooting Tips

Mastering the art of making the ultimate crispy chicken salad can lead to a great cooking adventure. However, you might face some common problems. We’re here to show you how to fix these issues in your recipe.

Common Issues and Solutions

Preventing Soggy Breading: If you don’t want your chicken tenders to get soggy, let them sit for a bit after coating them. This makes the breading stick better and makes it crispier.

Ensuring Thorough Cooking: It’s crucial to cook your chicken thoroughly. Make sure the oil stays at the right temperature. Also, don’t fry a lot at once. This way, your chicken cooks evenly, and you avoid it being too soft or too hard.

Maintaining Crispy Texture: Don’t let the chicken cool on a paper towel after cooking. Use a wire rack instead. It stops the chicken from getting too oily and keeps it crispy.

Perfect Cooking Time: For the tastiest chicken, cook it for 35-45 minutes at 350°F. It should reach 165°F inside. This makes sure it’s safe to eat and juicy.

Issue Solution
Soggy breading Rest coated chicken before frying
Inconsistent cooking Maintain oil temperature, fry in small batches
Loss of crispiness Use a wire rack post-frying
Overcooked or dry chicken Adhere to recommended cooking times and temperatures

These tips are here to save your crispy chicken salad recipe. They’ll make sure your meal is a hit with everyone who tries it.

Serving Suggestions

Make your fried chicken salad even better with these great serving tips. They’re perfect for family dinners or hanging out with friends. Choosing the right sides can turn your meal into something unforgettable.

Pairing Ideas

Pair your fried chicken salad with drinks that enhance its flavors. A cool glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay contrasts the salad well. Or, try a sparkling water infused with citrus for a tasty non-alcoholic choice.

Warm, freshly baked garlic bread is a top pick. It adds a savory touch that pairs well with the salad. For more filling options, go for a light vegetable soup like tomato basil or creamy potato leek. They bring extra warmth and richness to the meal.

You can serve the salad for sharing or in personal dishes. Sharing style is great for big groups, encouraging talks and laughter. Serving smaller portions is better for cozy dinners or when you really want to wow your guests.

Now, let’s dive into some recommended pairings for fried chicken salad:

Complementary Pairings Features
White Wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay) Chilled, refreshing, complements rich flavors
Sparkling Water with Citrus Non-alcoholic, refreshing, adds a slight acidity
Freshly Baked Garlic Bread Warm, savory, complements crunchy textures
Light Vegetable Soup (e.g., Tomato Basil) Warm, hearty, adds depth to the meal

Following these tips will make your fried chicken salad even more enjoyable. Mix and match these pairings to find what suits your taste best. Enjoy making your meal special.

Leftover Storage and Reuse

Want to keep your fried chicken salad tasty and safe? Use proper storage and think of creative ways to reuse it. This can turn old leftovers into new, exciting meals.

Best Practices for Storing

For saving your fried chicken salad, there are some key things to follow:

  • Always cool the chicken tenders before refrigerating.
  • Store salad components separately to prevent sogginess.
  • Keep the salad in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within 3-4 days. This way, it stays fresh.
  • To freshen up dry chicken salad after a day or two, consider using plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Creative Uses for Leftovers

There are many tasty ways to use leftover fried chicken salad. This ensures you don’t waste food:

  • Make it into a delicious Cobb salad or stuffed avocado chicken salad.
  • Try quick dishes like pita pockets or lettuce wraps.
  • Use leftovers in mains like quiches, savory crepes, or hot chicken salad.
  • For lighter meals, go for simple salads, lettuce cups, or sandwich fillings.
  • Add Dijon mustard or curry powder to leftovers to bring more flavor.

By storing and reusing fried chicken salad smartly, you’ll make cooking more enjoyable. It’s a fun way to make use of food.

User Reviews and Feedback

People love the fried chicken salad recipe. They say it’s a mix of great flavors, easy to make, and it’s crunchy. Everyone likes the Mustard-Shallot Vinaigrette for its zesty taste. It really adds to the salad. The Krispies stand out with their crispy texture and golden color.

Users enjoy the taste of parmesan cheese and the herbs in the Krispies. They also like the mix of spring greens, coleslaw, and veggies. This makes the salad look as good as it tastes.

“This fried chicken salad has become my go-to recipe for family dinners! The flavors are unmatched, and the Krispies are just divine. Highly recommend it with the Mustard-Shallot Vinaigrette!” – Jessica M.

Fans find the recipe’s steps very clear, like baking the Krispies. They bake them at 375℉ for just 7 to 10 minutes. The serving size is enough for a family, and each serving has 773 calories and 34g of protein.

Many cooks mention the salad is healthy, with lots of Vitamin A and C. They also like it’s easy to make, taking just over an hour.

Some users suggest adding avocado, bacon, cheddar cheese, and tomatoes to make the salad your own. They love that they can change the recipe to their liking.

Here’s a look at the recipe’s important details from what users have said:

Metric Details
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Calories 773 per serving
Rating 4.53 out of 5
Proteins 34g per serving
Fat 47g per serving
Vitamin A 4631IU
Vitamin C 23mg
Calcium 261mg
Iron 4mg

We’d love to hear about your own fried chicken salad experience. Share with #FriedChickenSaladMasterpiece. Let’s talk on social media and inspire others to make this recipe.


In short, this fried chicken salad brings together many delicious tastes and textures. It’s a great choice for any occasion. Its popularity reaches far, from Southern get-togethers to events in Iran. The mix of unique ingredients and cooking styles shows its adaptability. You can add things like pecans, apples, or curry powder to make it your own.

This dish highlights the simple joy of fried chicken with a twist. It nods to a rich global food history. Cooking methods like slow-poaching keep the meat tender. And, you can jazz it up with extras like cranberries or herbs. This way, it appeals to everyone. Plus, it shows how food brings different cultures together.

So, why not give this salad a go at home? It’s perfect for a laid-back day out or a fancy party. You might find it becomes a new family favorite recipe. Don’t forget to tell us how it goes. And, keep exploring the endless possibilities of chicken salad.


Can I use store-bought fried chicken for this salad?

Yes, you can use store-bought fried chicken. It will save you time. But, homemade chicken is better for taste.

What type of lettuce is best for a fried chicken salad?

Romaine lettuce works well. It gives a nice crunch with the chicken. Spinach or arugula also add their own tasty twist.

How can I make the fried chicken tenders healthier?

Use an air fryer instead of deep frying. Less oil means fewer calories. Your chicken will still be crispy.

What are some add-ins to customize my fried chicken salad?

Add bacon bits, hard-boiled eggs, or your favorite cheese. Fresh herbs like basil add a nice touch. Don’t be afraid to try new toppings.

How should I store leftover fried chicken salad?

Store everything separately to keep it fresh. Use different containers for the chicken, veggies, and dressing. Eat it within 2-3 days.

Can I prepare parts of the fried chicken salad in advance?

Yes, make the sauce early and refrigerate it. You can freeze the chicken after marinating. Chopped veggies stay fresh in the fridge for a bit.

What are the best oils for frying the chicken tenders?

Use peanut, canola, corn, or vegetable oils. They have high smoke points. This makes the chicken crispy without burning.

How can I prevent the breading from becoming soggy?

Let the coated chicken sit before frying. Make sure the oil is hot enough and stays that way. Fry in small batches to keep the breading crisp.Drain the chicken on a wire rack to avoid sogginess.

How do I make the sriracha honey BBQ dressing?

Mix sriracha, honey, and BBQ sauce for a spicy, smoky sweet dressing. It’s great as a salad topping or a marinade.

What are some serving suggestions for the crispy fried chicken salad?

Enjoy with white wine, garlic bread, or a light soup. You can serve it at a dinner party or as single portions.

Can I use different greens for the salad?

Absolutely, try spinach, arugula, or baby greens for a unique taste. Mixing greens changes the salad’s flavor and feel.