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Crispy Chicken Salad

There aren’t many meals that are quite as satisfying as this Crispy Chicken Salad! Elevate your salad game with a homemade honey mustard dressing and crispy fried chicken. Toss it together with mouthwatering ingredients like bacon, blue cheese, and fresh veggies, this salad really becomes anything but boring!

In this kitchen, we’re not newbies when it comes to frying up some chicken! Avoid burning yourself with hot oil, but be sure to try your hand at the best Easy Homemade Chicken Tenders Recipe. If you love that, then you’ll also enjoy digging into our favorite Spicy Chicken Sandwich!

Top down view of a chicken cobb salad.

Crispy Chicken Salad

Salads are too often referred to as bland or boring. Well, we’re here to happily change that opinion with bold recipes like Crispy Chicken Salad!

The salad itself starts off with a fresh lettuce base that gets all dressed up with bacon, blue cheese, hard boiled eggs, and a heaping handful of fresh veggies.

While the crispy homemade fried chicken is the real star of the show here, the honey mustard dressing that coats every bite of this savory salad will also keep you coming back for more!

How to Make a Crispy Chicken Salad

For the Honey Mustard Dressing:

  1. Whisk together the honey, both varieties of mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic powder. Cover the bowl, and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 10-15 minutes while you prepare the salad.

For the Chicken:

  1. Pour the oil into a heavy bottomed skillet until it reaches ½-inch to 1 inch high. Heat over medium to medium-high heat until it maintains a temperature of 300°F to 325°F.
  2. Place the Panko breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and most of the salt and pepper into a shallow dish. Save a sprinkle of salt and pepper to season the chicken. Place the flour in a second shallow dish and the beaten egg into a third shallow dish.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Then, dredge both sides into the flour and gently shake off the excess.
  4. Next, dip the chicken into the egg and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl.
  5. Last, place the chicken into seasoned Panko breadcrumbs and generously coat both sides. Press the breadcrumbs into the chicken to make sure they stick.
  6. Use metal tongs or a spatula to carefully place the chicken into the hot oil, and cook for 4-6 minutes per side (adjust the cook time depending on the thickness of the chicken). An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken will register 165°F when it’s cooked through. The outside will be golden brown and crispy and the juices will run clear.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pan to a waiting wire rack with paper towels underneath. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

For the Salad:

  1. Arrange the salad ingredients on a large serving platter or 4 individual plates.
  2. Top with the sliced chicken and drizzle with honey mustard, sprinkle with cheese crumbles, and serve with extra dressing on the side.
  3. Serve immediately.
Collage showing how to make a crispy chicken salad.

Tips and Variations:

  • Feel free to use multiple small chicken breasts if a large chicken breast isn’t available.
  • Canned sweet corn is a great option. It needs to be drained, rinsed, and warmed on the stove or microwave before being added to the salad. Another option is to use fresh corn kernels off the cob. They need to be grilled, boiled, baked, etc.
  • To make this salad super easy, use a store bought dressing and chicken tenders from the deli or freezer section. If using chicken from the freezer section, simply cook it in the toaster oven, air fryer, or conventional oven.
  • I used paprika, onion and garlic powder for the chicken but you can use your favorite premade chicken seasoning blend (that most grocery stores sell) instead.
  • After combining the dressing ingredients, I recommend chilling the dish for 15 minutes, as it helps all the flavors blend nicely.
Cobb salad with crispy chicken and dressing.

Storage and Reheating

Storage: For the best flavor, consume right away. I don’t recommend making this ahead (except cutting the ingredients in advance). Crusted chicken will not taste fresh and flavorful once it’s cooked and stored.

Reheating: There’s no need to reheat this salad. If you’d like to reheat the chicken, you may do so in the microwave, toaster oven, or in your air fryer.

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Yield: 1 Large Salad or 4 Side Salads

Crispy Chicken Salad

Top down view of a chicken salad with dressing.

Crispy Chicken Salad made with mouthwatering ingredients like bacon, blue cheese, and fresh veggies is anything but boring!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes

Ingredients

Honey Mustard Dressing

  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Chicken

  • Vegetable or canola oil for pan frying
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded thin
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Salad

  • 1 head lettuce, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 ounces blue cheese crumbles
  • ½ pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 large eggs, hard boiled
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup sweet corn (*See note)
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion

Instructions

For the Honey Mustard Dressing:

  1. Whisk together the honey, both varieties of mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic powder. Cover the bowl, and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 10-15 minutes while you prepare the salad.

For the Chicken:

  1. Pour the oil into a heavy bottomed skillet until it reaches ½-inch to 1 inch high. Heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat until it maintains a temperature of 300°F to 325°F.
  2. Place the Panko breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and most of the salt and pepper into a shallow dish. Save a sprinkle of salt and pepper to season the chicken. Place the flour in a second shallow dish and the beaten egg into a third shallow dish.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Then, dredge both sides into the flour and gently shake off the excess.
  4. Next, dip the chicken into the egg and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl.
  5. Last, place the chicken into seasoned Panko breadcrumbs and generously coat both sides. Pat the breadcrumbs into the chicken to ensure they stick.
  6. Use metal tongs or a spatula to carefully place the chicken into the hot oil, and cook for 4-6 minutes per side depending on thickness. The chicken is done when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F. The outside should be golden brown and crispy and the juices should run clear.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pan to a waiting wire rack with paper towels underneath. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

For the Salad:

  1. Arrange the salad ingredients on a large serving platter or 4 individual plates.
  2. Top with the sliced chicken and drizzle with honey mustard, sprinkle with bleu cheese crumbles. Serve with extra dressing on the side.
  3. Serve immediately. See post for storage instructions.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 small salad (1/4 of the recipe). Actual calories will vary.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

*Photos courtesy of Julia from The Yummy Bowl.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1 small salad

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 880Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 279mgSodium: 1975mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 11gSugar: 26gProtein: 48g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

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