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Crispy Fried Chicken Salad

This Crispy Fried Chicken Salad is the perfect meal to add fresh vegetables to a weeknight meal. This dish is made with strips of chicken breasts or tenders and paired with greens, shredded cheese, and your favorite dressing.

fried chicken salad in a pink bowl with avocado, tomatoes, and cheese

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salad greens, spinach, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, avocados, and tomatoes in separate bowls

What Type of Chicken to Use

I like to use skinless chicken breasts or tenders. I find those work best. You can use any chicken you like, such as boneless thighs with no adjustment to cook time.

raw sliced chicken breast on a white plate
raw beaten egg, baking powder, and spices in separate bowls

How to Make Fried Chicken Salad

Full instructions and serving sizes are noted below in the recipe card.

  1. Slice the chicken breast into strips.
  2. Season the chicken.
  3. Pan-fry-or air fry.
  4. Load up your salad with veggies and add the cooked chicken.
collage photo showing 4 photos of seasoning chicken and then added to an air fryer

How to Get the Chicken Crispy

When air frying you will need an egg and baking powder. Combining these two will produce chicken with a thick, crisp coating. You can omit the egg, but the chicken will be a lot less crunchy.

For air frying, you can also use all-purpose flour and skip the egg and baking powder! Using an egg and baking powder will reduce the number of calories and carbs in the recipe.

For pan-frying all-purpose flour will do the trick. You can even make the recipe a little more Southern-style by brining the chicken in 1/4 cup of buttermilk for 1 hour first. This will produce crispy, juicy chicken.

fried chicken tenders sliced on a cutting board

Tips for Pan Frying

  • Use an oil with a high smoke point like vegetable oil, peanut oil, or avocado oil.
  • Use a thermometer to test the heat of the grease. Pan fried chicken is often ruined by undercooked meat on the inside along with a burnt exterior because the appropriate temperature wasn’t used. Your grease should reach 350 degrees before you add the chicken.
  • Don’t use too much oil. You should use enough oil to create 1 inch of oil in your pan. The amount you need will vary based on the pan you elect to use.
fried chicken salad in a pink bowl with avocado, tomatoes, and cheese

How Many Calories

One salad has 406 calories if air fried. One salad has 609 calories if pan fried.

Salad Toppings and Substitutions

  • Air Fryer Croutons
  • Olives
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Feta Cheese
  • Goat Cheese
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Dried Fruit
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Broccoli Sprouts
fried chicken salad in a pink bowl with avocado, tomatoes, and cheese

Chicken Seasoning and Spices

If you want to mix up the flavors of the chicken, check out my homemade spice blends.

Salad Dressing Options

How to Reheat the Chicken

Reheat the chicken in the air fryer or in the oven. You can use 350 degrees and heat for a few minutes until warm.

fried chicken salad in a pink bowl with avocado, tomatoes, and cheese

More Fried Chicken Recipes

Air Fryer Fried Chicken Wings
Air Fryer Fried Chicken
Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings
Keto Chicken Wings

Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings
Chicken and Avocado Salsa
Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings
Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
Air Fryer Spatchcock Chicken
Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders

fried chicken salad drizzled in ranch dressing

More Salad Recipes

Green Goddess Cobb Salad
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Antipasto Salad
Seafood Crab Salad
Keto Broccoli Salad
Southern Potato Salad

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Southwest Salad Recipe
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic

Pair this with Air Fryer Croutons.

fried chicken salad in a pink bowl with avocado, tomatoes, and cheese
Print Pin
5 from 23 votes

Crispy Fried Chicken Salad

This Crispy Fried Chicken Salad is the perfect meal to add fresh vegetables to a weeknight meal. This dish is made with strips of chicken breasts or tenders and paired with greens, shredded cheese, and your favorite dressing.
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword crispy chicken salad, fried chicken salad, southern fried chicken salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 salads
Calories 406kcal

Ingredients

Fried Chicken

  • 10-14 ounces skinless chicken breasts or tenders Sliced lengthwise about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick.
  • 1 egg beaten, Only needed for air fryer chicken.
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika I like smoked paprika.
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder If pan frying the chicken, use 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and omit the egg
  • cooking oil spray Used for air frying. I use olive oil
  • vegetable oil If pan frying, you will need enough to cover 1 inch of your skillet.

Salad

  • 4 cups spinach
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 1/2 avocado Sliced into cubes.
  • 2 tablespoons cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

Air Fryer Instructions

  • Drizzle the slices of chicken with the beaten egg. Stir to ensure it's coated. You can pour off any excess egg.
  • Add in all of the spices and baking powder. You will notice the mixture bubble and thicken. This is good and it what will produce crispy chicken.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil. Place the chicken in the air fryer. Do not overcrowd the basket. Cook in batches if necessary. The chicken should be spaced apart well, as it will expand some while air frying.
  • Cook for 5 minutes on 400 degrees. After 5 minutes, open the air fryer and spritz the chicken with oil. Air fry for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Open the basket and flip the chicken. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is crisp.
  • Because the chicken expands so much, I like to slice up the chicken again once cooked into thinner strips.

Pan Frying Instructions

  • Season the slices of chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the all-purpose flour throughout. Toss to ensure the chicken is coated.
  • Add an inch of oil to your pan on medium-high heat. Heat the oil until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees. This is important because the temperature has to be accurate for frying. Your meat should sizzle when you add it to the pan.
  • Fry both sides of the chicken for several minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove the chicken and place it on a cooling rack. If you place it on paper towels the bottom of the chicken will become soggy.

Salad Assembly

  • Load your salad by adding the greens first followed by the remaining vegetables and fried chicken.

Video

Notes

  • Macros assume air-fried chicken. Here are the macros for pan-fried: Cals: 609 Fat: 30G Carbs: 26G Protein: 55G
  • When air frying you will need an egg and baking powder. Combining these two will produce chicken with a thick, crisp coating. You can omit the egg, but the chicken will be a lot less crunchy.
  • For air frying, you can also use all-purpose flour and skip the egg and baking powder! Using an egg and baking powder will reduce the number of calories and carbs in the recipe.
  • For pan-frying all-purpose flour will do the trick. You can even make the recipe a little more Southern-style by brining the chicken in 1/4 cup of buttermilk for 1 hour first. This will produce crispy, juicy chicken.

Tips for Pan Frying

  • Use an oil with a high smoke point like vegetable oil, peanut oil, or avocado oil.
  • Use a thermometer to test the heat of the grease. Pan-fried chicken is often ruined by undercooked meat on the inside along with a burnt exterior because the appropriate temperature wasn’t used. Your grease should reach 350 degrees before you add the chicken.
  • Don’t use too much oil. You should use enough oil to create 1 inch of oil in your pan. The amount you need will vary based on the pan you elect to use.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1salad | Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 18g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Recipe Rating




Felicia

Friday 18th of March 2022

I’ve made this several times with chicken. I really wanted a crispy shrimp salad so I made it with shrimp today. It was so good! I cooked the shrimp 9 minutes total. They had that nice crispy texture and were nice and tender. Brandi has several recipes detailing how to perfectly cook shrimp so I used that information when I prepared this. If there were leftovers I’m sure they’d be delicious but this one was gobbled up by the family.

staysnatched

Thursday 24th of March 2022

Glad to hear it worked out!

Ashley

Sunday 9th of January 2022

Made this tonight and all I can say is wow. Paired it with the Keto ranch dressing, so good. I also love how simple and easy it is to put together! Going to add this as my go to salad!

staysnatched

Monday 10th of January 2022

I'm glad to hear it will be your go-to!

Ash Agbay

Sunday 9th of January 2022

My favorite go-to lunch! I prep all the toppings and air fry the chicken in bulk and mix and match throughout the week to keep it interesting. The air fried chicken method Brandi outlined here is the BEST way to prep chicken for salads! Who said you can’t get flavor, texture, and healthy all in one?!

staysnatched

Sunday 9th of January 2022

I'm glad to hear it's a go-to.

Robyn

Saturday 8th of January 2022

This tasted better than any restaurant salad! 😍 The chicken tenders were seasoned perfectly and crisped up in the air fryer perfectly! Will definitely make this again!

staysnatched

Sunday 9th of January 2022

Glad to hear you will make it again.

Alisha G.

Tuesday 4th of January 2022

Love this easy recipe, reminds me of a salad I used to get at Applebees but now it is 1/3 of the calories since I can just air fry it!

staysnatched

Tuesday 4th of January 2022

Yes! So right about the calories.