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

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.
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


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.


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


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.



  • 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.


Serving: 1salad | Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 18g