Crispy Chicken Salad with strawberries, avocado, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, and more! Everything gets tossed in a delicious homemade poppy seed dressing for a filling, fresh dinner recipe!
Big, bold salads are basically my lifeblood during the summer months when all I’m craving is fresh, chilled food.
You’ve seen it before with My Current Favorite Salad Recipe, Thai Chicken Chopped Salad, Greek Salmon Salad, and Steak Salad with Berries Avocado and Goddess Dressing.
I’m all about huge filling salads with plenty of variety of produce, lots of crunch, a little sweetness, and some creaminess to ensure my taste buds are teased.
This Crispy Chicken Salad is no exception!
What Makes This Salad Delicious:
Salads can be everything from dull to otherworldly, and truth be told I take my salads so seriously that I always aim for them to land on the otherworldly side of the spectrum.
The key is using a broad range of fresh vegetables and fruit (or dried fruit) with nuts and seeds, and some form of cheese. Avocado is always a major win for folks like me who love a creamy element in a salad.
So, this Crispy Chicken Salad recipe.
We have fresh greens, crunchy cabbage, sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, poppy edamame, crunchy pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds, and tangy feta cheese for the ultimate combination of flavors and textures.
And of course, the star of the show: Crispy baked chicken.
Just like my Baked Chicken Katsu I posted recently, the tender yet crunchy chicken in this recipe is gluten-free and baked rather than fried for a more health-conscious approach to amazing breaded chicken.
Everything gets tossed together with a delicious poppy seed dressing for the ultimate summer salad!
The best part about this simple salad recipe is it’s so easy to throw together any night of the week, but brings you a fancy restaurant vibe while being so incredibly satisfying.
If you love crispy fried chicken salad or crispy chicken cobb salad, you’ll love this version as well. It is simply refreshing!
You won’t go hungry with a salad like this!
In addition, the recipe serves four individuals, so it’s perfect for a refreshing meal for the whole family. You can easily scale the recipe down if you’re serving fewer than four, or scale it up if you’re serving more people.
Let’s chat about the fresh ingredients needed for this amazing summer salad.
Ingredients for Crispy Chicken Salad:
For the Crispy Chicken: Boneless chicken breasts, one egg, gluten-free all-purpose flour (or regular if you aren’t gluten-free), gluten-free bread crumbs (or Panko if you aren’t gluten-free), sea salt and black pepper.
The chicken gets dredged in the whisked egg then flour mixture and baked up in the oven. So simple! No need for frying in hot oil, which makes the cooking process so much easier.
For the Salad: Your favorite greens (I like spring greens or baby arugula), red cabbage, fresh strawberries, avocado, sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, shelled edamame (skip if you’re soy-free), and feta cheese.
This combination of salad ingredients brings so much texture and flavor to your world! Trust me, everything just jives!
For the Poppy Seed Dressing: avocado oil, rice vinegar (or lemon juice), pure maple syrup, one shallot, dijon mustard, and poppy seeds.
A classic approach to poppy seed dressing, this easy vinaigrette is sweet, sour, savory, and everything you want in an amazing dressing that can be applied to any salad!
Let’s make it!
How to Make Crispy Chicken Salad:
Make the Dressing:
Add the ingredients for the poppy seed dressing to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. If you don’t have a blender, you can mix the ingredients in a small bowl.
Prepare the Crispy Chicken:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly spray a large shallow baking dish with cooking oil.
Slice the chicken breasts in half through the center to create four thinner cutlets.. This is an important step, as it helps the chicken cook through evenly without becoming over-cooked and omits the need to tenderize the chicken with a meat tenderizer. As an alternative, you can buy raw chicken filets, chicken cutlets or chicken tenders, which are already sliced thinly.
Crack the egg into a shallow bowl and whisk it until it is well-beaten. Transfer the breadcrumbs, flour, salt and pepper to a large plate and stir it around with a fork until everything is well-combined.
Dredge a chicken breast in the beaten egg mixture, then coat it liberally in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure to get both sides. Repeat for the rest of the chicken.
Transfer the breaded chicken to the prepared baking dish into a single layer and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the outside is nice and crispy.
Allow the chicken to rest and cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
You can either chill the crispy chicken tenders in the refrigerator for a cold chicken salad or serve it immediately with your salad.
Make the Salad:
Add all of the ingredients for the salad in a large serving bowl. Drizzle in your desired amount of salad dressing and toss everything until coated in dressing and well combined.
Serve salad in large bowls with crispy chicken pieces on top.
- Replace the feta cheese with blue cheese.
- Use your favorite salad dressing instead of the poppy seed dressing. Honey mustard dressing, ranch dressing, or green goddess dressing are great options!
- Make the crispy chicken strips in the air fryer or deep fryer if you have one.
- Add more vegetable favorites such as cherry tomatoes, celery, carrots, etc.
- Use your favorite type of salad greens. Spinach, romaine lettuce, mixed greens all work for this chicken tender salad.
- Pan fry the chicken in a large skillet in an inch of oil if you’re going for a classic fried chicken salad.
- Just add crispy bacon and hard boiled egg for a cobb salad with a twist.
And that’s it! Everything you need for a hearty salad that is actually filling, leaves you feeling energized and inspires you to come back for more!
Love fresh salad recipes like this? Also check out some of my other healthy salad recipes.
More Salad Recipes:
- Crispy Mediterranean Chicken Salad with Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing
- Shredded Beef Taco Salad
- Grilled Salmon Salad with Strawberry Salsa
- Shrimp Taco Salad with Avocado Chimichurri Dressing
- Cod Salad with Basil Walnut Pesto
Enjoy this incredible chicken salad with strawberries and avocado with the whole family!
Baked Crispy Chicken Salad
The most refreshing, filling salad with all the flavors and textures! Baked Crispy Chicken Salad with creamy avocado, sweet strawberries, crunchy pumpkin seeds and almonds, and poppy seed dressing is the perfect summer dinner.
- 2 large chicken breasts, cut into four filets*
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tbsp gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs or Panko**
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 10 ounces greens of choice***
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- 1 large ripe avocado, diced
- 4 stalks green onion, chopped
- ½ cup shelled edamame, optional
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ⅔ cup feta cheese
Poppy Seed Dressing:
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- ¼ cup rice vinegar or lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 tsp dijon or whole grain mustard
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
- ½ tsp sea salt, to taste
Make the Dressing:
1. Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend until completely combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare the Crispy Chicken:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly spray a large shallow baking dish with cooking oil.
2. Slice the chicken breasts in half through the center to create four thinner cutlets. As an alternative, you can buy raw chicken filets, chicken cutlets or chicken tenders, which are already sliced thinly.
2. Crack the egg into a shallow bowl and whisk it until it is well-beaten. Transfer the breadcrumbs, flour, salt and pepper to a large plate and stir it around with a fork until everything is well-combined.
3. Dredge a chicken breast in the beaten egg mixture, then coat it liberally in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure to get both sides. Repeat for the rest of the chicken.
4. Transfer the breaded chicken to the prepared baking dish into a single layer and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the outside is nice and crispy.
5. Allow the chicken to rest and cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
6. You can either chill the crispy chicken tenders in the refrigerator for a cold chicken salad or serve it immediately with your salad.
Make the Salad:
1. Add all of the ingredients for the salad in a large serving bowl. Drizzle in your desired amount of salad dressing and toss everything until coated in dressing and well combined.
2. Serve salad in large bowls with crispy chicken pieces on top.
*Slice each chicken breast through the middle, creating thinner cutlets. As an alternative, you can purchase breast filets, chicken tenders, or chicken cutlets which are already sliced thin.
**I use corn flake crumbs, which are gluten-free
***I like arugula or Spring green mix. You can also use spinach or hearts of romaine.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1 (of 4)
Amount Per Serving Calories 640Total Fat 45gCarbohydrates 28gFiber 8gSugar 12gProtein 49g