My delicious crispy chicken salad recipe tastes like summertime in a bowl, overflowing with an abundance of colorful, mouthwatering ingredients. Prepared with cool, chopped romaine greens topped with slices of crispy chicken breast, crispy bacon, plump, sweet berries, blue cheese crumbles, candied pecans, plus a fresh raspberry vinaigrette, this hearty salad is loaded with lots of delectably sweet and savory flavor!
A Salad Overflowing with Tasty Morsels
Summer wouldn't be summer without gorgeous, sweet berries, as these beauties give fragrant, sweet flavor and color to these warm days that make up this slightly lazy time of year...
And while raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries work splendidly in fruity summer desserts, or chilled drinks that pack raw nutrients and vitamins for cool refreshment, they also add so much contrast to a sweet and savory crispy chicken salad lush with crunchy, green romaine, creamy and pungent blue cheese, crispy-salty bacon, and sweet-nutty candied pecans.
Drizzled with a vibrant, fresh raspberry vinaigrette, this delectable crispy chicken salad is a perfect, mouthwatering summertime lunch overflowing with a handful of savory morsels as well as the season's bounty of bright and colorful ingredients.
It looks just like summer on a plate, and is a fantastically fresh yet hearty offering to enjoy!
My Crispy Chicken Salad Recipe with Raspberry Vinaigrette
For me, part of what makes this crispy chicken salad extra enticing is that it is prepared in the style of a chopped salad.
All of the ingredients from the romaine, to the bacon, to the candied pecans, to the larger berries are chopped or diced finely before being added to a bowl and then combined.
I like to leave the crispy chicken in larger slices and arrange that over top, but even that can be chopped into smaller pieces to keep all of the ingredients uniform, if you prefer.
To prepare the crispy chicken I simply season a couple of small skinless, boneless chicken breasts with salt and black pepper, then dredge lightly first in flour, then in whisked eggs, and finally in crispy panko breadcrumbs before a quick shallow fry.
And my raspberry vinaigrette, which ties all of the incredible flavors of this salad together, is incredibly easy to prepare as well...
Bursting with lots of fresh berry flavor, I use my food processor to blend up a good handful of fresh raspberries as well as a few strawberries to round out the flavor, plus a bit honey, red wine vinegar, herbes de Provence, salt, pepper and olive oil—so refreshing and mouthwatering!
Here's a peek at my crispy chicken salad recipe with raspberry vinaigrette: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I blend up my raspberry vinaigrette to have ready and on hand to dress my salad, and keep it cold in the fridge until ready to use.
- Next, I season my chicken breasts and dredge them in flour, whisked eggs and panko breadcrumbs, then shallow fry until golden-brown and crispy. I allow them to drain on a wire rack and cool slightly before slicing.
- To assemble the crispy chicken salad, I toss together my romaine greens with my other yummy ingredients and toppings, plus my raspberry vinaigrette, then divide equally among plates (or just leave it in a large serving bowl), and top with slices of the crispy chicken, then serve.
Crispy Chicken Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
by Ingrid Beer
This crispy chicken salad is bursting with berries, blue cheese, crispy bacon, candied pecans, and dressed with a sweet raspberry vinaigrette!
Yield: Serves 2 (entree-size portions)
Nutrition Info: 1133 calories per serving (with a generous ⅓ cup of the raspberry vinaigrette)
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Total time: 33 minutes
Crispy Chicken Salad Ingredients:
- 2 smaller skinless, boneless chicken breasts (or 1 larger breast sliced in half lengthwise)
- Black pepper
- ½ cup flour
- 1 egg, whisked with a tablespoon of water
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 romaine hearts, chopped finely
- 4 large strawberries, hulled and diced
- 3 ounces (½ container) raspberries
- ¼ cup blueberries
- ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
- 4 strips crispy bacon, chopped
- ¼ cup candied pecans, chopped
Raspberry Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 3 ounces raspberries (the other half of the container from the salad)
- 4 large strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 3 ½ tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup olive oil, or neutral oil
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your raspberry vinaigrette ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have read and organized for use.
- Add the raspberries, the strawberries and the red wine vinegar to the bowl of a food processor, and process until it becomes a smooth and liquid puree. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl to remove the seeds (you will have about ¾ cup worth or liquid puree). Clean out your processor.
- Add the strained berry/vinegar mixture back into the clean food processor, along with the remainder of the ingredients up to and including the black pepper, and process until combined. Then, with the processor running, drizzle in the oil and process until well blended and emulsified.
- Use immediately, or keep covered and refrigerated until ready to use (up to a few days).
- Next, gather and prep all of your crispy chicken salad ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare your chicken breasts, sprinkle over each a pinch or two of salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
- To coat and fry the chicken, dip each piece in the flour and shake off any excess. Then, dip into the whisked eggs allowing excess to drip off, and finally press into the panko breadcrumbs, and set on a plate.
- Add enough oil into a medium-large non-stick pan to coat the bottom, about ¼”, and heat until shimmering. Once the oil is hot, add the coated chicken in and lightly fry for about 3-4 minutes per side on medium-high heat, or until golden-brown and crispy, and cooked through. Drain for a few minutes on a wire rack, then slice into strips and set aside to keep warm.
- To assemble and serve the crispy chicken salad, combine the romaine with the remainder of the ingredients up to and including the candied pecans, and lightly toss to combine. Add the salad to bowls or plates (or leave in a large serving bowl), drizzle with as much of the raspberry vinaigrette as you like (start with about ½ of it) and gently toss, then top the salad(s) with equal portions of the crispy chicken strips, and serve.
Tips & Tidbits for my Crispy Chicken Salad recipe:
- Smaller skinless, boneless chicken breasts: Opt for the smaller chicken breasts for this recipe, as they fry up and cook through a little bit quicker. Or, feel free to use one large skinless, boneless chicken breast, and slice it lengthwise to create two, thinner cutlets, then proceed with the rest of the steps.
- Fresh berries for a vibrant, colorful raspberry vinaigrette: I love to add a few strawberries to my raspberry vinaigrette because it offers a little bit more of a rounded “berry” flavor. If you prefer to use all raspberries, feel free. Just add another large handful of fresh raspberries (or use a full 6 ounce package) instead.
- Prepare this crispy chicken salad ahead: If you'd like to prep this delicious salad ahead to bring to a potluck or gathering, or even just to have ready to enjoy later in the day or the next day, then simply prepare all of the components and then combine when ready to serve. You can chop the romaine and add to it the bacon, pecans, and blue cheese and keep that in a bowl covered, but keep the berries separate, as well as the raspberry vinaigrette, until ready to toss. Prep the crispy chicken the day you are serving, for fresher, crispier results.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2014, and has been updated with even more love!