My honey mustard chicken salad is a perfect pick for a light, seasonal lunch, filled with sweet, savory and creamy notes. Prepared with crispy chicken breast tenders chopped into bite size pieces, plus fresh, crunchy romaine, juicy cherry tomatoes and almonds tossed together with my creamy honey mustard dressing, this honey mustard chicken salad recipe makes eating your daily dose of greens a delectable breeze!
A Crispy Chicken Salad Kissed with the Flavor of Honey Mustard
Big, bold, fresh salads filled with lots of colorful ingredients and crunchy textures are always on my “must make” list once the spring and summer seasons come around.
While we still love to enjoy soups and all sorts of hot and delicious meals throughout the warm weather season, my hubs and I often get a craving for big ol' crisp-crunchy salads brimming with ingredients that fill our bellies, while offering up flavors to tempt our tastebuds.
My honey mustard chicken salad fits the bill fantastically, and reminds us of a bistro-style salad that one makes an entree out of, chock-full of bite-size morsels of crispy, flavorful chicken, crunchy almonds, and sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes.
And that homemade honey mustard dressing really ties this salad together, easily whirled together with a bit of mayo, a touch of sour cream, a spoonful of creamy Dijon, some apple cider vinegar, honey and a dash of tarragon—it's so tasty, you'll want to keep an extra stash in the fridge to have on hand as a tasty sauce!
The result is a fresh, healthy and hearty chopped chicken salad that's absolutely brimming with sweet-savory, creamy and mildly tangy flavors, perfect to enjoy outdoors on a summer day, or even as a light dinner...
My Recipe for Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
Since the honey mustard dressing is what lends this salad so much of its flavor, I like to keep the ingredient list for the salad relatively small and simple.
I'm sticking to chopped romaine hearts to create that crunchy salad base, and adding in just a handful of cherry tomatoes and sliced almonds as toppers to create a touch of additional texture.
It's the chicken that I like to give a lot of flavor to, so I actually marinate the chicken breast tenders in a portion of the honey mustard dressing.
Then, I simply shake off the excess dressing, dredge the chicken strips in a bit of flour, whisked eggs, and then a panko-parmesan mixture for crunch before shallow-frying, just until golden-brown and crispy.
Here's a sneak peek at my honey mustard chicken salad recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I add my honey mustard dressing ingredients to the bowl of my food processor until creamy and well blended (or, you could use a bowl and whisk the ingredients by hand as well). I reserve ¼ cup of this dressing to use as a marinade for my chicken.
- Next, I marinate my chicken breast tenders in a portion of the honey mustard dressing for at least 15 minutes, or up to a couple of hours, if time allows.
- While the chicken marinates, I prep my salad in a bowl and keep that cold in the fridge.
- Next, I dredge the chicken tenders in some flour, whisked eggs and a light mixture of panko and parmesan, then fry them for a few minutes per side, until a deep golden-brown and crispy. I allow to cool slightly, then chop into bite size pieces.
- To assemble the salad, I drizzle in as much of my honey mustard dressing as I like into my salad ingredients (the romaine, cherry tomatoes, almonds and cilantro), then divide among plates or shallow bowls. I top with the crispy chicken, and drizzle on a bit more honey mustard dressing if desired, and enjoy.
Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
by Ingrid Beer
This zesty honey mustard chicken salad is brimming with crispy chicken breast, fresh romaine, cherry tomatoes and crunchy almonds!
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 614 calories per serving (with about 3 tablespoons of dressing)
Prep Time: 40 minutes (includes marination time)
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
- 1 pound chicken breast tenders, sliced in half lengthwise to create thinner strips
- Black pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
- 3 hearts romaine, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- ½ cup toasted, sliced almonds
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Honey Mustard Dressing Ingredients:
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons, heaping, honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 teaspoon, heaping, dried tarragon leaves
- ¾ teaspoon, plus a pinch, salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your honey mustard dressing ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare your honey mustard dressing, add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor, and blend for a few moments until completely creamy and blended. (Alternately, you can whisk the ingredients together in a bowl if preferred, just take care to mince or press the garlic clove.) Reserve ¼ cup of the dressing, and set it aside.
- Next, gather and prep all of your salad ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To marinate your chicken, place the sliced chicken breast tenders into a bowl, and add in the reserved ¼ cup of honey mustard dressing. Marinate the chicken for at least 15 minutes, or even a couple of hours, if desired.
- To shallow fry the chicken, allow the excess honey mustard dressing to drip off the chicken strips. Ready your dredging station by preparing a shallow bowl with the flour, a shallow bowl with the whisked eggs, plus a shallow bowl with the panko and parmesan combined.
- Dip the chicken strips into the flour, then the eggs and finally the panko-parmesan mixture, and place the coated chicken onto a plate or platter to hold. Repeat until all chicken is coated.
- Add enough oil to a large skillet or pan to come up about 2” (enough to shallow fry), and turn the heat on medium-high. Once the oil is hot, add a few of the breaded chicken strips into the oil, and fry for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden-brown and cooked through. Repeat until all strips are fried.
- Once the strips are slightly cool, chop into bite-size pieces.
- To assemble and serve the salad, add the chopped romaine greens, the cherry tomatoes, the sliced almonds, and the cilantro to a large bowl, and drizzle in your desired amount of the dressing. Toss to coat, then divide the salad equally among plates and top with some of the crispy chicken, and drizzle with a little extra dressing, if desired.
Tips & Tidbits for my Honey Mustard Chicken Salad recipe:
- Chicken breast tenders for easy to fry strips: While you absolutely can use chicken breasts, if that's what you have on hand, I prefer to use the smaller chicken breast tenders (or tenderloins) for this salad in order to keep the strips small. I even cut the tenderloins in half, length-wise, to create thinner strips, which fry quicker and are easily chopped into bite-size pieces.
- Panko breadcrumbs for added crunch and texture: Panko breadcrumbs are Japanese-style breadcrumbs that have a bit more texture to them and create an extra-crispy outer coating when fried. If you prefer to use traditional breadcrumbs, feel free to do so—the chicken will still be delicious, though perhaps not quite as crispy.
- Whisk your honey mustard dressing by hand instead of using your food processor: If you prefer to keep things simple, feel free to add all the honey mustard dressing ingredients to a large bowl, and whisk together by hand until completely combined and creamy. Just make sure to press the garlic clove through the garlic press instead of just smashing it, so that it blends easily.
Hungry for more mouthwatering salads? Check out this Salmon Salad, this Crispy Chicken Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette, this Pesto Pasta Salad, this Italian Chopped Salad, or this Mexican Wedge Salad!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2015, and has been updated with even more love!