Shortcut Fried Chicken Salad
with ranch dressing
Topping fresh salads with crispy chicken tenders is a convenience meal you can feel good about, especially when it's dressed with creamy, homemade ranch. Feel free to customize with your favorite salad toppings and any veggies you have on hand.
Smarts: Use any kind of prepared frozen chicken you prefer here - strips, tenders, or even nuggets will all work well.
- Fresh herbs - 2 Tbsp , finely chopped (any combination of parsley, chives, and dill; sub dried)
- Mayonnaise - 2 Tbsp
- Vinegar, white wine - 1 tsp
- Sour cream - 1/4 cup (sub plain or Greek yogurt)
- Garlic powder - 1/4 tsp
- Eggs - 4
- Carrots - 8 oz , shredded (look for pre-shredded to save time)
- Lettuce, romaine - 8 oz , chopped (sub any salad greens)
- Tomatoes, cherry or grape - 1 cup , halved
- Cucumbers - 8 oz , chopped
- Chicken tenders, frozen and breaded - 1 lb
- Pepitas / pumpkin seeds - 1/4 cup (sub sunflower seeds)
Boil eggs - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Cover eggs with cold water and some salt. Bring to a boil and then turn off heat. Let eggs sit in hot water for 11 minutes and then run in cold water for easier peeling. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make ranch dressing - Finely chop herbs. Combine herbs, mayonnaise, vinegar, sour cream, and garlic powder. If dressing seems too thick, you can thin it with a small amount of milk. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Heat oven to recommended temperature for your chicken tenders. Bake chicken tenders according to package directions.
While chicken bakes, peel the eggs and slice or chop them.
If chicken pieces are large, transfer them to a cutting board and slice into strips before serving.
If dressing was made ahead, give it a stir.
Assemble salads by forming a bed of lettuce on each serving plate. Layer eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots over top of lettuce.
Top salads with chicken and drizzle with dressing until dressed to your liking. Sprinkle pepitas on top. Enjoy!