Oven-Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Active Time: 20 MinsTotal Time40 Mins
Yield: Serves 6

These oven-baked pecan-and-panko crusted chicken tenders have fabulous fried chicken flavor with much less grease and mess. As the chicken cooks, the rest of this family-friendly recipe comes together in minutes. Grilled romaine lettuce gives this salad a smoky flavor. Instead of using a grill pan, you can cook the veggies on a charcoal or gas grill outside.


  • 1 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 3romaine lettuce hearts, cut in half lengthwise
  • 3(1/2-inch-thick) red onion slices (from 1 small onion)
  • 1ear fresh corn, shucked
  • 1/2 cup whole buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup garlic-butter seasoned croutons
  • 2ripe avocados, chopped

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place a lightly greased wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Stir together panko, pecans, paprika, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the pepper in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites just until foamy. Place flour in another bowl.

Step 2

Sprinkle chicken with 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt. Dredge chicken in flour; dip in egg whites, and dredge in panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Coat chicken on each side with cooking spray; place on rack. Bake in preheated oven until done, 20 minutes, turning after 12 minutes. Slice chicken.

Step 3

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium-high. Coat cut sides of lettuce with cooking spray. Place lettuce, cut side down, on pan. Grill until marks appear, 3 minutes. Chop lettuce; place in a large bowl. Coat onion slices and corn with cooking spray. Grill onion until marks appear, 3 minutes per side. Grill corn, turning, until charred, 5 minutes. Cut kernels from cob; discard cob.

Step 4

Whisk together buttermilk, next 4 ingredients, and remaining 3⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper.

Step 5

Toss together lettuce, tomatoes, and 1⁄4 cup dressing; arrange on a large platter. Top with onion, corn, chicken, bacon, croutons, and avocados. Serve remaining dressing on the side.

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