Crispy Chicken Salad with Peanut-Garlic Dressing

crispy chicken salad

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This crispy chicken salad is an easy warm-weather dinner thanks to some smart short-cuts like bagged salad and store-bought chicken tenders. The dressing is a zingy peanut-garlic combo and all of it comes together in about 30 minutes.



For the Salad

  • 6 ounces frozen breaded chicken tenders (I like Applegate brand)
  • 3 cups Asian-style bagged salad (see note)
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion

For the Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or more to taste


  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup rice noodles


  1. Bake the chicken tenders according to package directions. While they bake, assemble the salad by tossing the packaged salad with the spinach, and red onion. Divide the salad between two plates or bowls.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the peanut butter, garlic, oil, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, ginger paste, and red pepper flakes until smooth. The dressing will be thick, so add up to 3 tablespoons of water until it is thin enough to pour.
  3. Slice the baked chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces and divide them between the two salads. Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salads and garnish each with the chopped peanuts and green onion.


Look for bagged Asian-style salad mix in the produce department. Mine included a package of dressing and other garnishes, which I didn’t use. If you can’t find one, you can use a coleslaw mix.