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Crispy Chicken Taco Salad

This may be my new go-to easy weeknight dinner. Let's just call this my holding onto summer salad. It has everything I love in a salad: light and crunchy with more toppings than greens.

Before I go into details of the recipe, we need to back track on how this salad came about. Last week in stories, I shared how I was planning on making my favorite crispy mustard chicken from Ina Garten. That plan didn't come to fruition because I was almost out of one key ingredient, olive oil. I was about to throw in the towel, but then I decided to roll up my sleeves and get creative. I had made taco salad for lunch earlier in the week, and I had enough greens and toppings to make it for dinner. I could put crispy chicken on top to make it a satisfying entree.

Forty-five minutes later, with only 15 minutes of prep, I had a delicious dinner. Troster loved it so much, that he requested it for dinner again this week.

This makes enough to serve a family of four. I make a deconstructed version for the kids. If you want to make this for two nights or lunch the next day, double the recipe.

Crispy Chicken Taco Salad


For the chicken-

- 1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs

- 1 cup of plain panko crumbs

- 1/4 cup of olive oil

- 3 tbsp of lemon juice

- salt and pepper

- dash or two of garlic powder

For the salad- (this is all I guess, it just depends how much toppings you like on your salad)

- 1 head of Butter Lettuce (or a crunchy lettuce of your choice)

- 1/2 cup of Black Beans

- Shredded Sharp Cheddar

- 1 Avocado cut into chunks

- Pico de Gallo

- Parmesan Crisps broken into pieces


- 2 tbsp of olive oil

- 1 tbsp of lime juice

- salt and pepper

- dash of red pepper flakes


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and parchment paper. Take the chicken out and pat dry. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. In a low bowl combine the panko, olive oil, lemon juice, s+p, and garlic powder. Coat one side of the chicken with the panko mixture and lay panko side up on the baking sheet. Press any extra panko on the chicken. Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on how crispy you like the chicken. About halfway through cooking, I drizzle a little bit more olive oil on top to make it extra crispy.

Meanwhile, prepare the salad. In a large salad bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together until emulsified. Add in all of the salad ingredients and toss.

Transfer the salad to serving dishes and top with the chicken. Eat and enjoy!



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