Parmesan Crusted Chicken Salads with Greek Yogurt Parmesan Dressing.
Want to be cliche together and eat a Monday salad?
Of course you do!
It’s not a boring one, I swear.
I mean, just look at this color down there.
There is no denying that I can be a salad fiend in the summer. It’s way too hot to cook all day (even though I have to make cookies today – haaalp, I’m going to roast.), sometimes it’s even too hot to be outside and use the grill. Since I don’t want to sweat my face off and subsequently complain to the five people around me that OH MY GOSH IT’S SO HOT, we eat a lot of salads.
But packed with toppings. Full blow meals, on TOP of salads!
That’s how it’s done.
As weird as it sounds, a salad like this is total comfort food for me.
And I am totally not that person.
You know I’m not that person!
Probably because it’s practically vegetable-less? Of course. Slash unfortunately.
This chicken is ridiculously simple. It’s lightly breaded and baked (using my old school chicken finger method) and tastes incredible. I find that baking it this way leaves almost no room for that terrible dry chicken texture and it’s always super flavorful.
Only downside is that you DO have to turn on your oven for a leeeeettle bit in this heat, but I swear (again), it’s quick. You can even make it a day ahead of time if you don’t mind the crunch disappearing a bit. No need to reheat – it tastes excellent cold too.
Other necessities that I must have for a tantrum-free salad:
Cherry tomatoes! Big slices just make me cringe.
Crispy, crunchy bacon pieces. These just elevate a salad, always.
Cucumber half moons. Because I wanted to say “half moons.”
And homemade, quick pickled onions. These onions are my new favorite thing. I make them at least once a week and we put them on everything. Tacos, quick nachos, salads and even pizza. Eddie loves onions so much that he will eat them raw with a fork and even though I’m all NO NO NO to that, I definitely think these ones are delicious.
Much better than plain, raw red onion slices. Write it down!
Oooooh let’s talk about the dressing. You guys know I’m soooo not a dressing person and tend to love oil + vinegar since my tangy, briney love runs deep. But my greek yogurt Caesar dressing ranks up there pretty high and is one that I remake over and over and over again.
I wanted to take that same concept and make it more parmesan-like… aka, lose the anchovies and garlic overload. There’s a time and a place for both of those and things and this was not the time or the place.
Sooooo. What I’m saying is… it’s salads like this or just a massive cheese plate all summer long. Pick your poison.
- quick pickled onions
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 pound boneless, skinless thin-sliced chicken breasts
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup seasoned fine bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons flour, any kind is fine
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 seedless cucumber, sliced
- 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- extra freshly grated parmesan for sprinkling
- greek yogurt parmesan dressing
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 5 tablespoons greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Place the onions in a jar or cup. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour over the sliced onions. Let sit at room temperature for an hour. You can obviously make this ahead of time and once made, store it in the fridge in a sealed container or jar.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray.
Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Place the eggs in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, parmesan and flour in a second bowl. Stir well.Take each chicken bread and dip it in the beaten egg. Place it in breadcrumb mixture and press gently so the breadcrumbs adhere and cover the entire piece. Gently place the chicken on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken. I like to spray each piece of chicken with olive oil or canola spray once it’s breaded so the crust becomes golden and crunchy.
Bake the chicken for 15 minutes, then gently flip it and bake for 15 minutes more. At this point, you can prep the bacon for the salads if you haven’s done so yet and chop the remaining veggies. Remove the chicken and slice it for the salads.
To assemble the salads, toss the lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber together. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and toss again. Add the chicken slices, bacon pieces and pickled onions on top. Drizzle on the dressing and cover with extra parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
To make the dressing, add the garlic, yogurt, parmesan, mustard, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend until pureed. With the processor still on, stream in the olive oil until a creamy dressing forms. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.
(I pick both.)