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Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad

This pecan crusted chicken salad is so hearty! Kale, cara cara oranges, pickled onions, cucumbers and pecorino make this a bowl of flavor.
5 from 14 votes
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Ingredients

pecan crusted chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ⅓ cups unsalted pecans
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • olive oil mist/spray

triple citrus vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salad

  • 1 large bunch kale, leaves torn from stems
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cara cara oranges, segmented
  • 1 seedless cucumber, sliced
  • ½ cup whole pecans
  • ¼ cup shaved pecorino romano cheese
  • pickled onions, if you want!

Instructions 

pecan crusted chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil then top it with a wire rack. Spray the rack with nonstick spray.
  • Season the chicken with the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place the pecans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbs remain. (You can add a pinch of salt and pepper to the pecans but I love the buttery flavor without.) Place the pecans on a plate. Place the eggs on another large plate or bowl.
  • Dip each chicken tender in the eggs then in the pecans, pressing gently to adhere. Place the tender on the wire rack and repeat with the remaining,
  • Bake the tenders for 12 minutes then flip and bake for 12 minutes more.

triple citrus vinaigrette

  • Whisk all ingredients together until combined and emulsified. This dressing stays great in the fridge for about a week.

salad

  • Place the kale on a cutting board and chop until shredded. Place the kale in the bowl and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Massage the kale for 2 to 3 minutes until it’s all coated. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Assemble the salad by adding the oranges, pecans, pickled onions, oranges, cucumbers and chicken to the kale. Drizzle on the dressing and pecorino. Serve
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