Spring Mix Salad With Air Fryer Breaded Chicken
I've been really slacking on the food/recipe side of blogging for awhile now. And that definitely has a lot to do with my inability to take photos of food before I devour it and my lack of patience to write down recipes. I want to make my food as fast as possible and then eat it- which leaves little time for remembering to take a second and post about it.
Whoops, sorry! Girls gotta eat. :)
But, I did do a poll on IG saying I would make a blog post about this easy air fryer chicken and I don't want to go back on my word. Plus, a huge reason I share at all is to spread simple and fun ideas for healthy eating and this recipe checks all the boxes.
This Spring Mix Salad with Breaded Air Fryer Chicken is truly becoming a staple in my dinner circulation because of how simple, tasty, and nutritious of a recipe it is.
As usual, this recipe is easily customized for your likes/dislikes and can be done a billion different ways if you want to shake it up each time. So in this post I'll let you in on how I make this salad and give you some #inspo for how you can really make it your own. Let's dive in!
Is An Air Fryer Something I Need?
First things first. Why the air fryer? Air fryers have been taking the world by storm. I've seen dozens of recipes pop up declaring the greatness of the air fryer and all of the amazing things you can do with it.
I received an air fryer unexpectedly as a gift and for about 6 months had absolutely zero clue what to do with the mini spaceship taking up precious counter space in my kitchen. I mean, I have a regular oven and this thing came with 95 pieces and a manual I just didn't want to dig through.
But I will say after finally starting to use it...wow. It's truly an amazing piece to have and way more straight forward than my dramatic self convinced myself it would be. Reasons I love my air fryer:
Quick Cooking Time: For the sake of this brief article, I don’t need to elaborate. But for some reason cooking time is typically less than the regular oven, which is obviously a perk. My air fryer does not require pre-heating, which could be a big part of why I find it so wonderfully speedy.
The Texture: The air fryer bakes things in a special way by circulating hot air around the food. Its hard to do it justice in a sentence, but air fryer food is usually crunchier (in the best way) on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside. So. Good.
Variety of Styles: Not all air fryers are the same, but some come with rotisserie rotating pieces or other additions that you can use to make a variety of types of food. Fancy!
Healthier: This should be taken with a grain of salt, but typically air fried food is a healthier alternative to usual deep fried food, with less fat and calories. It only requires a little bit of oil instead of being fully submerged to get the same effect. I don't use any more olive oil than I would grilling on the stove!
Do you need one? Noooo technically not. But I do think it makes quick, yummy eating easy and is definitely worth getting if you can afford an extra purchase. If you use it enough, it will be beyond worth it and never an eyesore in your kitchen. But this recipe can be made with a regular oven, just would look a little different.
How To Make The Breaded Chicken In The Air Fryer
And now for the good part: how to make the breaded chicken in your air fryer. There are two main ways to do this:
1) Olive Oil: Coat the chicken breast in olive oil before dipping in the bread crumbs
2) Eggs: Coat the chicken breast in beaten eggs before dipping in the bread crumbs.
I typically take the olive oil route because it is the quicker option; all you have do is quickly cover the chicken. Using eggs is also very, very quick and definitely the recommended option because the bread crumbs will stick better and it will change the final product slightly.
If vegan or don't mind using oil, I do it all the time and it ultimately works out great.
Cut chicken in half lengthwise and pound it flat. (To be honest, I don't always flatten the chicken, but I do try to cut it so its pretty thin. This is how a true chicken cutlet is and it cooks faster the thinner it is.)
Beat eggs in a bowl until fully mixed. If using olive oil, a bowl of oil will do or you can drizzle it directly onto the chicken breast and rub it in.
Make the breadcrumbs mixture. Here is where you can get a little bit creative. I typically do not measure because I always make a different sized batch of chicken and I like to "season to taste."
Panko Bread Crumbs
Take all of the spices and mix into panko bread crumbs in a wide bowl. Use as much or as little of each as you like. These are the typical spices I use but this is where you can get creative by adding your favorites!
Coat a piece of chicken in egg (or oil) and then immediately dip it into your breadcrumb mixture.
Bake chicken in air fryer at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
*Not all air fryers are the same! This works for me, but depending on oven and size of chicken this time will vary. Please check your meat (with a thermometer or with eyes) before serving and adjust as needed.*
Remove done chicken from air fryer and place on cutting board. Cut the chicken cutlet into strips and place onto your salad before serving.
How To Make The Salad
The salad part isn't as technical, and I encourage you to make your favorite base. Personally, I absolutely love using pre made spring mix for this recipe.
You can add whatever toppings you desire, but chopped carrots and sliced purple onion go really well with the breaded chicken. To make a salad nutritious and filling, the more toppings you love the better.
Homemade apple cider vinegar in a mason jar is the perfect way to top off this salad. Here's how I make it:
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1 garlic clove, grated or minced
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
Add all of the ingredients to a mason jar with a closeable lid and shake. (You can use any container that you have as well) Make adjustments based on taste- I sometimes like to add a bit more Dijon and maple syrup and less oil.
It lasts in the fridge for a week or two!
Enjoy Your Salad!
This Spring Mix Salad with Air Fryer Breaded Chicken is a no hassle way to upgrade your salad game. Not only is it easy to make, its super customizable so you can add toppings, dressings, and chicken seasonings you like best.
Switch up the salad base or the toppings every time you make it if you want to! Perfect for lunches and dinners, this meal is great when you need to make something fast or is perfect for meal prepping for the week. Let me know if you try it!