Spring Mix Salad With Air Fryer Breaded Chicken
Updated: May 19
I've really been slacking on the food and recipe side of this blog for awhile now- which is funny because it was one of my main interests when I started writing this blog back at the end of 2019.
I'll admit it... Part of that does have to do with my inability to take photos of the food I make before I devour it in seconds. But when you make as many simple, healthy and effortlessly delicious recipes as I do, it's really hard to not!
All that aside, I said on Instagram that I would share how I've been been making healthy air fryer chicken recipes like this wonderful Spring Mix salad. As always, you can take the base of this recipe and adjust it so it's perfect to your taste. So in this post I'll let you in on how I personally make this salad and give you some #inspo for how you can really make it your own.
Let's dive in!
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. When I don't have a clue what to make and it's creeping up on dinner time, I know I can count on this simple recipe.
This meal is easily customized for your likes and your dislikes and can be done a billion different ways if you want to shake it up each time. But first things first...
Is An Air Fryer Something I Need?
Air fryers have been taking the world by storm. I've see air fryer recipes pop up by the dozens 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 straightforward than my dramatic self convinced myself it would be. Here's some quick reasons why I love using my air fryer:
Quick Cooking Time:
Guys, I'm getting back hours of time by using the air fryer. I'm not kidding- the way an air fryer works, with no pre-heating time, small space and food very close to the heating elements, your well on your way to having a finished meal in the same time span that a conventional oven would still be heating up.
This is obviously a perk for busy people looking for quick meals. This does change the texture of food you're eating...but that can be a pro too depending on your goals for a given meal.
The air fryer bakes things differently than a regular oven by circulating hot air around the food. It's 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, if that's what you're going for.
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. I love this because in a way you get more bang for your buck being able to create a variety of quick meals in the same air fryer.
This should be taken with a grain of salt, but typically air fried food is a healthier alternative to the 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!
So, do you need an air fryer? No, definitely not. But I do think it really helps with quick, yummy and easy eating and is definitely worth getting if you can afford an extra purchase. Many air fryers are under $100!
If you use it enough, it will be beyond worth it and never an eyesore in your kitchen. But this recipe could technically 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 main event: how to make 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 in oil on all sides. Honestly, using eggs is also a very, very quick method in it's own right. And an egg mixture is definitely the recommended option because the bread crumbs will stick better and it will change the final product slightly.
If you're 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. This is a list of the typical spices I use in this air fryer chicken salad recipe, but I encourage you to get creative and use spices that you love or that you have in your pantry on the day.
Coat a piece of chicken in egg (or oil) and then immediately dip it into your breadcrumb mixture. It's assembly line time: chicken dipped into egg or oil, then chicken dipped into breadcrumbs and spices mixture, then chicken onto air fryer basket/shelf and is ready to cook!
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 preferably, but eyes will do) 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, obviously, and again I encourage you to make it your own and use you and your family's favorite salad bases. Personally, I absolutely love using a spring mix for this recipe.
When it comes to toppings, I chop of carrots and purple onion for this specific recipe. The onion goes so good with the breaded chicken that I want both in every bite. You already know what I'm going to say here though- use the toppings you love the most.
Salads get a bad rap sometimes, but what I always say: a salad loaded with good, nutritious toppings can always fill you up!
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.
Homemade salad dressing made in this manner can last for a week or two- just make sure you have it tightly sealed and keep it refrigerated.
Enjoy Your Salad made using the air fryer
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, it's super customizable so you can add toppings, dressings, and chicken seasonings you like best.
Not creative or have no idea where you'd even start to pick your own customizations? This recipe has repeatedly been tested by me and my taste buds and I say it's a great place to start.
Switch up the salad base or the toppings every time you make it if you want to! Perfect for lunches and dinners, this ridiculously easy air fryer 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!