This amazing Citrus Chicken Salad recipe is a perfect way to elevate basic chicken tenders and put an adult spin on a favorite childhood food.
Even with kids that eat as adventurously as ours do tend to be hard to read when it comes to dinnertime. On nights when I’m not in the mood for a potential battle, I love making meals that can be slightly customized to make everyone happy and chicken fingers sure do make them happy. But plain ole chicken fingers can feel a little basic for mom and dad. Thats where this salad comes in.
I started this one using an awesome recipe for Cayenne Dusted Chicken Fingers I developed for TheInspiredHome.com. They can be baked in an air fryer (or the oven) for a really great crunch and the cayenne adds just a hint of spice.
Playing off the spiciness of the chicken fingers, I developed a creamy, spicy sweet honey mustard dressing that combines Sriracha, stone ground mustard, honey and freshly squeezed orange juice.
To compliment the honey and mustard in the dressing, I baked up some homemade pretzel bread croutons using some leftover pretzel rolls we had in the house. They added the perfect extra crunch and really make this salad feel like a meal.
Finally, I brought it all together with hearts of romaine (this salad needs a sturdy green), avocado, and orange segments for a fresh, bright note. There’s a little surprise in every bite of this salad. Jon and I gobbled it up and felt totally satisfied after them meal.
While the kids skipped the dressing, they were happy with plain lettuce salads, avocado and orange wedges. So, even though our final meals looked a bit different, we were basically all eating the same thing. That means fewer dirty dishes and more happy bellies.
Citrus Chicken Salad with Spicy Honey Mustard and Pretzel Croutons
1 cup pretzel bread cubes (from 2 or 3 pretzel buns)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 large heart of romaine, chopped
1 orange, segmented
1 avocado, seeded and diced
2 green onions, chopped
4 Breaded Chicken Fingers, cut into pieces
Spicy Honey Mustard Dressing (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 350. Toss pretzel bread cubes with olive oil and salt and spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until croutons are crisp and golden. Cool completely.
- Combine romaine, orange, avocado, and green onion in a large salad bowl. Top with diced chicken fingers and pretzel croutons. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.
Spicy Honey Mustard Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon sriracha
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
salt and pepper to taste
- Combine mayonaise, mustard, honey and Sriracha in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Slowly add orange juice in a steady stream until juice is completely incorporated and dressing has a smooth texture. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.