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my go-to chicken bacon ranch salad in a white bowl with a fork.

Go-To Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad

Yield: 4 servings 1x
Prep: 5 minutesCook: 30 minutesTotal: 35 minutes

Turn your basic greens into a simple but satisfying meal with my Go-To Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad! Easy to customize and prep ahead, packed with crisp veggies and topped with fresh herbs and ranch, of course!

Scale:

Ingredients

  • 2 (8-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 slices raw bacon 
  • 5 ounces mixed salad greens (about 2 cups per salad)
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced
  • 12 green bell peppers, seeds and stem removed, sliced into small sticks
  • 12 large carrots, peeled and sliced into small sticks
  • 12 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup Ranch dressing
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs: chives, dill and/or parsley (optional!)

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon: Line a rimmed half sheet pan (affiliate link!) with parchment paper. Measure the paper to be slightly longer than the pan. Place strips of raw bacon flat on the parchment lined sheet pan. Place the pan into a cold oven and immediately set the temperature to 375F. Set a timer for the cook time depending on the thickness of the bacon. Thinner bacon will take 18-23 minutes. Thicker bacon will take 24-28 minutes. If you prefer crisper bacon, add another 2 minutes. After removing the bacon from the oven, use a fork or tongs to remove the bacon from the pan and on to a paper towel-lined plate. Once cooled, chop into large bits for the salad and set aside. For more detailed instructions and photos, please read How to Cook Bacon in the Oven.
  2. Cook the chicken: While the bacon is cooking in the oven, I prefer to cook the chicken in the air fryer. However, you can cook your chicken in whatever method you prefer, or use rotisserie or leftover cooked chicken. For more chicken cooking method options and photos, please read How to Cook Chicken for Meal Prep or Air Fryer Chicken Tenders. Here’s how I cooked the chicken in the photos above:
    • Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and use a sharp chef’s knife to carefully slice each breast in half horizontally to create 2 smaller pieces.
    • Next, tenderize each piece by placing it into a Ziploc bag or under plastic wrap and pounding the chicken with a tenderizer or heavy pan, going slowly and methodically to create an even thickness in the chicken.
    • Remove the chicken cutlets to a plate and pat dry with paper towels. Drizzle with oil, then season with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder on both sides.
    • Place the chicken cutlets into the air fryer in a single layer, trying not to let them overlap. Air fry at 380F for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. The chicken is done when the edges are browning and the internal temperature reads 165F.
    • Remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  3. Assemble and serve: To prepare each serving, add about 2 cups of salad greens, about 4 ounces of chicken, 2 ounces of chopped bacon, and a quarter of each prepped and sliced veggie. Top with a heavy drizzle of Ranch and a few big pinches of chopped fresh herbs. You can also prepare a giant salad for the whole family by mixing everything together in a large bowl and letting everyone serve themselves.
  4. How to store: Leftovers are best kept without dressing, so if you’re meal prepping, save the dressing on the side to add right before eating! For the freshest results, store ingredients separately in airtight containers and enjoy within 4 days. You can also prep complete portions of this salad, but keep the dressing on the side, and enjoy within 3-4 days.

Notes

If all ingredients are prepped ahead of time, this salad can come together in less than 5 minutes. Cooking the proteins is what ends up taking the most time. Feel free to swap veggies for your faves! Nutrition information estimated with My Fitness Pal.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 514
  • Fat: 33g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 35g
© Author: Danielle
Cuisine: American Method: Baked
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