This Picnic Fried Chicken Salad includes some favorite picnic foods for a delicious, complete meal.
This super easy salad uses fried chicken tenders from the grocery store deli, with the option to chop your own veggies, or buy them pre-chopped for a truly no-cook, no-prep lunch or dinner.
What Is In A Picnic Salad?
This salad recipe incorporates all of the good stuff you might pack for a summer picnic, like fried chicken, fresh veggies, cheese, and candied nuts, all mixed together into an effortless salad.
It’s best to buy the fried chicken the day you’ll be using it so it retains some of the crunch, but it’s just as delicious if stored in the fridge and used the next day. Of course, you can also make your own fried chicken. Air Fryer Chicken Tenders work great for this meal.
For this salad, I’ve used iceberg lettuce because I love how hydrating and refreshing it is, but you can substitute Romaine, kale, or your favorite lettuce blend. The same goes for the vegetables. If you’re not a fan of carrots but want to double up on the cucumbers, go for it. If you like radishes but not tomatoes, go ahead and swap those out. Anything goes when it comes to the vegetables.
I also like to quarter hard-boiled eggs for mine. Grocery stores often have eggs already hard-boiled and peeled available but if you’re prepping them yourself, the Instant Pot does a great job. They peel so easily!
The candied pecans add a sweet crunch, and can be found in the grocery store aisle where the nuts are sold, or sometimes with the salad dressings and toppings.
Making A Picnic Fried Chicken Salad
To make the Picnic Salad, grab the largest bowl you have. The bigger the better, which helps when it comes time to toss everything together.
Add the chopped lettuce to the bowl, along with the carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and cheese. Then using tongs or a large spoon and fork, toss everything together. Add the hard-boiled eggs and chicken tenders on top, and then sprinkle the green onion and candied pecans over everything.
What About The Salad Dressing?
If serving the salad right away, and if everyone agrees on the dressing, I like to add it directly to the salad and then toss everything together again. If packing the salad for a lunch or picnic, serve the dressing on the side so the vegetables and chicken stay crisp. I think half a cup of dressing is perfect for the whole large bowl of salad, but you may want to have additional available on the side for those who prefer more.Print
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this salad, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:
- 1 small head iceberg lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- ½ red onion, peeled, sliced thin
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
- 12 fried chicken tenders, chopped
- ½ cup sliced green onion
- ½ cup chopped, candied pecans
- ½ cup salad dressing*
- In a large bowl add lettuce, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and cheese. Toss to combine.
- Place egg and chicken tenders on top of lettuce. Top with green onion and candied pecans.
- Serve cold with favorite dressing.
*My favorite dressing for this salad is this Honey-Tahini Dressing so if you’re making your own salad dressing, go with that. If you’re buying salad dressing for this, I’d use something a little bit sweet, like a Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing. Honey Mustard Dressing would also be a great choice! (Dressing not included in nutritional information.)