Crisp chicken tenders, smoky bacon, avocado, and buttermilk ranch dressing combine to turn this easy chopped salad into a hearty, one-dish dinner.

A serving of chopped greens and diced chicken tenderloins, avocado, grape tomatoes, red onion, and bacon topped with ranch dressing.

Crispy, shallow-fried chicken tenderloins, avocado, bacon and buttermilk ranch dressing are a favorite combination of flavors and ingredients.

Here they transform a simple chopped salad into a deliciously satisfying main dish.

Chicken and Avocado Chopped Salad Recipe

Chicken and Avocado Chopped Salad

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Crisp chicken tenders, smoky bacon, avocado, and buttermilk ranch dressing combine to turn this easy chopped salad into a hearty, one-dish dinner.


  • 4 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 8 chicken tenderloins, about 1 lb
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces romaine lettuce, green or red, chopped
  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cubed
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and cut into cubes

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Prepare the dressing first. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, oil, mayonnaise and vinegar together until well blended. Stir in the garlic and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside to let the flavors develop.
  • Fry the bacon until crisp in a large frying pan, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan.
  • Remove any white tendons from the chicken tenderloins and discard.
  • Whisk the egg and milk together in a pie plate or similar shallow pan and add the chicken. Turn several times to coat with the egg mixture.
  • Spread the breadcrumbs on a dinner plate or sheet of wax paper and add 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Combine thoroughly.
  • Coat each tenderloin with breadcrumbs, pressing firmly to be sure the crumbs adhere.
  • Add a small amount of vegetable oil to the pan containing the bacon fat and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer and fry until golden and cooked through, 2-1/2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and set aside to cool slightly before cutting crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • To finish the salad, add the lettuce, tomatoes, onion and cucumber to a large bowl and toss.
  • Add the bacon, sliced chicken and avocado, toss gently and divide between serving plates. Spoon some dressing over each salad and pass the remainder at the table.
Calories: 705kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 41g, Fat: 43g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 33g, Cholesterol: 139mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 11g
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