Garden Salad with Chicken and Creamy Herb Dressing

This recipe turns a simple garden salad into a hearty, healthy meal by topping it with pan-seared chicken tenders and crunchy, garlicky croutons.

The creamy homemade dressing is made with a blend of buttermilk, sour cream, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, onion, fresh basil, and parsley.

The ingredient list may seem a little lengthy, but it only takes a few minutes to prepare and we think the light, fresh flavor of a homemade salad dressing is worth that extra bit of effort.

Garden Salad with Chicken and Creamy Herb Dressing

Garden Salad with Chicken and Creamy Herb Dressing

5 from 1 vote
Leave a Review »
This light and healthful dinner salad is topped with pan-seared chicken tenderloins, homemade garlic croutons and a creamy buttermilk dressing flavored with lemon, garlic, basil and parsley.


  • 12 chicken tenderloins, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 8 cups romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced
  • 4 slices sweet onion, separated into rings
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cubed, 1/2 inch Italian bread
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sweet onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup chiffonade of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a shallow baking pan with parchment.
  • Prepare the dressing by adding the buttermilk, olive oil, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, onion, basil and parsley to the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the dressing is smooth and well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper, blend again and transfer to a bowl for serving.
  • Using a sharp knife, trim away any white tendons from the chicken tenderloins and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the tenderloins in a single layer and cook until lightly browned and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Wipe out the pan, place over medium-high heat and add the butter and olive oil for the croutons. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the bread cubes, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat with the butter-oil mixture. Transfer the croutons to the prepared baking pan and bake until crisp and light golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • Assemble the salads by arranging the lettuce, cucumber, tomato wedges and onion on 4 serving plates. Top each with 3 chicken tenderloins, croutons and a drizzle of dressing. Pass the remaining dressing at the table.
Calories: 451kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 45g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 148mg, Sodium: 1006mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Calcium: 99mg, Iron: 3mg
Have you made this recipe?Snap a photo and tag @gourmetconnect in your posts. We love to see what you’ve been making!