Black Pepper Pretzel Chicken and Avocado Bacon Salad. Chicken fingers with a black pepper rub, breaded in salty pretzel crumbs, oven baked, and tossed together with fresh greens, avocado, and crispy bacon. Add a creamy basil pesto dressing and cubes of spicy cheddar cheese to make this perfect! It’s simple to toss together and even more delicious than you can imagine. It’s that salty peppery pretzel chicken with that creamy basil dressing. Oh, and the spicy cheese. It all just hits so well.
This salad!! I’m so excited to share it! It’s finally the time of year when we can all visualize the road to summertime, it’s so close. Yes, it did snow here all weekend long, but I have confidence that in less than two months’ time, the grass will be green, our flowers will be blooming and summer will very much be upon us all!!
I’m so excited, ever since coming back from Miami where it was 80 degrees, I’ve been craving nothing but summer weather and fun summer food, like this salad.
This is my “snack bar” salad. The crusted chicken and creamy dressing, with both bacon and avocado, remind me of pool days in the sun. I would order the yummiest salads for lunch from the snack bar. Or if I was really lucky, at the club restaurant with my Nonnie.
Growing up my grandparents belonged to the local yacht club in our town. My brothers and I spent many summers at that pool. My Nonnie would often take me to lunch at their clubhouse restaurant. If I wasn’t ordering the chicken fingers and fries, grilled cheese, or club sandwich, I was ordering their breaded chicken salad.
I can’t fully remember what was on the salad other than breaded chicken and creamy dressing, but I just remember it being extra yummy. So this is my take on that salad. I think my pretzel crust chicken variation is even better.
Start with the chicken. Finely crush the pretzels into crumbs and mix with my black pepper rub: smoked paprika, chili powder, black pepper, and salt.
Dip the chicken through beaten eggs, then through the peppery crumbs. Drizzle each piece with oil – the key to crispy oven-baked chicken, then bake.
For the dressing, I started out with a lighter pesto vinaigrette, but in the end, it just wasn’t doing it for me. I quickly consulted with my oldest brother Creighton, who loves dressings. He agreed, creamy all the way,
So I made a simple creamy pesto dressing with mayo, basil pesto, lemon, honey, and sea salt. So yummy, this was the right move.
Now toss the salad and fresh greens. I’m a big fan of shredded romaine topped with micro arugula and a mix of herbs, cilantro, and basil.
Then add the dressing and toss, toss, toss. Next, add the bacon, avocado, and my secret – cubes of spicy cheddar cheese. I grab mine at Whole Foods, it’s labeled Rattlesnake Cheddar and I’m obsessed with it.
I love to serve this with a side of sweet potato fries for a fun lunch or dinner. So great for these spring, and soon summer, months ahead!
Looking for other spring salad recipes? Here are some of my favorites:
Lastly, if you make this Black Pepper Pretzel Chicken and Avocado Bacon Salad be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Black Pepper Pretzel Chicken and Avocado Bacon Salad
Calories Per Serving: 650 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 pound boneless chicken tenders
- 2 cups salted pretzel twists, finely crushed
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- kosher salt
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 6 cups mixed greens
- 1/3 cup chopped pickles and or pepperoncini
- 1 cup cubed spicy cheddar cheese
- 1-2 avocados, sliced
- 4 slices cooked thick-cut bacon, crumbled
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Combine the pretzels, chili powder, pepper, paprika, and salt in a bowl. 3. Dredge the chicken through the crumbs, pressing to adhere. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.4. To make the salad. Combine the greens, cheese, pickles/pepperoncini, avocados, and bacon in a salad bowl.5. To make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and whisk until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.6. Toss the chicken in with the salad. Add a little of the dressing. Enjoy!