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This Crispy Italian Chicken and Bacon Salad with Tahini Pesto  Dressing and Sourdough Croutons is certainly not your ordinary salad. Crispy parmesan-crusted and Italian seasoned chicken tossed together with a creamy lemony basil tahini dressing, fresh romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, crispy bacon, and mozzarella cheese. Add sourdough croutons for some crunch and you have the perfect balanced salad. Simple to toss together, colorful, super flavorful, and filling. Great for a weeknight, but can easily double as lunch the following day!

overhead photo of Crispy Italian Chicken and Bacon Salad with Tahini Pesto Dressing and Sourdough Croutons

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to the new HBH. I know it’s a bit different, but we’re all hoping you really love it and find it easy to use! As this design is new, it takes a while to work through all the kinks and get everything just right. So please bear with us as we adjust and try to make the new site a much better user experience

My mom, who is the other half behind HBH, has been working endlessly to get things in place for this new design. And while it’s not 100%  just yet, she and our team member, Margaret, have done such an incredible job. Please let us know if you’re experiencing any issues or if you have feedback on the design. We are listening! It’s so important to us that you all find the site easy to use. Our hope is that this design is even better than the last!

But again, let us know if you have any issues and we’ll work to get things adjusted. With almost 9 years under her belt working the backend of HBH, my mom is becoming a pro!

prep photo of Sourdough Croutons on baking sheet

Now, onto Monday salad things! With the weather getting nicer…at least for most of you (it was a gross weekend here and there’s a winter storm warning for today with 8-16 ” predicted). I’ve definitely been having a strong desire to create colorful spring and summer recipes.

When it comes to salad, I am very, very particular. I just can’t do boring salads. Look, I LOVE salads, but if I’m eating one for dinner it needs to be fit for dinner. No boring mostly lettuce salads!

Enter this salad. It began as a caesar salad but turned into so much more.

prep photo of Crispy Italian Chicken on plate after cooking

Let’s Talk Details

You’ll want to start with the croutons. I toast the sourdough in the oven with olive oil and Italian seasoning. The seasonings here are KEY. They add all the flavor to both the croutons and the crispy chicken.

While the croutons are cooking, make the chicken. Now most chicken salads are grilled, and that’s fine, but lately, I’ve really been into crispy chicken. Basically ever since I made this southern pasta. A little breading just makes chicken that much better, you know?

So I breaded the chicken in Panko, parmesan, and Italian seasonings. Again the seasonings are KEY, they give the chicken and the salad so much more flavor. Perfectly seasoned chicken that’s a little cheesy too…delicious.

overhead close up photo of Crispy Italian Chicken and Bacon Salad with Tahini Pesto Dressing and Sourdough Croutons

Now the Dressing

At first, I was going to do my basic tahini dressing, but then the thought of a basil dressing came t0 mind so I switched it up.

It’s a simple mix of basil pesto, tahini, and lemon. I also added a splash of red wine vinegar. The tahini makes it extra creamy and the pesto adds that herby, garlicky flavor. And when you toss it all together with the crispy chicken?

So delish!

Crispy Italian Chicken and Bacon Salad with Tahini Pesto Dressing and Sourdough Croutons | halfbakedharvest.com

Assemble and Enjoy!

Toss the greens with the dressing, add the chicken and bacon, lots of croutons, and toss it all up.

It’s SO GOOD! Crunchy chicken, salty bacon, creamy avocado, and an herby dressing that really completes the salad. So fun and delicious.

So you see? Monday salads can be fun!

Crispy Italian Chicken and Bacon Salad with Tahini Pesto Dressing and Sourdough Croutons | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other weeknight salads? Here are my favorites:

Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken and Avocado Bacon Salad

Sweet Potato Fry Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Butter

Melon Basil Burrata Salad with Crispy Prosciutto

Lastly, if you make this Crispy Italian Chicken and 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!

Crispy Italian Chicken and Bacon Salad with Pesto Tahini Dressing and Sourdough Croutons

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 475 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups torn sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 pound chicken cutlets or tenders
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 6 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella balls
  • 1-2 avocados, diced
  • 4 slices cooked thick-cut bacon, crumbled

Pesto Tahini Dressing

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Toss together 2 tablespoons olive oil, the bread, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, and a pinch of salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until toasted.
    2. Meanwhile, place the Panko, parmesan, and 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning in a shallow bowl. Dredge both sides of the chicken through the Panko, pressing to adhere by using your fist to really make the crumbs stick. Place the chicken on a plate.
    3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook until golden brown on the other side, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and season with salt. Slice into thin strips.
    4. To make the salad. Combine the greens, tomatoes, mozzarella, 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! 

Crispy Italian Chicken and Bacon Salad with Tahini Pesto Dressing and Sourdough Croutons | halfbakedharvest.com

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  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved this! Rave reviews from guests. Easy to make and prep ahead of time. Used prosciutto instead of bacon because that’s what I had on hand. Will definitely make this again and again!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this great recipe! Made it tonight with a few modifications. Didn’t have tahini sauce or jarred pesto, so used a bit of Greek yogurt, fresh basil, and garlic in the dressing with the other items! Didn’t add the bacon or croutons to be a bit healthier and was still wonderful!!

    1. Hey Janna,
      Fantastic! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for making it! Happy Friday:) xTieghan

      1. 5 stars
        Hi there is a typo here. It should say mozz balls and not parm when making the salad. Otherwise thank you !!!

  3. Just add the mozzarella when you add al the salad ingredients together? Going to make this tonight?

    1. Hey Valerie,
      Yes, that is correct. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know how it turns out! xTieghan

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