Almond-Crusted Chicken Caprese Salad |

Almond-Crusted Chicken Caprese Salad

This post was originally published here June 15, 2015. I’ve since changed the recipe slightly. And I’ve updated the text and photographs to reflect those changes.

Two Big F*cking Salad recipes in a row can only mean one thing. We’re on the cusp of peak salad season!

You all know that I love a BFS any time of the year (and any time of the day!). But Summer is just begging for ALL the salads to be made and enjoyed. And with the unofficial start of Summer fast approaching, I’ve got and BFS’s on my mind!

If the previous salad was a celebration of Spring, then this Almond-Crusted Chicken Caprese Salad is a nod towards Summer. Because there is no better Summer salad than a caprese salad (I’ll fight you on this if you disagree). And my Almond-Crusted Chicken Caprese Salad is essentialy an amped up version of that.

Almond-Crusted Chicken Caprese Salad |

This salad has all the caprese salad must-haves, including fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and some good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I’ve added in some sliced avocado and red onion. And lots of chopped romaine lettuce for maximum crunch and freshness.

I top each salad with a couple homemade almond-crusted chicken tenders. These are incredibly quick and easy to make, especially if your grocery store carries pre-cut boneless, skinless chicken tenders (mine always does, but if yours doesn’t, you can buy regular chicken breasts and slice them into strips). For the coating, a simple mix of almonds, panko breadcrumbs and a few seasonings is all you need. And they bake in the oven in under 15 minutes. They are barely any more effort than reaching for a box of frozen chicken fingers (although there is no shame in that game once in a while!).

Oh and I highly recommend serving these Almond-Crusted Chicken Caprese Salad in a blue bowl for maximum Memorial Day Weekend vibes. That was a happy accident on my part, but I’m digging it now!



Almond-Crusted Chicken Caprese Salad

Almond-Crusted Chicken Caprese Salad

At a Glance:
Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


For the Almond-Crusted Chicken:

  • 3/4 cups roasted, salted almonds
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1.25 lbs boneless, skinless chicken tenders

For the Salad:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh ciliegine mozzarella balls, drained
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted almonds


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside.
  2. In your food processor with the blade attachment, pulse together the almonds, panko bread crumbs, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Transfer the coating mixture to a large zip-closure bag. Add the chicken tenders to the bag and seal it. Then shake the bag, separating the chicken tenders if they get stuck together, until the chicken tenders are evenly coated.
  3. Spread the coated chicken tenders out in a single layer in your prepared baking dish. Top each with about a tablespoon of the remaining coating mixture, pressing it down to adhere, then discard the zip-closure bag and any remaining coating mixture. Transfer the baking dish to your pre-heated oven and bake the chicken tenders for 12-15 minutes, or until fully cooked. The juices should run clear and the internal temperature should measure 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  5. To assemble the salads, divide the chopped romaine, mozzarella, tomatoes, avocado slices, basil, red onion and almonds between 4 bowls or plates. Top with the chicken. Drizzle with the dressing. Enjoy immediately.

63 comments on “Almond-Crusted Chicken Caprese Salad”

  1. Liz, so glad that you did your birthday RIGHT!!! Woot woot!!! THIS SALAD!!!! and the Sriracha Blue Diamond Almonds!!!!! WHAT?!!! OMG, I need to find those ASAP!!! freaking love this salad!!!! and since salad is like my mainstay for the next 24 days . . I am so making a whole 30 version of this! Damn, looks fabulous!

    • Thanks, Alice. I definitely did my birthday right! I hope you try the almonds – you’ll love them!

  2. Sriracha Flavored Almonds – how interesting! Sriracha is a very trendy flavor these days. I like how you have encrusted your chicken with it and added to a salad. Perfect summertime meal!

  3. Alex would LOVE these. Oh my goodness. I mean I love them too. Who wouldn’t?! Gahhh.

  4. I am obsessing over this salad! I ADORE those almonds and anything caprese…and then together? BOOM. My taste buds exploded. Pinned!

  5. This salad = YUM! If it hadn’t been for moving, you would have never created such a glorious thing! I do need to inject more salads in my life… instead of a cake hangover, I have an actual hangover. I’m ready for some detox food!

    • Oh I don’t know what’s worse: a cake hangover or a regular hangover. Ha ha. Glad we have salads to “fix” everything!

  6. I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Liz! Yay for cake and margaritas! I have been wanting to try these sriracha almonds and this salad looks like the perfect way to eat them.

  7. This is such a beautiful recipe! I love how you used almonds for the crust, it sounds so delicious – what a great idea! And I love using panko breadcrumbs. I will definitely have to try this. This looks seriously beautiful Liz, I love it!!

  8. First of all, Happy Belated Birthday, Liz!! Sounds like you had a great one, despite all the boxes, bubblewrap and unpacking (I’m in the process of packing to move, so I feel your pain!). I’m so glad you let there be an abundance of cake and margaritas to celebrate YOUR day. And I am even more glad you decided to lighten things up afterwards, because this is one mama-jama, magnificent looking salad! I’m with you on a salad needing to be more than just a bowl of greens. I like my salad to be jazzed up and this sriracha almond crusted chicken caprese salad goes well beyond that! LOVE the flavors you used. This salad needs to be in my life so it can get in my belly. Stat. Thanks for sharing the deliciousness!! Cheers, pretty lady!

  9. Happy Birthday! It sounds like it was so fun – full of food and other good things. Cake for for breakfast – that’s what I”m talking about!

    And this salad looks great – hearty! A perfect detox for the flurry of birthday food and moving food.

  10. Happy belated birthday!! This salad is the perfect wrap up to a heavy weekend, plus I’m a sucker for crunchy chicken…

  11. Cake for breakfast, this for lunch. A perfect day. Hope you had an awesome birthday!

  12. OOF! Cake, margs, and nachos sound like the ultimate birthday eats! Glad to hear you had a tasty and fun weekend. And this salad?! I love the idea of almond crusted chicken. I must hop to this lickety split!

  13. OMG I’m dying! So delicious!!

  14. Ahh I love this salad, Liz! Those sriracha almonds are my favorite! I think I ate almost the whole can in one sitting, oops! Love this crusted chicken!

  15. So glad you had a fun and tasty birthday! This is such a gorgeous salad. Love those sriracha almonds, they are so good and using them to make this spicy crusted chicken is such a fabulous and tasty idea!

  16. Sounds like you had a great birthday, it’s totally okay to indulge on anything on your day! 😉 Hope everything went well with moving too, it’s never fun to do. This salad looks like a great way to get back on track, it looks so tasty!

  17. Yummy! Would enjoy such salad for lunch!

  18. We’re all about sriracha in my house. I need to try this salad as soon as possible. 😀

  19. Mmmm, delicious new flavor from Blue Diamond! I’ll check em’ out. So glad to hear your settling in… and on your birthday? Sounds like you had fuuun! Cake, cheesy nachos, and margs sound good to me – then it’s time to get a bit of healthy food back on the menu! I like how you roll, Liz! Beautiful, vibrant salad, my dear! Good luck with your dishwasher…. you gotta get that thing runnin’! gah!

    • Ha ha. Yeah I test out all the appliances yesterday – dishwasher, washer/drier, etc. I think I’m good now! Glad you love the salad, Traci! XO

  20. We’re both June babies! Girl, this salad is bangin’. Mind=blown. Love that crunchy chicken.

  21. I like your moves, girl! Cake + margaritas + nachos sounds like a PERFECT bday celebration to me. We need to celebrate our bdays in person sometime! That would be epic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So much cake and booze. This salad sounds totally amazing. I love caprese salads but adding that almond-crusted chicken takes it over the top. Love it! Good luck with all of the moving stuff. :-/ xoxoxo

    • Thanks, Sara. We definitely need to celebrate our birthdays together one year. That would be SO EPIC!

  22. This salad looks delicious, Liz! I love the flavours!

  23. This salad looks spectacular, and I love all that crunch!

  24. Sriracha flavored almonds! Yum!
    This salad looks so good!

  25. Dying over here! This is the kinda salad that I would happily eat EVERY day! I mean, caprese? Almond crusted chicken? What more could a salad-crazy person ask for??

  26. Oooh, I haven’t seen that flavor around yet, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for those almonds! That chicken looks like the perfect thing for me to make when I’m on the Whole30 next month, sans breadcrumbs. (OMG, can’t believe I’m doing it).

    • I can’t believe you’re doing it either. Good for you though! I don’t think I’d be able to commit!

  27. Mmm… this look flavorful in light. Today we’re having a steak dinner and ice cream cake for my husbands birthday, so I’m thinking something along the lines of your salad would be a great choice for tomorrow!

  28. This looks delicious!

  29. Pingback: 19 Healthy 30 Minute Dinner Recipes | Sweet Peas and Saffron

  30. I sure would love to see reviews, not just kudos for sounding good…. Has anyone used regular almonds and added siracha to them. I get that blue diamond has to be mentioned here, but I have both ingredients, just not already put together. I look forward to hearing if it would work this way!

    • Hi Lynn! I haven’t made it that way, and I’m not sure if anyone else has either, so I can’t say for certain. If you try the recipe, I would love it if you would come back and let me know how it turns out. Thanks!

  31. Fearing my kids wouldn’t go for the Sriracha flavor, I followed this recipe but used Blue Diamond Smokehouse almonds instead. The coating process was fast and easy and I was thrilled not to have to deal with all the bowls and mess that go into double-coating chicken, so thank you Liz! Dinner was a big hit with my family — enough to justify pulling out the Cuisinart — and I will DEFINITELY be making it again. Thanks!

  32. I like this! Interesting to pair the almondy chicken with a caprese. I bet it’s fabulous!

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