Easy Chicken and Waffles Salad

June 24, 2022

This Easy Chicken and Waffles Salad is a lighter take on a Southern classic. It’s made on a bed of Romaine with cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, avocado, air fried chicken and waffles, and a simple maple-Dijon dressing.

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Chicken and waffles was one of those dishes that intrigued the hell out of me until I finally tried it.  I knew I would love it because I’m a big fan of salty-sweet flavors.  The first time I had it, I was having lunch at one of my favorite local cafe restaurants.  It ended up on their seasonal menu so I figured it was time to finally try the dish.

I was served a huge plate of fluffy waffles (something that they make to perfection) with a crispy piece of juicy fried chicken on top.  There was a hot honey sauce on top along with some dried cranberries. Incredible!  It was a big dish, but I don’t think I left too much on the plate!

Fast forward to my recent craving.  Sure, I could hop in my car, head to the restaurant, and hope they still have chicken and waffles on the menu.  Or I could get creative – as I tend to do – and put a new spin on chicken and waffles.  Like turning it into a salad!

Because if there’s one thing I crave more than chicken and waffles right now, it’s a good salad!  But I’m going to make it easy for you.  Chicken and waffles is a multi-process dish to make.  We’re cutting corners using popcorn chicken, frozen waffles, a quick salad, and an easy hot honey mustard dressing.

Easy Chicken and Waffles Salad

If you’re looking for a tasty new way to enjoy a loaded salad this summer, try this Easy Chicken and Waffles Salad!  Frozen popcorn chicken and waffles are cooked in the air fryer.  Then, the salad is put together with Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, avocado, and a simple maple-Dijon dressing.

Let’s air fry our waffles first.  Set the air fryer to 350 degrees and air fry for 4-5 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.  Allow the waffles to cool slightly.  Then cut into crouton-sized bites.

Next, place the popcorn chicken into the air fryer.  Set the air fryer to 400 degrees and air fry the chicken for 8 minutes or until it’s crispy on the outside.  Set aside.

Now, start assembling the salad in a bowl.  Add the Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, avocado, chicken, and waffles.

Mix up a quick dressing using a mason jar.  Add the oil, maple syrup, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and hot honey to a mason jar.  Shake it up.

Then, pour the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.

Easy Chicken and Waffles Salad

Easy Chicken and Waffles Salad

Ingredients

    For the salad:
  • 1-2 cups frozen popcorn chicken
  • 2 frozen buttermilk waffles
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. hot honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

    For the salad:
  1. Set the air fryer to 350 degrees. Air fry the waffles for 4-5 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
  2. Allow the waffles to cool slightly. Then, cut into crouton-size pieces and set aside.
  3. Then, add the popcorn chicken to the air fryer basket. Air fry for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees until crispy. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add the Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, avocado, chicken, and waffles to a salad bowl.
  5. For the dressing:
  6. In a small Mason jar, add the dressing ingredients.
  7. Shake until combined.
  8. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.

Notes

While the hot honey doesn't make the dressing spicy, if you're not a fan of spicy food, swap regular honey for the hot honey.

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This salad is a fun take on a Southern favorite!  It’s light enough for lunch, but would make a delicious dinner, too!

Did you make this Easy Chicken and Waffles Salad recipe?  Share it on social media using the hashtag #livinglavidaeats. Don’t forget to tag me @lavidaholoka!

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