Blackened Chicken Salad with Light Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

by Andie Mitchell on January 28, 2013

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It has been far too long since I’ve shared a salad with you. The ones I toss together at lunchtime tend to be either too bizarre or too boring to merit a proper recipe, but this one?

It deserves attention.

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Crisp romaine topped with bold and spicy blackened chicken, drizzled in homemade buttermilk ranch dressing. All of it is light, and every bite of it is delicious.

Make it as soon as you can.

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Blackened Chicken Salad
For the blackened seasoning:

makes 2 tablespoons, enough to coat 1 pound of beef/poultry/fish/tofu

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground thyme

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

 

Remaining Ingredients:

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2″ thick cutlets

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

8 cups mixed salad (chopped romaine lettuce, bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes)

3/4 cup Light Buttermilk Ranch Dressing–recipe below

 

Combine all blackened seasoning ingredients in a small bowl. Season the chicken cutlets on both sides with the mixture.

Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken cutlets and allow to cook for 5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate. Turn the heat down slightly and add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the remaining chicken cutlets and cook for 5 minutes per side. Remove to the plate with the rest of the cooked cutlets. Cover and set aside while you prepare the salads.

To serve: Divide the mixed salad among four large bowls or plates, and drizzle each salad with about 3 tablespoons dressing. Slice the blackened chicken cutlets and divide the slices evenly among the dressed salads. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (2 cups salad, 3 tablespoons dressing, 1/4th of the prepared chicken): Calories 325, Total Fat 18.1 g, Total Carbohydrate 9.7 g, Dietary Fiber 2.7 g, Sugars 4.3 g, 30.5 g

 

Light Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

adapted from Farmgirl Fare

makes about 2 cups, or 8 servings

½ cup mayonnaise (full fat)

½ cup fat free Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

¾ to 1 cup 1% low fat buttermilk

 

In a small bowl, whisk to combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic, powder, onion powder, parsley, chives, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

Whisk in the vinegar, followed by 3/4 cup buttermilk. Slowly add more buttermilk if you desire a thinner consistency. The dressing should keep for up to 5 days stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information for 1 Serving of Dressing (about 3 tablespoons): Calories 110, Total Fat 10.3 g, Total Carbohydrate 2 g, Dietary Fiber 0 g, Sugars 2 g, Protein 2.4 g

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane @ Vintage Zest January 28, 2013 at 11:34 pm

This is getting to be pretty difficult. I can’t figure out which recipes to make next!

I just made your lettuce wraps and chicken parmesan burgers, but now I have to make so many more! This recipe, yesterday’s chicken & sun-dried tomatoes, the pear bread pudding, and your coconut-custard pie from all the way in November. That’s just the start of the list.

Hold up girl! We can’t keep up! :)

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Barbie January 29, 2013 at 12:03 am

This looks so good!

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Heather @ SugarDish(Me) January 29, 2013 at 7:30 am

So strange that this landed in my inbox today; I was just thinking last night that I should make a light ranch dressing with Greek yogurt!

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Paula January 29, 2013 at 8:20 am

I will make this!

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Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) January 29, 2013 at 9:15 am

Can’t wait to try the homemade light ranch – sounds fabulous!

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Aubrey January 29, 2013 at 9:23 am

I never include salt in a recipe even when it calls for it. I figure if it needs salt I can add it after all is said and done. Do you think I’d be better off adding it as I go?

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admin January 29, 2013 at 11:11 am

Hey Aubrey,
Honestly, I think you’d be fine to omit the salt and add it afterwards to your taste. All that matters is that it’s seasoned to your personal liking, and from the sounds of it, I’m guessing a little goes a long way for you?

Good question!

Andie

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Katie January 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Rachel –

My mom always taught me to include salt whenever called for in a recipe…check out Alton Brown for confirmation on this, but I believe it has to do with the chemical reaction of salt to the food. It actually alters the flavors of the foods as you cook!
If you add salt at the end, it’s simply adding the flavor of the salt to the surface of the food, rather than enhancing all the elements. In this case, I suspect you’d find that the buttermilk dressing would be more flavorful with the salt added during the mix than afterward on the top. :)

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admin January 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Katie,

Thank you for such a thoughtful and helpful comment!

Andie

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Emily @ MainEats January 29, 2013 at 9:30 am

That looks AMAZING! I have never “blackened” anything myself but always order like that at restaurants…I guess the time is now!

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape January 29, 2013 at 9:33 am

This looks like the perfect salad!!

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Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) January 29, 2013 at 9:37 am

Ohh I’ve been looking for a good homemade Ranch recipe! And where would I find smoked paprika… need to get on this :P

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admin January 29, 2013 at 11:09 am

I found smoked paprika at Trader Joe’s for something like $2!

Andie

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Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic January 29, 2013 at 10:49 am

I’ve been obsessed with ranch lately, and I really should just make my own at home! This looks great, especially with the blackened chicken.

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April January 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm

This looks great! I had a SW Shrimp Salad on my menu for the week, but I think I’ll sub this instead. I’ve been making my own dressings a lot lately and they are so good I wonder why I still have bottles in my fridge. For lazy days I suppose. :)

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Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) January 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I hope you realize that all of my Pinterest Pins will be covered with pictures from your blog. ;)

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Haley Naegele January 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I noticed that you left the heaping teaspoon of dill out of the recipe (I know you mentioned you adapted it), but isn’t dill an important part of ranch dressing? Thanks!

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admin January 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Haley, excellent point! I didn’t have any dill, so I left it out of my version and still found it had enough “ranch” flavor, but I think you’re right–for a truer take on tradition, we should include the dill!

Thanks for pointing it out!! I’ve edited the recipe :)

Andie

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Larissa January 29, 2013 at 9:36 pm

I made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious. A great and refreshing salad with a great kick of flavor on the chicken.

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admin January 29, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Thank you so much Larissa! I’m really glad to hear it!

Andie

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Carrie @ Season It Already! January 29, 2013 at 11:03 pm

This is right up my alley. Whenever I go back to visit my parents, we go to this one restaurant where I order a cajun chicken salad with cajun ranch. I think this just might be the ticket to make it at home!

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Rocio January 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

Oh Andie you did it again, you made my mouth water with your recepie! I really have to start cooking more.

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Lisa @ Elle Sees January 30, 2013 at 10:33 am

I follow your blog via RSS feed so I haven’t been to your actual homepage in a while, and OH MY GOODNESS it’s beautiful! I love the redesign. And the photography. And those sprinkle blondies… I’ll be back!

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Sophie Juliette January 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I think my boyfriend would absolutely love this, I may have to bookmark it and try it sometime :-)

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Camille Willemain January 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm

YUMMMMMMY!!!! I die. I die. Oooo and with avocado too!

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Caitlin January 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Looks sooo good. Thanks for sharing!

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Janet@FCTC January 31, 2013 at 12:33 am

Oh, this looks fantastic! I have been craving some greens. Now to convince the others in the house (all males who eat like…well..males) that yes, salad really IS a good dinner.

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Gracie January 31, 2013 at 7:12 pm

This looks fantastic, but I do have one question,
a wee snippit of a request…
I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, and I have thoroughly embraced your concept of party-sized salads for lunch, crazy dressings and all!
However,
it’s a tad nippy here in the midwest,
a little frozen,
a tid-bit below freezing,
…my tiny car is now a small snow mountain.
And recently, I’ve been wishing my salad would simultaneously combust into a hot bowl of tomato soup…Do you ever waver from the lunch salad in favor of warmer options?

All my best, Gracie

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Mary Boland February 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Love this! Just wish you had the Points Plus figured into your Recipies, they look and sound Awsome! Congrats on ALL YOUR HARD WORK ! Also Thanks for Sharing :)

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Donna February 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Hi Mary. I’m in the Weight Watchers program and I ran this recipe through Recipe Builder when I made it today. 1 serving (a 4 oz. chicken cutlet, the salad greens and 3 Tbls. of the dressing) adds up to 7 points plus. What a find!

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Haley February 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm

OMGosh! This salad is amazing. I’m not even a salad lover! Nice work!

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Donna February 2, 2013 at 6:58 pm

I made this recipe for lunch today. Oh my gosh is it good! Definitely packs a punch of spice, just like I like it. And cooking the chicken for only 5 minutes per side made it done just right — tender, juicy. This dish was absolutely delicious, and the dressing was fabulous as well. The dressing is just the right touch of creaminess to offset the heat of the chicken coating. Hubs liked it as well. REALLY GOOD! Thank you for sharing!

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admin February 2, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Thank you so much for the review, Donna! I’m delighted to hear you liked it!

Andie

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Donna February 2, 2013 at 10:58 pm

My pleasure. I’m going to have it for lunch again tomorrow — it is just that good.
Thank you for sharing, not only your amazing recipes, but also your journey. I’m starting on mine, about to lose about 80 pounds, and I’ve found your story just amazing. You are such an inspiration.

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Jane February 7, 2013 at 6:18 am

Had this for dinner last night – Delicious!

I’m loving your blog. I’ve tried a bunch of the recipes and I keep coming back for more.I’ve passed your blog onto friends, co-workers, even my ww group lol! Thank you for sharing & can’t wait to read your book!

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sundance vacations February 21, 2013 at 1:16 am

I have been craving some greens. Now to convince the others in the house (all males who eat like…well..males) that yes, salad really IS a good dinner.

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April March 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Just made this last night and it was wonderful! The kids raved, plates were licked, tummies were delighted and I can’t wait to post it on my own blog so my family and friends can love it too. Leftover dressing went on spinach salad for lunch today and still have some left for a salad tomorrow. So good!!

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Janette March 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I have been looking for a good blackened chicken recipe like this for soooo long. I pinned it a couple days ago, just made it and finished my salad. I usually make up my salads on the spot but my base is spinach, carrots, bell pepper. With the chicken I didn’t need any dressing. It was so mouthwatering, the perfect kick, I used a little under a teaspoon of salt and black pepper instead of sugar. It was just amazing!

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April March 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Spreading your wisdom far and wide. Seriously one of my favorites on here so far. http://3hungrymonkeys.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/blackened-chicken-salad-2/

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Pest Control in St. Charles March 19, 2013 at 3:49 am

I’ve tried a bunch of the recipes and I keep coming back for more.I’ve passed your blog onto friends, co-workers, even my ww group lol!

Reply

Sky Lanterns March 19, 2013 at 8:52 am

I’m in the Weight Watchers program and I ran this recipe through Recipe Builder when I made it today. 1 serving (a 4 oz. chicken cutlet, the salad greens and 3 Tbls. of the dressing) adds up to 7 points plus. What a find!

Reply

document management April 25, 2013 at 5:55 am

The kids raved, plates were licked, tummies were delighted and I can’t wait to post it on my own blog so my family and friends can love it too.

Reply

castors April 29, 2013 at 2:58 am

The dressing is just the right touch of creaminess to offset the heat of the chicken coating. Hubs liked it as well. REALLY GOOD! Thank you for sharing!

Reply

online pokies australia June 15, 2013 at 5:22 am

This is right up my alley. Whenever I go back to visit my parents, we go to this one restaurant where I order a cajun chicken salad with cajun ranch. I think this just might be the ticket to make it at home

Reply

expression web template June 22, 2013 at 6:54 am

This is right up my alley. Whenever I go back to visit my parents, we go to this one restaurant where I order a cajun chicken salad with cajun ranch. I think this just might be the ticket to make it at home

Reply

Rocket Spanish July 4, 2013 at 1:26 am

I’m loving your blog. I’ve tried a bunch of the recipes and I keep coming back for more.I’ve passed your blog onto friends, co-workers, even my ww group lol! Thank you for sharing & can’t wait to read your book!

Reply

Cuirdit July 5, 2013 at 4:13 am

I think my boyfriend would absolutely love this, I may have to bookmark it and try it sometime

Reply

cbt london July 11, 2013 at 2:21 am

I made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious. A great and refreshing salad with a great kick of flavor on the chicken.

Reply

gadget September 30, 2013 at 8:46 am

This is the great post and the given great knowledge..All content is nice..Thanks for this post…

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