Fried Chicken Salad (inspired by Honor Bar)

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If you’re a fan of Hillstone restaurants, you’re familiar with the Ding’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich that graces the Honor Bar menu. It’s the Fried Chicken Sandwich of your dreams and today… I turned it into a salad. Please welcome the Fried Chicken Salad and make it as soon as humanly possible!

Fried Chicken Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

If you’re like me, you love a good fried chicken sandwich. But sometimes, I want something a little lighter – enter one of my favorite healthy chicken salad recipes my Fried Chicken Salad (inspired by the Honor Bar). This dish is inspired by the Honor Bar in Santa Barbara, and it’s perfect for summertime BBQs, potlucks, or really any time of year. Plus, it’s easy to make – just follow these simple steps!

Where to begin – let’s start at the base of this Fried Chicken Salad. When we’re talking about serving a salad with fried chicken, you need a base that is going to stand up to the chicken. Enter, this tangy (NO MAYO) slaw salad. Calling it a slaw might not even be the right word, but we’re going for it. It’s finely shredded kale and cabbage tossed with an insanely delish vinaigrette. It’s the salad base of my dreams and it’s perfect for sitting below some fried chicken.

Fried Chicken Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

Okay next… Fried Chicken! This isn’t deep fried chicken – it’s more of a pan fried schnitzel. And it’s heavenly. It doesn’t take too long to make, there is not buttermilk marinating time, and you don’t need 5 quarts of oil. It’s perfection.

Tips for making Fried Chicken:

Fried chicken is a classic dish that can be enjoyed by everyone. Crispy, juicy, and heavenly, what’s not to love? Though it may seem daunting to make at home, we promise it’s not as difficult as you may think! Here are a few tips and tricks for making perfect fried chicken every time.

  • Tip #1: Use a meat thermometer! This is critical for ensuring that your chicken is cooked through to perfection without being overcooked or dry. Aim for an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Tip #2: Pound your chicken breasts so they are about 1/2″ thick, this makes it uniform so it cooks faster and more evenly.
  • Tip #3: Use a cast iron skillet. Cast iron creates even heat distribution which helps to create that perfect golden brown exterior we all crave.
  • Tip #4: Don’t overcrowd the pan. This will lower the temperature of the oil and result in soggy, greasy chicken. Instead, cook in batches if necessary.
  • Tip #5: Let it rest! After cooking, allow your chicken to rest on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before adding to the salad.

We hope these tips help you create delicious fried chicken at home! Remember, the key is in the technique – so don’t be afraid to experiment until you get it just right.

Fried Chicken Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

And last but not least – BRIOCHE CROUTONS. Oh my goodness, there is not much that needs to be said about these other than they are truly the most perfect croutons I’ve ever made!

So just to recap this life altering Fried Chicken Salad – here’s what we’re looking at:

  • A cabbage kale salad base
  • The tangy vinaigrette you’ll be obsessed with
  • An easy pan-friend chicken
  • And Brioche croutons that are light and airy and perfect crunchy!

Fried Chicken Salad Ingredients List:

Salad Base Ingredients:

  • Shredded cabbage
  • Shredded kale
  • Cherry tomatoes halved
  • Fontina cheese

Tangy Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • Peanut oil
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Lemon juiced
  • Honey
  • Black pepper
  • Dijon mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic minced

Pan Fried Chicken Ingredients:

  • Skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • Lemon
  • Garlic powder
  • Egg
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Olive oil

Brioche Crouton Ingredients:

  • Brioche bread a few days old
  • Olive oil
  • Unsalted butter melted
  • Garlic chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper

Fried Chicken Salad is the best salad. Fact. And this Fried Chicken Salad recipe is about to become your new go-to. It’s got all of the flavors you love – savory chicken, crispy croutons, and a tangy vinaigrette – plus it’s healthy and easy to make. So what are you waiting for? Make this fried chicken salad today!

10 best chicken salad recipes (+ a pizza recipe and slaw)

Fried Chicken Sandwich Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

Fried Chicken Sandwich Salad from Honor Bar

5 from 5 votes
A salad spin on the classic Fried Chicken Sandwich aka Ding's Crispy Chicken Sandwich from Hillstone's Honor Bar!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course, Salad, Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


For the Chicken

  • 2 4-6 ounce skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Brioche Croutons

  • 1/2 loaf brioche bread a few days old
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

For the Kale Cabbage Slaw Salad

  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups finely shredded kale
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup cubed fontina cheese

For the Dressing

  • 3/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic minced


For the Chicken:

  • Place the chicken breasts in a plastic bag, one at a time, and pound them so they are about 1/2 inch thick throughout its entirety.
  • Prepare 3 bowls, one with flour, salt, pepper, lemon zest and the garlic powder, one with whisked eggs and the last with Panko bread crumbs.
  • Place each piece of chicken in the flour, coating both sides, and shaking off any excess. Next dunk it into the whisked egg – let any excess liquid drain off. Next, coat it with the Panko breadcrumbs.
  • Place a large skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully place one piece of Chicken Schnitzel into the pan and let it cook for 3-5 minutes and then flip it over to finish cooking. Each piece should be golden brown on both sides.
  • Remove the chicken to a paper towel lined plate and repeat the process with the remaining chicken. Once all the chicken is cooked, give it all a generous squeeze of lemon, and season with more salt as needed.

For the Brioche Croutons:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Tear the bread into medium bite sized PIECES. Transfer cubed bread to a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle the bread with the olive oil and butter and then sprinkle with garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  • Using your hands, gently toss the croutons and make sure they are coated with all the oils, butters and seasonings.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool before serving

For the Dressing:

  • Whisk all ingredients together and adjust salt and pepper as needed. 

For Assembly:

  • In a large serving bowl put the slaw, chicken, croutons and dressing and toss to combine. Add chives and extra salt and pepper as needed. 


  1. 5 stars
    Made it tonight, it was great! Really did remind me of the Ding’s Chicken Sandwich at Houston’s (don’t have an Honor Bar I live).

    1. 5 stars
      love this! easily on my weekly rotation. skipped cheese and added avocado, so good.
      love dressing too, had everything in pantry. thank you for an amazing recipe!!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious!!!! We have a Hillstone restaurant here in Napa Valley (Rutherford Grill) so I was very excited to try this since everything they make is amazing. I made it exactly (Italian seasoning is missing from the crouton ingredient list but it’s in the directions, glad I didn’t miss it) and it’s a new staple recipe now. My husband loves it (I am writing this as we are eating). Thank you!

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