Clean “Healthified” Fried Chicken Salad

This is a healthier version of fried chicken on a salad with veggies and lots of dietary fiber. The dressing is made from goat’s milk yogurt and organic Ranch seasonings.

Healthier version of fried chicken on a salad with veggies and lots of dietary fiber.  The dressing is made from goat's milk yogurt and Ranch seasonings.

Fried Chicken Salad with Ranch Dressing

I think it might be one of my very favorite things.

Fried chicken on a salad with ranch dressing was one of my go-to orders at Whataburger. I don’t know if they even serve them anymore.

But we make them at home now – just a much healthier gluten-free version with our super tasty fried chicken tenders.

We use goat’s milk yogurt and a ranch spice blend to make the dressing instead of bottled ranch because it is better for our gut health.  

I love using goat’s milk yogurt!

We use it as a base for creamy salad dressings.  We use it with taco seasoning in this mango, black bean and wild rice salad.

It also works so perfectly to replace sour cream.  You have got to try our healthified white chicken enchilada casserole!

And I use it to replace buttermilk when making gluten-free chicken fried steak! Yay, goat’s milk yogurt.

Food Choices For Gut Health

Since I’ve been reading about gut health and how important it is to feed our gut microbiota both prebiotics and probiotics, we’ve adapted so many classic favorites into much healthier versions.

Prebiotics feed our gut bacteria while probiotics help our gut bacteria fine tune the immune system.

And we need to feed the gut bacteria dietary fiber (probiotics from fermented foods alone are not enough).

So we are really trying to increase our intake of dietary fiber /complex carbohydrates. Salads are a great source of fiber because of all that veg.

I also have some lentils (prebiotic with lots of dietary fiber) cooked up in the fridge that I’ll throw on to this salad, too.

And I just love asparagus, so we always have it around. Not only is it a detoxifier, but it is a prebiotic because it contains inulin – a dietary fiber the gut bugs love. #feedthegutbugs

What to Avoid

At the same time as feeding the gut bugs, we also want to avoid things that might disrupt the gut bugs like

  • pesticides
  • things sprayed with Round-up (glyphosate)
  • antibiotics
  • artificial sweeteners
  • xanthan gum

Of course, a little isn’t going to do much harm but it is worth considering how much we are taking in collectively.

Plus you might want to avoid these things while trying to rebuild your gut microbiota, especially after antibiotic treatments.

And as I’ve said before, we don’t know how much glyphosate is showing up in all of our food, water, wine and beer but it is showing up in our food as well as our beer & wine.

So what is that doing to our gut bugs on top of everything else?

I don’t think we really know yet.

So that is why we prefer to shop organic and non-GMO, unless the non-GMO food is sprayed with glyphosate like some oats and wheat.

Healthy Ranch Dressing

A healthier version of our favorite comfort condiment with the benefit of probiotics while avoiding the harm of certain additives and weird stuff.

When we use the plain goat’s milk yogurt to make this ranch dressing you get the benefit of live cultured bacteria.

And although the live cultured bacteria from fermented foods do not take up residence in our gut, they really help our immune system recognize friendly bacteria.

On the plus side as well, the sourness of the yogurt makes a really fantastic substitute for that buttermilk flavor in regular ranch dressing.

And it is so simple to make, too.

Without all the added stuff like preservatives, sugar, MSG, xanthan gum and other additives in store-bought ranch dressing.

Okay, so to make the ranch dressing just make up a ranch spice mix with organic bulk spices. Then add a tablespoon to about 3/4 cup yogurt. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. And voila!

gluten free fried chicken tenders

Fried Chicken Tenders

I’ve posted our go-to recipe for making gluten-free fried chicken tenders here.

We like to use the gluten-free all-purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill bean blend) as the breading.  I used to love the certified gluten-free oat flour but does it contain glyphosate now, too?

They are brined in a seasoned salt bath, coated in flour, and then fried in coconut and olive oil.

And of course, we use organic, air-chilled, hormone and antibiotic-free chicken.  

For this salad you probably just need one large breast cut into pieces to make a few chicken tenders.  But always like to make up a big batch.  They are great to have around.

Prep That Salad

The rest is pretty easy.

Wash all that veg, preferably with filtered water. Then cut it up in to bite-size pieces.

Add the lettuce and veggies into a large bowl. Sprinkle with a handful of cooked lentils. As well as a few pumpkins and sunflower seeds because they are so good for you, too.  

Add your healthy ranch yogurt. Cut up the fried chicken tenders and place on top.

And feel good about eating your healthified fried chicken salad. 🙂

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Healthified Fried Chicken Salad & Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Make your own ranch dressing with organic spices and goat’s milk yogurt for a healthier version of a classic comfort food like fried chicken on a delicious salad.

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword fried chicken, goat’s milk yogurt Ranch dressing, healthified fried chicken salad, salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author Deana Larkin Evans


Ranch Spice Mix

  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp onion flakes
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Ranch Salad Dressing

  • 3/4 cup plain goat’s milk yogurt (Redwood Hill Farm)
  • 1 tbsp Ranch spice mix
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper

Fried Chicken Salad

  • lettuce
  • rainbow Carrots
  • tomatoes
  • Persian cucumbers
  • sweet mini bell peppers
  • asparagus
  • cooked lentil
  • pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • fried crispy chicken tenders


  1. Mix together all of the spices to make homemade ranch spice mix. Keep in an airtight container or spice jar.

  2. Combine the goat’s milk yogurt and 1 tbsp of ranch spice mix. Add a little salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix together until well combined and store in the refrigerator until the salad is ready.

  3. Fry or cook up the chicken tenders. 

  4. Wash all the vegetables and then prep by slicing into bite size pieces.

  5. The asparagus can be cooked by blanching on the stove in a small saucepan or in the microwave. Add water and a little olive oil then cook for 3-4 minutes until bright green.

  6. Assemble the salads with lettuce, veggies, lentils, seeds, ranch dressing and the fried chicken. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  1. We buy organic gluten-free spices in bulk and make our own organic spice blends. Most of the vegetables, seeds and lentils are also organic as well. Chicken is organic and antibiotic-free.
  2. Instructions for making gluten-free fried chicken tenders can be found on this blog post:  You can brine in seasoned salt and water for only 20 minutes while you prep the salad.

Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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