Lemon Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Lemon Chicken with Buttermilk Dressing

This easy Lemon Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing is one of my most requested recipes ~ the tender crispy chicken on top of fresh greens and drenched in creamy buttermilk dressing is a healthy main course salad the whole family loves!

THIS Lemon Chicken with Buttermilk Dressing is one of my most requested recipes ~ the tender crispy chicken on top of a fresh salad and drenched in creamy buttermilk dressing is hard to beat!

lemon chicken salad is a staple in our house

There’s something about the warm chicken paired with a crisp salad that’s irresistible. It feels light and healthy, yet super satisfying. It’s a perfect transition meal when winter has dragged on and everybody’s starting to crave something lighter.

the best lettuce for a sturdy salad

Use any salad you like as the base, but I say keep it simple. I like to use a sturdy lettuce like romaine that can stand up to the heat of the chicken without wilting. And you can’t top that epic crunch factor, no other lettuce comes close!

lemon and buttermilk are key to this recipe

The chicken is inspired by Ina Garten’s Parmesan Chicken. I’ve simplified it, added lemon, and an unbelievably easy and delicious buttermilk dressing. The dressing can be used as a dip for raw veggies, too.

Lemon Chicken with Buttermilk Dressing

other dressings to try

You can vary up this lemon chicken salad with different dressings, but I highly recommend taking the few minutes to make homemade…it makes all the difference. I think my Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing would be great on this salad. Or if you like things extra rich and creamy, try my Authentic Caesar Dressing, I mix that up with an immersion blender in just seconds!

Lemon Chicken with Buttermilk Dressing ~ the perfect family meal!!

love chicken salad? me too!

THIS Lemon Chicken with Buttermilk Dressing is one of my most requested recipes ~ the tender crispy chicken on top of a fresh salad and drenched in creamy buttermilk dressing is hard to beat!
4.68 from 28 votes

Lemon Chicken with Buttermilk Dressing

This Lemon Chicken with Buttermilk Dressing is one of my most requested recipes ~ the tender crispy chicken on top of a fresh salad and drenched in creamy buttermilk dressing is hard to beat!
Course dinner, Salad
Cuisine American
Author Sue Moran


buttermilk dressing (1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • a handful of finely snipped chives

the chicken

  • about 6 medium chicken tenders
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 to mato
  • Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon


  • To make the dressing, put the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a small food processor and process until finely minced.
  • Add the buttermilk, sour cream, mayo, lemon juice, and chives. Process until well blended.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust any of the ingredients if you like. Pour into a jar and refrigerate till needed.
  • For the chicken, pour the buttermilk into a pie dish or square baking dish. Add the chicken and coat completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to cook. This can be done way in advance, if you like. Or not, your choice.
  • Prepare two dinner plates with chopped lettuce and tomato. Sprinkle generously with the cheese.
  • Mix the flour, cheese, salt, pepper and lemon zest in another pie plate or baking dish.
  • Coat the bottom of a saute pan with olive oil and heat until quite hot but not smoking.
  • Take the tenders out of the buttermilk and dredge in the flour mixture, making sure to coat all surfaces. Saute in the oil until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Squeeze the lemon juice into the hot pan and swirl around. Most of the liquid will evaporate immediately.
  • Serve the hot chicken over the salad, and drizzle lots of buttermilk dressing over all.

Cook’s notes

  • The cooking time does not include the marinating time for the chicken, which can be an hour or even overnight if you like
  • I love a thick cultured buttermilk, and you can find it in most stores. But if you’re stuck you can make it yourself using a cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Let it sit for 15 minutes before using.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2022 at 7:48 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve been making this for years but I never thought to leave a comment! We start making it every spring and continue right thru summer, it’s a winner!

  • Reply
    Teena McElroy
    October 29, 2020 at 9:08 am

    5 stars
    I just stumbled across this recipe again. It is so good. I love searching thru your recipes.

    • Reply
      October 29, 2020 at 12:37 pm

      Thanks Teena, there’s plenty of them to search through, that’s for sure 🙂

  • Reply
    May 14, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for supper today and was it ever good. Love your recipe for the buttermilk dressing. The only thing that I did different was add panko crumbs to the flour mixture to dredge the chicken in. They just added texture. This will be a keeper recipe.

    • Reply
      May 14, 2019 at 4:38 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it Diane, I love panko crumbs too, I always have them in the cupboard.

  • Reply
    Teena McElroy
    July 16, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I was craving this last night.

    • Reply
      July 16, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      I love this one too Teena 🙂 Welcome in to tvfgi!

  • Reply
    Barbara Blue
    March 26, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    5 stars
    This is going to work for absolutely everyone in the family!

    • Reply
      March 26, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser, Barb!

  • Reply
    Teena McElroy
    July 6, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    5 stars
    I finally made this for dinner. It was so good and satisfying. I will be making it again. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde / sunnycovechef
    June 19, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    5 stars
    Buttermilk adds a great flavor to almost anything. This looks like a wonderful tasty salad, such a treat for a summer day.

  • Reply
    Jacquelyn Grandy
    July 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I need to make this salad, like tonight. I usually reserve chicken cutlets for the fall and winter but you have inspired me to make them in the summer and top them on a salad. We actually ate pretty healthy on the 4th, believe it or not (that’s Marin for you). We met friends at the pool and did pot luck. We brought curry chicken, my kale salad and homemade hummus with fresh cut veggies. My kids did overload on candy at the parade though!

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