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Spinach Caesar Salad with Air Fryer Chicken

I wanted to share with you a summer lunch idea that I've been making pretty often: Spinach Chicken Caesar Salad with Air Fryer Chicken. I love that this salad has warm, freshly cooked chicken in my salads, and that I can assemble the salad while the chicken cooks. The whole dish takes about 10-15 minutes! 

Bowl of spinach Caesar salad with air fryer chicken breast
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Spinach Caesar salad

Traditionally, Caesar salad uses Romaine lettuce. And while Romaine lettuce is wonderful and oh so crunchy, I often prefer baby spinach in my salads.

Baby spinach is delish, super nutritious, and best of all—pre-washed, organic, and small enough that it doesn't need chopping. (I always buy organic and triple-washed baby spinach to save time).

So if I can make a quick lunch salad that does NOT require me to take out the salad spinner or to chop lettuce, I am in!

That's how much Spinach Caesar Salad was born. Don't worry, I did not mess with the rest of the traditional ingredients. The freshly shaved Parmesan, crunchy buttery salty croutons, and creamy Caesar dressing all make an appearance in my spinach salad bowl.

More nutritious salads that make a great meal: Tuna Quinoa Salad

Air fryer chicken for salad

If you're like my and love a good hearty salad for lunch, then you probably appreciate warm, freshly cooked chicken in your salad to add protein, flavor, and bulk. Air frying chicken for a salad is by far my favorite, least messy way to cook up fresh chicken for a salad.

I just season thin-sliced chicken breast with garlic salt and pop it in the air fryer for about 8 minutes (a bit longer if the chicken breast is thick).

While the chicken is air frying, I assemble the rest of the salad. 

Ready to get started?

Ingredients to make spinach Caesar salad with chicken


  • 3-4 cups baby spinach (or use whatever salad greens you prefer)
  • 1 chicken thin-sliced chicken breast (try to get one that's thin and small, otherwise you'll be cooking it longer. Thin-sliced chicken breasts or cutlets would be perfect for this to cut down on cooking time! See also: 30 Thin-Sliced Chicken Breast Recipes)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt (or adjust to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese (I like to use a grater or vegetable peeler to "shave" off large chunks of Parmesan from a block. Or you can do this with a cutting board and a paring knife.)
  • 2 tablespoons Caesar dressing
  • Croutons (as many as your crunch-loving heart desires! I like garlic and/or Parmesan flavored croutons)

More delicious salads with chicken: Chicken and Chickpea Salad


For this recipe, you'll need:

More delicious air fryer chicken recipes: Air Fryer Chicken and Shrimp Alfredo


Step 1: Place the chicken breast into your air fryer basket or tray. Spray the basket or tray with olive oil if yours is not non-stick. Season both sides of the chicken breast with garlic salt.

Chicken breast seasoned with garlic salt in an air fryer

Step 2: Place the air fryer basket/tray in the air fryer. Set the temperature to 380F and cook for 8 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the internal temperature in the thickest part is at least 165F when checked with a meat thermometer.

Air fried cooked chicken breast

Step 3: While the chicken breast is in the air fryer, build your salad: Place the spinach in a large bowl or on a dinner plate. Add the shaved Parmesan cheese. Add the Caesar dressing and croutons.

Step 4: When the chicken is fully cooked, dice it into bite-sized pieces or into strips, and top your salad with freshly cooked chicken. You can chop the chicken on a cutting board, or hold it with tongs and use kitchen shears to dice it directly into the bowl. Enjoy!

More hearty meal salads: Hawaiian Chicken Salad with Pineapple

More salad additions to try

Even though these might not be traditional ingredients in a Caesar salad, I often like to add these for extra crunch, flavor, and nutrition:

  • Halved cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Slivered almonds
  • Steamed edamame (OK, let's be real: frozen microwaved edamame)
  • Swap shrimp for chicken

Whatever you decide to add to your salad, I guarantee you that taking a few minutes to freshly air fry chicken for a Caesar salad will make a much more delicious salad than simply reheating frozen store-bought grilled chicken.

I hope you enjoy this salad as much I do!

More air fryer poultry recipes: Air Fryer Cornish Hens

More awesome salad recipes to try

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Spinach Caesar salad with diced air fryer chicken
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Spinach Caesar Salad with Air Fryer Chicken

Need a quick salad recipe? This Spinach Caesar Salad recipe comes together in just 10 minutes, even with freshly cooked chicken!
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 2 side dish salads or 1 lunch-sized portion
Author: Kate


  • 3-4 cups baby spinach - or any salad greens
  • 1 thin-sliced chicken breast - (chicken cutlets), or use small chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons shaved parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons Caesar dressing
  • croutons

Special equipment


  • Place a piece of chicken breast in the air fryer basket. Be sure to spray olive oil on the bottom of the basket first so that the chicken breast doesn’t stick.
    1 thin-sliced chicken breast
  • Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with garlic salt.
    1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • Air fry at 380F for about 8-10 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165F.
  • While the chicken breast is in the air fryer, build your salad: Add your spinach and shaved Parmesan to your plate. Add the Caesar dressing and croutons.
    3-4 cups baby spinach, 2 tablespoons shaved parmesan, 2 tablespoons Caesar dressing, croutons
  • Once the chicken breast has cooked through in the air fryer, dice it into bite-sized pieces. Top your salad with the chicken breast and enjoy!


Try adding: steamed edamame, sliced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes. Try swapping shrimp for chicken, or using both shrimp and chicken, like I do in my air fryer shrimp and chicken Alfredo.


Calories: 242kcal (12%) | Carbohydrates: 3g (1%) | Protein: 28g (56%) | Fat: 13g (20%) | Saturated Fat: 3g (15%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg (27%) | Sodium: 7413mg (309%) | Potassium: 763mg (22%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 1g (1%) | Vitamin A: 5704IU (114%) | Vitamin C: 18mg (22%) | Calcium: 136mg (14%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

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