Copy-Cat Not So Fried Chicken Salad

If you are a fan of Mendocino Farms’ “Not So Fried Chicken Salad” you are going to love my copy cat version here! 

Copy cat Not So Fried Chicken Salad

Mendocino Farms has a “salad style” recipe for their famous “Not So Fried” Chicken Sandwich that is one of my favorites to order on busy weeknights and it’s so so delicious!  If you’ve never had it, you’re probably wondering where the  “Not So Fried” comes into play. Well, that’s just what makes this salad the BEST! Shaved, roasted chicken breast is topped with their iconic “Mendo Krispies” a crunchy, magical topping that gives the essence of a crispy chicken, but just sprinkled right on over the top of the salad. I did some digging into their nutritional facts and found that it’s a herby, buttermilk-polenta topping that they add to their roasted, shaved chicken breast, in lieu of the usual breaded and deep-fried chicken.

To keep this simple at home, my homemade version of the “mendo krispies” is simply a blend of gluten-free panko breadcrumbs, herbs, and grated parmesan cheese that is baked in the oven until golden and crisp! Easy to make, yet still gets that irresistible crunch on the salad! 

Copy cat Not So Fried Chicken Salad

The other element that really sets this salad apart is the mustard shallot dressing and a tangy barbecue sauce drizzle right on top. My mustard shallot dressing here is easy to make and absolutely delicious– you’re going to fall in love with it immediately. Just use your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce to finish off the salad! I really love The New Primal Classic BBQ sauce. 

This is the perfect way to spruce up your spring and summer salad game. This salad will quickly become a favorite with its big, bold flavors and oh-so-fabulous layers of texture! I hope you love this one as much as I do and be sure to try the one at Mendocino Farms if you haven’t yet. It’s delightful! 

Copy cat Not So Fried Chicken Salad

If you love this recipe, try some of my other favorite, loaded salads:

BBQ Chicken Skewer Salad with Herby Ranch 

Mexican Inspired Chopped Salad 

Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad

Copy-Cat Not So Fried Chicken Salad

Serves: 4
5 from 9 votes
Total Time35 minutes


Mustard-Shallot Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped shallot
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grainy dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

For the Krispies:

  • ½ cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups spring greens
  • 2 cups coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup pickled red onions
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked roughly chopped chicken (I use Rotisserie)
  • 4 tablespoons BBQ Sauce


  • Preheat the oven to 375℉.
  • In a blender or using an immersion blender in a wide-mouth jar, combine all of the Mustard-Shallot Vinaigrette ingredients and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • On a small baking sheet, add the panko, parmesan, thyme, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix until well combined and spread into a single layer. Transfer to the oven and bake until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven to let cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the greens, slaw, pickled onions, and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with desired amount of the Mustard-Shallot Vinaigrette and toss until well coated.
  • Divide the salad among 4 plates. Top with the chopped cooked chicken and the Krispies. Drizzle with BBQ sauce and enjoy!


  • Reply
    May 26, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    5 stars
    This was INCREDIBLE! I have a husband and 2 teenage boys that aren’t huge salad eaters and they scarfed it down. Made enough to serve 8 for just the 4 of us and NO leftovers!
    I eat Mendocino Farms a lot, and you NAILED the flavor profile.
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      May 29, 2023 at 10:33 pm

      This is my favorite type of review! Thanks for sharing and glad it was a hit

  • Reply
    Jeanette Parkinson
    May 12, 2023 at 2:46 am

    5 stars
    Great recipe, thank you! Love the crispy topping, everything goes together really well, will definitely make it again!

  • Reply
    April 25, 2023 at 4:58 pm

    5 stars
    This was delicious! I used extra krispies as a topping for our side of tomato soup – the perfect meal 🙂

    • Reply
      April 25, 2023 at 6:33 pm

      YUM! Love the idea of using this on top of soup — such a good idea.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2023 at 11:25 pm

    5 stars
    Delish. Salads are a tough sell with my teenager and young adult. Both gave it a thumbs up.

  • Reply
    April 23, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    5 stars
    Super easy, lots of textures and tasty flavors. 10/10!!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2023 at 10:26 pm

    5 stars
    I loved this salad! I only made it for 2, but used almost all the krispies anyways because they were so good. 🙂 Next time I need to actually remember to get a rotisserie chicken to make it even easier. Will absolutely be making this one regularly for an easy dinner.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    How many will this serve?

    • Reply
      April 13, 2023 at 6:09 pm

      This serves 4!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    5 stars
    This is going to be another add to my rotation! I knew we’d love it but it is the perfect dish for a warm weeknight meal! I loved that it is made with pretty much everything I had on hand ( I did have to air fry some chicken but no regrets there!).
    Thank you for another hit, Alex!

    • Reply
      April 13, 2023 at 3:11 pm

      So glad to hear it, thanks for commenting!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2023 at 11:04 pm

    5 stars
    This was so good! I didn’t have the Cole slaw or the pickled onions but it was still amazing!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2023 at 1:38 am

    5 stars
    I just ordered all of the ingredients I didn’t have on hand for this (which were very few) & can’t wait to make it! Your salads just always hit the spot & I was especially sold at “Not So Fried Chicken”!

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