Bulk Up Your Weekday Salad With Frozen Chicken Nuggets

When you've had a long workday and you just want to whip up something quick for dinner, frozen food is the way to go. It's not all as bad as you may assume, and in fact, frozen fries are actually chef-approved. But if you don't want an entirely pre-packaged meal, combine freezer staples with easy, fresh dishes to make something simple but delicious — for example, frozen chicken nuggets in a salad.

It may not be the most gourmet meal ever, but it's not supposed to be. Adding heated-up chicken nuggets to your salad is a yummy way to combine a quick, nostalgic childhood favorite with a nutritious meal that we may have rejected as kids, but now can appreciate more as adults. Plus, out of all the proteins you can add to your veggies (salmon, tofu, chicken breast, etc.), nuggets are one of the easiest and most fun — and they come already portioned into perfectly bite-sized pieces. Along with juicy poultry, you'll get a hot, crispy coating that can add texture and crunch to your bed of lettuce.

How to incorporate frozen chicken nuggets into a salad

To make this meal even easier, start with a bagged salad or make one fresh at home. Chicken nuggets pair perfectly with Caesar, cobb, or antipasto salads, although you can also serve them on top of burrito salad bowls with beans and corn, hearty kale dishes where they will hold up amidst the studier greens, and fall assortments that feature complementing veggies like Brussels sprouts. The beautiful thing about chicken is that its mild flavor can go with almost anything, so you can make your salad as complex or as simple as you'd like. But if you're not sure where to start, look to bowls that could use the crunch that the nuggets will provide.

When it comes to cooking your frozen bites, you can essentially choose if you'd rather heat them in the oven, air fryer, or microwave. While the latter will completely work, the air fryer is another quick option that will give you an ultra-crispy coating. Depending on their size, you may be able to just plop your cooked nuggets in your salad, but if you're using bigger versions or even tenders, you'll likely want to dice them up first. Whichever one you go for, try to keep them as dry as possible, since a soggy coating can seep into your lettuce. But once the chicken bites are in your bowl, all you have to do is toss and enjoy.