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Chicken Taco Salad

Chicken Taco Salad

This chicken taco salad is one of our favourites – juicy, grilled, cilantro lime chicken and tasty taco ranch dressing!

Who else loves taco salad? Or taco anything really, I’m not that picky. If taco flavours of some sort are involved, I’m probably pretty happy with my meal.

Anyone else?

This chicken taco salad is probably one of my favourites though. I’ve made it more times then I can count and we are always happy with this meal.

The recipe uses a cilantro lime chicken marinade and the chicken is then grilled to juicy perfection. The salad is filled with all your favourite taco toppings – lettuce, corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, avocado, green onions, cilantro and tortilla chips.

This chicken taco salad is one of our favourite meals - juicy, grilled cilantro lime chicken tossed with salad, tortilla chips and tasty taco ranch dressing!

And the dressing is fantastic. It actually might be my favourite part of this salad. When I’m making a quick taco salad for dinner we sometimes just use plain leftover cooked chicken, all the veggies, and sour cream and salsa for “dressing”. And while that’s tasty, it doesn’t compare to this version.

This chicken is just so flavourful and amazing with that cilantro lime chicken marinade. And the dressing is SO good. Simple to make, it’s just mayo, sour cream, ranch seasoning, taco seasoning and lime juice – but it goes so well with the other flavours happening here. It really makes the salad in my opinion, so don’t skip it!

This chicken taco salad is one of our favourite meals - juicy, grilled cilantro lime chicken tossed with salad, tortilla chips and tasty taco ranch dressing!

I know a lot of people don’t think salad makes a meal (my husband might be one of them!), but this one definitely does. I don’t even get any complaints from my family, who typically fall in the “salad is not a meal” camp.

Everyone here is happy having this salad as a meal.

Possibly that’s because they get tortilla chips with their dinner.

That’s okay though, because we are all happy when this salad makes an appearance at the dinner table!

This chicken taco salad is one of our favourite meals - juicy, grilled cilantro lime chicken tossed with salad, tortilla chips and tasty taco ranch dressing!

How to make Chicken Taco Salad:

  • The chicken is best if it’s marinated for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours – don’t marinate it much longer then this as the acid in the lime juice will start to break down the chicken at that point and the texture can end up being mushy.
  • Depending on how much dressing you like on your salad, you may not need all the dressing – my kids don’t ever use it so we always have leftovers, but you can halve the dressing amounts if you like, or keep the leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.
  • If you don’t want to grill your chicken you can also cook it in a skillet over medium heat, about 8-10 minutes per side, or bake it at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through (discard the excess marinade before cooking).
  • The best way to check if your chicken is cooked is with an instant read thermometer. Cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.

Here are some more great taco recipes for you:

Yield: serves 6

Chicken Taco Salad

This chicken taco salad is one of our favourite meals - juicy, grilled cilantro lime chicken tossed with salad, tortilla chips and tasty taco ranch dressing!

This chicken taco salad is one of our favourite meals - juicy, grilled cilantro lime chicken tossed with salad, tortilla chips and tasty taco ranch dressing!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 3-4 Chicken Breasts
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • juice from one Lime
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

For the Salad:

  • 2 cups Corn Kernels
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro
  • 2 cups Grape Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  • 3-4 Green Onions, sliced
  • 1 cup Black Olives, sliced
  • Tortilla Chips

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon Taco Seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon Ranch Seasoning
  • juice from one Lime

Instructions

  1. In a 9x9 inch baking dish, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt and black pepper.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade, turning to coat.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill, marinating for at least half an hour and up to 2 hours.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, sour cream, ranch seasoning, taco seasoning and lime juice and set aside.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
  6. Grill the marinated chicken for 8-10 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature is 165F. Remove from grill, let it rest for 5-10 minutes, and then dice it up.
  7. Serve the chicken with the rest of the salad ingredients and the dressing. We like to put everything separately on the table, so everyone can build their own salad with the ingredients they like best.

Notes

The chicken is best if marinated for at least a half hour and up to two hours. As there is lime juice in the marinade, I don’t recommend marinating for any longer than two hours, as the chicken can start to break down from the acid in the lime juice after that point, and have a mushy texture.

You may not need all of the salad dressing.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 530Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 676mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 8gSugar: 7gProtein: 31g

Nutrition Information is estimated based on ingredients used and may not be exact.

I’ve also shared this Chicken Taco Salad recipe over on Food Fanatic.

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