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This Chicken Taco Salad recipe is quick, hearty, and delicious! Packed with taco flavors, chicken, juicy tomatoes, beans, corn, cheese, and an easy, easy Taco Dressing. It’s healthy, protein-rich, and so wonderfully yummy– in 15 minutes!
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A little like summer… when it isn’t.
But if it is summer, all the better. In fact, it’s a perfect and easy recipe to take to a summer BBQ or potluck. Or… an easy weeknight dinner.
And if you like your taco salad with say, cornbread, I used my Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread and made it in a 9-inch by 9-inch pan.
What You Need to Make This Chicken Taco Salad
While this chicken taco salad is healthy, it’s also utterly delicious. And easy? Absolutely!
- Chicken: this taco salad recipe uses leftover or cooked chicken. Rotisserie chicken works wonders! You’ll need about 2 cups of either shredded or chopped chicken.
- Taco salad ingredients: You will need a large head of green leaf lettuce, or a couple of bags of salad blend, use your favorite. Then you’ll top the lettuce with corn, black beans, tomatoes, cheese, avocados, red onion slices, and fresh cilantro. So, so good!
- Easy Taco Dressing: You can make a vinaigrette dressing or you can make my favorite 3-ingredient taco-style dressing with a base of Ranch dressing (yes, the jarred kind), salsa, and some fresh cilantro.
How to make this easy 15-minute chicken taco salad
I love salads that are easy, healthy, and super delicious. This is that salad! Here’s how to make it:
- Making the dressing. Whisk together the ranch dressing, salsa, and cilantro until well combined. Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I always make extra for quick veggie dips and healthy snacks.
- Warming the chicken and cooking the corn: In a nonstick skillet combine the taco seasoning and a bit of water. Bring to a simmer and add the cooked chicken. Warm through and set aside. Next, wipe out the skillet and add the frozen corn and a bit of oil. Cook until the corn is charred, much like my favorite Grilled Corn Salad. The corn will absorb some of the taco seasonings… that’s great!
- Assembling the salad: Add all of the salad ingredients to a bowl or platter. I like to make a couple of layers, especially when I’m adding it to a bowl. Begin with lettuce on the bottom and add half of the toppings. Repeat with another layer, and then toss. For a platter, I usually make only 2 layers, lettuce, and toppings, and then drizzle the dressing over the top.
- Adding the chicken: I like to add the chicken last and then drizzle the ranch dressing over the top with maybe an extra layer of cheese!
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- 2 cups leftover chicken (rotisserie chicken)
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (store-bought or your own mix)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup ranch dressing
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro
- 1 to 2 cups frozen corn, pan roasted
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 large head green leaf lettuce, shredded thin
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1/2 cup grated pepper-jack cheese (or your favorite)
- 2 avocados, diced
- red onion slices
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
For the Chicken:
- Bring water and taco seasoning to a boil in a nonstick skillet then reduce heat to a simmer. Quickly add the cooked chicken (leftovers or rotisserie chicken works great here) and turn to coat. Continue to cook until the chicken is warmed through. Don't overcook and make the chicken dry, you're just adding flavor here.
- Remove the chicken to a bowl and wipe out the skillet. Add the frozen corn along with 1 tablespoon of oil, season with salt and pepper, and cook until slightly charred. It will absorb some of the delicious flavorings from the chicken - and that's a good thing!
For the Dressing:
- While the chicken and corn are cooking, pour the ranch dressing into a bowl. Add the salsa and cilantro and stir to combine.
Assemble the Salad
- Dice the chicken into cubes, chop the avocados and cherry tomatoes.
- In a large bowl or platter, layer half of the lettuce on the bottom followed by half of all of the other toppings. Then layer the remaining lettuce on top and finish with the remaining toppings. Last, top with chicken and toss it together. Drizzle with salad dressing as needed and serve immediately.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 493mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 15g