Tex-Mex Chicken Salad

I love salads in the late spring. They are absolutely easy to make since suddenly fresh produce is everywhere you look. Making them main dish salads merely means finding some protein and other hearty ingredients to give them depth. And they are quick to assemble. What's not to love?

This one is made with marinated chicken, though steak or pork or shrimp or tofu or a combination would all work too. I didn't have red or green onions on hand, but either or a combination of both would be lovely in this. You could add cheese or sliced avocado if you wanted more calories/texture to it. I opted to keep it simple with crushed tortilla chips, but you can tweak it quite a bit.

A side of chips with salsa and guacamole plus a Mexican beer or light sangria would take this salad to super festive levels. Want to make it even more fun? Grill your protein and enjoy it all in the great outdoors. The best part of outdoor cooking and dining is upon us!

Tex-Mex Chicken Salad

  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4-6 mini sweet peppers, sliced
  • ½ c. black olives, sliced
  • 1 c. corn kernels
  • ½ c. coarsely crushed tortilla chips

In a large bowl or gallon-sized resealable plastic bag, combine the first seven ingredients (lime through olive oil). Add the chicken breasts, and toss until covered in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

Spray a sauté pan with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken breasts, and cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip the chicken breasts and cook on the other side for 5-6 minutes as well. Once the chicken is cooked, set aside to cool, then slice into bite-sized pieces.

Assemble your salads with the lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, sweet peppers, olives, corn, chicken bits, and coarsely crushed tortilla chips. Serve immediately with salsa or your favorite zesty dressing.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes, plus marinating time

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