Festive Chicken Taco Salad

Taco Salad with Grilled Chicken (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Taco Salad with Grilled Chicken (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Taco Salad with Grilled Chicken (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

What is it about even a small taco salad seems to bring out the PARTY in everyone? Set out some grilled chicken, salad greens, salsa, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and other toppings, and you and your guests can make your own Festive Chicken Taco Salad! Or you can assemble the salad and serve to your guests per the recipe below.

XOCHiTL Tortilla Chips - the best! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
XOCHiTL Tortilla Chips – the best! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Whole Foods Market's 365 Roasted Chipotle Salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Whole Foods Market’s 365 Roasted Chipotle Salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

I love Whole Foods Market‘s Chipotle Salsa. It’s smoky and tomato-y with great flavor. Arriba offers a similar smoky chipotle salsa that I used to buy before I found the Whole Foods brand. You can use your own favorite salsa — whatever suits your taste!

Chicken Taco Salad with Chipotle Salsa and Roasted Corn (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Chicken Taco Salad with Roasted Chipotle Salsa and Roasted Corn (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Grilled shrimp, grilled beef, and even grilled salmon would work with this recipe in place of the chicken. Use your own favorite mixes of cheeses.

Festive Chicken Taco Salad with Chipotle Salsa and Chipotle Cream Dressing (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Festive Chicken Taco Salad with Chipotle Salsa and Chipotle Cream Dressing (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Chicken Taco Salad full of taste (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Chicken Taco Salad full of taste (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Festive Chicken Taco Salad

Ingredients:

4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
1/2 c canola oil
Juice of 3 limes
1 T chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1 can (14 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c roasted corn, thawed and rinsed (Trader Joe’s sells frozen roasted corn)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
4 scallions, chopped
1 c fresh cilantro, chopped
1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 head green leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 avocado, diced

Lime Cilantro Dressing (Click for recipe)

2 c tortilla chips or strips
1 c sour cream, Mexican crema, plain Greek yogurt, or my Chipotle Cream Dressing
1 c My Favorite Guacamole
1/2 c salsa (I like to use Whole Foods Market‘s Roasted Chipotle Salsa)
10 black olives, sliced thinly

Method:

1. Mix together the canola oil, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin in a bowl.
2. Marinate the chicken breasts in the lime marinade in a Ziploc bag for at least 2 hours prior to grilling.
3. Grill the chicken until cooked through, you can then chill for several hours or overnight. If not, and you are starving now, go to the next step.
4. Cut the chicken into 1-inch chunks.
5. Mix the chicken chunks together with the black beans, corn, red bell pepper, tomatoes, scallions, cheese, and cilantro.
6. Add the lime cilantro dressing and toss well.
7. Add the lettuces and avocado and toss lightly.
8. Using tongs, divide salad mixture amongst 4 plates.
9. Surround each salad with tortilla chips.
10. Garnish with sour cream, chipotle cream dressing, guacamole, salsa, and sliced black olives.

Serves 4 as a main course. Double or triple this recipe as the star of a party buffet. Sangria, beer and margaritas are the obvious drink complements to this dish.

Variations: Buy a rotisserie-grilled chicken at the grocery store and remove and chop the meat yourself. Substitute grilled beef, shrimp, or even my pulled Smoky Chipotle Chicken for the grilled chicken. Serve the salad topped with sliced warm just-grilled chicken slices or chunks instead of chilling the chicken. Enjoy authentic Mexican Crema, Greek yogurt, or my Chipotle Cream Dressing instead of sour cream. Add sliced fresh or canned jalapeno peppers. Add or subtract your own preferred ingredients as you like. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be changed easily!

Festive Chicken Taco Salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Festive Chicken Taco Salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Chicken Taco Salad with Avocado and Sour Cream (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Chicken Taco Salad with Avocado and Sour Cream (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2013)

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