Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing

I have fond memories of my mom making tacos a few times a month when I was growing up.

The smell of taco seasoning wafting through the air signaled I was in for a feast.

Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing - Fast, easy, fresh and healthy!! All your favorite taco flavors in one big kickin' salad that everyone will love!!

I’ve also been to plenty of potlucks and parties where ‘taco salad’ is served but there’s an absence of any lettuce other than a few shreds of iceberg. In place of the lettuce there are thick layers of sour cream, cream cheese, cheese, guacamole, and refried beans topped with tortilla chips. Not exactly a skinny ‘salad’.

For this recipe I brought the lettuce back into salad and loaded it with all my favorite taco fixing. There’s juicy chicken cooked with the comforting flavors of taco seasoning, juicy tomatoes and corn, protein-packed chewy black beans, creamy avocado, salty cheese, and crunchy tortilla chips. So much texture and flavor in every bite.

Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing - Fast, easy, fresh and healthy!! All your favorite taco flavors in one big kickin' salad that everyone will love!!

If you have other vegetables like bell peppers, red onions, or black olives that you want to toss in, go for it. If you don’t have something on hand or don’t like it, omit. It’s a flexible recipe.

I used canned corn and canned black beans from my local VONS store. A well-stocked cantry helps you save time and make nutritious, flavorful, healthy meals you can feel good about serving.

Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing - Fast, easy, fresh and healthy!! All your favorite taco flavors in one big kickin' salad that everyone will love!!

The 30-second whisk-together dressing can be made as mild, spicy, and tart as desired. I love limes and am a huge cilantro fan and add plenty but adjust to taste. Extra works beautifully as a veggie dip.

The salad is ready in 15 minutes, great for easy lunches, or as a healthier dinner the whole family will love.

Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing - Fast, easy, fresh and healthy!! All your favorite taco flavors in one big kickin' salad that everyone will love!!

Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing - Fast, easy, fresh and healthy!! All your favorite taco flavors in one big kickin' salad that everyone will love!!

Print Recipe

Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing

The salad is loaded with all my favorite taco fixing. There's juicy chicken cooked with the comforting flavors of taco seasoning, juicy tomatoes and corn, protein-packed chewy black beans, creamy avocado, salty cheese, and crunchy tortilla chips. So much texture and flavor in every bite. If you have other vegetables you want to toss in, go for it and if you don't have something on hand or don't like it, omit. It's a flexible recipe. The 30-second whisk-together dressing can be made as mild, spicy, or tart as desired and extra works beautifully as a veggie dip. The salad is ready in 15 minutes, great for easy lunches, or as a healthier dinner the whole family will love.

Yield: serves 2 to 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • one 1.25-ounce packet taco seasoning, divided (I use reduced sodium, medium heat)
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce
  • 1 or 2 medium tomatoes, diced (I use vine-ripened; Roma or cherry tomatoes may be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup canned corn, drained (fresh or frozen may be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium Hass avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I use a monterey Jack and cheddar blend)
  • 1 cup seasoned tortilla chips, crushed (I crush Doritos in my palm)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (lite okay)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (lite okay, plain Greek yogurt may be substituted)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lime juice, or as necessary for flavor and consistency
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, optional and to taste

Directions:

  1. To a large skillet, add the olive oil, chicken, evenly sprinkle with 1 heaping tablespoon taco seasoning, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, flipping intermittently so all sides cook evenly. Cooking time will vary based on thickness of chicken breasts and sizes of pieces. Allow chicken to rest in pan off the heat while you assemble the salad.
  2. To a large platter, add the lettuce, and evenly sprinkle with the tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, tortilla chips, and chicken; set aside.
  3. To a small bowl, add the mayo, sour cream, lime juice, 1 heaping tablespoon taco seasoning, and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the cilantro and stir to incorporate. Add additional lime juice to thin out dressing if desired.
  5. Taste dressing and depending on how much lime juice was used, add sugar to taste. Evenly drizzle dressing over salad. Extra dressing will keep airtight for up to 5 days in the fridge and makes a great veggie dip.

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Post is brought to you by Albertson’s and Safeway. Cans Get You Cooking. The recipe, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own. #recipe #dinner #hungry

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons & Safeway. The opinions and text are all mine.

28 comments

  1. I love this salad.  I was planing on a taco salad tonight with beef but I’m going to change that now for the chicken and that wonderful dressing…I adore Cilantro.  Some people hate it and I just don’t get it because I love it.  I’ve been making so many of your recipes lately, I just come here in the morning to see whats for dinner!!!

    • I love that this twisted your arm for dinner tonight! And cilantro, I know, I love it too! My mother hates it and I think I’m making up for a lifetime of limited cilantro eating in childhood :)

      Thank you for saying that you’ve been making so many of my recipes lately and I’m your what’s-for-dinner source! That is great to hear!

  2. This is a great summer salad! I definitely pinning this to try out soon! I’ve been looking for some great summer salads and this looks absolutely wonderful.

  3. This taco salad looks delicious! We’re definitely going to have to try it soon!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  4. I finished the last of the green goddess dip yesterday and was wondering which way to go with today’s salad and then this yummy masterpiece popped up. I had everything except black beans and avocado so I made it anyway because it looked so good (and it certainly was–love the dressing)! Jon will love this so I’ll get my missing ingredients and do a proper repeat later in the week.

    • Leave it to you to make the recipe just hours after I post it! And so glad you enjoyed it and the dressing! Perfect timing since you were just out of the Green Goddess Dip! And that’s great you’re going to re-make it later in the week, too :)

  5. Taco salad is one of my favorite dinners! I absolutely love all the spicy flavors and awesome textures in it. Love this recipe – especially that dressing, YUM! 

  6. This is the type of salad I need on a Monday, to start the week on the right foot, loaded with so much goodness, not just boring plain lettuce.

  7. This looks and sounds amazing, I will have to add it to my list!

    xx Kelly 

  8. Averie, this looks so fresh and colourful, it’s gorgeous! I’m mentally scanning my fridge for ingredients now, I want this salad in a bad way! Pinned.

  9. Hi Averie, the Chicken Taco Salad is very easy and quick to cook for having a delicious and tasty dinner or lunch. This is indeed a great feast to the family. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe.

  10. Just stumbled upon your site and I absolutely love it. Recipes look and sound amazing! Can’t wait to get started! So tired of the same old stuff—thank you.
    Love the easy step by step recipes and all the great pics to go along.
    I’ m a fan :)

  11. I made the Loaded Creamy Chicken Taco Salad for dinner yesterday for my husband and me. I’m embarrassed to say we ate just about all of it. The dressing was great, it had a bit of a tang. I added a few extra seasonings to it like Chipotle Hot Sauce and Onion/Garlic Powder. It needed the touch of sugar in my opinion. The tortilla chips MADE it. It was a very easy recipe, easy cleanup, and was pretty healthy. This is a great way to get your vegetables in. I’m sure my husband will be asking for it again soon. Great job! We love your recipes! 

  12. Would you happen to have the nutritional information for this recipe?? It’s become a family favorite.

  13. Nice salad Averie. Thank you.

  14. Found you & this recipe on Pinterest.  It is amazeballs.  I thought I’d made too much for my husband and I and it got totally demolished, and will definitely be going into the fortnightly rotation.  Quick, easy and packed with flavour.  Thank you!

  15. I made this salad for my Mary Kay Mexican Festa dinner last Monday night. It was a hit! They all loved it! I will make it again, but I think I’ll add green onions and black olives. 

  16. I love tacos and salads so this together is divine! Love it :)

  17. Thank you so much for this recipe! We regularly catch a long distance ferry between the UK and the Netherlands and have tired of the boring, tasteless and ridiculously expensive food on the ferry.  I found your recipe on Pinterest and decided to make the individual components the night before we left, packed them all separately and put the salad together in our cabin at the last moment.  It was fabulous; absolutely fresh and crispy/crunchy with a wonderful zesty flavour.  We hadn’t eaten breakfast so ate every last bit of the salad for our lunch. 
    It certainly won’t be the last time I make it either. Soooo good!! 

    • You’re the first person who’s ever told me they make my recipes to take aboard a ferry from the UK to the Netherlands and I love hearing this story! Thanks for sharing and yes, travel food in general, whether it’s a plane or otherwise, is always bland and ridic overpriced! Glad this was a great solution and let me know if you try any of my other recipes!

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