Layered Chicken Taco Salad — Juicy chicken, avocado, tomatoes, corn, black beans, cheese, tortilla chips, and more in this LOADED salad that’s EASY and ready in 15 minutes!! A creamy lime-cilantro dressing adds tons of FLAVOR!!
Easy Layered Taco Salad Recipe
Confession. I have never owned a trifle bowl until now, but now that I have one I can make layered salads and desserts. Something about looking at the layers makes me hungry.
But you don’t really need a trifle bowl because although helps with presentation, the taste of the chicken taco salad will be nearly identical to this Loaded Chicken Taco Salad, which is assembled on a platter. It was my inspiration for today’s salad.
The layered taco salad is easy, ready in 15 minutes, and the whole family will enjoy it. Or if your family is like mine, the salad will be devoured because we love taco salad. There are so many textures and flavors in every bite.
For this layered salad I started off with a layer of crisp romaine lettuce, topped with crunchy tortilla chips, chewy black beans, juicy corn and tomatoes, tender chicken cooked with taco seasoning, shredded cheese, creamy avocado, green onions, and more chips.
What’s in the Chicken Taco Salad?
For this easy taco salad recipe, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Chicken breasts
- Taco seasoning
- Romaine lettuce
- Tortilla chips or Doritos
- Black beans
- Shredded cheese
- Green onions
And to make the taco salad dressing, you’ll need:
- Sour cream
- Lime juice
- Fresh cilantro
- Granulated sugar (optional)
How to Make Chicken Taco Salad
Add the diced chicken to an oiled skillet and season with taco seasoning. Cook until done, then remove from the heat.
Once the chicken is cooked, all that’s left is to layer the taco salad. Use a trifle bowl, large serving bowl, or pile the layers high on a platter.
The taco salad dressing can be whisked together in a bowl. Drizzle over the salad when you’re ready to serve.
Can This Recipe Be Made in Advance?
No, once the layered chicken taco salad has been assembled it needs to be eaten right away. However, the dressing can be made up to five days ahead of time.
Tips for the Best Taco Salad
You can layer the salad any way you want since it’s going to get tossed anyway!
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.
The 30-second whisk-together dressing can be made as mild, spicy, and limey as desired. I love limes and am a huge cilantro fan and add plenty but adjust to taste. Extra dressing works wonderfully as a veggie dip.
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Chicken and Salad
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- about 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)
- 6 cups (one 9-ounce bag) romaine lettuce, divided
- 1 1/2 cups seasoned tortilla chips, crushed (I crush Doritos in my palm), divided
- one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used no-salt added)
- 1 1/4 cups corn (fresh, frozen, or canned that’s been drained)
- 2 small/medium Roma tomatoes or 1 cup cherry tomatoes (I used a mixture of both)
- 1 cup shredded cheese (I use a Mexican cheese blend)
- 1 medium Hass avocado, peeled and diced small
- 1 or 2 green onions, sliced into thin rounds
Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing
- 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
Chicken and Salad:
- 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. Tip – If you prefer your chicken more saucy, add about 1/2 cup water about 2 minutes into the cooking process. 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.
- To a large trifle bowl (substitute with your favorite large bowl and/or simply place ingredients on a large platter like this salad), add about 4 cups lettuce, half the chips, black beans, corn, tomatoes, remaining lettuce, chicken plus cooking juices from the pan if desired, cheese, avocado, green onions, and remaining tortilla chips; set aside.
Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing:
- To a small bowl, add the mayo, sour cream, lime juice, 1 heaping tablespoon taco seasoning, and whisk to combine.
- Add the cilantro and stir to incorporate. Add additional lime juice to thin out dressing if desired.
- Taste dressing and depending on how much lime juice was used, add sugar to taste. Evenly drizzle dressing over salad to taste and toss.
Storage: Salad is best fresh. Extra dressing will keep airtight for up to 5 days in the fridge and makes a great veggie dip.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1004Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 168mgSodium: 2028mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 18gSugar: 9gProtein: 66g
More Easy Mexican Dinners:
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 Beef Taco Salad with Creamy Lime Cilantro Dressing – Loaded with your favorite taco fixings, minus the shells, to keep things healthier without sacrificing any flavor! The dressing is easy, creamy and irresistible!
Beef Taco Salad Bowls – Making homemade taco salad bowls is so easy and they’re perfect for holding this family-favorite taco salad including seasoned ground beef, black beans, cheese and more!
Lime Cilantro Chicken with Mixed Rice and Black Beans – Easy, one skillet, 15-minute meal! Tons of textures and bold flavors in every bite! The lime makes this dish just pop!
Skinny Mexican Bean and Corn Salad — Two kinds of beans, juicy corn, tomatoes, peppers, and more tossed in a light chili-lime-cumin vinaigrette! Healthy, easy, ready in 5 minutes, and loaded with flavor!
Very Veggie Rice and Beans — EASY, ready in 15 minutes, and amps up rice and beans with an abundance of vegetables!! Healthy, Mexican-inspired food that tastes like comfort food and keeps you satisfied for hours!!
Skinny Mexican Chicken Skillet — EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and is a skinny recipe that keeps you full and satisfied!! A great Mexican-inspired meal that’s naturally gluten-free and is a flavor FIESTA in your mouth!!