Loaded Chicken Taco Salad — Fast, EASY, fresh and fabulous! All your favorite taco flavors in one big kickin’ salad that everyone will LOVE! Juicy taco seasoned chicken, tomatoes, corn, black beans, shredded cheese, and more with homemade creamy lime cilantro dressing to top it all!
Table of contents
Loaded Chicken & Doritos Taco Salad
I’ve 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 ‘salad’ in my books.
For this chicken taco salad recipe, I brought the lettuce back into salad and loaded it with all my favorite taco fixings. There’s juicy chicken cooked with the comforting flavors of taco seasoning, tomatoes, crushed Doritos, and more. So much texture and flavor in every bite!
The 30-second whisk-together taco salad 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.
This easy chicken taco salad salad is ready in 15 minutes, great for easy lunches, or as a tasty casual dinner the whole family will love.
Chicken Taco Salad Ingredients
To make the loaded taco salad with chicken and Doritos, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Olive oil
- Chicken breasts
- Taco seasoning
- Romaine lettuce
- Canned corn
- Canned black beans
- Shredded cheese
- Seasoned tortilla chips
And to make the creamy cilantro lime dressing, you’ll need:
- Sour cream
- Lime juice
- Fresh cilantro
- Granulated sugar
Note: All ingredients amounts are listed in the recipe card section when you keep scrolling down.
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.
How to Make Chicken Taco Salad
This chicken taco salad is an easy family favorite. Follow these straightforward steps:
- Season the diced chicken with taco seasoning.
- Then cook in an oiled skillet until no longer pink on the inside. Set aside while assembling the rest of the loaded taco salad.
- Add the lettuce to a large platter.
- Then evenly sprinkle with the diced tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, Doritos, and chicken.
- Lastly, whisk together the cilantro lime taco salad dressing and drizzle evenly over the salad.
- Top with the cooked chicken and dig in!
Tips for Making the Best Taco Salad
I like to control the amount of salt that goes into my food, so I used reduced sodium black beans and taco seasoning. If you use products that contain the normal amount of sodium, you may not need to add any extra salt to this dish.
For a spicier chicken taco salad, use a spicier taco seasoning or add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the chicken.
To make the taco salad dressing a little healthier, use lite mayo and lite sour cream. Or, substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
Taco Salad FAQs
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.
If desired, you can cook the chicken and whisk together the dressing ahead of time. Once assembled, this Doritos taco salad is best enjoyed right away since the lettuce starts wilting after it touches the dressing and tomatoes.
Absolutely! If you grew up eating taco salad with ground beef and want a healthier version of that, use ground chicken instead of diced chicken breasts. The cook time will likely be less and you may want to add a little more oil to the skillet since ground chicken is so lean.
In the recipe card below, I’ve provided the ingredients for my go-to taco salad dressing. It’s a creamy cilantro-lime dressing that can be made a little healthier by swapping the sour cream for Greek yogurt.
If you’d like to try another dressing on your chicken taco salad, you could also use cilantro vinaigrette, olive oil + lime juice, or chipotle ranch.
What to Serve with Taco Salad
Not sure what goes with taco salad? Since this taco salad recipe is made with chicken, I treat it like a main dish rather than a side.
You can serve the Doritos and chicken taco salad with one or more of the following:
- Mexican Street Corn Deviled Eggs
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Homemade Tortilla Chips
- Salsa (try Tomatillo Avocado Salsa, Chipotle Salsa, or Blender Salsa)
- Grilled Mexican Corn
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Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing
Chicken Taco Salad
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 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)
- ½ cup canned corn, drained (fresh or frozen may be substituted)
- ½ 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)
Taco Salad Dressing
- ½ cup mayonnaise, lite okay
- ¼ cup sour cream, lite okay, plain Greek yogurt may be substituted
- 3 to 4 tablespoons lime juice, or as necessary for flavor and consistency
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, minced
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar, optional and to taste
- 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.
- To a large platter, add the lettuce, and evenly sprinkle with the tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, tortilla chips, and chicken; set aside.
- 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.
- Extra dressing will keep airtight for up to 5 days in the fridge and makes a great veggie dip.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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More Taco Salad Recipes:
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!!
Layered Taco Salad — A classic taco salad that everyone LOVES, it’s EASY, and it’s ready in 20 minutes!! There’s ground beef, refried beans, red peppers, tortilla chips, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes!!
Loaded Ground Beef Taco Salad — This beef taco salad is loaded with crisp romaine lettuce, sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, and more! It comes together in just 20 minutes and is topped with the most incredible cilantro lime dressing.
Ground 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! Everything is topped with a creamy lime-cilantro dressing that’ll have everyone finishing their salad!
Taco Pasta Salad — EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and loaded with great Mexican-inspired ingredients including corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, and more!!
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