Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing

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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!

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 & 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.

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!!

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
  • Tomatoes
  • Canned corn
  • Canned black beans
  • Avocado
  • Shredded cheese
  • Seasoned tortilla chips

And to make the creamy cilantro lime dressing, you’ll need: 

  • Mayonnaise 
  • Sour cream
  • Lime juice
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Granulated sugar

Note: All ingredients amounts are listed in the recipe card section when you keep scrolling down.

Tip

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!!

How to Make Chicken Taco Salad

This chicken taco salad is an easy family favorite. Follow these straightforward steps:

  1. Season the diced chicken with taco seasoning.
  2. Then cook in an oiled skillet until no longer pink on the inside. Set aside while assembling the rest of the loaded taco salad. 
  3. Add the lettuce to a large platter.
  4. Then evenly sprinkle with the diced tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, Doritos, and chicken. 
  5. Lastly, whisk together the cilantro lime taco salad dressing and drizzle evenly over the salad.
  6. Top with the cooked chicken and dig in! 
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!!

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.  

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!!

Taco Salad FAQs

What Other taco salad toppings can I add?

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.

Can Chicken Taco Salad be made in Advance? 

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. 

Can taco salad be made with ground chicken?

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.

What’s the best taco salad dressing?

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.

Recipe Video

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:

And you can wash down your Mexican-inspired feast with homemade margaritas or beergaritas!

Loaded Chicken Taco Salad — Fast, easy, fresh and healthy!! All your favorite taco flavors in one big kickin' salad that everyone will love!!

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4.39 from 31 votes

Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing

By Averie Sunshine
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!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
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Ingredients  

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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • Extra dressing will keep airtight for up to 5 days in the fridge and makes a great veggie dip.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 542kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 35g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g, Cholesterol: 112mg, Sodium: 838mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Taco Salad Recipes: 

ALL OF MY MEXICAN 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 Loaded 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!! 

homemade taco salad in blue baking dish with portion missing

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. 

Loaded Beef Taco Salad with Creamy Lime Cilantro 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!

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!!

Taco Pasta Salad

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.

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you. This was delicious. Only thing I did differently was add a little mild Taco Bell sauce to it. But I loved it. Will definitely make it again.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you. This was delicious. Only thing I did differently was add a little mild Taco Bell sauce to it. But I loved it. Will definitely make it again.

  3. Any suggestions for alternatives to cilantro in the dressing (a different herb or spice, maybe)? I’m one of those that can’t stand the stuff, but like everything else about this recipe and would love to give it a shot with a different dressing.

    1. Just skip the cilantro then. Maybe add finely minced red onions or some garlic, possibly cumin too would be nice, something so it has some flavor. Or just use your favorite bottled salad dressing like a ranch would be just fine here.

  4. One of our favorites. I cheat and use breaded chicken tenders! Not so healthy but hey I’m eating salad so it balances out right. First time I made it hubby was skeptical that a “salad” was going to fill him up, he couldn’t finish his plate lol!! This is easy fast and so good! On our summer rotation now.

    1. Funny I just made a salad with breaded chicken tenders and felt the same way – at least the salad part is healthy :)

      Glad this is one of your favorites!

  5. Averie – I make this last night for my husband and myself!! My husband DOES NOT like to eat vegetables but he LOVED this salad. We both agreed that it was one of the best things we have had in a while. I’ll be making this all of the time! Thanks for getting the hubby to eat his veggies! :)

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And that you got hubby to eat his veggies and that you’ll be making this often!

  6. 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!! 

    1. 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!

  7. 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. 

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! I know it would be great with both green onions and black olives!

  8. 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!

  9. 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! 

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Glad you ate most of it! No shame in eating it all when it comes to eating your veggies!

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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! 

  15. 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.

    1. 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 :)

  16. 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.

  17. 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!!!

    1. 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!