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Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad

This dinner salad recipe is originally from the Carlsbad Cravings site, which I love. I love salad, but I especially love salad like this cilantro lime chicken taco salad with a ton of good stuff in it. The more tasty ingredients the better. Homemade dressing also goes a long way to making salads better. They are so simple and quick to make and really change what you are eating.

This salad starts with cubed chicken breasts marinated overnight in a cilantro lime marinade, so the chicken is super flavorful. Marinating ahead of time also helps save you time when cooking dinner.

Homemade Catalina Dressing

I made this with cherry tomatoes, corn, black beans, carrots, bell pepper, cheese, avocado, tortilla strips and homemade Catalina dressing. You can totally add or remove vegetables or use a different dressing if you prefer.

I decided to make my own tortilla strips for this instead of buying the bagged ones from the store because I had some corn tortillas in my freezer. To make homemade tortilla strips you just cut the tortillas into strips and fry them in a little oil until golden brown. You can dust them with salt or any taco spices after frying. They are super addicting!

Tortilla Strips

You can use raw or cooked corn in this salad. I really prefer fresh corn, and if it isn’t summer I leave the corn out. I sometimes use it raw, but if I want cooked I typically either microwave the ears briefly to cook them, or char the corn in a hot skillet a bit, then slice the kernels off the cobs and cool before using.

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Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad

Flavorful chicken on romaine with corn, tomatoes, beans, cheese and homemade dressing.
Course Main Course, Salad
Keyword Chicken, Main Dish, Salad
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 1 package boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground pepper to taste

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar to taste, you can use less
  • 1/4 cup mayo or light mayo
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or light sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 1 large head of romaine or any other lettuce
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 can black beans drained and seasoned with salt, pepper
  • 2-3 ears of corn
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 1 large bell pepper diced
  • grated cheddar cheese to taste
  • 2 avocados chopped or made into guac
  • tortilla strips optional, store or homemade

Instructions

Marinate the chicken:

  • Cut chicken into cubes. Combine the marinade ingredients in the blender with a few tbsp of olive oil. Blend until smooth, adding a little water if needed. Add chicken and marinade to a bowl and let sit overnight in the fridge.

For the dressing:

  • Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Taste and season as needed.

For the chicken:

  • Heat a frying pan over medium on the stove and add 2 tbsp of oil. When the pan is nice and hot, add the chicken and allow to cook until browned on one side. Cook the chicken, stirring occasionally until it is fully browned and cooked through to 165.

For the salad:

  • Wash and chop the romaine and all the vegetables and ingredients for the salad and place in a large bowl or on separate plates. Add the dressing and toss and top with the tortilla strips if you are using.
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