Chicken Tortilla Salad

Chicken Tortilla Salad Recipe

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This chicken tortilla salad recipe is a big, bold, creamy salad loaded with everything…and then some. It’s got all sorts of veggies, chopped chicken, crispy tortilla chips, and a spicy lime sour cream dressing.

chicken tortilla salad

A maximalist salad that serves a crowd

I love simple, elegant salads as much as the next person. But sometimes, I want an unapologetically creamy, XXL salad that has everything but the kitchen sink. This salad falls into the latter camp. It’s perfect for serving a crowd, and it tastes amazing.

You can simplify this salad as much as you like. I’ve made it without chicken and removed some of the vegetables depending on what I have in my refrigerator. I’ve also made it with seared shrimp in the past.

It does require some prep, but if you’re quick with a knife, you can get most of the salad chopping and dicing done as the chicken and corn roasts.

fresh summer salad

What you need

This chicken tortilla salad recipe has four main components: chicken, roasted corn and black beans, salad, and dressing. You’ll start with the chicken and the corn and black beans. While they roast, you’ll prepare everything for the salad. From there, simply toss everything together and serve!

  • Chicken: You’ll use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I season them with lots of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, and cayenne powder. I finish them with lime juice. You can combine the chicken and all the spices for 30 minutes to 2 hours before starting dinner to let them marinate.
  • Roasted corn and black beans: I use fresh corn that I cut from the cob and toss it with drained and rinsed black beans from the can. I season it with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and a pinch of cayenne powder.
  • Salad: I use chopped Romaine lettuce, sliced cucumber, sliced radishes, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, and halved cherry tomatoes. At the very end, I add crushed tortilla chips.
  • Dressing: The dressing is sour cream, lime juice, hot sauce, honey, and a little water to thin it out.

How to make it

  • Step 1: It starts with the chicken, corn, and black beans. Season the chicken and roast it at 425ºF for about 30 minutes.
  • Step 2: Combine the black beans and corn with seasonings on a second baking sheet. When the chicken is halfway done roasting, add the corn and black beans to the oven and roast them for 14 minutes.
salad in salad spinner
  • Step 3: Meanwhile, work on the salad. Combine the lettuce, cilantro, radishes, and cucumber slices in a bowl. I love to use a salad spinner here so I can rinse everything thoroughly. If you don’t have a salad spinner, you can rinse everything individually and simply gather it in a large bowl.
  • Step 4: Make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together until smooth. Add more water as needed to thin it out.
  • Step 5: Add the tomatoes and avocado to the salad after it’s been thoroughly rinsed. Squeeze lime juice over the avocado. I like to add a pinch of salt to the tomatoes and avocado.
  • Step 6: Once the chicken finishes roasting, chop it up. Then, add the chicken, corn, and black beans to the salad.
  • Step 7: Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. You can also serve the dressing on the side if you prefer.
  • Step 8: I add the tortilla chips last–and right before serving––and gently fold them into the salad so they stay crispy. I use Late July Thin & Crispy Tortilla Chips, but your fave tortilla chip works well here!

From there, you’re ready to serve! Take the big bowl of salad to the table and serve it up!

chicken tortilla salad recipe chicken thighs

When dressed, the salad won’t keep in the fridge. So, if you don’t intend to eat all of it in one sitting, I recommend keeping the components separate–particularly the chicken, avocado, and dressing.

chicken tortilla salad recipe chicken thighs

Chicken Tortilla Salad

This chicken tortilla salad recipe is a big, bold, creamy salad loaded with everything…and then some. It's got all sorts of veggies, chopped chicken, crispy tortilla chips, and a spicy lime sour cream dressing.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Inactive time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 508kcal

Ingredients

Chicken:

Roasted corn and black beans:

Salad:

Dressing:

  • 3 ounces sour cream
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon water, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Marinate the chicken:

  • Combine chicken thighs with all the spices, 1½ tablespoons neutral oil, and lime juice. Toss until well-coated. Marinate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  • Grease a baking sheet with 2 teaspoons of neutral oil. Arrange the chicken thighs in an even layer. Transfer to the preheated oven for 30 minutes. If you like, broil the tops of the chicken thighs for 2–3 minutes after they reach 165ºF.
  • Once the chicken reaches 165ºF, remove it from the oven. Once cool enough to handle, roughly chop the chicken into bite-sized cubes.

Make the roasted corn and black beans:

  • Meanwhile, combine black beans, corn, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and a pinch of cayenne with 2 teaspoons of neutral oil on a second baking sheet. Toss to coat evenly. Transfer to oven during the last 15 minutes of the chicken baking. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5–10 minutes.

Prepare the salad:

  • Combine chopped lettuce, cucumber slices, radishes, and cilantro in a large bowl.
  • Add the diced avocado and halved cherry tomatoes. Squeeze the lime juice over the avocado and sprinkle a pinch of salt over the avocado and tomatoes.

Make the dressing:

  • Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add more water if the dressing needs to be thinner.

Assemble the salad:

  • Pour the beans and corn over the salad. Add the chopped chicken. Pour the dressing on top and toss to coat.
  • Before serving, add the crushed tortilla chips and toss gently just to combine.

To serve:

  • Divide the chicken tortilla salad between bowls and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 315mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin C: 21mg
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