This fresh salad, bursting with south-of-the-border flavor, is a great way to keep meals healthy and delicious!
I've been working on this fresh, flavorful salad for a few weeks now, and could hardly wait to tell you about it. But, there were two things I had to do first before I could share the recipe.
Although they were created for this salad, both the Spicy Cilantro Honey-Lime Dressing and the Mexican Honey-Lime Grilled Chicken can be used in lots of other dishes (see the individual posts for suggestions) so I decided to let them star in their own posts.
Now that I've shared both of them, we can proceed to the Crème de la crème! Yes, you'll definitely want to put them together in this wonderful Mexican Grilled Chicken Salad. With sweet corn, tomatoes, black beans, creamy avocado and crisp strips of oven baked flour tortillas, this salad has been super popular here at The Café - I think it will be at your house as well!
All of the components can be prepared ahead making this salad a great option for a healthy, beautiful weeknight meal or a delicious, easy dinner for guests. Another idea - prep the ingredients on the weekend and you've got a wonderful option for work lunches during the week and/or a quick, healthy dinner on the busiest of days.
I love everything about this salad: the fresh, vibrant hued peppers, the sweet, spicy, bursting-with-flavor dressing and the tender, juicy flavorful chicken.
And I don't want to forget about the crisp oven-baked tortilla strips; they're really easy to throw together and give salad little bits of fabulous, crisp texture to every bite. They're one of my favorite parts of this delicious creation!
The crispy strips are easy to throw together - just cut halved flour tortillas in thin strips, then toss them with a drizzle of coconut oil (gives amazing flavor!) and a pinch of salt. Spread them out on the pan and bake for about 20 minutes. You might want to make a bunch, as they'll make a super delicious topping for other salads - and soups too! One last little note on these crunchy tortilla strips - whenever I make them and they're cooling on the sheet pan, they keep disappearing. I've discovered that, if I want to keep them for a salad, I have to hide them. Hmmm, I'm beginning to suspect that they make a tasty (and decently healthy) little snack too.
Although I think you'll enjoy this salad all year round, it would be perfect for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. It's a fun way to serve a crowd - just line up all the ingredients in rows on a large platter and toss just before serving. Drizzle with a bit of the dressing and serve extra at the table. Prepare for lots of comments and requests for the recipe, no matter when you serve it!
P.S. If you're in the mood for Mexican (It seems like I always am), be sure to check out this Mexican Chopped Salad. It's one of the most popular recipes on the The Café blog, and has been pinned over one million times! I've received tons of emails from readers who have made it and loved it.
- For the flour tortilla strips
- 6 small 6-inch flour tortillas
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- For the salad:
- 4 ears fresh corn shucked and silk removed
- 1 14- ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced small*
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper diced small*
- 4 medium tomatoes I like to use a variety of colors, sliced
- 2 large avocado peeled, cored, halved and cut in thin slices.
- 1 recipe Mexican Grilled Chicken pieces sliced in ¼-1/2-inch slices
- 1 recipe Spicy Cilantro Honey-Lime Dressing
For the crispy tortilla chips, preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil for easy clean up.
Stack flour tortillas on top of each other. Cut pile in half. Stack one half on top of the other so all the tortilla halves are in a stack. Cut stack into thin strips (width-wise), about ⅛-1/4-inch wide. Place strips on prepared sheet pan and drizzle with the coconut oil. Toss with your hands to coat strips with oil. Sprinkle with salt and toss again, then spread strips out into an even layer on the pan.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring once half way through to redistribute the strips - as the strips near the edges will brown first. Remove from oven and cool completely on pan, then store in an airtight container. Can be made several days in advance.
For the corn, place corn in a large zippered bag. Add 1 tablespoon of water and seal bag. Cook on high power in microwave for 3-4 minutes or until corn is barely cooked. Cool slightly, then cut corn from husks.
For the salad, arrange black beans, corn, peppers, tomatoes, avocados, chicken and tortilla strips on individual plates or on a large platter. Drizzle with a bit of the Spicy Cilantro Dressing. Serve and pass extra dressing at the table.
* I like to use my handy little chopper for chopping veggies. You can chop two peppers into a nice small dice in less than a minute with this wonderful little gadget. It's inexpensive and I use mine ALL the time!
How many does this salad serve?
Laura | Tutti Dolci says
So gorgeous, Chris! I love these flavors and all the colors... this is a dream salad!
Debra Eliotseats says
So, so versatile, Chris. Love that dressing. As soon as my pot of cilantro kicks in, I will make that dressing! Thanks!
I made the cilantro lime dressing a few days ago and had it with a lettuce, avocado and tomato salad. Totally loved it and I can't wait to try it with this salad as well. 🙂
Kimberly Killebrew says
Oh, this looks soooo good! It's noon right now, I'm trying to figure out what to eat for lunch, and I can't even tell you how much I wish I had this salad right! And that dressing....heavenly.
So you've been holding out on us, eh?! This salad was definitely worth the wait---I'd love to park a big bowl of it in my fridge to eat for lunches all week long. And I know Bill would love this chicken, too 🙂
I LOVE this salad, so fresh and colorful and perfect for warmer weather!
Beverley Press says
Oh what can I say but thank you. This recipe is so colourful and tasty. Love the dressing xoxo
Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners says
I love everything about this too, Chris. The colors, the textures, the distinct and complementary flavors - a big home run. Gorgeous photographs as always! If there is ever a photography workshop at your house, sign me up 🙂
You make the most interesting dishes!
This has got to be the perfect summer meal! And healthy too! I also want to make your chopped Mexian Salad asap, your photos are drool worthy Chris!
Regina Gouge says
Yes! That would be worth driving to N. C. for.
It looks delicious, Chris.
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
This is a party in a bowl! It has it all, from juicy grilled chicken to fresh vegetables and amazing dressing. I want one! You are the salad queen - and yes that comes with a crown!
Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers says
Absolutely beautiful! We are finally getting some dinner salad weather here, so this one will definitely be on the menu soon 🙂
Hi Chris, you make the best salads ever, love this dressing.......
Okay, now I'm certainly putting chicken thighs on my shopping list along with everything else to make this delicious, colorful salad!
These recipes just keep getting better! This is the kind of salad that I could eat everyday and not grow tired of it!
Shashi @ RunninSrilankan says
Cannot forget those tortilla chips indeed - but even without them, Chris, this is a gorgeous, healthy, DEEELICIOUS weeknight salad! I simply adore your photography - each photo seems to not only pop but have such a delightful vibe!
The combination of this salad and your chopped salad puts me over the moon --- I think it's the perfect menu for Cinco de Mayo --- pinned and sharing!
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
You have some really amazing salads on your blog, Chris. This looks so SUMMERY and delicious.