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Grilled Chicken Taco Salad

June 26, 2021 (Last updated January 19, 2024) · Nicole Triebe

A simple grilled Chicken Taco Salad is perfect for a hot summer day! With juicy grilled taco-seasoned chicken, fresh veggies, drizzled with a creamy cilantro dressing, this is a salad you’ll be craving all year long!

Why we love this grilled chicken taco salad

What’s not to love about chicken taco salad?  The fresh greens, tortilla strips, and juicy grilled chicken paired with creamy avocado, I could go on and on! It takes under 30 minutes to make, so it’s the perfect addition to taco Tuesdays! As an added bonus, you get to fire up the grill and spend more time outside in this gorgeous summer weather! It’s filling enough to be the main dish, and great paired with my Mexican pasta salad or some smoked queso dip and chips or veggies! This will quickly become your favorite salad, promise!

close up of chicken and tortilla strips in grilled chicken taco salad in large bowl

Key Ingredients for this recipe

Crunchy greens

I chose a mix of kale and romaine lettuce for this salad, but feel free to pick whatever greens you love! I also recommend throwing in some chopped red cabbage if you need that extra crunch. romaine lettuce

Chicken

Juicy chicken is a great way to add lean protein to any salad! The chicken is marinated then grilled for a nice smoky flavor. Marinating the chicken is an essential step for creating a flavorful chicken breast.  It helps to tenderize the meat, lock in moisture, and give it tons of flavor. Marinating also helps to reduce the amount of fat in the chicken, which can be beneficial for health You may use boneless skinless chicken breast, chicken thighs or chicken tenderloins for this salad.

Cheese

I love adding a nice crumbly cheese to all my salads, so I chose queso fresco for this chicken taco salad.  You could easily use shredded cheddar cheese, cotija cheese or even pepper jack for a kick! 

Black beans

these provide some extra protein and fiber and are so easy to add in!

Corn

As one of the best summer crops in my opinion – this is a must-have! You can use fresh corn or if you’re making this when corn isn’t at it’s peak, you’re welcome to use frozen sweet corn, too!

Tomatoes

I sliced up some plump grape tomatoes for an extra juicy punch to this delicious chicken taco salad recipe.

Tortilla Strips

These crispy tortilla strips were homemade but you’re welcome to use store-bought or crush up some regular tortillas! If you’re looking to make your own, simply cut up a few corn tortillas and fry in some olive oil at 350 degrees for 15-20 seconds for a delicious crunch!  You may also use crushed regular tortilla chips

Avocados

Adding avocados to any salad is a great way to add healthy fats to your diet! It also adds a beautiful creamy texture to the crunch!

Additional ingredients

  • Fresh cilantro – I love the burst of flavor that adding cilantro to the greens brings to this salad.
  • Creamy cilantro dressing – this light and creamy vinaigrette is the perfect drizzle that brings the salad ingredients together and completes this salad!
close up of chicken in grilled chicken taco salad

How do you cook chicken on the grill?

Start by marinating the chicken breasts for an hour minimum, up to overnight.

Next preheat the grill to medium-high heat, around 375-450°F.

Drain chicken from marinade, use a paper towel to take off any excess, and place on the grill.

Grill chicken undisturbed for 5-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Use an instant-read thermometer to get an accurate reading.

Remove chicken and place on a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Step By Step Instructions To Make This Grilled Chicken salad

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yes! This entree salad is great for entertaining or meal prep! Let the chicken cool before placing it on top of the mixed greens, beans, jalapenos, corn, and tomatoes. It will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container, but never add the dressing or chips until you’re ready to serve.  This salad is perfect for easy lunches all week long!

cilantro dressing being poured on chicken in  grilled chicken taco salad
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Grilled Chicken Taco Salad

  • Author: Nicole Triebe
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: salad
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

A simple grilled Chicken Taco Salad is perfect for a hot summer day! With juicy grilled taco-seasoned chicken, fresh veggies, drizzled with a creamy cilantro dressing, this is a salad you’ll be craving all year long!  


Ingredients

Scale

For the chicken:

1 pound boneless chicken breasts pounded to an even thickness

1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

1/4 cup taco seasoning

Juice and zest from one lime

1 clove garlic, minced

3 tbl olive oil 

For the salad:

1 large head of romaine lettuce, chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (or 2 roma tomatoes, chopped)

1 cup black beans drained and rinsed

Corn from 2 ears sweet corn (cooked)

1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled

2 avocados, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeds removed and sliced (optional)

Tortilla Chips, slightly crushed or tortilla strips to taste 

For the Creamy cilantro dressing: 

1 bunch fresh cilantro.

1/2 cup greek yogurt

1 garlic clove

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbl honey

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt


Instructions

Make the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Set aside.

Marinate chicken in 3 tbl olive oil, cilantro leaves, lime juice, garlic and taco seasoning in a plastic bag for at least an hour, up to overnight.  

Preheat the grill to medium heat, around 375-450°F.

Drain chicken from marinade, use a paper towel to take off any excess and place on the grill.

Grill chicken undisturbed for 5-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Use an instant-read thermometer to get an accurate reading.

Remove chicken and place on a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Combine lettuce, black beans, corn, tomatoes, diced avocado, cheese and jalapeno in a bowl. Toss with dressing to combine if serving immediately. Place chicken on top and garnish with additional cilantro leaves and cheese if desired.  Serve! 


Keywords: salad; chicken; mexican

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