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Published June 13, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Taco salad gets a serious makeover! Roasted corn, avocado, grilled chicken and watermelon radishes tossed in an avocado lime dressing for the perfect all-around salad recipe.
Looking for a fun new twist? I’ve made some serious upgrades to this lunchroom classic and this one is sure to be your new favorite salad recipe. This recipe is loaded with fresh vegetables and chicken and can be interchangeable to your liking. You can make this salad 100% vegetarian by simply not using chicken in this taco salad recipe.
Either way, this salad is loaded with flavor, just like this Nicoise Salad, and I know you will love it.
I want this salad to be customizable, but the things you should use are the greens, tortilla chips, salsa, corn and dressing but from there the rest is up to you. Please don’t feel like you have to use every ingredient in this recipe.
- Salad greens
- tortilla chips
- black beans
- cotija, queso fresco, chihuahua or manchego cheese
- Optional ingredients to add in: green onions, olives, ground beef, cheddar cheese
How to Make It
This is definitely restaurant-worthy and comes together in just a few steps. This recipe does take into consideration that the corn has been cooked at some point.
Step 1: Make the spice rub and generously sprinkle the olive oil coated chicken breasts in it. There will be leftover spice rub which is great to use in other recipes.
Step 2: Heat a pan to medium heat and add in the chicken breasts and pan sear for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked throughout. If you are getting nervous that you are burning the chicken add it to the oven at 375° for 10 minutes after you flip over the chicken for the first time. Slice before serving.
Step 3: Make your pico de gallo by combining the tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mixing. This is great to use as a dip if any is leftover.
Step 4: Add the mayonnaise, buttermilk, avocado, onion granules, garlic granules, cilantro, lime juice, lime zest and salt and pepper to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Keep cool until ready to serve.
Step 5: Simply plate up your salad starting with greens and layer on all of the recipe ingredients serving it alongside the dressing.
You can serve this in a single serving bowl, make it a bar where all of the ingredients are served separately and people can add on what they want, or serve it in a large bowl and mix it ahead of time and people can take as much as they want.
Avocado Lime Dressing
The avocado lime dressing taste almost like a Latin ranch dressing. it’s a blend of mayonnaise, buttermilk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, avocado, lime juice, fresh cilantro and salt and pepper. I blended it until it was smooth and tasted it and then rejoiced to the heavens. DUDE is this avocado lime dressing good!!
There are several variations to this that you can implement when making this recipe.
- Dorito Taco Salad – simply swap out the corn tortilla chips for your favorite Doritos to make a Dorito taco salad.
- Taco Salad Pasta – Take away half of the amount of the green and replace it with cooked noodles such as spirals or elbow pasta.
- Healthy Taco Salad – Swap out the mayonnaise in the dressing for yogurt.
- Layered Taco Salad – Simply serve this in layers in a trifle or casserole dish.
More Taco Recipes
- Flank Steak Tacos Recipe with Chimichurri Sauce
- Shrimp Ceviche Tacos
- Chicken Tinga
- Baja Fish Tacos
Be sure to follow me on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!
Chicken Taco Salad Recipe with Avocado Lime Dressing
For the Chicken:
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of dry oregano
- 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of Kosher salt
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
For the Salad:
- 4 seeded and small diced vine ripe tomatoes
- ½ peeled and small diced yellow onion
- 1 seeded and small diced jalapeño
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
- 12 cups of packed spring mix lettuce
- 2 thinly sliced watermelon radishes
- 1 cup of cooked corn kernels
- 1 thinly sliced cucumber
- 1 cup of sliced assorted cherry tomatoes
- 1 15- ounce can of rinsed black beans
- 4 peeled, seeded and sliced avocados
- 1 cup of shredded chihuahua cheese
- 1 bag of tortilla chips
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
For the Dressing:
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- ½ cup of buttermilk
- 1 peeled and seeded avocado
- ¾ teaspoon of onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of Kosher salt
- ½ cup of cilantro leaves
- juice of 1 lime
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Chicken: combine all seasonings together in a small bowl and generously season the chicken breasts on all sides. Note there may be some seasoning left over.
- heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook the chicken on each side until golden brown and cooked throughout, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Rest the chicken and slice.
- Pico: In a medium-size bowl mix together the diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro leaves, and salt and pepper until combined and keep cool before serving.
- Dressing: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. keep cool before serving.
- To Serve: In a large bowl add in the spring mix lettuce and then top off with sliced chicken, pico de gallo, radishes, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, black beans, avocado, corn, cheese, and tortilla chips. Serve the dressing on the side.
- Don't feel like you have to use every ingredient in this recipe.
- Get creative with toppings to this taco salad recipe and feel free to swap out for your favorites.
- There will be leftover spice rub which is great to use in other recipes.
- If you are getting nervous that you are burning the chicken while pan searing it add it to the oven at 375° for 10 minutes after you flip over the chicken for the first time.
- If there is any pico de gallo leftover, this is great to use as a dip with chips
- You can serve this in a single serving bowl, make it a bar where all of the ingredients are served separately and people can add on what they want, or serve it in a large bowl and mix it ahead of time and people can take as much as they want.