Salad for Supper: Mexican-Style Salad with Chicken

I like having go-to salad recipes made with ingredients I know I’ll likely have on hand. This salad is one of my favorites. It’s bright and fresh, but it doesn’t taste like you’re eating rabbit food for dinner.

Salad ingredients:

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, leaves cut in 1 inch-wide strips
  • 4 chicken cutlets or one large breast
  • 1 avocado
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes
  • about half of a 15-ounce can black beans, drained and washed
  • about half of 1 small can corn
  • 2-4 spoonfuls of canned diced jalapeños
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 handful mozzarella cheese
  • crumbled tortilla chips, for topping
  • hot sauce and chili powder, for seasoning chicken

Dressing ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (like Cholula)
  • juice of 1 lime

Step 1. Heat a medium pan over medium-high heat, with a drizzle of neutral oil. Dice the chicken into 1/2-inch cubes and add to the hot pan. Distribute the chicken evenly in the pan, but then don’t stir for a minute or so, to allow the chicken to brown. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and chili powder. When the chicken is about half-way cooked, pour a tablespoon or so of hot sauce. Cook until chicken is done and hot sauce has evaporated and caramelized on the chicken. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.

Step 2: Chop and wash the lettuce. I use a serrated knife to cut the romaine into the size pieces I want when the head of lettuce is whole. Then I wash and dry in my salad spinner.

Step 3. Drain the cans of beans, corn and jalapeños. Use as much of those three ingredients as you’d like, but I usually use about half a can each of black beans and corn, and a few spoonfuls of the jalapeños. Don’t worry, the canned jalapeños aren’t that spicy. Reserve the leftovers, they make great additions to scrambled eggs or nachos.

Step 4. Chop the cherry tomatoes and the avocado and add to the salad. Do a rough chop of the cilantro – it’s fine if you include the stems.

Step 5. Combine dressing ingredients into a small glass and stir. Season with salt and pepper and then add more liquid ingredients, to taste.

Step 6. Add chicken to salad, being careful not to pour chicken juice on as well. Top with a handful of cheese, a few crumbled-up chips and the dressing. Serve.

Serves two for dinner.

  • Sam

    I want to try this.

  • Laura’s Mom

    Mmmm….good work again, Mark!

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