Grilled Chicken Caprese

This 15-minute, high-protein, Grilled Chicken Caprese salad is made with grilled chicken breast cutlets, topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and balsamic glaze, served over a bed of arugula. Grilled Chicken Caprese If you need dinner ideas fo…

This 15-minute, high-protein, Grilled Chicken Caprese salad is made with grilled chicken breast cutlets, topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and balsamic glaze, served over a bed of arugula. Grilled Chicken Caprese If you need dinner ideas for chicken breasts, you will love this easy recipe! During the summer, I love to grill outside, and […]

Rotisserie Chicken Salad

This rotisserie chicken salad comes together in 15 minutes and is creamy, hearty, and SO tasty. It makes a crowd-pleasing side dish or sandwich filling. Love protein-packed salad recipes? Try my steak salad, Caesar salad with chicken, avocado chicken s…

rotisserie chicken salad recipe.This rotisserie chicken salad comes together in 15 minutes and is creamy, hearty, and SO tasty. It makes a crowd-pleasing side dish or sandwich filling. Love protein-packed salad recipes? Try my steak salad, Caesar salad with chicken, avocado chicken salad, and shrimp salad next. What’s my shortcut to a really epic chicken salad? Make my…

Chicken Tikka Masala

This easy Chicken Tikka Masala is made with tender chunks of boneless chicken breasts cooked in an aromatic, creamy yogurt-tomato sauce. Chicken Tikka Masala Chicken Tikka Masala is probably the most popular dish on the menu of any Indian restaurant in…

This easy Chicken Tikka Masala is made with tender chunks of boneless chicken breasts cooked in an aromatic, creamy yogurt-tomato sauce. Chicken Tikka Masala Chicken Tikka Masala is probably the most popular dish on the menu of any Indian restaurant in the States. Ironically, this dish originated in the United Kingdom and is considered Britain’s […]

Grilled Chicken Salad

This grilled chicken salad recipe combines juicy chicken, crunchy vegetables and a tangy Italian vinaigrette, topped with pepperoncini and Parmesan…

This grilled chicken salad recipe combines juicy chicken, crunchy vegetables and a tangy Italian vinaigrette, topped with pepperoncini and Parmesan for a zesty, satisfying meal. Substitute grilled tofu for vegetarian and vegan!

Grilled chicken salad on plate with serving spoons.

Here’s a dinnertime match made in heaven: grilled chicken salad! In our family we eat main dish salads on repeat for simple meals, and this one is a celebration of summer grilling on a plate. You’ve got juicy chicken, crunchy lettuce, and veggies, all nestled together with our favorite Italian vinaigrette dressing, zingy pepperoncini, and shaved Parmesan.

Why we love this recipe: Alex and I eat this type of meal non-stop in the summer, swapping in different proteins like tofu, shrimp or salmon. We recently served it for a patio party with a side of grilled bread and grilled broccoli, and it was a huge hit. Add a crisp white wine or a Hugo spritz and it’s summertime perfection! Let’s get cooking.

Ingredients in this grilled chicken salad recipe

This grilled chicken salad recipe is our perfect summer dinner! It’s easily made vegetarian or vegan with tofu, and you can swap in many different types of veggies and dressings. But these are the ingredients you need for the way we love it best:

  • Chicken: Use organic chicken at all if possible. Buy it in cutlets or butterfly the chicken breast to help it cook evenly and ensure it is juicy after grilling.
  • Olive oil and seasonings: The chicken is marinated in a blend of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, dried dill, salt, and pepper.
  • Salad dressing: Mix up our homemade Italian Dressing, or see the dressing ideas below.
  • Romaine and leafy lettuce: Using a mix of crunchy, leafy lettuce is ideal. Butter lettuce (aka Bibb lettuce) is our favorite for its sweet flavor.
  • Red onion: Or, substitute shallot for an even milder flavor.
  • English cucumber and tomatoes: Thinly sliced English cucumber has delicate skin and imperceptible seeds, adding a refreshing crunch. You can substitute standard cucumber, but you may want to peel it to remove bitterness. Use any type of chopped ripe tomato.
  • Pepperoncini: Tangy and slightly spicy peppers bring a zesty kick that livens up each bite.
  • Parmesan shavings: Salty and nutty Parmesan shavings elevate this salad (omit for dairy free).

Tip: To mellow the sharp flavor of red onion, you can soak it in cold water for 10 minutes before serving.

How to make grilled chicken salad (basic steps)

This grilled chicken salad recipe requires 30 minutes of marinating time, when you can prep the other salad components. Then grill the chicken and put it all together! Here’s the basic outline (or go to the full recipe):

Grilled chicken salad step 1: Season and marinate the chicken.

Step 1: If not in cutlets, butterfly the chicken by slicing it half horizontally. Mix it with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, dill, salt, and black pepper until evenly coated. Cover and marinate refrigerated for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours).

Grilled chicken salad Step 2: Whisk the dressing.

Step 2: Preheat a grill to high heat (450 to 550°F). Meanwhile, make the Italian dressing. Chop the lettuce, onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and avocado. 

Grilled chicken salad step 3: Grill the chicken.

Step 3: Grill the chicken breasts until grill marks appear and it releases from the grates, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until the internal temperature is 165°F, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove to a platter and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Step 4: Place the greens on a plate, then top with the vegetables, grilled chicken, pepperoncini, Parmesan shavings, and fresh basil or dill. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Grilled chicken salad recipe on platter with hand drizzling vinaigrette dressing.

Customize the proteins and veggies

This salad is so easily customizable to ingredients you have on hand and diet preferences! Many of us are cooking for multiple diets these days, and this one makes it easy to cook for many diets at once. Here are a few ideas:

More salad dressing ideas

If desired, you can also substitute different dressing recipes or purchased dressings. We like it with vinaigrette dressings like Greek Salad Dressing, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Easy Vinaigrette, or Honey Mustard Dressing.

Leftover storage

Leftover chicken stores up to 3 days, refrigerated. If making in advance, refrigerate the components separately. Bring the dressing to room temperature before serving.

Sides for pairing with grilled chicken salad

We love this grilled chicken salad as a grilled dinner idea or summer dinner idea to enjoy al fresco on the patio. But of course you can enjoy it any time of the year! Here are a few ways we’d suggest pairing it:

Dietary notes

This grilled chicken salad recipe is gluten-free. For dairy-free, omit the Parmesan cheese. For vegetarian and vegan, use grilled tofu. For pescatarian, use grilled shrimp.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yes, but it’s best to grill the chicken and chop the vegetables separately. Assemble the salad just before serving to keep the ingredients fresh and crisp. Store the dressing separately and toss it in when ready.

Can I substitute the grilled chicken with another protein?

Absolutely! This salad would also be delicious with grilled salmon, grilled shrimp, grilled tofu or marinated tempeh.

I don’t have fresh basil or dill. Can I use dried herbs instead?

No, we don’t recommend adding dried herbs to this salad. Simply omit from the recipe, or use other fresh herbs like chopped parsley.

What other dressings would pair well with this salad?

Balsamic vinaigrette, lemon vinaigrette, or a creamy herb dressing would all be delicious alternatives.

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Grilled chicken salad

Grilled Chicken Salad


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Rest Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

Get ready for a flavor explosion! This grilled chicken salad recipe combines juicy chicken, crunchy vegetables and a tangy Italian vinaigrette, topped with pepperoncini and Parmesan for a zesty, satisfying meal.


Ingredients

For the chicken (or grilled shrimp, grilled salmon, or grilled tofu*)

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 4 cutlets (1 to 1 ½ pounds, organic if possible)*
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1 recipe Italian Dressing**
  • 1 romaine heart (3 cups)
  • 5 cups leafy lettuce, like butter (Bibb) lettuce or other varieties
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, and drained
  • 1 English cucumber (2 cups chopped)
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, sliced (optional)
  • ½ cup jarred sliced pepperoncini
  • ¼ cup Parmesan shavings or shreds
  • Fresh basil or dill, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. If not already butterflied, place your hand over the top of each chicken breast. Use a sharp knife to carefully slice the breast horizontally, leaving the edge intact so it can open up like a book (or butterfly!). Unfold the breast like a book, then cut along the fold to separate the two halves.
  2. Add the chicken to a container and add the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, dill, kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix with your hands until evenly coated. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours). 
  3. Preheat a grill to high heat (450 to 550°F).
  4. Meanwhile for the salad, make the Italian dressing. Prepare the romaine, lettuce, onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and avocado. 
  5. Grill the chicken breasts until grill marks appear and it releases from the grates, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until no longer pink in the center and the internal temperature is 165°F, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove to a platter and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing for maximum juiciness.
  6. Place the greens on a plate, then top with the vegetables, grilled chicken, pepperoncini, Parmesan shavings, and basil or dill. Drizzle with the desired amount of dressing and serve. If making in advance, refrigerate the components separately; bring the dressing to room temperature before serving. Leftover chicken stores up to 3 days, refrigerated.

Notes

*For the protein, you can also substitute baked tofu, sauteed shrimp, or baked salmon.

**If desired, you can also substitute different dressing recipes or purchased dressings. Try Greek Salad Dressing, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Easy Vinaigrette, or Honey Mustard Dressing.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

This homemade chicken nuggets recipe is your new weeknight dinner hero! Here’s how to make healthy, tasty nuggets that adults…

This homemade chicken nuggets recipe is your new weeknight dinner hero! Here’s how to make healthy, tasty nuggets that adults and kids will love.

Chicken Nuggets

Alex and I are passionate about cooking all things from scratch, from French fries to pizza. So we could not wait to share this homemade chicken nuggets recipe with you! These nuggets are made with real chicken breast, baked instead of fried, with a perfectly seasoned crunchy exterior.

Why we love this recipe: I mean, how could we not? Homemade nuggets are a huge hit with our kids (no surprise), but adults absolutely inhale these too! They’re family friendly, great for topping a Caesar salad or power bowls, and if you add a homemade dipping sauce like honey mustard or ranch they are absolutely next level.

“These chicken nuggets were incredibly tasty! I’m always wary of homemade chicken nuggets but these were 10/10! Adding these to our monthly dinner rotation.”

Ingredients for homemade chicken nuggets

These homemade chicken nuggets are much tastier than frozen or fast food and here’s why: they’re made with actual pieces of chicken breast (kind of more like chicken tenders). They’re baked not fried, but still crispy and irresistibly seasoned. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken breast: Buy organic chicken if at all possible. Look for boneless skinless chicken breasts, or cutlets if possible.
  • Panko: These light and airy Japanese breadcrumbs are what make the crispy golden crust. Look for gluten-free panko if desired.
  • Olive oil: A touch of healthy fat helps crisp up the nuggets without deep-frying.
  • Spices: Garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder create a flavor explosion, while salt enhances every bite.
  • Eggs:  Here the eggs act act as a binder, holding the panko and seasonings onto the chicken.

How to make this chicken nuggets recipe

The key to crispy baked chicken nuggets is an oven safe baking rack, if you have one. This lifts the bottom surface of the nuggets off of the baking sheet, allowing it to get crispy instead of soggy while it bakes. Here are the basic steps for the recipe:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, mix the panko with the olive oil. Pour it in an even layer onto a rimmed baking sheet, place it in the oven, and toast for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly browned. Pour the toasted breadcrumbs into a bowl and cool for 1 minute.

Step 2: If using breasts, slice them in half horizontally, then cut into bite-sized nuggets and place them in a large bowl. Toss with kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin and chili powder. In another bowl, whisk eggs with ½ tsp water. 

Step 3: Place an oven safe rack on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dredge each piece of chicken into the eggs, then toss with the breadcrumb mixture. Place the nuggets onto the baking sheet. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until the outside is golden and the internal temperature measures 165°F.

💡Why buy organic chicken? We recommend buying organic since it’s the high-quality meat that is raised sustainably without chemicals. Organic standards require that the chickens have access to the outdoors and cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones (happy chickens!).

Chicken Nuggets on a tray with ketchup.

Sauces for homemade chicken nuggets

Once you’ve got your homemade chicken nuggets, of course you’ll want a dipping sauce! I’m personally not a huge fan of ketchup, though I know more of the world is. However, we do have a homemade ketchup that I think is pretty delicious. Here are a few sauces for serving with these chicken nuggets:

Diet swaps

When we started A Couple Cooks in 2010, we ate mostly vegan recipes and vegetarian recipes. We now embrace the Mediterranean diet, so we eat seafood and chicken occasionally.

If you’ve been around since the early days, this recipe might surprise you! But these days chicken is in the dinnertime repertoire. Want a plant-based solution? Try our breaded tofu from this tofu sandwich, or our friend Jessica has a great vegan chicken nuggets recipe. For gluten-free, look for gluten-free panko.

Other serving ideas

Chicken nuggets are great on their own as a meal for kids: we like adding carrot sticks and serving with ranch for dipping everything. (Why restaurants don’t do this, I’m not sure!) For the adults, we like adding chicken nuggets to salads and grain bowls. Here are some ideas:

Storing leftovers

Leftovers store up to 3 days refrigerated. To make the nuggets crispy again, reheat in a 375°F oven until warmed through.

More chicken dinners

This homemade chicken nuggets recipe is a rock-star recipe in our house! Here are some of our other favorite family friendly chicken dinners:

Dietary notes

This homemade chicken nuggets recipe is dairy-free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free panko. For vegan, try breaded tofu from our tofu sandwich as a substitute (it has a similar vibe).

Frequently asked questions

What can I use instead of panko?

Regular breadcrumbs will work, but they may not achieve the same level of crispiness. You can also try crushed crackers, tortilla chips, or even cornflakes for a different texture.

Do I need to use all the spices listed?

Feel free to customize the spice blend to your liking! You can omit any spices you don’t have or prefer not to use.

How long do I need to cook the nuggets?

Cook time will depend on the size of your nuggets, but they typically take 10 to 15 minutes to bake at 425°F. Aim for a golden brown color and an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

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Chicken Nuggets

Homemade Chicken Nuggets


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This homemade chicken nuggets recipe is your new weeknight dinner hero! Here’s how to make healthy, tasty nuggets that adults and kids will love.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast: 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 4 cutlets (organic if possible)*
  • 1 ½ cups panko
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Ketchup, honey mustard, or ranch, for serving**

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the panko with the olive oil. Pour it in an even layer onto a rimmed baking sheet, place it in the oven, and toast for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly browned. Pour the toasted breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl and allow to cool for 1 minute.
  3. If using breasts, slice them in half horizontally (if you bought cutlets, skip this step). Cut the cutlets into bite-sized nuggets and place them in a large bowl. Toss with the kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin and chili powder.
  4. In another shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with ½ teaspoon water. 
  5. When the baking sheet is cool, wipe any remaining crumbs from the baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. If you have one, place an oven safe rack on the baking sheet.
  6. Dredge each piece of chicken into the eggs and tap off any excess liquid. Then place it into the bowl with the breadcrumb mixture and toss until fully coated. Place the chicken nuggets onto the prepared baking sheet. When all of the nuggets are breaded, sprinkle them with a few more pinches of kosher salt
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness, until the outside is golden and the internal temperature measures 165°F at the thickest point. Serve immediately. Leftovers store up to 3 days refrigerated; to make them crispy again, reheat in a 375°F oven until warmed through.

Notes

*If you buy the chicken as breasts that are not already butterflied or cutlets, butterfly the chicken: Place your hand over the top of each chicken breast. Use a sharp knife to carefully slice the breast horizontally, leaving the edge intact so it can open up like a book (or butterfly!). Unfold the breast like a book, then cut along the fold to separate the two halves.

**Sauce ideas include ketchup, honey mustard, homemade ranch dressing, Caesar dressing, special sauce, or yum yum sauce.

Other serving ideas: Add to a Caesar salad to make chicken Caesar. Use nuggets in bowl meals like power bowls, hummus bowls, rice bowls, or replace the salmon in this salmon crunch bowl with spicy mayo. Use leftovers in chicken tacos topped with lime crema.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl

This quick and easy high-protein Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl is perfect for lunch or dinner for my gluten-free, dairy-free friends! Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl I whipped up this healthy Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl for dinner the other night, and my family lo…

This quick and easy high-protein Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl is perfect for lunch or dinner for my gluten-free, dairy-free friends! Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl I whipped up this healthy Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl for dinner the other night, and my family loved them, so I had to share. They’re like coconut curry chicken but without […]

Chicken Tacos

This easy chicken tacos recipe is packed with flavor and ready in 30 minutes! It’s a fun dinner idea starring…

This easy chicken tacos recipe is packed with flavor and ready in 30 minutes! It’s a fun dinner idea starring juicy chicken and fresh toppings: a simple recipe everyone will love.

Chicken tacos

Need an easy flavor-packed dinner that’s ready in 30 minutes? We’ve found it’s deceptively tricky to find dinnertime hits, but this one seems to please everyone every time we serve it! The juicy chicken strips are seasoned to perfection, nestled into a tortilla with guacamole, cheese crumbles and topped with a zingy lime crema.

Why we love this recipe: We could (and do!) eat this over and over. The chicken works on the stovetop or grilled, and it comes together simply. We just made it for a dinner party with ranch water and black bean and corn salad, and everyone raved. You can also make it as a taco bowl for gluten-free eaters. It’s totally versatile!

“Made the chicken tacos for dinner tonight. These are so so good! Great flavor and they come together so quickly. I appreciate how simple yet tasty the lime crema is. The kids had the chicken inside quesadillas and loved them. These are definitely going into the monthly rotation!” -Tanvee

Key ingredients for chicken tacos

Tacos are where it’s at for weeknight dinners over here (especially with kids!), and we love how this version can be either pan fried or grilled so you can make it in any season. Here are the key ingredients you’ll need:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts: Try to find organic chicken if at all possible, for the best flavor and most sustainable option. You can buy either chicken breasts and butterfly your own, or cutlets.
  • Seasonings: Our homemade seasoning blend includes smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, black pepper, celery seed and cayenne. You can substitute sweet paprika for the smoked, but it’s well worth the purchase for the smoky flavor it infuses (you might also find it labeled pimentón).
  • Lime crema: Mix up your own lime crema using sour cream, lime juice and zest, garlic and salt.
  • Taco toppings: We like using guacamole for a base for the chicken strips, then topping with fresh cilantro, queso fresco or feta cheese, and minced red onion. If you have time to make them, pickled red onions take the flavor over the top.
  • Tortillas: We like flour tortillas, but corn works too. You can also use any type of grain free tortilla.

Pro tip

We like using mini tortillas (4.5 inch) if we can find them! They are often easier to eat and bonus: you can eat more tacos.

How to make chicken tacos: step by step

These chicken tacos come together simply: you’ll season the chicken, pan sear it on the stovetop, then slice it into strips for the tacos. Here’s the basic outline of steps:

Step 1: Butterfly and season the chicken.

Step 1: Butterfly the chicken (if not in cutlets) by slicing in half horizontally, then opening it up and cutting along the fold to separate the two halves. Pat it dry and season with salt. In a small bowl, mix the seasonings, then sprinkle on both sides of the chicken.

Step 2: Pan sear the chicken breast

Step 2: Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side. When the internal temperature is 165°F, remove to a plate and rest for 3 minutes. Then slice into strips.

Step 3: Make the lime crema and toppings.

Step 3: Make the lime crema by stirring together the sour cream, lime juice and zest, garlic and salt in a small bowl.

Step 4: Warm the tortillas. To make the tacos, spread guacamole onto a warm tortilla, then top with chicken strips, red onion, cilantro, cheese, and lime crema.

Chicken tacos recipe

Alternate method: grilled chicken tacos

This chicken tacos recipe works grilled, too! We’ve made it both ways and it comes out fantastic.

For grilled chicken tacos, preheat a grill to high heat (450 to 550°F). Grill the chicken until grill marks appear and it releases from the grates, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook another 2 to 4 minutes until the internal temperature is 165°F. Remove to a platter and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes for maximum juiciness, then slice.

Chicken tacos toppings

The best part of any tacos recipe is the toppings, of course! For these chicken tacos, we like to make sure there is a good mix of soft and creamy textures to offset the texture of the chicken. We like the chicken strips on a bed of guacamole, but you can mix and match toppings here. Here are a few more chicken tacos toppings we love:

Sides to serve alongside

Chicken tacos are a fun easy dinner idea to serve any time of year! We like them especially in the summer as a patio party meal, but they work in any season. (Of course, they’re always great with a margarita, too!) Here are a few sides we like to serve alongside:

Storing leftovers

Leftovers of this meal keep on giving! Leftover cooked chicken lasts up to 3 days refrigerated. Leftover lime crema stores up to 2 weeks refrigerated.

A few more chicken recipes

We hope you love these chicken tacos as much as our family! Our kids especially gobble this one up. Let us know in the comments what you think. Here are a few more chicken dinners you might enjoy:

Dietary notes

This chicken tacos recipe is gluten-free with corn tortillas (or serve it in a bowl for a chicken taco bowl), and dairy-free with cilantro sauce, omitting the cheese.

Frequently asked questions

What are some other ways to season the chicken?

Here are some ideas:
Taco seasoning: A quick and easy option with a blend of chili powder, cumin, paprika, and other spices.
Fajita seasoning: Similar to taco seasoning, but often with a smokier flavor profile.
Adobo sauce: For a Latin twist, marinate the chicken in adobo sauce for bold and flavorful tacos.
DIY spice rub: Get creative with your own blend of spices like chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, or cayenne pepper.

What toppings go well with sliced chicken breast tacos?

All the classic taco toppings work great! Here are some ideas:
Shredded cheese: Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend.
Salsa: Choose your favorite, from mild to spicy.
Lettuce and pico de gallo: Add freshness and crunch.
Sour cream and guacamole: Creamy toppings for extra richness.
Cilantro and lime wedges: A squeeze of fresh lime and a sprinkle of cilantro brighten up the flavors.

Can I make chicken tacos low-carb?

Absolutely! You can use lettuce wraps instead of tortillas, or try cauliflower rice tortillas for a lower-carb option.

What are some good side dishes for chicken tacos?

Here are some ideas:
Cilantro lime rice: A refreshing and classic pairing.
Mexican corn: Sweet corn with a kick of spice.
Refried beans: A hearty and filling side dish.
Guacamole and chips: A crowd-pleasing appetizer or side.
Chopped salad: A light and healthy option.

Do you have any tips for leftover chicken taco meat?

You can use leftover chicken taco meat in many ways! Here are a few ideas:

Taco salad: Toss the chicken with lettuce, tomatoes, beans, cheese, and your favorite dressing.
Burrito bowls: Serve the chicken over rice or quinoa with your favorite toppings.
Quesadillas: Fill tortillas with cheese and leftover chicken, then cook on a griddle until golden brown.
Nachos: Top nachos with leftover chicken, cheese, beans, and your favorite toppings.

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Chicken tacos

Chicken Tacos


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos (4 servings)

Description

These easy chicken tacos are packed with flavor and ready in 30 minutes! It’s a fun dinner idea starring juicy chicken and fresh toppings: a simple recipe everyone will love.


Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 4 cutlets (1 to 1 ½ pounds, organic if possible)*
  • 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon celery seed
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the lime crema (or cilantro sauce or chipotle sauce for dairy-free)

  • 1 cup sour cream or Mexican crema (or ¾ cup Greek yogurt plus ¼ cup mayonnaise)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus the zest of ½ lime
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the tacos

  • Guacamole
  • Red onion, minced (or pickled red onions)
  • Cilantro, finely chopped 
  • Shredded lettuce or slaw (optional)
  • Cotija, queso fresco, or feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 8 small flour or corn tortillas

Instructions

  1. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Season the chicken with the salt (if you’re using 1 ½ pounds, use 1 ¼ teaspoons salt). In a small bowl, mix the seasonings together. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the seasoning mix. (If desired, you can do this up to 12 hours in advance and allow the chicken to sit marinate before cooking.)
  2. Stovetop instructions:** Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned (and seasoning is starting to blacken), on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. When the internal temperature is 165°F or the center is no longer pink, remove to a plate and rest for 3 minutes. Then slice the chicken into strips.
  3. Make the lime crema by stirring all ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
  4. If desired, char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. Or warm them in a skillet or in the oven (see How to Warm Tortillas).
  5. To make the tacos, spread guacamole onto a warm tortilla, then top with chicken strips, red onion, cilantro, cheese, and lime crema. Leftover chicken stores up to 3 days refrigerated.

Notes

*If you buy the chicken as breasts that are not already butterflied or cutlets, butterfly the chicken: Place your hand over the top of each chicken breast. Use a sharp knife to carefully slice the breast horizontally, leaving the edge intact so it can open up like a book (or butterfly!). Unfold the breast like a book, then cut along the fold to separate the two halves.

**For grilled chicken tacos, preheat a grill to high heat (450 to 550°F). Grill the chicken breasts until grill marks appear and it releases from the grates, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until no longer pink in the center and the internal temperature is 165°F, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove to a platter and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes for maximum juiciness, then slice.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chicken
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Thai Fried Rice

Thai fried rice gets it’s unique flavor from jasmine rice, fish sauce, soy sauce and chili peppers. Use your favorite protein like chicken, shrimp, or tofu. Thai Fried Rice Making Thai fried rice is a flavorful way to use up leftover rice and inc…

Thai fried rice gets it’s unique flavor from jasmine rice, fish sauce, soy sauce and chili peppers. Use your favorite protein like chicken, shrimp, or tofu. Thai Fried Rice Making Thai fried rice is a flavorful way to use up leftover rice and incorporate a mix of protein and savory ingredients. There’s a great Thai […]

45 Fresh and Healthy Mexican Recipes

Here’s a collection of our most popular Mexican recipes! Whether you are looking for Cinco de Mayo recipes, easy vegetarian meals, tasty Mexican appetizers, authentic Mexican classics, or fresh and tasty side dishes, you’ll find inspiration here.

shrimp enchiladas
Here's a collection of our most popular Mexican recipes! Whether you are looking for Cinco de Mayo recipes, easy vegetarian meals, tasty Mexican appetizers, authentic Mexican classics, or fresh and tasty side dishes, you'll find inspiration here.

Santa Fe Salad

This Santa Fe salad is the ultimate Southwestern salad. It’s loaded with tender, juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy black beans.

The post Santa Fe Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I have a major weakness for Southwestern flavors, and this Santa Fe salad is the ultimate combination. It’s loaded with tender, juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy black beans. I love it tossed in our creamy avocado dressing. It’s a great hearty entrée-sized salad that’ll keep you full for hours. If you are plant-baseed, this flavor bomb of a salad still packs the same punch without the chicken. This salad is a true crowd pleaser.

creamy avocado dressing drizzled over santa fe salad in a large white bowl.

What Is A Santa Fe Salad?

This tasty Santa Fe salad recipe starts with a bed of romaine lettuce topped with Southwestern favorites, like corn, black beans, bell pepper, cheese, and tortilla chips. Top it off with our favorite creamy avocado dressing, some fresh pico de gallo, and a dollop of homemade guacamole for a filling salad that’s bursting with flavor!

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make a Santa Fe salad:

  • Chicken Breasts: Tender, juicy chicken breasts are a great source of protein on this hearty salad. For a budget-saving option, chicken thighs work well. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, substitute the chicken with extra-firm tofu (seasonings and all) or go heavier on the black beans. Mmm!
  • Olive Oil: Helps the spices stick to the chicken and helps the chicken sear in the pan.
  • Seasonings: Chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper add Southwestern flair to the chicken.
  • Romaine Lettuce: The perfect crunchy base for this salad. Buy whole heads rather than the pre-chopped bagged stuff to save money.
  • Bell Pepper: I like to use a green bell pepper, but any color works well to add some crunch!
  • Frozen Corn: You can also use fresh or canned corn– just be sure to drain and rinse first if you use canned.
  • Canned Black Beans: Add creaminess and extra protein to this salad.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Adds a hint of saltiness. Mexican blend also works well.
  • Tortilla Chips: I like to crumble some on top for extra crunch.
  • Creamy Avocado Dressing: Pulls the whole salad together. If you’re short on time, use a store-bought chipotle or Southwest ranch dressing.
  • Pico de Gallo: Adds a hit of freshness and acidity.
  • Guacamole: This is totally optional but ups the creaminess of this salad!

What Else Can I Add?

This Southwestern salad is a great fridge clean-out recipe. Here are some other things I love to add when I have them on hand:

How To Store Leftovers

As with most salads, I recommend storing the veggie components separately from the chicken and dressing and tossing everything together just before serving. This helps protect the lettuce from wilting. Stored correctly, this salad should keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, making it great for meal prep!

tossing santa fe salad in a large white bowl with wooden spoons.
creamy avocado dressing drizzled over santa fe salad in a large white bowl.
Print

Santa Fe Salad

This Santa Fe salad is the ultimate Southwestern salad. It's loaded with tender, juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy black beans.
Course Salad
Cuisine American, texmex
Total Cost ($17.21 recipe / $2.95 serving)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 516kcal

Ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 1 avocado $0.89
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.24
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 tbsp lime juice $0.50
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00

For the Salad

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-size pieces $2.98
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced $0.89
  • 5 radishes, sliced thin $0.49
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed and rinsed $0.47
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained $0.89
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.83
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo $0.44
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips $0.50

For the Chicken

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts $5.69
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 2 tsp paprika $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper $0.06
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper $0.05

Instructions

  • Add the avocado, sour cream, minced garlic, salt, lime juice, and cilantro to a food processor or blender. Puré until smooth. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Chop romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large salad bowl.
  • Dice bell peppers, slice radishes, thaw frozen corn, and rinse and strain canned black beans. Add this and 1/2 cup of pico de gallo to the large salad bowl on top of chopped romaine lettuce. Cover and keep in the refrigerator while you prepare the chicken.
  • Place the chicken breasts inside a heavy duty food storage bag and flatten with a rolling pin or a tenderizing mallet until the breasts are consistently about 3/4 inch thick. Start in the middle at the thickest part of each breast for more even cooking. This step helps the chicken cook more evenly.
  • Prepare the Santa Fe Chicken seasoning blend by combining chili, paprika, cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Rub chicken breasts with 1 Tbsp olive oil and divide the seasoning blend between the them, making sure to thoroughly coat the entire surface of each chicken breast with seasoning.
  • In a large skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is glistening and hot, add the chicken breasts. Cook your chicken for a total of 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway. While the chicken cooks, do not wiggle or disturb it except for flipping. Remove the chicken from the heat when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Allow chicken to rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing into strips. After resting, the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F. 
  • Fan out the sliced chicken on top of the salad and drizzle creamy avocado dressing over the top. Toss and serve!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

Nutritional information does not include the guacamole. Click the recipe link to view nutritional information.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 516kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 1791mg | Fiber: 14g
overhead view of a santa fe salad in a white bowl.

how to make a Santa Fe Salad – step by step photos

ingredients for avocado dressing in food processor

Add 1 avocado, ½ cup sour cream, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp lime juice, and ¼ bunch cilantro to a food processor or blender.

creamy avocado dressing in food processor

Puré until smooth. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

chopping lettuce

Chop 2 heads of romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large salad bowl.

ingredients for santa fe salad in a white bowl

Dice 1 bell pepper, slice 5 radishes, thaw 1 cup frozen corn, and rinse and strain 1 can of black beans. Add this and 1/2 cup of pico de gallo to the large salad bowl on top of chopped romaine lettuce. Cover and keep in the refrigerator while you prepare the chicken.

pounding chicken

Place the chicken breasts inside a heavy duty food storage bag and flatten with a rolling pin or a tenderizing mallet until the breasts are consistently about 3/4 inch thick. Start in the middle at the thickest part of each breast for more even cooking. This step helps the chicken cook more evenly.

spice rub for chicken

Prepare the Santa Fe Chicken seasoning blend by combining 1 Tbsp chili, 2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper together.

chicken coated with spice rub

Rub chicken breasts with 1 Tbsp olive oil and divide the seasoning blend between the them, making sure to thoroughly coat the entire surface of each chicken breast with seasoning.

chicken in skillet

In a large skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is glistening and hot, add the chicken breasts. Cook your chicken for a total of 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway. While the chicken cooks, do not wiggle or disturb it except for flipping. Remove the chicken from the heat when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Allow chicken to rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing into strips. After resting, the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F. 

completed santa fe salad

Fan out the sliced chicken on top of the salad and drizzle Creamy Avocado Dressing over the top. Toss and serve!

The post Santa Fe Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.