A simple shredded chicken flavored with taco seasonings and tossed in a shredded lettuce and pasta salad. A simple homemade Catalina dressing covers this delectable salad.
So this salad, I just made on a whim. Not for the blog, just for a quick lunch.
And after one bite, I was so absolutely smitten. I knew I had to share it with you guys. It is crazy flavorful and truly the best form of a chicken taco.
Just the right amount of spice, sweetness, tang, and textures. Yeah. It’s got it all.
It all starts with some pasta. Whatever pasta you like, but preferably one with some good ridges to soak up the dressing.
I use some miniature shells, because I <3 miniature. Especially in carb form!
Next, the chicken. Just one boneless skinless chicken breast that has been shredded. You can use pre-cooked chicken or quickly boil a chicken breast and shred it for the salad. The chicken gets mixed with some taco seasoning and taco sauce which really brings out the taco flavor. And then comes the vegetables – really whatever you want and like on your taco.
I used taco lettuce – which is really just shredded iceberg lettuce. I also used some bell peppers (totally optional), cherry tomatoes, lots of cheddar cheese, some green onions, some olives (<–only for the husband; I hate olives!) and a healthy dose of sour cream. Once the dressing is on this salad and you stir in some sour cream it is just like icing to a cake. It is amazing – definitely try it.
Speaking of dressing, it is a simple homemade Catalina dressing. All of the ingredients just get shaken together in a jar and poured over the prepared salad.
Doesn’t get much easier than that!
- 2 cups pasta of choice measured when uncooked
- 1 cups (~1 and 1/2) boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1/3 cup taco sauce
- 3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- Optional: 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup sweet bell peppers, 1/2 cup black olives 2-3 tablespoons green onions, dollup of sour cream
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar not packed
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- Meanwhile, boil the chicken breast in a large pot of chicken broth (or water) until completely cooked through and no pink remains. Drain the chicken, allow it to cool and shred it with two forks.
- Stir the shredded chicken with the taco seasoning and taco sauce. Start with 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning and increase depending on taste preferences.
- Stir together the cooled pasta, chicken taco mixture, and shredded lettuce.
- Add in halved cherry tomatoes, chopped sweet peppers and sliced olives if desired.
- In a jar with a lid, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Shake until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings to desired preference. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. You may not want all of the dressing in the salad, so add it a bit at a time.
- Season with salt and pepper and garnish with green onions and a dollup of sour cream if desired.
Here are some more pasta salads: