This spicy Chipotle Chicken Salad is a flavor explosion with a sweet chipotle-lime vinaigrette, crisp corn, spiced beans, creamy avocado, tangy red onion, crunchy pumpkin seeds, rotisserie chicken, and citrusy cilantro.
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Healthy
Keyword chipotle chicken salad
Prep Time 30minutes
Total Time 30minutes
Servings 6as a side dish (2-3 as a main dish)
4cups (158g)chopped Romaine lettuce(~1 large head)
3cups (192g)thinly sliced green cabbage(~1/2 small cabbage)
1/2cup (18g)chopped fresh cilantro(measured before chopping)
1/2cup (59g)roasted and salted pepitasNote 2
Optional: sprinkle of cotija cheese and tortilla strips for extra crunch if desired!
3tablespoons (45g)red wine vinegar
1/4cup + 2 tablespoons (84g)vegetable oil
1/2teaspoon EACH:ground cumin, dried oregano
1clovecoarsely chopped garlic
Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
1heaping tablespoon (19g)1 large chipotle pepper (with surrounding adobo sauce)
1tablespoonfreshly squeezed lime juice
DRESSING: Add all the dressing ingredients to a small blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I add about 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, but add to your preference.) Blend until smooth. Store dressing in a sealed Mason jar in the fridge until ready to use. (The heat from the chipotle pepper will intensify as this dressing sits.)
SALAD: Add the cut, washed, and completelydried cabbage and romaine to a large bowl. (If either is still wet from washing it will make the salad soggy; I like to use a salad spinner.) Add the remaining salad ingredients: chicken, black beans, red onion, corn, avocado, cilantro, and avocado (SeeNote 3).
ENJOY: Drizzle dressing over salad and gently toss to combine. Once tossed, add a sprinkle of cotija and/or some crunchy tortilla strips if desired. Enjoy immediately!
Note 1: If you prefer, use these tasty from-scratch black beansNote 2: Or add crunchy salad tortilla strips! Pepitas can generally be found in the bulk section of a grocery store, or with other salad toppings like candied nuts and dried cranberries. Make sure they’re roasted and salted (not raw) for the best flavor.Note 3: This salad doesn’t sit very well with the dressing and avocado mixed into it. If you aren't planning to eat the entire salad at one sitting, toss and add dressing to only what you’ll be eating at this time. If you keep the dressing separate, this salad can store in the fridge for up to 3 days (with the exception of the avocado). The avocado browns and takes on an odd texture, so I add half the avocado one day and place the other half in a plastic bag (squeeze some lemon or olive oil on the exposed side) in the fridge until I’m ready to prepare another serving.Here's how I store this salad to eat throughout the week:
Prepare the salad as the recipe indicates, but leave out the avocado and don't add the dressing.
Divide the salad evenly into fourcontainers, leaving space for the dressing
Add the dressing to small containers or snack-sized bags and then add the sealed cheese and dressing packets to the meal prep containers.
Seal the containers and refrigerate until ready to eat.
For theavocado: On the first day you'll be enjoying the salad, halve the avocado. Chop 1/4th of the avocado and add it to the salad. Take the remaining avocado and squeeze lime juice over it all and refrigerate it in an airtight plastic bag. Add 1/4 of the avocado each day, slicing off the top layer if it's browned.
To enjoy a portion of salad each day: Add the avocado, pour the dressing over everything, toss to combine, and enjoy!