EASY fajita salad recipe that’s ready in just 20 minutes or less. Packed with flavorful seasoned chicken, fajita veggies, diced tomatoes, avocado and fresh green salsa.
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Favorite Mexican Salad
Next time you’re craving Mexican food, skip the flour tortilla and transform the traditional chicken fajitas into a healthy salad served over crispy chopped romaine lettuce. It’s a simple fuss-free salad featuring seasoned chicken, sauteed bell peppers and onions then served atop a bed of crisp greens and drizzled with a homemade salsa dressing. It’s a flavorful and satisfying healthy meal!
I usually end up doing a no-carb cleanse once or twice a year and this fajita salad is always my go-to when I am up to such craziness. It’s packed full of fajita veggies and is super filling and delicious. It has all the same flavors you love about classic fajitas, but with better-for-you ingredients.
The fresh avocado, cilantro and squeeze of lime really make this salad, so don’t skip out on those. The fajita seasoning also gives the chicken the perfect flavor. And the dressing couldn’t be any easier by using fresh salsa verde. When I have extra time, I’ll make a homemade creamy cilantro lime dressing and that tastes amazing also. Adding tortilla strips adds a great crunch if you have those on hand as well.
Tips for the Best Fajita Salad
- Crisp lettuce. I recommend using a lettuce that’s crisp and crunchy, such as romaine. You want it to be sturdy enough to hold up the warm meat and veggies. If you use a softer type, the lettuce could wilt pretty fast.
- Marinate your chicken. You don’t have to do this, but if I have the time, I like to marinate the chicken using my steak fajita marinade to make it extra juicy and flavorful. Add the chicken breasts to a zip top bag and pour the marinade on top. Then let it chill in the fridge for a few hours so the meat really soaks in all those flavorful juices.
- Don’t rinse pan. After cooking the chicken, don’t rinse out your pan before adding the veggies. There will be extra seasoning left in the pan, which is a great way to sneak in more flavor.
- Let chicken rest. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let it rest for about 5 minutes before slicing into strips. The juices will flow back into the meat, resulting in super tender and moist chicken.
- Leftovers. Use any leftover meat and veggies to create a totally new lunch or dinner the next day, like chicken enchiladas, sheet pan nachos or a chicken fajita bowl.
- Protein. Feel free to make steak fajitas or make shrimp fajitas in place of chicken.
- Vegetarian. Omit the meat and add beans and/or cilantro lime rice instead.
- Dressing: You may also use cilantro lime dressing, salsa ranch dressing, avocado lime dressing or just plain fresh red salsa.
- Grill. If you prefer grilled chicken, simply season the meat as instructed and then cook on the grill over medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes on each side.
There are plenty of extra topping ideas to give your salad a little more oomph. Below are some ideas that would taste delicious:
- Tortilla strips
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheese
- Grilled corn
- Sliced olives
- Black beans
- Cilantro lime rice
Yes, that is an easy substitute. The best seasoning is to use one with flavors that you and your family enjoy.
It won’t have that same fajita chicken taste but it can definitely be used and is a great timesaver.
These days a convenient option is to buy pre-sliced seasoned chicken at the grocery store in the refrigerated section. That can definitely be used, but as usual best is freshly made as the convenience package tends to be drier in taste and texture.
Stored separately from the greens your chicken and vegetables will last 3 days covered in the refrigerator. If you have already dressed your salad, it may be kept in the refrigerator up to 2 days, but may go soggy. Assembled this salad is best fresh as a main entree salad!
More Mexican Salads
Chicken Fajita Salad
- 4 chicken breasts , pounded and trimmed
- 2-3 Tablespoons fajita seasoning , or taco seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
- 3 bell peppers , sliced (1 of each: red, yellow, orange)
- 1 small purple onion , sliced thin
- 8-10 cups lettuce
- 2 tomatoes , diced
- 1 avocado , sliced
- fresh cilantro
- green salsa , for drizzling
- 2 limes , cut into wedges
- Place the chicken on a plate and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub the seasoning on both sides of the chicken.
- Place 1 Tablespoon oil and butter into a frying pan over medium-heat. Once it has warmed up, place the chicken into the pan and allow to cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until the center is cooked through and the edges are golden. Remove meat from the pan and allow to cool slightly. Then cut into strips.
- Place another Tablespoon oil into the same pan. Then cook the peppers, onions and green chiles for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender.
- Next place your lettuce into a bowl and then layer with the chicken, bell pepper mixture, avocados, tomatoes, cilantro and limes. Then just before serving, squeeze the lime over the top and drizzle the green salsa on top.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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