Shredded Chicken Taco Salad

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    Shredded chicken taco salad loaded with lettuce, black beans, grilled corn, avocado, tomatoes and bell peppers. Topped with a creamy ranch salsa dressing. Simple, flavorful and delicious!

    Taco Tuesday is my favorite night of the week. And when I’m trying to eat a little healthier, this meal is a great way to enjoy all of the delicious Mexican flavors in a lighter-for-you form. It’s loaded with veggies, protein and is very adaptable depending on what you have on hand.

    chicken taco salad in white bowl

    This chicken taco salad is full of flavor and includes so many delicious toppings like black beans, grilled corn, avocado, tomatoes and bell peppers. It’s also topped with a creamy ranch salsa dressing that ties all of the flavors together. It tastes super fresh and is perfectly filling.

    Sometimes I’ll make salad into more of a taco bowl with a flour tortilla on the bottom, the shredded chicken, some cilantro lime rice and then the lettuce and vegetables. However you choose to adapt yours, it will be delicious. It’s perfect for picky kids and I’m telling you the whole family will love it!

    taco salad ingredients on a cutting board

    Tips for the best chicken taco salad

    • Chicken. Take the easy route and shred a rotisserie chicken for convenience. Or make shredded chicken in the instant pot or slow cooker with a few chicken breasts and spices.
    • Grilled corn. Making grilled corn in the summer is an easy way to add some extra oomph to your salad. Of course you can always microwave the corn, but trust me, the char that the grill gives it adds so much extra flavor.
    • Dressing. I love the simplicity of the dressing. All you do is mix together 1/2 cup ranch with 1/4 cup salsa. A creamy cilantro lime dressing would also taste delicious. You could also just use plain salsa as your dressing to keep it on the lighter side.
    • Leftover chicken. Transform any leftover meat into a totally new dish! Use it to make chicken stuffed peppers or sheet pan nachos.
    • Meal prep. This dish is perfect to meal prep. Simply add the chopped greens in a meal prep container, then layer on the remaining toppings. Pack the dressing in a separate container, then drizzle it on top right before serving.

    salsa ranch being whisked together in a glass bowl

    Easy swaps to make

    • If you don’t have ranch on hand, you could use mayo instead.
    • Use salsa verde instead of red salsa when making your dressing.
    • Substitute ranch with Greek yogurt to make a lighter dressing.
    • Use taco meat instead of shredded chicken.
    • Omit the meat to make vegetarian. You can double the beans or add rice or roasted sweet potatoes to bulk it up a little more.
    • Serve in a crispy taco salad shell like they do at your favorite Mexican restaurant.
    • Instead of chopping the lettuce, use the romaine leaves to serve as taco lettuce wraps.

    Favorite toppings

    The toppings are what make this chicken taco salad so glorious. Add as many or as little as you like, and customize it based on what’s in your fridge and pantry.

    chicken taco salad in a white bowl

    More easy Mexican dishes:

    chicken taco salad with salsa ranch dressing in a white bowl

    Chicken Taco Salad

    Course: Salad
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Keyword: chicken taco salad
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 468
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    Shredded chicken taco salad loaded with lettuce, black beans, grilled corn, avocado, tomatoes and bell peppers. Topped with a creamy ranch salsa dressing. Simple, flavorful and delicious!

    Ingredients

    • 2-3 romaine hearts , chopped 
    • 2-3 cups shredded chicken , I used rotisserie
    • 1 large red or yellow bell pepper , diced
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes , sliced in half
    • 1 avocado , seeded and chopped
    • 1 cup black beans , drained and rinsed
    • 1 cup corn , I used grilled corn

    Salsa Ranch:

    • 1/2 cup ranch
    • 1/4 cup salsa , more to taste
    • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Optional for serving: salsa, guacamole, sour cream, lime, cheese, tortilla strips (or crushed tortilla chips), chopped cilantro, sliced green or red onions

      Instructions

      • Make the salsa ranch cream by whisking together the ranch, salsa, lime juice, salt and pepper.
        salsa ranch ingredients in clear bowl
      • Layer the lettuce in a big bowl or individual bowls. Then add the chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado and bell pepper. Top with some chopped cilantro and tortilla strips if preferred.
        shredded chicken taco salad ingredients in a white bowl
      • Drizzle the salsa ranch on top.
        salsa ranch and salad

      Notes

      Spicy chicken: If you'd like to spice up the chicken, feel free to mix with 1 Tablespoon of taco seasoning or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and cumin powder. You can also mix the chicken together with 1/2 cup salsa.
      Dressing substitutions: Swap ranch with Greek yogurt to make a lighter dressing. If you don't have ranch on hand, you could use mayo instead. I also love using this cilantro lime ranch on top of this taco salad. 

      Nutrition

      Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 661mg | Potassium: 1169mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 5835IU | Vitamin C: 93.4mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 3.4mg
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