Shredded chicken taco salad loaded with lettuce, black beans, grilled corn, avocado, tomatoes and bell peppers. Topped with a creamy salsa ranch dressing. Simple, flavorful and delicious!
Table of Contents
Easy Taco Salad
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.
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 salsa ranch 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!
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. I often use leftovers of my chicken tinga.
- 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 or avocado 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.
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 like I do in this easy taco salad.
- 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.
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.
- Diced tomatoes
- Sliced bell peppers
- Grilled corn
- Black beans
- Sliced avocado
- Shredded cheese
- Cilantro lime rice
- Tortilla strips
- Crushed Doritos
- Pickled onions
- Fajita veggies
Yes, of course. Ground chicken or ground turkey both work well in this recipe. You will need to first brown your meat cooking it until it is no longer raw. Season with taco seasoning.
It’s best to choose a lettuce that is crisp, refreshing and could hold it’s own with all the ingredients! I love a hearty romaine lettuce, but butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce work well too.
Either works! For a warm salad just heat your shredded chicken slightly before adding it to your salad. Eating this salad cold is a great lunch option!
If you are making this for meal prep, you can assemble most of the salad ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Wait until right before serving to add your avocado and dressing.
More Easy Mexican Dishes
Chicken Taco Salad
- 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 Dressing:
Optional for serving: salsa, guacamole, sour cream, lime, cheese, tortilla strips (or crushed tortilla chips), chopped cilantro, sliced green or red onions
- Make the salsa ranch cream by whisking together the ranch, salsa, lime juice, salt and pepper.
- 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.
- Drizzle the salsa ranch on top.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!