Mexican Chicken Salad

The weather is hot, so we’ve been eating a lot of salads lately. We’ve also been using the grill a lot, keeping the heat outside and the kitchen cool. Today’s recipe combines both of these features, creating a main dish that’s perfect for summer.

Next time you make some BBQ’d chicken (perhaps for an upcoming 4th of July party), throw a few extra pieces on the grill. Anything with a Mexican, Mediterranean, or Asian flavor is fine. Chill the extra meat, remove any skin or bones, and use it the next day in this main dish salad. I love a dinner that can be thrown together in less than 30 minutes, especially when I don’t have to cook a thing.

If the salad alone doesn’t fill you up, try serving it with fresh or grilled fruit, quesadillas, or splurge and serve Dulce de Leche ice cream for dessert.

Mexican Chicken Salad

  • Lots of lettuce, washed and torn
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ C chopped cilantro
  • 2 green onions, chopped or ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 – 3 light-green stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts or other parts, cooked and cooled*
  • ½ red sweet pepper, thinly sliced
  • Tortilla chips or strips (to taste)

Mexican salad dressing

  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. orange or lemon juice
  • ½ C olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar or substitute
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise into bite-sized pieces. Toss remaining ingredients with dressing. Arrange on individual plates, then spread chicken slices on top. Garnish with more cilantro.

*If you don’t have leftover BBQ chicken, you can season some uncooked boneless, skinless breasts with seasoned salt and chili powder, sprinkle them with tenderizer, and broil them on high for about 7 – 8 minutes per side.

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