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Chipotle Chicken Leafy Salad

Chipotle Chicken Leafy Salad

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This flavorful salad with leafy greens, salty seeds, fresh blueberries and chipotle-seasoned chicken is an awesome light meal, easily beefed up for heartier dinner portions.MORE+LESS-


chicken breast (11.75 oz.) tenderloins (fresh, or thawed if frozen)


teaspoon chipotle seasoning (more or less to taste)

Fresh-ground pepper and sea salt to taste


cups Spring mix lettuce


cup fresh blueberries, washed


tablespoons shelled and salted sunflower seeds

Vinaigrette champagne salad dressing (or your favorite)

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  • 1

    Heat oven to 350° F. Spread 1 Tbsp olive oil in bottom of baking dish. Add chicken tenderloins. Lightly cover tops of chicken in olive oil and sprinkle with chipotle seasoning, pepper and salt. Bake at 350°F, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes for juices to absorb.

  • 2

    While chicken is resting, prepare plates with spinach and lettuce, dividing the greens between the plates. Sprinkle blueberries and sunflower seeds over greens.

  • 3

    Slice each tenderloin into thin strips. Place one warm, sliced tenderloin over each salad. Drizzle with salad dressing, or serve dressing on the side. Serve immediately.

Expert Tips

  • This salad is great with chilled chicken too, making it an easy make-ahead meal. Bake and chill chicken. Slice and assemble salad as above.
  • Great with a cup of soup, biscuit or bread stick. To make into a fuller meal, use 2 (8 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of the smaller tenderloins, and adjust amounts for other ingredients accordingly.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • With bursting blueberries, crisp greens, salty seeds and spicy chicken -- this salad is one tasty hello to spring!All winter, seems like everybody wears shades of black and gray. Ever notice that? And all winter, foods seem just a bit more packaged, a tad more bland and a little, well, predictable.But it's like we're on the highway and can see the faster speed limit sign just ahead -- time to shift into 5th and jet into spring!This Chipotle Chicken Leafy Salad is a great way to wake up your taste buds and get 'em all excited for the fresh flavors coming their way. It's got a mouthful of everything your body's been craving since last summer.I like tangy champagne vinaigrette that I found refrigerated right near the salad fixin's at the store, but you can use your favorite salad dressing or make your own.Flavor packed! Doesn't this make your mouth water? Serve it right away -- cuz your tastebuds have seen that new speed limit sign and they're rarin' to go!The chicken can be served chilled, too, so you can make this entire dish ahead of time and pull it out of the fridge at serving time.This salad is perfect as a light meal. To make it more filling, serve with a cup of soup, biscuit or bread stick.If you want larger portions, use two 8-ounce chicken breasts and increase the amount of the other ingredients accordingly.

Chopped Chicken Chipotle Salad - a Healthy Dinner Recipe

Updated: Aug 31, 2020 · Published: Aug 15, 2017 · by Nicole · This post may contain affiliate links.

This post is sponsored by our partnership with Festival Foods.

When it comes to making quick and easy meals for busy weeknight dinners and lunches, picking fresh ingredients is always a winning choice!

Our palatable Chicken Chipotle Salad is full of healthy ingredients and includes good protein sources in chicken and black beans.

Chipotle Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Mango Dressing will have you actually craving salad!

This Chipotle Chicken Salad is bursting with tender, juicy fiestalicious chicken, crunchy veggies, salty sunflower seeds and crispy tortilla strips all sprinkled with buttery Monterrey Jack Cheese and doused in sweet, tangy and refreshing Honey Lime Mango Dressing!

Since we just indulged in Million Dollar Macaroni and Cheese and Churros, I thought it was time we indulge in salad! Its not the creamy, cheesy style indulgence but rather the texture packed, harmony of sweet, tangy and spicy style indulgence, and I call it Chipotle Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Mango Dressing. This Chipotle Chicken Salad is all about the chicken and the dressing – with plenty of crunchy filler to go along with it. Some of you might already be a fan of my Easy All Purpose Chipotle Chicken so some of you might already be getting giddy over this Chipotle Chicken Salad. If you haven’t tried this fiesta of flavor yet, let me make the introductions so you too can get giddy…

Recipe Summary

  • 1 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken breast, split or 2 breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons minced chipotle in adobo
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh juice (from 1 large lime)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 large radishes, sliced into scant 1/4-inch-thick rounds (1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Hawaiian buns or potato rolls Little Gem, Boston, Bibb, or other crisp lettuce leaves and sliced avocado, for serving

Season chicken with salt place in a saucepan just large enough to fit it snugly in a single layer. Add broth and enough water to cover chicken by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook at a bare simmer (tiny, sporadic bubbles slowly rising to the surface) until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reads 160°F, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool until slightly warm, about 30 minutes. Strain and reserve broth for another use.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, chipotle, lime zest, onion, and cilantro. In a small bowl, combine radishes, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, and a generous pinch of salt. Let stand, stirring a few times, 5 minutes. Drain radishes, reserving vinegar mixture.

Remove and discard skin and bones from chicken. Carve chicken against the grain into 1/2-inch slices. With a large, heavy knife (such as a cleaver or chef's knife), hack chicken into bite-size pieces with a brisk chopping motion. Transfer to bowl with mayonnaise mixture, along with 2 tablespoons reserved vinegar mixture stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Sandwich chicken salad in buns with lettuce, avocado, and pickled radishes serve.

Cooking spray
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each), all visible fat discarded, halved lengthwise
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1 cup canned no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup shredded fat-free Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro
1/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4 cups torn leafy salad greens
1/2 cup crushed baked tortilla chips

Lightly spray two baking sheets with cooking spray. Put the chicken on one baking sheet. Spread the corn in a single layer on the other.

Bake both for 16 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the corn is roasted and slightly crunchy, turning the chicken over and stirring the corn halfway through.

Let the chicken cool slightly, about 2 minutes, or until easy to handle. Cut into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, gently toss the chicken, corn, beans, onion, and Cheddar.

In a blender, pulse the cilantro, yogurt, mayonnaise, chipotle and sauce, and lime juice until well blended. Pour over the chicken mixture and toss gently to combine.

Put the salad greens on plates. Spoon the chicken salad over the greens. Garnish with the tortilla chips.

How To Make Our Chipotle Cobb Salad (1 MIN):

Heya! FYI, Book links are Amazon affiliate links.

This dream team of ingredients better known as a Summer Chipotle Chicken Cobb Salad is coming to our hearts today from the What’s Gaby Cooking Cookbook.

Remember when I published those BEST EVER chicken tinga tacos and told you about my friend Melissa’s amazing book and then talked about how I hardly ever promote books? But then I turned around and told you how great THIS one was, too? LOL to me. It’s just dumb luck that both of these came out when they did.

We’re not paid for any cookbook promotions – I just like to show you the ones that we like and give you a sneak at their best recipes.

And this one is one that I like. And this might be one of its best recipes. Tied with the cilantro vinaigrette, which I couldn’t not use again for this salad. I know Gaby says to use the champagne vinaigrette with this salad, but GABY COME ON YOU CAN’T TEASE US LIKE THAT. One good lick of that cilantro dressing and you’re done. Goodbye. This is your life now.

Okay, salad ingredients. As mentioned, there is a lot of fresh summery goodness going on here, and it looks like so:

The more “involved” part of the recipe (if you can even call it that) is just plopping your chicken in some spices and a few chipotle peppers and letting it marinate for a while before grilled.

WORTH IT, you guys! So worth it.

Also probably more normal to take a picture of the grilled chicken rather than the raw marinated stuff, but who said anything about normal.

Bjork and I ate this salad on the deck on a random Tuesday night and we both mega-loved every lip-lickin juicy bite.

It’s a little spicy, a lot crunchy, and those bites of sweetness in between are so super rewarding.

Thank you, Summer Chipotle Chicken Cobb Salad, for making all our dreams come true.

Reviews ( 99 )

Have made this many times over the years. The dressing is great and one could easily vary the toppings to suit your taste. You don't even miss the cheese.

The idea of this salad isn't spectacular. It's very good, but it's just a normal taco salad with chicken. I'm commenting because I really REALLY enjoyed the dressing that you put on top. It was so quick and easy to make and it really complimented the salad without being overpowering. So good. Would also be good to top soft tacos with. Yummy!

Wonderful recipe that is equally tasty and healthy. Winner all the way.

This was really, really good! I wasn't sure how to roast chicken, so I just cooked a few breasts in a pan with salt and pepper. The dressing could stand to be thinned out, if you wanted to make a bigger salad and still have enough dressing to coat it but it's not overpowering as it is. If you don't like surprise spicy bites, make sure you chop the chipotle pepper really small, or just take a bit of the sauce instead and mix it in the dressing. I'll definitely make this again!

I've made quite a few salads from here now and this has been my favorite. I pump up the spice a tad since we like spicy food. Loved the dressing and the mix of beans and corn in the salad was delicious.

One of the best. I did not use the onions. I did thin out the dressing . Easy and everyone liked it!

We have featured your recipe on Link:

Pretty good for a cooking light recipe. The dressing was thick but I added more lime juice and when you toss all the salad together, it totally works out.

A regular for us in the summertime. Quick, easy and filling. Follow the suggestion to include beans, though we usually use black beans instead of kidney or pinto.

Fully enjoyed with friends. Lived up to reviews. Added a bit more cilantro, avocado and salt but everything else as written,

If I ever lost this salad dressing recipe, my husband might leave me. All around the most perfect salad recipe ever. Particularly delicious in the summer months!

This was so good. I used fat free sour cream to reduce even more fat, and it was still so tasty. Very versatile recipe. Will be making this on a weekly basis.

Made this salad last night and my husband and I both loved it. I made a couple of changes to the recipe though. I omitted the chipotle chili in adobo sauce since I don't really care for the flavor and added a little extra cumin and chili powder to the dressing. I couldn't find any ripe avocados, so omitted that and I added some chopped jalapeno to the salad to give it a little kick. Yummy. Will definitely make this again.

I have made this twice and absolutely love it. I make different portions for those who do not want it as spicy although it is very light on spice. Just add less chipotle sauce.

I made this salad today it was easy and delicious. I barbecued the chicken breast with an adobe rub which added flavor to the salad. Thanks for the recipe

Very good. Just the right amount of spice. All the comments above are worthy, but it's great just as it is, too.

Made this for a shower and everyone loved it! Mix the dressing, add chicken, corn, beans and onions - put in zip bag over nite. Take lettuce/tomato/avocado separately and mix at party before eating. Served with tortilla chips.

This was just okay. I didn't love the dressing as it didn't really have a lot of flavor to me. I stirred in some salsa and that helped. Next time I will probably just use a salsa ranch dressing.

This is a pretty good salad. The thickness of the "dressing" did not bother me as it is sour cream based and therefore what you should expect for a taco salad. If you are cooking for 1 or 2: don't put all the dressing or chicken on the salad. That way, you'll be able to eat it for another meal without it sitting there getting soggy. Great meal for the calories!

Fabulous. I seasoned the chicken with Ms Dash Southwestern seasoning, shucked 2 ears of corn. Grilled both the corn and chicken. Cut the corn off of the cob. My boyfriend LOVED it. Will definitely make again

This is really a spectacular salad! I reduced the chili powder to 3/4 of a Teaspoon and increased the adobo chilis to 2 Tablespoons instead of the 1 Tablespoon the recipe called for. Also, I used an emulsion blender to make the dressing. It made it more 'liquid" and not so thick! PERFECT! I also added some shredded cheese! Definately going to make this again! I left the dressing off the salad and left it up to each individual to spoon it over their own serving. This allowed the salad to be eaten again the next day without becomming soggy! YUMMY.

So delish! I made it with ground beef instead of chicken. Easy meal and perfect for a weeknight.

This was a pretty good recipe, but I wasn't that crazy about the dressing. I would put something else on it next time!

This was awesome! I substituted fat-free greek yogurt for the sour cream and and thinned it out with 1 tbs milk. I also left out the cilantro (just a personal preference). Next time I think I will try the salad with shrimp instead if chicken. Having the left over dressing with fish tonight. YUM!

I made this last night and we all 3 liked it a lot. This is what I did different: I added a small amount of cheddar cheese on top of each salad, cut the beans in 1/2, and omitted the avocado. One salad we added a little guacamole in the place of the avocado. And I served chip strips on the side. My only complaint, it took me a lot longer to make, and dinner was late due to me being to slow. When I make it again I will make sure I have everything all prepared ahead of time. I had to cut the chicken off the bone, wash the romaine, pick the cilantro, wash cut you get the idea it was a lot of steps so it took me like 1 1/2 hours to get 3 salads put together. It was great for a cool Summer meal and I will for sure be making this again. Thank you very much for sharing! Laura

Great dinner for a warm summer evening. My whole family loves this.

Delicious! I made it for the first time today and I love it! So flavorful, light but filling. I will definitely make this again! And it's easy too!

Very good. I didn't have the chipotle chile, so i chopped up halepenos super small and added some hot sauce. I also added milk, like other commenters had said. My whole family loved it! I will definitely make this again!

I will be making this salad, and as for the chiles you can frezze them or they stay in the frige for a very long time. I make the Black Bean Burrito bake from this site. Wonderful!!

This salad is awesome! It tastes like a restaurant salad. One of my favorite "myrecipes" in a long time. As other reviewers suggested, I added milk to the dressing to thin the consistency. I also topped the assembled salad with crumbled tortilla chips from Whole Foods. I also salted the rotisserie chicken pieces for some seasoning. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly and it was amazing. Wonderful flavors! One bit of advice if you can't find chipotle chiles in canned adobo, you can easily substitute the Chipotle Tabasco sauce. Just add enough to get the taste you want. I bought a whole can of chiles and only used one for the recipe, I have no idea what I will do with the rest, wish I would have thought to just use the Tabasco sauce, which I already had on hand.

Absolutely love this salad! It's a hit wherever I take it. It may be spicy at first but if you let the dressing portion sit in the fridge for a couple hours before mixing it together the cream mellows out the spice. LOVE LOVE LOVE this one and will repeat it often.

This is a delicious recipe. but I wish the it included seasoning the chicken as well.

This recipe was amazing. Even my 13 month old loved it!! I omitted the onions and corn, (daughter is not a fan of onions and I was afraid she would choke on the corn) but I am sure they would have been great in it as well.

This a favorite summer dinner salad recipe for my wife and me. Love to make it spicy!

I think this is the best salad recipe ever!! I replaced sour cream with non-fat greek yogurt, skipped the avocado and increased the chile to 2 tbsp for extra kick. I tasted great and was a lot for 2 of us. I have left overs in the refrigerator from yesterday and cannot wait to see how well it stays over night so I can make over the weekend..

Wahoo, this is spicy! And I only used half the chipotle called for. Be forewarned: if you don't like spicy you might want to skip this dish.

Very tasty! I made this as written except for using fresh corn from the cob. I think that added a nice crunch. The salad was still good the next day even though it sat in the dressing over night. Served with baked tostitos. I will definitely make this again.

Soooo yummy!! I used a mixture of Romaine and Red Leaf lettuce and crushed up Chipotle Tostido Chips on top of the salad. I also made my dressing a little different. I used Chipotle Sour Cream instead of regular and omitted the minced chipotle and chile powder and added a little extra lime juice. DeLish!! I thought the dressing made the salad! The dressing had a litle too much spice for my kids so next time I will make theirs with a mixture of regular sour cream and chipotle sour cream. Will be making this again for sure!

Such a great recipe. Would not change a thing!

I didn't care for the thick consistancy of the dressing and it kinda of dried up just before finishing the salad. I will try this again subbing the sour cream for a lite ranch dressing & mix all the other dressing ingredients with the ranch dressing.

Although this had good flavor, it tasted just like 7 layer dip. I served this with tortilla chips and my family was actually scooping the "salad" as if it were a dip. Good - but I don't think I would make as a dinner.

I added some grated cheese and also two corn tortillas fried in a scant amount of canola oil. Can't wait for lunch tomorrow!

Made the recipe as directed except for the chipotle sauce in the dressing. I thought I had some but it ended up being salsa verde. I used it instead. I still turned out tasty. My husband and father, who is very picky, enjoyed the salad. I served it with tortilla chips. Thanks, I will make this again.

Outstanding, the whole family loved it! I followed the recipe with one exception: I doubled the dressing except for the chipotle chile. I've never used chipotle before and had no idea just how hot and spicy it is - which is very - and discovered it was a bit too much for us, so did the whole dressing recipe a second time, but omitted that one ingredient, then combined the two. That was perfect. Also,l following other suggestions, we served the dressing separately so that leftovers won't be soggy. When I cooked the chicken I marinated it for 30 minutes or so in a red wine/oil/vinegar bottled dressing and then grilled it quickly on a gas grill. That gave it a real crispy grilled flavor, rather than just plain cooked. And next time I'll try grilling the sweet corn instead of using canned. This is a super recipe, not too many ingredients or steps it's budget and time friendly, and all the different cruncy flavors add a lot of character. Thanks, CL - Great Dinner!!

Chipotle Salad Ingredients:

The ingredients in this chopped salad are quite flexible. So feel free to make substitutions as needed!

  • Greens: I used a mix of chopped romaine lettuce and red cabbage. But any sort of cabbage (or coleslaw mix) or crunchy greens would work!
  • Tortilla chips: I typically just crush up a few handfuls of corn tortilla chips to add to this salad, but you could also use tortilla strips. Just be sure to add them in at the very last second (or sprinkle them on top) so that they chips don’t get soggy too quickly.
  • Chicken: Any cooked chicken — either shredded or diced into bite-sized pieces — will work for this recipe. I used leftover baked chicken breasts for my salad.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: For maximum flavor, I really recommend using good-quality aged sharp cheddar cheese for this recipe. And feel free to sprinkle extra on top of your salad too!
  • Fresh cilantro: I like adding a lot of cilantro to this salad, but if you have an aversion to cilantro, you are welcome to leave it out.
  • Shredded carrots: To give the salad some extra color, sweetness and crunch.
  • Pepitas: Or whatever nuts/seeds you prefer.
  • Red onions: I like the crunch and flavor of red onions in this salad (or you could use pickled red onions!), but green onions would also work too.
  • Avocado: Of course!
  • Chipotle lime dressing: Made with plain Greek yogurt, chipotle in adobo sauce, lime juice, honey, cumin and salt.

Southwestern Chicken Salad With Chipotle Chiles

Chipotles add heat and smokiness to this dish, which can be served as a salad or used to fill corn tortillas for soft tacos. The radishes give a fresh crunch and the avocado gives a cool creaminess.


For the poached and shredded chicken breasts

  • 1 whole chicken breast on the bone, skinned and split, or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds
  • 2 ½ quarts water
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme or oregano, or a combination
  • Salt to taste 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • Salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 small or medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 scant teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons chicken stock from poaching the chicken breasts, as needed

For the salad

  • 1 whole chicken breast or 2 large boneless skinless breasts, poached and shredded about 4 cups shredded chicken
  • Salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large radishes, diced, plus 2 radishes, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 to 3 chipotle chiles en adobo, rinsed, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 8 romaine lettuce leaves, cut crosswise into wide strips
  • 1 small avocado, sliced


For the poached and shredded chicken breasts

  1. Combine the water, the quartered onion and the whole crushed garlic cloves in a 2-quart saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts, and bring back to a simmer. Skim off any foam that rises, and then add the dried herbs. Cover partially, reduce the heat to low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. (Cut one in half the meat should not be pink.) Add salt to taste. Allow the chicken to cool in the broth if there is time. Remove the chicken from the broth when cool enough to handle. Remove from the bone and shred, pulling strips of chicken off the top of the breast. Pull with the grain, and the meat comes apart naturally. You should have about 4 cups of shredded chicken. Strain the chicken broth, and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, skim off and discard the fat, and freeze the broth in smaller containers.
  2. Mix together the ingredients for the dressing.
  3. Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with the diced radishes, cilantro, chipotles and all but 2 tablespoons of the dressing.
  4. Toss the romaine lettuce with the remaining dressing, and arrange on a platter. Top with the salad. Garnish the top of the salad with the sliced radishes and the sliced avocado, and serve.

Advance preparation: The shredded chicken will keep for three days in the refrigerator.

Advance preparation: The shredded cooked chicken will keep for three days in the refrigerator.

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You can munch on this salad for up to 4 days after you make it, but if you are planning to eat it throughout the week, you’ll want to take care when it comes to which ingredients you mix and which ones you don’t!

The corn, beans, bell pepper, and tomatoes can all be chopped and stored in a container together.


In order to keep your Southwest Chicken Salad from getting soggy, keep the following ingredients separated, in containers by themselves: