Tex-Mex Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing
Loaded with crunch and flavor, this salad boasts a to-die-for dressing and lots of tender, spicy grilled chicken. It makes a great not-sad desk lunch or a satisfying light dinner. You can prep the dressing and chicken ahead of time, refrigerate and assemble the salad when ready to eat. This recipe makes 2 salads.
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 10 minutes
For the chicken/marinade:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2" thickness
1/4 cup neutral-flavored oil
Juice from 1 fresh lime
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
For the cilantro dressing:
1/2 cup whole milk, plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice from 1 fresh lime
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2 large handfuls fresh cilantro, chopped
6 ounces Romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
8-10 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 red or white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup kidney or black beans, rinsed and drained
8-10 spears baby corn
2 ounces shredded jack cheese
Make the dressing: Add all dressing ingredients to your blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. If the dressing is too thick, add one teaspoon of water at a time and pulse until dressing is the consistency you like. Place dressing in a nonreactive container, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the chicken: Combine oil, lime and spices in a nonreactive bowl. Place chicken in a glass baking dish and pour marinade over top. With your (clean) hands, massage marinade into chicken, making sure to cover the entire surface the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for one hour and no more than two.
Once the chicken has marinaded, remove from refrigerator. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high. Shake excess marinade off of chicken and grill for 8-10 minutes, flipping once in the middle of cooking. When the chicken's juices run clear, remove from heat and set aside to rest for a few minutes while you assemble the salad.
To assemble the salad, arrange lettuce into two serving bowls. Add tomatoes, corn, onion, beans, corn and cheese. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces and top both salads with the chicken. Ladle a scoop of dressing over the top of each salad. Serve immediately.