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Chicken Taco Salad


Oh, January. The month when everyone tries to workout and eat healthy to make up for the fact that we indulged over the holidays. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. Say no to sad salads. Make this delicious taco salad instead. It’s loaded with veggies and protein and it’s definitely not boring. It’s something I look forward to eating (something I rarely say when I am talking about salads). Plus it takes just 20 minutes to prepare.


When you think of a taco salad, you might think of those giant taco shell bowls. Those aren’t very healthy, so I swapped that out for a little handful of tortilla strips. The salad is arranged on a bed of mixed greens and topped with salsa, chicken, black beans, corn, diced avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, half of a lime, and a dash of light ranch dressing.


The best part of this taco salad is the chicken, which I cooked in salsa to give it extra flavor. I used a process of searing the chicken over high heat and then slowly simmering it in the salsa to make it extra tender. Then before serving the salad I stirred the black beans into the chicken and salsa mixture letting them warm up. I poured this hot chicken, salsa, and black beans over the salad. So even though this is a salad, it’s still a hot meal. I like to squeeze some lime juice over and then add a drizzle of ranch dressing to finish off the salad. My husband skips this process.


You can customize this recipe and make it your own. Use your favorite brand of salsa. Add hot sauce if you want it to be super spicy. Pick your favorite type of beans. You could even switch up the protein and use pork or beef instead of chicken.


I was able to find the tortilla strips at the grocery store beside the salad dressings. If you can’t find them, you can top with a few tortilla chips.

Now that I am back in Chicago I have been heading back to classes at Flywheel, and this salad is my ideal post-workout lunch! It’s also hearty enough to keep me full for hours.

Chicken Taco Salad

Yields 4

20 minPrep Time

20 minTotal Time

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  • 1 pound of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1 jar of Salsa
  • 1 can of Black Beans (or any beans)
  • Mixed Greens
  • 1 can of Corn
  • 1 Avocado
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I love Cabot)
  • Tortilla Strips
  • 1 Lime
  • Ranch Dressing


  1. Dice the chicken into pieces about an inch big. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over high heat, once hot add the chicken. Sear each side of the chicken for about a minute. Then pour the salsa over the chicken and bring to a low simmer. Let simmer for 7 minutes on low heat.
  2. While the chicken is cooking prepare the rest of the ingredients. Drain and rinse the black beans and set aside.
  3. Start to assemble the salads. First, place a big handful of greens in a shallow bowl. Then top with corn, diced avocado, and cheese. Slice the lime.
  4. After the chicken has simmered for 7 minutes add the black beans and let cook for another 3 minutes. Then generously spoon the chicken, salsa, and black bean mixture over the salads. Top with tortilla strips. Add some lime and ranch dressing if you want.