This Chicken Taco Salad is a healthy dinner idea that is loaded with flavor! Make the chicken stove top, in the Instant Pot or slow cooker.
Maybe you know I’m not a big salad eater, but taco salad is the one that I love.
I could eat taco salad every single day and never tire of it, and this Chicken Taco Salad is one of our favorites.
It’s light, and fresh, a little spicy and loaded with cheese and chips (or your crunch of choice), and there’s no mayo or traditional salad dressing in sight 😉
How to make Chicken Taco Salad:
- Make the taco chicken: there are so many ways you can do this! I’ve included a quick stove top method in the recipe, but you can also use this recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos or this recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Tacos if you prefer — they will all work just as well!
- Pick your greens: I love the crunch of iceberg lettuce, but romaine or green leaf would work just as well, and you can throw in some spinach or chopped kale if you like!
- Add your toppings: We keep it simple. Chopped tomatoes, avocado if that’s your thing, but you can also throw on some sweet corn, black beans, onion, or whatever floats your boat.
- Pick your dressing: I’m not a big lover of salad dressing, so I usually douse my Chicken Taco Salad in a big serving of either this Homemade Salsa or this Mango Salsa. Sometimes I add a little store-bought Catalina dressing (judge me) but if you’re into making your own, you do your thing. Around here, simple is best!
- Pick your crunch: I can’t have taco salad without something crunchy! We usually use tortilla chips, but I found some Santa Fe style Tortilla strips that we absolutely love (pictured in this recipe) — they stay crunchy way longer than traditional tortilla chips! You can also use Doritos or other nacho chips, or mild-flavored Takis are awesome.
How to prepare Chicken Taco Salad ahead:
One of the best things about this Chicken Taco Salad is that you can prep almost everything in advance, and if you make a large enough batch, you can have lunch or dinner for the week ready in the fridge.
- Make your chicken ahead and store in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. I don’t usually use hot meat on salad anyway, so this is a great way to get ahead.
- Shred your cheese or keep a bag of shredded cheese on hand.
- You can chop your lettuce in advance, and store in a large container or ziploc bag with some paper towels (this keeps it from getting soggy), but it will start to brown after a day or two.
- Chop your tomatoes and any other toppings you like, and store in containers in the fridge. This way, you can pull out all of the options and everyone can assemble their own. My 4 and 7 year old girls love making their own salad!
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Chicken Taco Salad
- 1/3 cup chicken broth low sodium
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning low sodium
- 1 head lettuce small, chopped or torn
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1 avocado sliced or chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups jarred tomato salsa mild or spicy, to your preference
- 1 cup tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips
- corn, chopped red onion, black beans, sour cream optional, as desired
- In a medium skillet, pour in chicken broth and add chicken breasts. Sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning.
- Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the thickest part of chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F (or use my slow cooker or Instant Pot methods listed above).
- Remove from skillet and let rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the rest of your ingredients. Slice chicken and place back in skillet with liquid for maximum flavor and moisture.
- Add desired amount of lettuce, tomato, avocado and cheese to a large plate or shallow bowl. Top with 1/4 of the chicken, and serve with 1/2 cup salsa and 1/4 cup tortilla strips, plus additional toppings listed as desired. Serve immediately.
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