Santa Fe Chicken Salad with Tangy Lime Dressing
Santa Fe Chicken Salad with Tangy Lime Dressing is a fresh, hearty salad packed with black beans, roasted corn and tortilla strips tossed with a zesty lime dressing!
**This post was originally published in April 2013. I’ve updated the post with new photos, text and have modified the recipe slightly.
There’s rarely a day that I don’t eat salad because it’s the perfect way to get a wide variety of veggies (and sometimes fruit!) all in one sitting. When I eat out I often gravitate toward large salads instead of ordering a heavy entree, and that’s especially true when I go out for Mexican food.
It’s not that I don’t love enchiladas, tacos and fajitas — I just don’t like feeling weighed down at the end of a meal. If I see a salad like this Santa Fe Chicken Salad with Tangy Lime Dressing on the menu, I’m gonna order it.
This salad has everything I love all in one place. And the clincher? It’s all tossed in a fresh, zesty lime dressing with crunchy tortilla strips over the top.
This is my kind of salad!
I love this salad because it’s loaded with the Southwest flavors that I love and it’s guaranteed to stick to your ribs!
This Santa Fe Chicken Salad starts with a bed of crisp lettuce and is topped with grilled chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onion, avocado and crunchy tortilla strips.
I chose not to add grated cheese to mine, but you can certainly add cheese if you like. 🙂
The main attraction is the chicken breast sprinkled with a generous dose of my Homemade Taco Seasoning and grilled to perfection. The chicken is juicy, flavorful and provides a significant source of protein.
No Santa Fe salad would be complete without hearty black beans, fresh tomatoes, creamy avocado and corn. When corn is in season, I love grilling it right alongside the chicken and cutting it off the cob.
Corn wasn’t in season when I photographed this salad, so I used thawed frozen corn instead.
Trader Joe’s Frozen Roasted Corn is a great option if you prefer roasted corn and would rather not take the time to grill your own.
The crowning glory of this salad –besides those crispy tortilla strips! — is the tangy lime dressing. It includes plenty of fresh lime juice, along with maple syrup, fresh cilantro, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
I made this dressing extra zest with the juice of two limes. To me, there’s no such thing as too much lime, so feel free to tone it down a notch if it’s too much for you.
If you’d like to make salad prep even easier, grill the chicken and corn in advance and store until you’re ready to assemble your salad. You may also opt to use rotisserie or leftover chicken to make life even easier.
Whether it’s Cinco de Mayo or any old day of the week, this Santa Fe Chicken Salad with Tangy Lime Dressing is a winner. It’s fresh, tangy and absolutely delicious!
Check out these other Mexican inspired recipes!
Santa Fe Chicken Salad with Tangy Lime Dressing
- 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts about 1 - 1.5 pounds
- 3 teaspoons Homemade taco seasoning or your favorite store bought seasoning
- 4 cups romaine lettuce chopped
- 2 green onions white and green parts, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- ½ cup black beans rinsed and drained (use canned or my [Easy Instant Pot Black Beans])
- 1 large corn cob husks and silks removed (or about 1 cup of thawed frozen corn)
- 1 avocado seeded and diced
- Serve with grated cheese fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and tortilla strips if desired
For the dressing:
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup may substitute with honey
- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped cilantro
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the taco seasoning. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the grill to medium and cook the chicken breast about 8 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from heat, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- While the chicken cooks, place the corn on the grill and cook on all sides, turning every 3-4 minutes or until blackened. Remove from heat and cut the corn from the cob when cool enough to handle.
- Place the lettuce, green onions, cherry tomatoes, black beans, roasted corn, avocado, and cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Toss together gently, and serve on plates. Top with the chicken and tortilla strips.
Prepare the dressing:
- Place all salad ingredients in a small jar, cover and shake until combined. Drizzle the desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
- Serve with optional toppings and enjoy!
- Total time above includes grilling chicken and corn. You may prep the chicken and corn in advance or you may also opt to use leftover or rotisserie chicken and thawed frozen corn to make meal prep even faster!
- You will more than likely have dressing leftover. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.