This Mexican Chicken Avocado Salad has all the essentials of a truly great salad – it’s jam packed with fresh, vibrant flavours, big, creamy chunks of avocado and irresistible Mexican grilled chicken. It’s like a giant salad version of Mexican Avocado Salsa – with the addition of chicken to complete the meal!
I’ve had a Giant Salad* almost everyday for the past month or so. Hopefully it’s more than just a phase and it becomes just a natural part of my lifestyle – that I crave a salad instead of pasta. Or cupcakes piled high with the fluffiest ever buttercream frosting. Or fall apart lamb shanks. Or cheese or potatoes in any shape or form.
OK. So that vision I painted of a holier-than-thou, new clean eating me is completely unrealistic. You know it, my mother knows it, and everyone who knows me knows it!
Having said that though, it dawned on me the other day that when I lunch with friends, more often than not I’ll order a salad. Interesting salads. I like bistros with interesting salads – more than the usual suspects.
And here is my latest addition to my Giant Salads* collection: Mexican Chicken Avocado Salad.
* The official definition of Giant Salad: flavour packed salads that are satisfying enough to have as a meal. No wimpy salads in my world!!
I always struggle with salad names when it’s something that I just created. Should I have called this a Mexican Inspired Chicken Salad Topped With Avocado Tomato Corn Red Onion Salsa and Drizzled with Lime Coriander / Cilantro Dressing? (Try saying that 3 times real fast after 3 glasses of wine!).
I wish I could just give my salads a name that will stick. Like Caesar Salad. “Mexican Salad” just seems so uninspiring – and really, what does that mean??
Well, this salad is inspired by Mexican Avocado Salsas. And I added Mexican seasoned chicken to make this a complete, satisfying meal. So I strung 4 key words together: Mexican Chicken Avocado Salad. I know it’s not exactly inspiring, and I feel like it thoroughly undermines the fabulousness of the salad.
Word-smithing is not my forte!
DOUBLE DUTY DRESSING AND MARINADE
I make this salad with a few more steps than the usual which is to dump everything in a bowl, drizzle and toss. The recipe starts off with a Lime Dressing which does double duty as both the dressing for the salad and salsa, and the marinade for the chicken.
I toss the avocado salsa with the dressing separately from the lettuce because otherwise the avocado kind of smears all over the lettuce. Which actually, there is no problem with that per se, but for this particular salad, I wanted to pile / pour that beautiful, juicy, avocado salsa all over those crunchy lettuce leaves. Rather than tossing it through the lettuce.
So really, that Lime Dressing does triple duty: chicken marinade, lettuce dressing and avocado salsa dressing!
Big, juicy, crunchy, flavour packed salads. Truly satisfying to have as a meal, loaded with lots of interesting flavours and textures. I could eat this Mexican Chicken Avocado Salad every day. It is SO GOOD!!! – Nagi xx
A fully loaded salad, satisfying to have as a meal! Crunchy lettuce topped with juicy, creamy avocado corn and tomato salsa, served with a gorgeously seasoned Mexican chicken. Drizzled with a lime dressing that does double duty as the chicken marinade. Makes 2 giant servings or 3 normal servings. Recipe video below (see how I scoop out avocado!)
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil (65ml)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ tsp salt + black pepper
- 2 small chicken breasts, 400g/14oz (pound or split if thicker than 2cm / 4/5”)
- 1/2 tsp EACH chipotle powder (Note 1) and oregano
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- Salt & pepper
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 avocado, chunky dice (watch video to see how I do this)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¾ cup corn kernels (canned, drained)
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup coriander / cilantro, finely chopped
- 5 heaped cups cos / romaine lettuce, cut into bite size pieces
Place Lime Dressing ingredients in a jar, shake well.
Put 2 tablespoons of Dressing in a ziplock bag. Add chipotle, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper, mix/squidge bag. Add chicken, seal and massage to coat. Marinate 30 min – overnight.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium low, cook chicken to taste (2cm / 4/5” takes around 8 minutes), getting a nice brown crust on it. Rest 5 min then slice.
Add 2 tablespoons of coriander into Dressing, shake.
Place avocado, corn, tomato and onion in a bowl. Add remaining coriander, drizzle with a bit of Dressing, toss gently.
Place lettuce in a bowl, drizzle with a bit of Dressing, toss.
Assemble Salad: Place lettuce on a serving platter. Top with Salsa and sliced chicken. Drizzle with remaining Dressing. Serve.
1. Chipotle Powder is irritatingly difficult to find here in Australia!! It is a brilliant seasoning - it's like smoked paprika on steroids. More complex, more flavour, VERY Mexican (it's actually ground dried smoked jalapeños). I get mine from Firework Foods (online Mexican store), at some fruit & veg stores like Thomas Dux, sometimes from Harris Farms, stores that carry Herbies spices, and ethnic stores. SUBSTITUTION: Australia and non US- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, pinch each of chilli powder, coriander, cumin. US - 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp chili powder (i.e. what the US knows as chili powder which is not just pure ground chili).
2. Nutrition per serving, assuming 3 servings.
First published May 2017, post refreshed May 2018 - no changes to recipe.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Mexican Chicken Avocado Salad recipe video!
LIFE OF DOZER
When Dozer gets booted out of the house….. (and the reason the window isn’t closed is because he’d beat the glass with this heavy paws)