Mexican Chicken Salad with Creamy Jalapeño Dressing (Gluten Free)
This Mexican chicken salad has the most delicious creamy jalapeño dressing. If you love Mexican flavors you are going to enjoy it very much. It tastes very fresh and tangy because I added the zest and juice of one lime in the ingredients. Since it is a Mexican recipe, it has to be slightly spicy. The jalapeño in the dressing has just enough spiciness to excite your taste buds.
Why should you make this recipe?
You can serve this salad on its own, as a main meal or as an appetizer. It is great for two people.
This Mexican chicken salad is a great example of a complete meal. In one serving you consume lean protein, vegetables, dairy, and healthy fats.
I usually crave large salads at lunch right after my workout. They are great for recovery because they contain all the essential nutrients your body needs after exercise. The vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, carbs, and fiber. The chicken breast is a great source of lean protein, iron, and B-12. You also get healthy fats form the avocado and calcium from the sour cream.
The ingredients for this recipe are easy to find at any grocery store.
Also, this salad is gluten free and low on the glycemic index. Corn is sweet and starchy, but it has a glycemic index of 52 which is considered low. Therefore, it is suitable for diabetics.
For this recipe I’ve used boneless, skinless chicken breast, but you can also use chicken thigh. Lean pork might also work well in this recipe.
I recommend pounding the chicken breast if it is too uneven. Even thickens of the chicken breast ensures even cooking.
You can marinade the chicken breast for longer. It is best if you plan ahead of time and marinade for at least an hour before cooking. If you are out of time, you can just season it and cook it right away. It will still have a lot of flavor.
If you don’t have a grill you can use a griddle or cast iron pan.
To prevent the chicken breast from overcooking use a food thermometer. The FDA recommends cooking chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165F but if you do that with chicken breast you will end up with a dry meat. My advice is to cook it to 150F, because once you remove it from the grill it will continue cooking and the temperature will carry over 160 for sure.
Rest your cooked chicken breast for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Give a little taste of your jalapeño pepper. If it is too spicy it can ruin the entire salad. I recommend using only half of the pepper if you think that is very hot.
I don’t like cilantro, so I used parsley for that dressing. If you prefer you can use cilantro. I know that Mexican dishes go very well with that herb, but I have that gene that makes it taste like soap.
Mexican Chicken Salad with Creamy Jalapeño Dressing
For the chicken breast marinade
- the zest from one lime
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano Mexican is best
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ cup avocado oil or oil that you prefer
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
For the dressing
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil or oil that you prefer
- 1 Jalapeño pepper roasted seed and stem removed
- 1 bunch cilantro or parsley stems removed
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
For the salad
- 2 cups chopped lettuce of choice I used iceberg
- 3 slices of red onion
- 1 corn on the cob
- ¼ cup sliced black olives
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- ½ avocado sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
Marinade the chicken
- In a bowl add the ingredients for the marinade (smoked paprika, oregano, cumin, lime zest, garlic powder and oil). Stir well and add the chicken breast. Do not add salt to the marinade. Coat the chicken breast with the marinade on each side and refrigerate for an hour.
Grill the chicken and vegetables
- Preheat the grill (or grill pan) to medium high. Grill the corn on the cob, sliced red onions and one jalapeño for about a minute per side. We are going to use the jalapeño for the dressing.
- Grill the chicken breast for about 3 minutes per side (depending on thickness) until it reaches an internal temperature of 150F. Rest it for 15 minutes before slicing. Then season with salt and pepper.
To prepare the dressing and salad
- While the chicken breast is resting make the dressing and the base of the salad. Add the sour cream, oil, cilantro, lime juice and the roasted jalapeño (remove the seeds and stem) in a wide mouth jar. Use and immersion blender to blend everything together until smooth.
- Chop the lettuce, slice the avocado and cut off the corn from the cob.
- In a bowl or a dish of your choice place the chopped lettuce then arrange the vegetables (corn, avocado, grilled red onion, olives, and cherry tomatoes. Then slice the chicken and add it on top. Pour the dressing on top. Season with extras salt and pepper if needed and serve right away.