Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

This is one of our favorite summer salads. This recipe is very forgiving so feel free to adapt it to your personal taste. It is filled with the goodness of fresh salad tomatoes, avocado, corn, black beans, romaine lettuce and a full flavored creamy Chipotle dressing. The dressing is amazing and you will find yourself making it to use on other salads as well.Be sure and use romaine lettuce as it is sturdy enough to stand up to the moist ingredients and won’t wilt as quickly. This flavorful salad is just as good on the second day!

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad


  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup light sour cream or yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts) Leftover grilled chicken works too.
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup diced peeled avocado
  • 1/3 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (8 3/4-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn, rinsed and drained or use frozen

To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients, stir until well mixed.

To prepare salad, combine lettuce and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in the fridge – it’s just as good the second day!

Tip: Add a spoonful of adobo sauce for a spicier salad. Kidney or pinto beans also work in this salad.

Yield: 4 Servings   Servings Size: Approx 2 1/2 cups

Nutritional Information

Calories: 249, Fat: 8.2g, Saturated fat: 2.8g, Monounsaturated fat: 2.9g, Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7g, Protein: 23.3g, Carbohydrate: 25.1g, Fiber: 7g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Iron: 2.2mg, Sodium: 650mg, Calcium: 106mg WWPP 6

Adapted from Cooking Light AUGUST 2006

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18 pings

  1. Lindsey @ Why Just Eat says:

    This looks so good! I just picked up some red onions and corn at the farmer’s market – can’t wait to make this for lunch tomorrow :)

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Lindsey! I hope you like the salad as much as we do!

  2. debra says:

    looks to be very tasty cant wait to make

  3. Nikki says:

    Made this tonight – WOW!!! It is so good and that dressing will be put to use on other things. YUM!!

    1. Tami says:

      Nikki thank you for the feedback and I’m delighted that you enjoyed this recipe! It is a favorite around here too. :)

  4. Stacey says:

    How long is the dressing good for?

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Stacey,

      I have never had any salad leftover for more than two days. I would think the dressing would be good up to the freshness date of the sour cream used, as long as it is properly refrigerated. Hope that helps.


  5. Megan says:

    Made this for lunch and WOW!!! This is definitely one of my favorite recipes. I marinated the chicken in some of the adobo sauce that came from the chipotle peppers before cooking! So yummy! Thanks for the recipe! !

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Megan!

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe and I’m delighted that you took the time to come back and leave a comment. :)
      Great idea for marinating the chicken in a little adobo sauce!

  6. Karen says:

    I made this a while back and loved it. I love spicy food and the dressing was awesome! I just want to say that the chicken should be seasoned very well before it’s roasted or else all the flavor will be in the salad part and the chicken will be really bland, throwing off the balance a bit.

    1. Tami says:

      Good observation about the chicken being well seasoned Karen. I’m delighted to read your review! Thank you for taking the time to come back and share your thoughts.

      Enjoy the weekend!

  7. Sue says:

    Where did you find the minced chipotle, canned in adobe sauce? I have had no luck.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Sue, The canned Chipotles in adobe sauce are whole chiles – you have to mince them yourself. Where I live they are sold in all the grocery stores in the Mexican food aisles along with the canned green chilies, enchilada sauce and jars of salsa.

      If you google Chipotles in adobe sauce and click on images you will be able to see what the different brands look like and that helps when you go the grocery store.

      Hope that helps. Good luck and Happy Cooking!

      1. Sue says:

        Thanks, I will definitely look in all those areas.

    2. Jenn says:

      Another note: the adobo chilis I have purchased in the past are EXTREMELY spicy. I love hot things, and find any excuse to eat Sriracha and jalapenos, and I still think chipotle peppers in adobo are hot. Be forewarned! :)

  8. Whit says:

    Tried this tonight and it was so delicious! Going to put it in a wrap tomorrow for lunch! :)

    1. Tami says:

      Great idea to put it into a wrap! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a comment to let me know you enjoyed it! :)

  9. Erica says:

    Hi! This looks fantastic and I’m super excited to try it, but I’m wondering if I can substitute greek yogurt for the sour cream?

    1. Tami says:

      I think Greek Yogurt usually works well in place of sour cream so I would use it for sure! Happy Cooking Erica!

  10. Melissa says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and followed the recipe exactly, omg this is so delicious and healthy! So nice to find a healthy recipe that has so much flavor. I will definitely be making this often. Can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Thank you!!!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Melissa! Thank you for coming back and letting me know how much you enjoyed the salad. I will have to put it on our menu soon. :)

  11. Sara says:

    I made this last night and didn’t mix the lettuce in (or the avocados because mine were still rock hard, but wouldn’t have anyway because my crazy husband doesn’t like them) and ate it for dinner last night, lunch today (with avocado! Yum!) and dinner tonight. Yeah, this is REAL good. I just put down 1.5 cups of lettuce and top it with 1 cup of the salad.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Sara! I am so delighted to know you enjoyed this salad and modified it so hubby could enjoy it as well! I like how you kept all the ingredients separate so you could mix it up fresh as needed. Brilliant! :)

  12. Joia Jones says:

    YUH-UHM! I just made and ate this DELISH salad. After calculating my specific ingredients/brands, I came just slightly under the posted calorie count (I’m a nerd about weighing and measuring every ingredient) and, I have to say, I LOVE when I can get full from eating something so delicious…and not using a huge portion of my calorie count for the day! I reposted this to my social networks because it’s THAT GOOD.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Joia! So glad to know how much you enjoyed this recipe. It has become the most popular recipe on my blog and for good reason as it is delicious!

      Happy Cooking!

  13. Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it is delicious! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you Lisa! This is one of the most popular recipes on my blog and for a good reason too – everyone loves it!

  14. Shelley says:

    I made it today and put it in a whole wheat wrap and it was delicious! I put too much chipotle pepper so I put a sprinkle of sugar subsitite and made it a little sweet but still a spicy kick and taste! Also added orange bell pepper slices and used leftover shredded rotisserie chicken.

    1. Tami says:

      HI Shelly! Sounds like you fixes turned out great! I love that you used this in a wheat wrap – very clever and a nice way to serve it. :)

  15. Mary says:

    Wowza! I’m not much for Taco Salad, but I’m sold on this! Thank you, thank you!

  16. Maghan says:

    This salad is awesome! I’ve made it twice now for parties and so many people complimented and had to have the recipe! Thanks for sharing! Also, to cut out the step of making the chicken, I just buy the Perdue grilled “done its” and it turns out perfectly!

    1. Tami says:

      Great tip to cut down on the prep Maghan! So glad to know you liked this recipe and I want to thank you for coming back to let me know! Happy Cooking!

  17. Jim Burfield says:

    I make the salad bars in a retirement community, in Florida. Do you mind if I try this recipe on my residents? I think they would love it.

    1. Tami says:

      HI Jim – please give it a try!

  18. Confused says:

    This exact recipe was in the August 2006 issue of Cooking Light Magazine, right?

    1. Tami says:

      Yes as noted at the bottom of the recipe this is from Cooking Light.

  19. Kristy says:

    Just made this for my dinner with a few changes. I replaced the sour cream with fat free plain yogurt because it’s what I had on hand.I also added a bit of garlic powder to the dressing. I used the dressing as a sauce on some bean and cheese burritos I made for my husband and he Loved them.

    For my salad I added a bit of chopped pobolano pepper I roasted and I browned the corn a bit n a dry cast iron skillet. The salad was really delicious.

    1. Tami says:

      Great changes to the salad recipe Kristy! So glad you enjoyed it. :)

  20. Cynthia says:

    OMG this salad is to die for!! The dressing is so delicious better than ranch

  21. Rachel says:

    Delicious! Made with greek yogurt instead of sour cream and went heavy on the chipotle peppers because we like spice. We had grilled chicken for dinner last night, so just grilled a few extra pieces. Cut them up tonight and tossed them with the salad for a SUPER easy and tasty weeknight dinner. Also made some Cilantro-Lime rice and it was practically the same as my burrito bowl order at Chipotle!

    1. Tami says:

      I’m so glad you liked it Rachel. It’s the perfect salad to take to a pot luck!

  22. Heather says:

    How long will the salad last once the dressing is on it?
    U have made this before but cannot remember. It may only last me two days!

    1. Tami says:

      Once the dressing is on it I would say it’s only good for 1-2 days as it will start to get kind of watery. You could always just put dressing on individual servings to keep it fresh longer!

  23. Rose & Anegelica says:

    Me and my daughter Angelica are so excited to start this new healthy living and so excited to use your recipes!!! Looks so delish !!! Thank you for sharing and helping to encourage others!!! God Bless you :)

    1. Tami says:

      Wishing you both the best of luck with your new food plan! Enjoy the recipes. :)

  24. Nancy says:

    Made this for dinner last night using a store bought rotisserie chicken and plain diced green chilies in the dressing. Even my kids loved it. Will be making again.

    1. Tami says:

      Nancy isn’t it great to fix a meal that the entire family enjoys? Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know how much your enjoyed this recipe.

      Happy Cooking! :)

  25. Rosynn Carter says:

    Hi Tami,

    Where can I purchase minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce?

    Than you,


    1. Tami says:

      Hi Rosynn,

      The canned chipotles can be found in the Mexican food aisle at most grocery stores. They are whole and you will need to mince them yourself.

      Hope this helps.

      Happy Cooking.


  26. amy says:

    This salad is so good!! my hubby and 12 yo boy love the spiceyness. I love the 6 WW points.

    1. Tami says:

      It really is a good salad – great for pot lucks too! So glad your family enjoyed it and that you took the time to come back and let me know.

      Happy Cooking!


  27. Jessica says:

    Made this last night, all I have to say is Wow!!!! This will definitely be on heavy rotation this summer.

    1. Tami says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Jessica! I don’t eat meat anymore but it was a family favorite for a long time. I need to make it over and sub some tofu for the chicken. The dressing is amazing! Happy Cooking. :)

  28. Haylee says:

    Do you have any suggestions for a dairy allergy to replace the sour cream with something else? I was thinking Mayo but not sure how that would taste. Looks really good though!

    1. Tami says:

      You can buy vegan non dairy sour cream or mayo at health food stores or Whole Foods. Hope that helps Haylee!

  29. Shawna says:

    Found this on Pinterest and made this tonight. I took the suggestion of a previous post and coated the chicken in the leftover adobo sauce. Then I grilled the chicken on my Foreman grill. Added an extra Tbs of adobo chile to dressing also as I like everything spicy. Also, I added extra cilantro.I made mine with greek yogurt and double the lime juice as it was just a little thick due to the thickness of the yogurt.Overall I love this dressing. It was delish. I didn’t make a full salad but rather a small one and left everything cut up and ready to assemble so I can take it to work for lunch all week. Thanks for a great recipe!

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