This trainwreck of a chopped salad is one of our household favorites, a dish that makes it to the table, or the couch in front of the TV, several times a month. It’s fast, it’s delicious, and it’s filling. This isn’t a light salad. It’s a salad that makes you excited to eat a salad – and not the “I am very excited that I am eating healthy!” sort of excited that’s really probably lying.
Regardless, this is a uniquely satisfying one plate meal. The prep isn’t even that difficult, and to be completely honest, if you’re feeling lazy – you could probably buy a lot of the prep as pre-cut veg at your local market.
One of the other great things about this salad is that, frankly, you can kind of make it however you want. This is a chicken thigh site, so obviously I’m saying “Use chicken thighs” but we’ve definitely made it with whatever leftover protein we’ve got in the fridge. Sometimes I add bacon, sometimes black beans. Leftover fried chicken is particularly awesome. Just cut it into small cubes.
Your mileage may vary, but I pair this with a home brewed ale and whatever we’re currently binging on some streaming service, and if it’s getting really cold, maybe a bowl of tortilla soup as an accompaniment. Or just another ale. Mmmmm. Ale.
Chipotle Chicken Chopped SaladCourse: Dinner SaladCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
A delicious chopped dinner salad with Mexican-ish flavors.
- Quick Chipotle Chicken Bites
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
1 cloves garlic
Juice of one lime
1 tsp kosher salt or 1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp granulated sugar (opt)
- Chipotle Ranch Dressing
¼ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp ketchup
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp loosely packed chopped dill leaves (or 1/2 tsp freeze dried)
1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves (opt)
Salt to taste
1 small head of romaine lettuce
1 can sweet corn
1 jalapeno pepper
1 medium tomato
1 green onion
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 cup coarsely crushed corn chips
¼ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (opt)
½ cup cooked pinto beans
1 medium avocado
- Prepare the chicken
- Mince or microplane the garlic.
- Add the garlic, juice of one lime, ½ tsp ground cumin, salt, and 1 tsp chipotle chili powder to a non-reactive bowl. Stir well.
- Cut the chicken into ½ inch pieces and add to the marinade. Stir to coat and allow to rest, refrigerated, for 30 minutes.
- Drain any excess liquid, and sauté on high until well browned and cooked through – about 7-10 minutes. Adding sugar to the marinade improves the browning and adds a smoky flavor.
- Drain any fat, and refrigerate until ready to finish the salad.
- Prepare the dressing
- In a non-reactive bowl, add minced or microplaned garlic to the juice of one lime.
- Add salt and chili powder and allow to rest 10 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients, mix well, and refrigerate for 30 minutes for flavors to meld.
- To finish
- Trim, chop and clean the head of romaine. You’ll want to aim for 1 inch or smaller pieces.
- Clean and slice the green onion.
- Trim, seed, and dice the jalapeno.
- Drain the canned corn.
- Seed and cut the tomato into 1/4 inch dice.
- Add the lettuce, corn, jalapeno, onion, cheese, beans, and cilantro leaves, (if using) to a large salad bowl.
- Half the avocado, and remove the seed. Use a large spoon to remove the flesh from the skin. Cut the avocado into a 1/4 inch dice.
- Add the dressing, and mix the salad well.
- Add the avocado, and gently mix.
- Just before serving, add the crushed corn chips, gently mix, and serve immediately.
Be sure to check out my other food project, The Weekly Menu!