Chipotle Chicken Chopped Salad

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 Salad

Recipe by DrewCourse: Dinner SaladCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



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 lime

  • 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

  • Salad
  • 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!

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