Here are two great options for some home-cooked Mexican Chicken Salads! The first is a traditional Chicken Taco Salad, and the second relies on some Spicy Cabbage Slaw.
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Spicy Chicken Salad

Here are two great options for some home-cooked Mexican Chicken Salads!  The first is a traditional Chicken Taco Salad, and the second relies on some Spicy Cabbage Slaw. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 630kcal
Author: Mexican Please


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotles
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • pinch of Mexican oregano (optional)
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Kosher or sea salt (for the brine)

For the Taco Salad:

  • 1 head Iceberg lettuce
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 3 cups crispy tortilla strips
  • 1 can corn (optional)
  • 1-2 cups cheese (I used Queso Fresco)
  • freshly chopped cilantro

For the Avocado Dressing:

  • 2 avocados
  • 10-12 sprigs cilantro
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup water (plus more if necessary)

For the Curtido:

  • 1/2 head green cabbage
  • 1 carrot (optional)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt


  • To brine the chicken, add 1/4 cup salt to a quart of water in a mixing bowl.  Dissolve the salt and add the chicken breasts, letting them brine for 30 minutes or so.  If the chicken breasts aren't fully submerged then add a bit more water.  I usually cover and put them in the fridge. Once brined, pat dry the chicken breasts and add them to a baking sheet. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink inside (160F). 
  • Once the chicken has cooled a bit you can shred it with two forks and add it to a mixing bowl along with: 2 tablespoons adobo sauce, 1 tablespoon chile powder, a pinch of Mexican oregano (optional), and some freshly cracked black pepper. Combine well.
  • For the Taco Salad, start by making the Avocado Dressing. Add the following ingredients to a blender or food processor: the flesh of 2 avocados, 10-12 rinsed cilantro sprigs, 1/2 peeled garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup water, juice of 2 limes. Combine well and take a taste, adding more lime and cilantro if you want. If it won't combine readily simply add another splash of water. Cover and keep cool until you need it.
  • For the cripsy tortilla strips I baked some corn tortillas, but feel free to use tortilla chips, fried corn tortillas, or crumbled taco shells. To bake corn tortillas, spread a thin layer of oil on each side of the tortillas and bake for 8-9 minutes in a 350F oven. I usually flip them after the first 4 minutes and then take a peek after another 4 minutes. Keep in mind that you'll have the best success with thin tortillas as thicker tortillas won't crisp up as readily. More on baking corn tortillas.
  • I used Iceberg and Romaine for the Taco Salad, but there is leeway on the lettuce type. Be sure to give the lettuce a good rinse and drain it well, then chopping it up into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Keep cool until you need it.
  • Finish prepping any other fixings you'd like to serve up in your Taco Salad. I crumbled up some Queso Fresco, and drained and rinsed a can of corn.
  • To serve the Taco Salad, I prefer adding the fixings on top of a bed of lettuce in a smaller bowl so that you don't have to intermix everything before chowing down. For bigger groups I would consider lining up an impromptu salad bar so people can build their own masterpieces. This helps keep distinct temperatures and textures in the salad and I think it tastes best that way.
  • If you'd like to make the Chicken Salad version with Curtido, see the original Curtido post on how to make a batch. It's easy and you are basically just adding shredded cabbage to a seasoned vinegar brine. Typically you'll need to let the Curtido rest overnight in the fridge to get full flavor.
  • For the Curtido salad, I combine the Curtido with some Romaine lettuce and then top with the Spicy Shredded Chicken, Queso Fresco, freshly chopped cilantro, and some Avocado Dressing (optional). I think the Curtido version tastes best when the shredded chicken is cold, i.e. hello leftovers!


Here's the original post on how to make Curtido. 
A typical brine ratio is one cup salt per one gallon of water.


Calories: 630kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 1860mg | Potassium: 1808mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 15869IU | Vitamin C: 68mg | Calcium: 384mg | Iron: 4mg