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A slightly spicy chicken salad packed with black beans, corn, red onions, and cheese and topped with a chipotle cilantro sour cream dressing. This salad can easily be made burn-your-taste-buds-off-spicy if you are one of those... Recipe includes nutritional information, small-yield, make-ahead, and freezer instructions.

Slightly Spicy Chipotle Chicken Salad

A slightly spicy chicken salad packed with black beans, corn, red onions, and cheese and topped with a chipotle cilantro sour cream dressing.

Course Dinner
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 381 kcal
Author Tracy

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 2/3 cup (160g) sour cream
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro minced (loosely packed)
  • 1 canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce seeds removed, and minced*
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Salad

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce chopped
  • 1 pound (about 2 small) boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded thin
  • Salt and pepper
  • Taco seasoning or a little cumin and chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth or water to deglaze pan
  • 1/2 small red onion cut root to tip and sliced thin vertically
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can whole-kernel corn drained
  • 1-2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • Crushed tortilla chips for topping optional

Instructions

Dressing

  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Set aside.

Chicken

  1. Salt and pepper chicken and sprinkle with taco seasoning (or a little cumin and chili powder). Grease a pan with cooking spray and cook the chicken over medium-high heat, 5-8 minutes per side, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the breasts reads 160°F. Set aside on a plate.
  2. Deglaze the pan with a little chicken broth or water, scraping the cooked brown bits off the bottom and pour over chicken. Let rest for 5 minutes, dice, and set aside.

Vegetables & Beans

  1. Spray the pan with a little more cooking spray and add onions (if you like crunchy onions in your salad, you can skip this step), cooking until they are cooked just shy of your preferred level of doneness. Add beans and corn and cook until heated through. Put chicken back in the pan and mix well.

Assemble

  1. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, chicken mixture, dressing, and tomatoes. Toss well so that everything is coated in the dressing and serve. Top with cheese and a few crushed tortilla chips if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*To remove the seeds from the chipotle pepper, cut the pepper open and gently scrape them away with your knife. If there are a few left over, that's fine. If you prefer a spicier salad, leave the seeds and add a teaspoon or more of adobo sauce to the dressing. Keep adding until it reaches your desired level of heat.

Extra peppers can be frozen with sauce in a cling wrap-lined ice cube tray or without the sauce on a sheet of parchment paper and then stored together in a plastic bag in the freezer.

Small-yield Instructions: No cooking or preparation changes needed to cut the recipe in half or quarters. If halving, use 2 heaping tablespoons loosely packed cilantro.
Make-ahead Information: Up to 2 days in advance: Cook and dice chicken, storing with drippings (to help keep it moist) in an air-tight container. Make the dressing. Cut the lettuce and onions. When you are ready to eat, follow the recipe starting from step 4, but add the chicken to the pan when you add the corn and beans.
Freezer Instructions: The cooked chicken mixture can be stored in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to four months. To eat, defrost in the refrigerator (beans defrosted in the microwave may end up mushy) and reheat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.