Mexican Chicken Salad

by zesty on October 27, 2008 · 35 comments

Wow!  What a weekend… Just to let everyone know – I am addicted to Zestycook and usually spend every waking minute either thinking about what to post, cooking in the kitchen, writing down ideas or checking out all the amazing food blogs around.  I love it!

My focus while working all weekend on Zesty was trying to come up with new and exciting, yet simple meal ideas for everyone out there.  It is a well known fact that a lot of people are busy and have little time to prepare meals for themselves or their families.  It is also a known fact that more and more people are adopting healthy eating habits and engaging themselves in a healthy lifestyle.

I am practicing some new techniques with the camera and lighting – what do you think?

With that being said, I thought I would share with you a chicken salad with a taste of Mexico that has a good balance of greens, protein and complex carbohydrates.  This salad is super easy to make but does not lack in flavour.  Roll up your sleeves and prepare this dish the next time you want some Mexican flare.


  • 2 boneless chicken breast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 low-carb tortilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup canned red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 8 cup mixed greens – (approx 5 oz)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cobs corn cooked (slice the corn off the cob)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp grated lime peel
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce


  1. For Salad: Prepare a medium grill or preheat broiler. Brush grill with oil. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill 15 minutes, or until cooked through, turning once halfway through cooking time. (Chicken
    may be made up to 1 day ahead. Cool before wrapping and refrigerating.)
  3. Let chicken cool to room temperature, then thinly slice on the diagonal.
  4. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush tortilla with olive oil place on a baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, until golden. Set aside to cool.
  5. In a large bowl toss kidney beans, onion, greens, cilantro and until evenly mixed.
  6. For Dressing: Whisk olive oil, lime juice, grated lime peel, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, taco seasoning and hot sauce.
  7. To assemble salad: Toss greens mixture with dressing until evenly coated.
  8. For each portion,place one-quarter of the greens mixture on each of four plates. Top with
    one-quarter of the chicken slices, and drizzle a little more dressing.
  9. If desired, serve with lime wedges.

Yield:4 Servings

Zesty Note: The highly seasoned lime vinaigrette dressing is also terrific over grilled fish.

So there you have it, a little taste of Mexico in less than 30 minutes. You can’t beat that! My question to everyone is – what is your favorite Mexican dish? Let me know in the comments.  If we have an overwhelming response, we might have a Mexican Zesty Week!

Can’t wait to hear from you.  Happy Monday everyone… keep smiling.


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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 HoneyB

Sounds delish Zesty!

I think most of us food bloggers think alike when it comes to their blog! Seems like our food revolves around it! ….and everything else :D


2 Megan

I love the pic! This looks tasty and healthy! My favorite is a black bean casserole that I often make!


3 VeggieGirl

¡Olé! :-)

My favorite Mexican dish = a burrito stuffed with black beans, spicy salsa, lettuce, and TONS of guacamole. Holy yum!


4 coco

great salad! so colorful and nutritious!
And what’s the new photo technique? the photos looks amazing! I want to learn that technique too!!!!!


5 ZestyCook

HoneyB – thanks so much… yeah I think we are all alike!!

Megan – thanks – share the black bean casserole sometime…. I think I would love that!

VeggieGirl – that does sound awesome – is it on your blog?

Coco – thanks very much. I fooled around with a black background… set the lighting up slightly different and chose the indoor setting as well as the macro setting on the camera… but I think the difference is in the lighting and the backdrop… Was fun but alot of work for a picture of a salad :)


6 Dee

It looks fabulous. I love to make a salad similar to this with Arracherras on it. What a fabulous fresh salad you have made here.


7 lauren

This is hard because I LOVE mexican food. I guess I would have to go with chicken tacos, on fresh corn tortillas, topped with fresh cilantro, onions, lime juice, and fresh guacamole. but I also LOVE fresh tortilla chips and salsa. Oh and nachos are pretty amazing too – lots of cheese for those!


8 mi

all the thought you put into your blog really shows!! this looks fabulous – i’m not that familiar with mexican food, we’ve had fajitas and tacos at home (are they mexican…???) but that’s about it. great food though.


9 Marianne

Fave Mexican food – Chicken Enchiladas in Mole. Mmmmm, mole. You could probably just give me a bowl of mole with a tortilla to scoop it up with and I’d be happy!


10 Kat

Oh I LOVE Mexican food. I’m not sure I have a favorite; I just love all of the ingredients used in Mexican food and love almost any configuration thereof, lol. Although, one of my favorites could be a little healthier — tamales…



11 chadnpam1

I enjoy making and eating taco salads. It’s a great way to get a bunch of your favorite things together in one bowl. The dressing sounds delicious!

I love all Mexican foods but one of my favorites is a chile rellano – I never make them or eat them because they are so bad for you, but I do love them.


12 maggie

Great salad, great pics! I am completely obsessed with food blogging too :D

My favorite mexican dish… hm. Either a breakfast burrito (sans beans) or a big honkin’ Chipotle salad (no beans). I don’t like the beans, hehe… I do love the sauteed peppers and onions though. YUM.


13 Foong

The salad looks delicious. This recipe is a keeper!


14 coco

agree! sometimes we spend more time taking pictures than preparing the food! ^_^


15 Erin

You’re right, food blogging is totally addictive. :) Yay!
I don’t really like Mexican that much – I know that sounds weird – but when I do eat it, I love a super spicy dish with lots of beans, grilled veg, and salsa.


16 Gloria

I totally love Mexican food; I even wrote a cookbook about it. Your recipe looks delicious! My favorite Mexican dish is chili, but then I’m from San Antonio, so that probably explains it.
Noticed that you designed the new logo for Meg at Megan’s Munchies. I’d love for you to design a logo for a new blog I’m building that involves–you guessed it–chili!


17 Biz

Zesty, that looks so good! Even with the long list of ingredients, I am so making this!

I guess my favorite Mexican food is my grilled salsa, and a pan fried beef taco. It’s taco night at my house tonight – yippee!

Happy Monday! :D


18 Krista

The food looks awesome as do the pictures! Where do you come up with all these great ideas??


19 ZestyCook

Thanks Dee, Lauren, Mi

Marianne – i am with you on that one :)

Kat – Nice choice!

Thanks ChadnPam – The dressing was put together last minute… need some groceries :)

Maggie – thanks so much

Thanks Foong

Coco – I do agree totally!

Thanks Erin!

Gloria – I would be more than happy to work on yoru logo. Who doesn’t love chili!

Biz – haha yeah wheni was writing it last night I was like oh wow this is a long list of ingredients!! Thanks and happy monday to you as well.

Krista – thanks for your kind words… I usually come up with some different combinations by thinking of ingredients that go well together. I am a big fan of cooking without a recipe and just winging it so I try to mirror flavours throughout the dish.


20 Bob

That looks awesome, I love salad with chicken. Heh, my mom would faint if she heard me say that. What kind of camera do you use?


21 Gera

Hi Cory!

These photos are wonderful and this salad is sooo enchanting :)
I love the idea of a Mexican Zesty Week!

The list of Mex-food is so long for me..chicken mole poblano, cochinita pibil, nachos, tacos..and I cannot forget to mention the king and queen of the sweets of the world Mex origin, chocolate!!


22 HangryPants

The recipe looks amazing. I just love cilantoro. And the picture is beautiful, too. Man I have got to get a better camera.


23 Happy Herbivore

the photo is so colorful! I think its because of the nict, sharp contrast with the background (?)


24 Kristie

WOW does that ever look delicious.
I don’t have enough experience with Mexican food. My expertise only goes as far as consuming much too much salsa. Please have a Mexican Zesty Week! I need to get my Mexican on ;)


25 ttfn300

i think… food porn! and i would like that salad :) hmmm, i love mexican, but if i had to something right now i’d hit up a black bean burrito with pulled chicken and plantains… delish. would tres leches cake work? haha shoot i’m getting hungry


26 rubybean77

That dressing sounds yummy! I think it is funny you’re turning into a blogging addict. :)


27 Nick

Cory, I think you share my love affair with Mexican food. It’s the food of champions in my mind. My favorite would have to be some authentic tacos: toasted corn tortillas, melted cheese, pulled pork or carne asada, cilantro, red onions and pico de gallo.


28 Stacey Snacks

This looks so good and and healthy!


29 Jessie

This looks great! Also, couldn’t agree with you more about the whole blogging thing. :D

a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse


30 Mamaliga

You got all the good colors in there! Good lighting!

Gabi @


31 Rhodey

HOLY SMOKES THIS LOOKS AMAZZZZZZZZZZZING. i love meals with lots of flavors and textures.


32 Erica

mmm nothing is better than a mexican themed salad!


33 Mommy of four

Thought provoking and interesting, thank you. I was brought up in mexico but moved to england at such a young age I barely remember anything apart from the tasty food and kind people. I finally found some authentic mexican food if you want to have a look, I thought I’d share it with you!


34 Danica

HOLY Ingredient list! ;) I was checking out your chicken recipes and couldn’t resist. Sounds delicious Z



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