Chicken Taco Salad with Tangy Avocado Lime Dressing

May 20, 2022

If you love a good taco salad, then prepare to have your life absolutely CHANGED! My Chicken Taco Salad with Tangy Avocado Lime Dressing is not your mama’s taco salad. It is loaded with delicious, healthy ingredients that pack quite the punch, and, not to mention, this avocado lime dressing is absolutely MAGICAL. Make this salad for Taco Tuesday, or anytime that you are craving a delicious, healthy salad!

A large bowl of the chicken taco salad, on a countertop, surrounded by a small bowl of dressing, a sliced avocado, a plate of cheese, and lime and cilantro.

Friends, if there’s one thing better than tacos, it’s a delicious TACO SALAD. And I know what you’re probably thinking, “Nicole, there is no way that a taco salad is better than tacos themselves!”

But hear me out: while I of course love a good taco, what truly makes the taco delicious is the filling. And a taco salad, in my opinion, is just a big bowl of taco filling! See where I’m going with this? Of course, I love the crunchiness of a hard taco shell, or the buttery-soft texture of a soft taco shell, but in my opinion, the filling is where it’s AT. And what better way to just eat the filling than to make a delicious taco salad?

While there are so many epic taco salads out there, my unbiased opinion is that this one takes the cake. Why is that? Well, while the ingredients are stellar, the dressing here is what makes this taco salad truly life-changing. This isn’t your typical kicked-up ranch dressing that is traditionally found on taco salads. Instead, this avocado lime dressing is packed with delicious spices and a tangy flavor that truly takes this salad to the next level. In fact, this may be one of the best dressing recipes that I’ve ever created – PERIOD. It’s so good that I want to eat it with a spoon. And truly, I’m not exaggerating. 😉

And, I’m also not exaggerating when I say that my salad recipes are all here to help show you that your salads never need to be dressing-less and boring. From my Hillstone Macho Salad with AMAZING cornbread croutons, to my Ultimate Kale Salad that is so good, you’ll want to drink the tahini lemon dressing, you can’t go wrong when you make a Kalejunkie salad recipe. I promise!

What You Need to Make This Delicious Taco Salad

To make this salad, all you need are a few simple and easy ingredients that come together in mere minutes!

  • Ground Chicken: I’m using ground chicken as my meat of choice, and I highly recommend it here! However, you could also use ground beef if you prefer, or sub in plant-based “meat” crumbles.
  • Taco Seasoning: To make our life easier, we’ll be using taco seasoning here. I like the Siete Foods taco seasoning because it adds the perfect flavor to this dish!
  • Romaine Lettuce: Of course, we need lettuce to make a salad! I recommend using romaine lettuce here – just be sure to finely chop it!
  • Corn: What would a taco salad be without the corn?! Also, corn happens to be rich in Vitamin C, making it a delicious heart-healthy ingredient!
  • Black Beans: Black beans are a staple when it comes to taco salad, and are also full of healthy fats and plant-based protein.
All of the ingredients needed to make this chicken taco salad, laid out on a cutting board
  • Baby Tomatoes: Baby tomatoes add a vibrancy and freshness to this salad that is truly unmatched.
  • Cotija Cheese: And, of course, a good taco always needs cheese! I love using Cotija cheese in my taco salad for the most authentic flavor!
  • Avocados: Since we are making an avocado lime dressing, we will of course need avocados! You’ll need two for this recipe, and I promise you: this dressing is worth it.
  • Limes: A squeeze of fresh lime juice adds the perfect balance of flavor and acidity to this recipe!
  • Olive Oil: I like using olive oil because it is heart-healthy and full of healthy fats. However, you could also use avocado oil, if you prefer.
  • Garlic: I always recommend using fresh garlic when you can. It just adds the best flavor!
  • Greek Yogurt: A touch of greek yogurt will make this dressing extra creamy. Don’t skip this!! You can also use dairy-free yogurt, if desired.
  • Herbs & Seasonings: In this recipe, we’ll be using cilantro, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper. Yum!
A large mason jar of the creamy avocado dressing, on a cutting board, with a spoon dipped into it

What to Serve With This Salad (Aka How to Make the Ultimate Mexican-Inspired Meal)

If you’re looking for some inspiration on what to serve this salad with, then look no further because I’ve GOT YOU! These recipes pair perfectly with this salad, and will help you to create the ultimate Mexican-inspired fiesta.

  • For the Perfect Appetizer: Try The Best Creamy Vegan Queso (with chips, of course) for the ultimate appetizer to go with this salad!
  • For the Perfect Side Dish: My Mayo-Free Mexican Street Corn Tostadas can be made with mini-tortillas, making them perfect to pair alongside this salad for an unexpectedly crunchy accompaniment.
  • For the Perfect Main Dish: Want to pre-game with this salad before your main course? No problem! Make this alongside my Comforting Chicken Burrito Casserole for a hearty meal that’s sure to satisfy.
A large bowl of the chicken taco salad. with the creamy avocado dressing being poured over it with a spoon

How to Make This Life-Changing Taco Salad and Avocado Dressing

Making this life-changing salad comes in two parts: first, preparing the salad itself, and second, preparing the dressing. To make this recipe, we’ll start by preparing the salad.

Heat a pan on the stove over medium heat and add in your oil of choice. Next, sauté your chicken (or meat / meatless crumbles) as well as your taco seasoning and cook until the meat is all the way cooked through.

Next, prepare your vegetables by chopping them and adding them into a large bowl. Once the chicken is finished cooking, toss it in there as well.

Then, prepare the dressing. Add all of your dressing ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides and add a touch more water depending on desired thickness. It will be thick!

Finally, pour the dressing on top of the salad and mix well to combine. Serve immediately, or store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so that I can repost them! xX


** Photography by Gayle McLeod
A large bowl of the chicken taco salad, on a countertop, surrounded by a small bowl of dressing, a sliced avocado, a plate of shredded chicken, and lime and cilantro.
gluten-free/Nut Free/Refined Sugar Free/Vegan

Chicken Taco Salad with Tangy Avocado Lime Dressing

5 from 1 vote
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
SERVES 4 Servings
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If you love a good taco salad, then prepare to have your life absolutely CHANGED! My Chicken Taco Salad with Tangy Avocado Lime Dressing is not your mama's taco salad. It is loaded with delicious, healthy ingredients that pack quite the punch, and, not to mention, this avocado lime dressing is absolutely MAGICAL. Make this salad for Taco Tuesday, or anytime that you are craving a delicious, healthy salad!

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 1 Pound Ground Chicken or sub other crumbled meat / plant-based "meat" crumbles
  • 2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
  • 2 Heads Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 Cup Corn drained and rinsed
  • 1 Cup Black Beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 Cup Baby Tomatoes halved
  • 1/3 Cup Cotija Cheese crumbled

For the Avocado Lime Dressing:

  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • 2 Limes juiced
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 4 oz. Container Greek Yogurt or substitue dairy-free yogurt!
  • 1 Cup Cilantro
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Pinch Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Water to thin dressing as needed!

Instructions

  • Start by preparing the salad; heat a nonstick pan on the stove over medium heat and add in your oil.
  • Next, add in your chicken (or meat / plant-based meat of choice) and cook until it's cooked all the way through.
  • While the chicken is cooking, prepare your vegetables. Chop your lettuce and tomatoes, drain and rinse your corn and beans, and add them to a large bowl.
  • Once the chicken is done, add it to the bowl with the salad. Then, set aside.
  • Next, prepare the dressing. Add all of your dressing ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides to ensure that all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. You may want to add more water to the dressing, to "thin" it out, depending on your desired thickness.
  • Once your dressing is done, add it to the salad.
  • Mix until the dressing fully coats the ingredients and enjoy! Serve immediately, or store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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  1. This is one of the better bowls I’ve made in a while. I couldn’t find Cotija cheese so I used feta 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️
    The dressing is so creamy and delicious, I can’t wait to make it again ❤️

    • Yay! Danielle, I am so happy that you loved this recipe. Thank you so much for making it, and for leaving such a kind review!