Chipotle Chicken Salad
If you’re looking for a way to spice up your lunchtime routine, you need to give this Chipotle Chicken Salad a try! This hearty and satisfying take on traditional Cobb is a real stunner – made with spicy chicken, creamy avocado, tart berries and sweet roasted corn, this summer salad is like a bowl of California sunshine.
While pumpkin spice season is *almost* here, these, my dear friends, these are the dog days of summer. When the temps are this high, I simply can’t abide turning the oven on. If you’re also feeling the heat, join me for this refreshing, joyful bowl of summertime goodness. This salad oozes summer, when farmer’s markets are abundant with sweet corn and juicy berries.
Why I Love This Recipe
Believe it or not, somedays I stare in my fridge for interminable periods wondering “what in the heck am I gonna make for dinner??” No, no – trust me. Being a food blogger does not make me a magician, and there are plenty of days I just don’t know what to make.
When I need inspiration, I turn to other talented humans, like Gaby Dalkin, the author of What’s Gaby Cooking; I love cooking the simple, healthy, produce forward dishes in this delightful cookbook! It also doesn’t hurt that the gorgeous sunny photos in the cookbook also have me craving a California vacation. *Swoon*
If you are a fan of the carefree California lifestyle, you will love Gaby’s blog, too!
This riff on Cobb salad features charred corn, creamy avocado slices, juicy strawberries, crispy bacon, and smoky chipotle grilled chicken, all tossed in a light, and tangy lemon vinaigrette. Need I say more?
If you still need convincing, here are other amazing facts about this bright and delectable chipotle chicken salad:
- It’s fast enough for weeknights, taking just 15 minutes of active time to make.
- It’ll keep your kitchen cool! If you have an outdoor grill, you don’t have to turn the oven on.
- It’s awesome for meal prep! The chicken, corn, and dressing can all be made up to a week in advance. Serve and store salads in mason jars — try this nifty mason jar trick. For best results, slice strawberries and avocado right before serving.
So what are you waiting for?? Let’s get cookin’!
How to Make Chipotle Chicken Salad
First, let’s start by making the chicken.
Combine the oil, chipotles, garlic powder, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl. Place the chicken in a large zip-top bag and add the marinade. Zip the bag and mix the chicken into the marinade to coat. Place in the fridge and let in marinade for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan to about 400 degrees F (medium-high heat). Place the chicken on the grill and grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the chicken against the grain. Cooked, sliced chicken will last for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Now, let’s make the dressing. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Adjust the salt and pepper as needed. The dressing will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I suggest roasting your corn; the little bit of char blends beautifully with the smoky chipotle chicken and bright dressing. Feel free to use the grill, or simply use the gas burner on your stove. NOTE: You can also opt to oven roast or sauté the corn kernels if you are using frozen.
To taste the fruits of your labor, arrange the greens on a large platter and top with bacon, strawberries, corn, avocado, and grilled chicken and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the vinaigrette and serve. ENJOY!!
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! In fact, if you are making this salad in the spring when strawberries are just starting, I recommend using the frozen kernels. Simply give them a quick roast in the oven or sauté with a bit of olive oil or butter – no need to defrost.
Sure! Boneless skinless thighs would probably be my next choice for a salad, but this chipotle marinade would also taste great on wings. If you’re in a real pinch for time, you can also reach for a cooked rotisserie chicken and toss it with a bit of the chipotle marinade.
Yep! The chicken, salad dressing, and roasted corn can all be prepped up to a week in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Add the delicate salad greens, strawberries, and avocado right before serving.
More Delicious Recipes
If you’re still hungry, check out some of my other favorites:
If you tried this Chipotle Chicken Salad with Avocado, Roasted Corn, and Strawberries, please be sure to rate and review it below!
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Summer Chipotle Chicken Cobb Salad
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts , (I used 1 pound breast tenderloins)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 3 to 4 cups mixed greens
- 4 strips applewood-smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 8 to 10 strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 2 ears corn on the cob, roasted, kernels removed in strips
- 1 to 2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Combine the oil, chipotles, garlic powder, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl. Place the chicken in a large zip-top bag and add the marinade. Zip the bag and mix the chicken into the marinade to coat. Place in the fridge and let in marinade for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
- Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan to about 400 degrees F (medium- high heat). Place the chicken on the grill and grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the chicken against the grain.
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Adjust the salt and pepper as needed. The dressing will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Arrange the greens on a large platter and top with bacon, strawberries, corn, avocado, and grilled chicken and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the vinaigrette and serve.
- For a less spicy chicken, use only 1 chile in adobo.
- The lemon can be substituted with 2 smallish limes. For a sweeter vinaigrette, add 1 teaspoon of honey. You could also turn this into an orange vinaigrette and use 1 fresh orange instead of lemon.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: July 2018. This recipe is also published in What’s Gaby Cooking.
One Comment on “Chipotle Chicken Salad”
My gosh this salad looks sooo good plus it looks so beautiful and colorful. Did I mention healthy