southwest chicken salad with chipotle honey dressing

I haven’t posted many salads here, mostly because I figure, well, there isn’t much cooking involved.  You take whatever ingredients you enjoy, you toss them together with some lettuce, and voila – a salad.  However, I don’t mind posting salads (or pasta salads, or things of that nature) if they involve some kind of unique flavor combination, OR if there’s a homemade dressing involved! In this case, the chipotle honey dressing put me over the edge – we LOVED this stuff.  Seriously, I ate it for days.  It’s apparently a copycat of Chipotle’s vinaigrette, but since I’ve never gone there and ordered a salad (I mean come on) I have no idea how it actually compares.  But it’s definitely delicious.  And okay, sure, you’re still not cooking per se – but I’m going to say it counts.  Because it’s my blog and I do what I want.  Just kidding.  Maybe. :)

The other nice thing about salads is that I can prep all the ingredients, put them out in separate bowls or storage containers, and Daren and I can pick and choose our own ingredients.  For example, Daren isn’t a bell pepper fan, while I could easily eat a whole one raw.  More for me!  You can then store the leftovers in their separate containers in the fridge, and have yourself an almost-ready-made salad whenever you feel like it.   Easy dinner – that’s the way we like things to be during the week around here.  Except for when I get it into my head that I should try a really complex recipe on a Wednesday night, and then it’s 8:30 and we still haven’t eaten yet.  Doesn’t sound TOO bad until you consider the fact that I can barely stay away past 9 on a school night.  Oh well… back to the salad.


For the chipotle honey vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1¼ tsp. ground chipotle powder
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¾ tsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, seasoned (we used a buffalo-style rub from Whole Foods; you could also use taco seasoning or any similarly-flavored dry rub), grilled and sliced
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup corn
  • ½ cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 avocados, sliced in half lengthwise, pitted, removed from the skin, and chopped
  • ½ small red onion, diced small or thinly sliced
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

(you could also include shredded Cheddar, chopped tomatoes, and/or sour cream)


To make the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients except the oil together in a medium bowl.  Slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking vigorously.  Refrigerate the dressing for at least 1 hour before using.

While the vinaigrette chills, grill the chicken and chop the veggies. Assemble the salads as desired and drizzle with the vinaigrette.   Store leftovers un-dressed in the refrigerator.

Yield: About 6 servings

Source: Smells Like Home


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