★★★★★

Layered Chicken Taco Salad

Looking for a kid-friendly meal that adults will enjoy too? Try this Layered Chicken Taco Salad! It’s an easy lunch or dinner with lots of color and even more flavor.

Salads don’t have to be boring! Your family will love this Mexican Street Corn Salad and this healthy Watermelon Salad too.

Layered Chicken Taco Salad: a delicious layered salad that's perfect for dinner! Bring to your next potluck or picnic too!

Why this Recipe Works

I never thought I’d see the day when my kids would be requesting salad for dinner!

But this Chicken Taco Salad is FAR from your ordinary bowl of greens. It layers juicy shredded chicken with veggies, shredded cheese and tortilla strips.

The dressing is super simple too.

Mix equal amounts of French dressing with your favorite salsa for a dressing that’s creamy, spicy and just the right amount of tangy!

Layered Chicken Taco Salad: a delicious layered salad that's perfect for dinner! Bring to your next potluck or picnic too!

Ingredient Notes

Salsa. I like to use a HOT salsa to pair with the sweet French dressing. My family loves the spiciness but you can certainly opt for a mild or medium salsa too.

Cooked chicken. Either shredded or diced chicken can be used. Substitute shredded turkey breast if you have some holiday leftovers to use up!

Southwest tortilla strips. Regular salted tortilla chips work perfectly as a substitute.

Mexicorn. Canned Mexicorn also contains red and green peppers, making it ideal for a taco salad like this one. Thawed frozen roasted corn or simple fresh sweet corn kernels can be substituted.

Colby Jack Cheese. Swap it out for shredded cheddar or another preferred Mexican cheese blend if you like.

How to Layer

  1. Start by placing half the lettuce and spinach on the bottom of your bowl.
  2. Add the corn, tomatoes and chicken on top.
  3. Top the chicken layer with the rest of the lettuce and spinach. Add the cheese on top.
  4. Pour the dressing over the cheese layer. Finally, add tortilla strips, fresh cilantro and green onions to the top of the salad.

Serve immediately.

Tips and Tricks

  • Make layered salads in a large glass mixing bowl. That way you can see all the colorful layers before you divide up individual portions.
  • Assemble just before serving for best freshness and flavor.
  • To prep this ahead of time, chop all the vegetables and cook the chicken. Store separately in airtight containers in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • No time to cook your chicken? Grab a ready made rotisserie chicken from the grocery store!

Recipe FAQs

What’s the best way to cook chicken for this taco salad?

Any way you like! We often use whatever leftover chicken we have in the fridge.
I also love this method for Instant Pot Chicken that I use in one of my fajita recipes. Or try this Easy Slow Cooker Chicken.

What are tortilla strips?

Tortilla strips are like tortilla chips that are shaped into smaller strip form (rather than triangles). I find them in the same area of the grocery store as the croutons and other crunchy salad garnishes.
If you can’t find them, go ahead and use regular tortilla chips or corn chips here.

Can I make this with other meat instead of chicken?

This salad is delicious with any protein you can imagine! Try it with cooked turkey, ground beef, or even shredded pork.
For a vegetarian version, swap the chicken for black beans or refried beans. Delicious.

Layered Chicken Taco Salad: a delicious layered salad that's perfect for dinner! Bring to your next potluck or picnic too!

More Easy Dinner Recipes

Yield: serves 6

Layered Chicken Taco Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Need an impressive looking salad for a picnic this weekend? Try making a Layered Chicken Taco Salad. Kid and adult friendly!!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
  • 2 cans (11 ounce each) Mexicorn, whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained
  • 3 large Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped (tops too)
  • 1 ½ cups southwest tortilla strips (or chips)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¾ cup salsa
  • ¾ cup French dressing

Instructions

  1. In a large glass bowl, layer half of the lettuce and spinach. Top with tomatoes, corn, chicken and remaining lettuce and spinach. Top with cheese.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together with salsa with French dressing. Pour over top of cheese. Garnish with cilantro, green onions and tortilla strips.

Notes

  • Make layered salads in a large glass mixing bowl. That way you can see all the colorful layers before you divide up individual portions.
  • Assemble just before serving for best freshness and flavor.
  • To prep this ahead of time, chop all the vegetables and cook the chicken. Store separately in airtight containers in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • No time to cook your chicken? Grab a ready made rotisserie chicken from the grocery store!
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    6

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 737mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 21g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    The best taco salad is a Layered Chicken Taco Salad! All the Tex-Mex flavor you love in one satisfying, fresh salad recipe.

    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

    Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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    Posted on August 30, 2013

    Comments & Reviews

    1. What a great recipe! We had the layered chicken taco salad for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit! Thanks for the great recipe!

    2. Such a fun idea for a party! Love this! Looks so yummy too! Just pinned it! xo-Jamielyn@iheartnaptime

    3. I could eat taco salad all day long. I never thought of mixing French’s with salsa – definitely giving that a go next time!

    4. I think I could get used to eating salads (MAYBEEEE) if they included the word “taco” in them more. 😉 Can’t wait to see photos from the road trip! And keep posting more awesome salads! Who knows, I may end up becoming a salad-lover heehee.

    5. French dressing and salsa? I’m liking the sound of that! This is such a gorgeous looking salad!

    6. This salad looks delicious! I love all the bright, festive colors. 🙂
      I make my family eat salad every day for lunch. haha! And I love to find new and different ways to make it interesting.
      Pinning this! 🙂

    7. Mmm, I like the combo of French dressing and salsa! I bet that gives it a ton of flavor. And tortilla strips – my favorite salad “crouton” of all time:)

    8. Wow, this salad looks delicious and a beautiful presentation. My husbands family lives in Arizona. On my first visit there I thought I was gonna die! I felt like the sun was going to set me on fire! lol

    9. My family loves taco salad and it’s so pretty on a buffet table when served in a large glass bowl as you have it here. I’m intrigued with the whole French dressing combo.

    10. Chicken taco salad is a favorite of mine — that’s all I order when I go out to Mexican food! I can imagine 3 weeks on the road would result in gaining weight — it’s inevitable. 6 lbs of lettuce oughtta do the trick!

    11. Taco salads are one of my favorite types of salads to eat. Love that these have the tortilla strips on top! Have a great weekend Aimee!

    12. Taco salad in all its forms is probably my favorite salad. I never thought to mix french dressing with salsa though. I usually just use straight salsa on it. I’ll have to give that a try!

      1. Salsa mixed equally with Zesty Italian is great also… never tired it on salad… but it is great on nachos…. yummm

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