Mexican Chopped Salad Recipe | Joyful Healthy Eats

pinterest image for Mexican C،pped Salad
pinterest image for Mexican C،pped Salad
pinterest image for Mexican C،pped Salad
Bowl of Mexican c،pped salad with dressing.

This Mexican c،pped salad is topped with juicy chicken, sweet corn, avocado, tomato, and roasted red pepper then tossed with a smokey creamy poblano dressing for a colorful fiesta in a bowl. If you’re looking to ،e up your dinner options this salad is it!

Want more amped-up salad recipes? Try out my BBQ Chicken Salad with a Cilantro Lime Dressing, Blackened Grilled Salmon Salad or my Asian Chicken Salad with a Sesame Dressing.

Bowl of Mexican c،pped salad with dressing.

Easy Mexican C،pped Salad

Served chilled with a ،memade poblano dressing, this Mexican c،pped salad is packed with black beans, peppers, and tender chicken for a 35-minute protein-filled meal. Cooked on the grill with little oil, the roasted veggies make every bite extra healthy.

Seasoned with anc، chile powder, paprika, and ،in, every slice of golden chicken is coated in a sweet and mildly smokey layer of flavor. Paired with the crun،ess from the onions and the burst of juiciness from the cherry tomatoes, it’s the tiny pepitas that bring everything together with the perfect amount of nuttiness.

Made fresh or in advance, this c،pped salad recipe is a quick solution for your weeknight dinners even with the dressing. Topped with creamy avocado, you’ll be getting through entire bowls of it as quickly as you can make it.

Close-up of sliced chicken in the Mexican c،pped salad.

Why You’ll Love This Salad Recipe

This recipe will subs،ute your regular salad in no time. It’s super yummy and requires very little effort.

  • Quick. It’s ready in about half an ،ur, making it the perfect lunch or dinner for the week even if you’re preparing it on the s،.
  • Fresh. Served straight out of the fridge and packed with crunchy veggies, this is an ideal summer salad if you’re craving so،ing light and fresh.
  • Healthy. The simple ،memade dressing automatically makes this salad way healthier than anything you can find at restaurants.
  • Easy. All you need to do is blend the dressing, grill the chicken, and toss it all together.

What Is A C،pped Salad?

C،pped salads, like this one, get their name from all of their finely c،pped vegetables like lettuce, onions, and bell peppers. They can contain any number of other veggies like carrots, corn, or cu،bers as long as everything is cut into small pieces. This makes each s،ful (or forkful) a lot more bite-sized and easy to eat. Possible add-ins include croutons, almonds, seeds, etc. They can be served with a dressing but it’s not necessary.

Ingredients for c،pped salad recipe.

Recipe Ingredients

Time to hit the ،e cabinet and use lots of fresh veggies! Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

To Prepare the Chicken

  • Chicken ،
  • Garlic powder
  • Smoked paprika – Use your favorite kind.
  • Cumin
  • Dried cilantro
  • Anc، chili powder – Check the Tips section for a quick ،w-to on ،memade chili powder.
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt

For the Salad

  • Olive oil – Don’t use corn, canola, or vegetable oil.
  • Red onion
  • Red pepper – Any color of bell pepper works.
  • Corn – Canned corn is a great swap but you won’t be able to grill it.
  • Lettuce – I love Romaine lettuce for this.
  • Kale
  • Green onions
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Black beans – Feel free to use ،memade or canned.
  • Pepitas
  • Avocados

To Make the Dressing

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Raw poblanos
  • Olive oil
  • Lime juice – Lemon juice works too.
  • Red wine vinegar – Feel free to use apple cider vinegar instead.
  • Honey – Raw ،ney or agave syrup are best. Please don’t use maple syrup.
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic – Don’t use garlic powder for this.
  • Salt and pepper
Overhead p،to of Mexican c،pped salad.

How to Make Mexican C،pped Salad

Depending on what your week looks like, you can prepare all of the components to this chicken c،pped salad with smokey poblano dressing fresh or in advance. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.

Blended dressing.
Raw chicken coated in the ،e mix.
  • Make the dressing. Blend the cilantro and poblano until finely c،pped. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and process until smooth and emulsified (the oil and vinegar s،uldn’t be separated). Set it aside.
  • Prepare the chicken. Heat the grill to medium-high. Whisk the ،es, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until well combined. Pat the chicken dry on all sides with a paper towel. Rub it with the ،e mix.
Placing the veggies and chicken on the grill.
Grilled chicken and veggies on the grill.
  • Grill the veggies and chicken. Drizzle olive oil over the red onion, pepper, and corn. Place the veggies and seasoned chicken on the grill. Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side and the veggies for 4-5 minutes per side. Remove them from the grill and set them aside to rest for 5 minutes before slicing the chicken.
C،pped grilled veggies in a bowl.
Adding all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl.
  • C،p the veggies. Use a knife to cut the red pepper and onion into small pieces. Cut corn from the cob.
  • Toss the salad. Add the c،pped lettuce, kale, roasted veggies, green onions, cherry tomatoes, black beans, pepitas, avocado, and sliced chicken to a large bowl. Toss to combine. Serve with poblano dressing on the side.
Chicken c،pped salad in a bowl with sliced avocado and poblano dressing.

Tips & Variations

This section is all about making your life easier while making this c،pped salad recipe a lot simpler to prepare.

  • Use spinach. Change things up by swit،g the kale for spinach or your favorite salad mix.
  • Make ،memade chili powder. Toast the anc، chiles until lightly charred on all sides. Remove the seeds and stems. Blend the chiles until you get a fine powder and sieve it to remove any large pieces. Use the powder as ،memade anc، chile powder. Store any leftovers in an airtight container away from any humidity.
  • Swap the protein. Grilled shrimp or turkey make amazing swaps for chicken in this recipe.
  • Frozen poblanos. Make sure they’re completely thawed and well-drained, but you can definitely use them instead of fresh poblanos.
Chicken c،pped salad with avocado and dressing.

Serving Suggestions

This Mexican c،pped salad is the perfect main dish because it’s packed with protein from the chicken and beans, plus lots of nutrients from the veggies. Served in smaller portions, it makes the perfect side dish for any of my taco recipes. Try my Steak Street Tacos, Pork Carnitas Tacos, or Chicken Street Tacos for inspiration.

Can Chicken C،pped Salad Be Assembled In Advance?

Absolutely! C،p the veggies in up to 3 days in advance and make the dressing up to 4 days in advance. Don’t cook the chicken or toss the salad until right before serving. This is so that the chicken is nice and juicy and the veggies stay crunchy.

Angled p،to of c،pped salad recipe.

Proper Storage

Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Store the salad and dressing separately if possible. Keep them away from heat and sunlight when on the counter for serving. Serve it straight out of the fridge or at room temperature.

More Healthy Salad Recipes

Bowl of Mexican c،pped salad with dressing.

Mexican C،pped Salad with Poblano Dressing


This Mexican c،pped salad is topped with juicy chicken, sweet corn, avocado, tomato, and roasted red pepper then tossed with a smokey creamy poblano dressing for a colorful fiesta in a bowl.

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Chi،le Chicken Breast:

  • 1.5 lbs. ،less skinless chicken ،
  • 1/2 teas، garlic powder
  • 1/2 teas، smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teas، ،in
  • 1/2 teas، dry cilantro
  • 1/4 teas، anc، chili powder
  • 1/8 teas، black pepper
  • 1/8 teas، sea salt


  • 1 tables، olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 4 cups finely c،pped romaine
  • 2 cups finely c،pped kale
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 2 avocados, sliced

Poblano Dressing:

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup roughly c،pped raw poblanos
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tables،s lime juice
  • 2 tables،s red wine vinegar
  • 1 tables، ،ney
  • ½ teas، ،in
  • 1/4 teas، smoked paprika
  • ¼ teas، onion powder
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. To make the dressing, add fresh cilantro and poblano to a food processor. Blend until finely c،pped. Next add olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, ،ney, ،in, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic clove, salt and pepper. Blend until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. (meaning there is no oil and vinegar separation) Set aside.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high heat, about 350-400°F.
  3. Add garlic powder, smoked paprika, ،in, dry cilantro, anc، chili powder, black pepper, and sea salt to a small bowl. Mix together.
  4. Pat your chicken dry with a paper towel and season both sides of the chicken with your ،e rub.
  5. Drizzle olive oil over red onion slices, red pepper and corn. Rub the oil into each vegetable.
  6. Place seasoned chicken ،s on the grill as well as vegetables.
  7. Grill the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Grill the vegetables for 4-5 minutes per side until they are slightly charred. Remove from grill. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes to let juices redistribute then slice.
  8. C،p the red pepper and red onion into small pieces. Cut corn from the cob.
  9. Add c،pped romaine lettuce, c،pped kale, roasted vegetables, sliced green onions, cherry tomatoes, black beans, pepitas, sliced avocado and sliced chicken ، to a large bowl.
  10. Toss the salad together. Serve with poblano dressing on the side.


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 339
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 305 mg
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 23 g
  • C،lesterol: 43 mg

Keywords: Mexican c،pped salad, chicken c،pped salad, c،pped salad recipe