Chicken Quinoa Taco Salad

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Chicken Quinoa Taco Salad

Chicken Quinoa Taco Salad

Chicken Quinoa Taco Salad

I love taco salad and I have found that adding quinoa to the mix is a great way to add protein along with other nutrients.  There are so many yummy combinations for this salad.  I don’t follow an exact recipe, typically adjusting the salad to taste with the ingredients that I happen to have, but the following is a general guide for this healthy, flavorful salad.

If you have the chicken and salsa done in advance, it’s a quick way to turn leftover tacos into a new meal.  I like to use a combo of homemade salsa verde and cilantro-lime vinaigrette to dress the salad but you can use the dressing of your choice.  The same goes with the chicken.  I like variations of our lime chicken but you can use your favorite taco chicken, either chopped or shredded {or omit the chicken altogether}.

Chicken Quinoa Taco Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4+
Adding quinoa to the mix is a great way to add protein along with other nutrients to this healthy and flavorful taco salad.
Chicken Quinoa Taco Salad
  • Quinoa
  • Chicken, chopped or shredded
  • Black and/or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • Cotija or feta cheese crumbles
  • Avocado, cut in chunks
  • Red bell pepper, chopped
  • Corn
  • Tomato, chopped
  • Salsa verde
  • Cilantro-lime vinaigrette
Salsa Verde
  • 1 pound tomatillos
  • ½ of a lime
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers
  • For a medium spicy salsa, add 1-2 serrano peppers
  • For a very spicy salsa, add ½-1 habañero pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-3 garlic cloves
  • ½ of a white onion
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1-2 Tbsp Canola oil
Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup chopped, seeded tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp grated lime rind
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp-1/4 tsp garlic powder, to taste
Lime Chicken
  • 3 chicken breasts (or 4 chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat)
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp oil
Chicken Quinoa Taco Salad
  1. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the box.
  2. Toss the chicken, quinoa and other ingredients with the cilantro-lime vinaigrette and salsa verde.
  3. Serve chilled, room temp or warm with tortilla chips or warm tortillas.
Salsa Verde
  1. Lightly coat a large pan with canola oil.
  2. Place the peeled garlic cloves, onion wedge, whole peppers and peeled and rinsed tomatillos in the pan.
  3. Cook the veggies on med-high for 15-20 minutes or until browned, flipping them so that they roast on each side. If they start to stick, add a splash of water into the pan.
  4. Place the cooked vegetables and the remaining ingredients into a blender and purée them until smooth.
  5. Cool the salsa to room temperature.
  6. Cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator.
Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Adjust the seasoning to taste if desired.
Lime Chicken
  1. Pound the chicken breasts.
  2. Add the chicken, salt and lime juice to a Ziploc bag.
  3. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  4. Heat the oil on high.
  5. Reserve the marinade.
  6. Sear the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side.
  7. Remove the chicken from the heat and chop it. (The chicken will still be raw in the center.)
  8. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the chopped chicken back to the pan with a small portion of the marinade.
  9. Cook the chicken until it is browned and done. (Once the chicken is cooked all of the way through, you can dump out any remaining liquid to help the chicken caramelize.)

Chicken Quinoa Taco Salad

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2 Responses to “Chicken Quinoa Taco Salad”

  1. this recipe looks healthy and tasty,i’m going to try it,thanks.

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