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This Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad is packed with fresh veggies and tossed with a creamy lime taco seasoning dressing. It’s your favorite Tex-Mex dish in a salad – all chopped and diced, so you get the perfect bite every time.

A Tex-Mex Chicken Chopped Salad tossed in creamy lime dressing in a white bowl.

Tex-Mex is all about blending the classic flavors of Mexican and American dishes, specifically recipes popular in Texas. This mashup of flavors often involves nachos, fajitas, and non-traditional crunchy tacos. 

For this salad recipe the refreshing flavors of leafy romaine lettuce, juicy cherry tomatoes, crisp cucumber, sweet corn, and a kick of heat from diced jalapeno peppers, tossed with Mexican cheese, tortilla strips, and salsa and sour cream dressing! It’s the perfect easy recipe for tailgating for the Super Bowl, Cinco de Mayo, and more!

For more Tex-Mex recipes, try my Cheesy Oven Baked Beef Tacos, this irresistible Skillet Beef Queso Dip, and a fan favorite, my Chicken Burrito Bowl Recipe, a Chipotle Copycat– Yum!

Ingredient Notes

Creamy Lime Dressing

Labeled ingredients needed to make creamy lime dressing.
  • Sour cream: Bring creamy and tangy notes to the homemade dressing with a classic Tex-Mex ingredient, sour cream.
  • Milk: Continue the creaminess of the dressing while making it more fluid so it can be easily tossed with all of the yummy Tex-Mex chicken salad ingredients.
  • Salsa: Is it really Tex-Mex without some salsa? Choose your favorite store-bought salsa, or make your own– Mild or hot; it’s up to you!
  • Lime: Brighten the dressing with fresh lime zest and juice.
  • Taco seasoning: Grab your favorite packet of taco seasoning from the grocery store or try my Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe with spices and herbs you probably already have stored in the pantry.
  • Honey: Add a touch of sweetness with sticky honey.
  • Salt and pepper: Round out all the flavors with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Garlic powder: Add subtle spice and depth to the taste of the dressing with garlic powder.

Salad Ingredients

Labeled ingredients needed to make Tex-Mex chicken chopped salad.
  • Chicken: I like using rotisserie or baked chicken from my local deli. It’s super convenient for this simple recipe.
  • Lettuce: The base of this salad is chopped romaine lettuce. If you prefer a spring mix or iceberg lettuce, those will also do the trick!
  • Beans: Mix in some black beans, drained and rinsed, for another Tex-Mex touch.
  • Fresh Vegetables: Load the salad with nutritious and flavorful veggies, like diced cherry tomatoes, English cucumber, red bell pepper, and red onion.
  • Frozen corn: I like to keep it simple with frozen corn, but you can add fresh corn if preferred.
  • Cheese: Of course, Mexican blend cheese is best for this recipe. However, if you prefer another kind of cheese, any type would be delicious.
  • Cilantro: Sprinkle the salad with another classic Tex-Mex ingredient, finely chopped cilantro.
  • Green onions: For a mild onion flavor, toss in some sliced green onions- only the green part.
  • Jalapeno: Turn up the heat with seeded and diced jalapenos. You can omit this ingredient if preferred.
  • Tortilla strips: Add a satisfying crunch with crisp tortilla strips.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Chipotle Salad: Swap the dressing for chipotle vinaigrette for a Chipotle chicken salad.
  • Vegetarian Tex-Mex Salad: Just remove the chicken, and you have a vegetarian salad.
  • Chicken Seasoning: When I don’t use rotisserie chicken from the deli, I like to season chicken breasts with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. 
  • Catalina Dressing: Another excellent dressing for a taco salad is Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing.

How To Make Tex-Mex Chopped Salad with Chicken

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

Step 1 | Combine the dressing ingredients

Get started with the delicious salad dressing by zesting the lime and juicing it.

A round cutting board with a zested lime and the juice of a lime.

Add the fresh lime juice, sour cream, and milk to a small bowl. Then add the salsa, seasonings and honey to the creamy ingredients and whisk them until they are well combined.

Collage image showing steps to add ingredient into a bowl and stirring to combine to make creamy lime dressing.

Finally, add in the zest and give it a good stir. Place the dressing in the fridge to chill until you’re ready to serve the salad.

Step 2 | Prep the fresh veggies

Now, start the salad by washing, drying, and cutting the veggies. Dice the cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and red bell peppers. Chop the romaine lettuce and cilantro. Slice the green onions, then dice the jalapenos, removing the seeds.

Salad veggies chopped on a cutting board and then added to a serving bowl.

Step 3 | Toss the salad ingredients

Next, add all the salad ingredients into a large bowl, leaving the tortilla strips to the side for now.

Pouring dressing onto chopped salad.

Add the freshly made dressing and toss the ingredients until they are fully coated with the dressing.

Adding creamy lime dressing to tex-mex salad and tossing.

Lastly, add the tortilla strips just before serving and gently toss them to incorporate evenly.

Add tortilla strips to salad and toss.

Step 4 | Top and serve!

Finally, top the salad with extra cilantro and the tortilla strips, then serve it fresh– Enjoy!

Crunch warning: This Mexican salad recipe rates deliciously high on the crunch-o-meter!

A white serving bowl filled with salad.

To Make Tex-Mex Seasoned Chicken

I like to season the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Here is a great recipe to season the chicken.

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½  teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Tips

  • Leftover chicken– You’re heading to a tasty salad as long as you have cooked, seasoned, and cubed or shredded chicken! This Instant Pot Chicken can be seasoned with the above blend and prepped ahead or cooked quickly.
  • Additional Topping– Top the salad with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream for more creaminess.
  • Helpful Tools– The Salad Spinner and the Vegetable Chopper are excellent tools for this salad recipe.
  • Homemade Salsa– For a homemade touch, make this Restaurant Style Salsa– Trust me, y’all, it’s so worth the extra time and effort!

Recipe FAQs

What’s the difference between chopped and tossed salad?

What makes a chopped salad different from others is that all of the ingredients are diced and chopped to similar sizes, allowing the salad to be evenly mixed with all the flavors at once. Each bite gives you a bit of everything! A tossed salad may have ingredients that are cut and tossed, but not in a way that will give you all the components in a single bite.

What are some great side dishes that go well with a taco salad?

This Tex-Mex taco salad is excellent as a side dish or main dish. If you’re serving it as the entre, consider side dishes like chips and salsa, tacos, or quesadillas.

Is taco salad healthier than tacos?

It all depends on the specific ingredients used and the portion size. However, salad is generally healthier than tacos, with fewer carbs and lower calories.

A salad bowl filled with a serving of Tex-Mex chopped salad.

Storage

Storage: You can keep the salad in the fridge for up to 2 days with the dressing on it. Please note that the dressing will wilt the lettuce.

You can dress the salad just before serving to keep it fresh for up to 5 days. Store in an airtight container.

What to Serve with the Best Tex Mex Salad

Enjoy your refreshing Tex-Mex salad with a side of the Best Guacamole Recipe and Easy Restaurant-Style Refried Beans for dipping crisp tortilla chips. Or serve the salad with a fresh slice of bread, like this Air Fryer Texas Toast Garlic Bread or Cheesy Green Chile Bread.

More Easy Salad Recipes

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A salad bowl filled with a serving of Tex-Mex chopped salad.
Recipe
4.88 from 8 votes

(click stars to rate)

Tex-Mex Chicken Chopped Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Nikki Lee
This Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad is packed with fresh veggies and tossed with a creamy lime taco seasoning dressing– It’s your favorite Tex-Mex dish in a salad!
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Ingredients 

Creamy Lime Dressing Ingredients

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 zest of 1 lime
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • teaspoon kosher salt, (or to taste)

Tex-Mex Salad Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken, cooked, seasoned, and cubed or shredded (heated or chilled)
  • 3 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 15 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup Mexican blend cheese
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 4 green onions, sliced green parts only
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup tortilla strips

Instructions

Creamy Lime Dressing Instructions

  • Zest lime and then juice the lime.
  • In a small bowl add all the dressing ingredients. Whisk with a fork or whisk until combined. Place the dressing in the fridge until ready to top the salad.

Tex-Mex Salad Instructions

  • Wash, dry, and cut all the vegetables.
  • Place all the salad ingredients into the bowl excluding the tortilla strips
  • Toss until the salad is fully coated in the dressing.
  • Add the tortilla strips and gently toss.
  • Top with more cilantro and tortilla strips. (optional) Serve immediately and enjoy.

Notes

  • Helpful Tools– The Salad Spinner and the Vegetable Chopper are excellent tools for this salad recipe.
  • Homemade Salsa– For a homemade touch, make this Restaurant Style Salsa. It’s so easy to make ahead or throw together quickly! The fresh flavor is so worth it!
  • Additional Topping– Top the salad with a dollop of Greek yogurt, sour cream, or guacamole for more creaminess.
  • Leftover chicken– You’re heading to a tasty salad if you have cooked, seasoned, and cubed or shredded chicken! This Instant Pot Chicken can be seasoned with the below blend and prepped ahead or cooked quickly.

To Make Tex-Mex Seasoned Chicken

I like to season the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Here is a great recipe to season the chicken.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½  teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving Calories: 390kcal (20%) Carbohydrates: 45g (15%) Protein: 23g (46%) Fat: 16g (25%) Saturated Fat: 6g (38%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0.03g Cholesterol: 53mg (18%) Sodium: 659mg (29%) Potassium: 1447mg (41%) Fiber: 14g (58%) Sugar: 12g (13%) Vitamin A: 28746IU (575%) Vitamin C: 66mg (80%) Calcium: 417mg (42%) Iron: 6mg (33%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love this Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad recipe, looks so delicious and easy to make. Will make it again soon for dinner. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This Tex-Mex Chicken Chopped Salad recipe is perfect when I am craving a protein and veggie-based lunch. The combination of grilled chicken, veggies, and a tasty dressing just works. This is a satisfying and healthy dish that makes me feel like I am splurging.