This Chipotle Chicken Salad features five superfoods and is fully loaded with spicy chicken, ditalini pasta, cheese, avocado, lime, cilantro, sour cream, and a zesty chipotle dressing.
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?
I need National Nutrition Month in my life. Rick recently mentioned “I feel like we don’t eat enough vegetables.” I couldn’t agree more. I’m always so focused on the main dish, that the veggies are just an afterthought, if they’re thought of at all… Even a fancy food blogger like me can’t get her act together.
I recently started putting meal plans together for the week, as a way to actually plan a side dish and an entrée into each meal. It’s definitely helped, but sometimes it can be a pain to come home after a long day of work and make two dishes. Rick says that he’d be OK just eating those veggies in a bag. You know, the pre-chopped broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, that you can just pop into the microwave for a few minutes? But that’s BORING.
So, I thought, why not make the veggies the star of the dish? Or at least have them play a major supporting role?
In a way, I did listen to Rick’s suggestion – I am using veggies in a bag. But they’re not boring veggies by any means. I’m using Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits to liven up our meals. These chef-inspired salad kits offer sophisticated blends of five or more superfoods and include everything needed for a delicious salad.
The Eat Smart Southwest Salad Kit contains powerful blend of five superfoods: savoy cabbage, red cabbage, radishes, carrots and kale, together with tortilla strips, crunchy corn, and a chipotle dressing. This salad is totally amazing on its own. But today, I’m dressing up this salad to the max – Making it fully loaded.
What makes it fully loaded?
- Take one chipotle chicken breast
- Add a handful of ditalini pasta
- Extra cheese please
- Throw on a dollop of fat-free Greek yogurt
- Plenty of cubed avocado
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- A squeeze of lime juice to brighten things up
- A sprinkling of coarse Himalayan sea salt as the finishing touch
With all these ingredients added in, we ended up with two HUGE salads. Which brings to mind Elaine from Seinfeld, and her Big Salad obsession… I’m a bit obsessed too, now that I’ve put this extra fancy salad together. So much so, that I grabbed the other six varieties of the Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits.
More vegetables in our diet? We’re going to be eating salad every night this week!
Fully Loaded Chipotle Chicken Salad
- 1 Eat Smart Southwest Salad Kit
- 1 avocado (cubed)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup dried ditalini pasta
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1/2 lime (cut into wedges)
- Himalayan sea salt (for sprinkling, if desired)
For the chicken:
- 2 chicken breasts (boneless & skinless)
- 2 T . olive oil
- 2 T . lime juice
- 1 t . chipotle chili powder
- 1 t . chili powder
- 1/2 t . cumin
- 1/2 t . paprika
- 1/2 t . onion powder
- 1/2 t . garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- In a shallow dish, combine the olive oil, lime juice, chipotle powder, chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and a large pinch of salt and pepper.
- Coat the chicken breasts in this mixture and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, cook the ditalini according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water, toss with a bit of olive oil, and set aside.
- Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
- Sear the chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes, on each side. Place in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Transfer to a cutting board, and let rest for 5 minutes, before slicing.
- Divide the salad mixture between two large plates or bowls. Top with the chicken, pasta, avocado, cheese, cilantro, and Greek yogurt. If desired, sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Serve with the Chipotle dressing (included with salad kit), and lime wedges.
Wine Pairings for Chipotle Chicken Salad:
- The acidity of a dry Rosé will pair nicely with the spices in the chicken.
- A Riesling is also a great option for pairing with this dish.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
21 thoughts on “Fully Loaded Chipotle Chicken Salad”
I always love a bright & colorful salad! I think I’ve actually had their kale salad and loved it too. Also relate to Elaine’s Big Salad obsession reference 😉
🙂 🙂 🙂 Their kale salad is amazing too, for sure!
Avocado makes everything better. Pinning this!
So true Brettni – Thanks!
I love how this salad is healthy but really interesting with a combination of textures and flavors together
Thanks Pech – Its got a lot going on, but all YUMMY!
I came upon your post just as I was trying to figure out what we are having for dinner tonight, and I’m so glad I did. Mondays are often the hardest day for me to plan for: I’m just getting the weekly menu together and often need to do grocery shopping, I usually have to teach all day, and I need something fast, filling and healthy. Anyway, thanks so much for the inspiration, Erin!
Of course Renee! I hope your Monday went off without a hitch, and that you were able to enjoy this yummy salad!
A) Good for you for putting together meal plans. I always try to do that and get like one week in and then get distracted by meals out and other events and then forget all about it again… I need to get better at it! B) This salad looks great! I’ll have to give this a try, this is perfect for those lazy lunch days or unplanned dinners. C) This is making me real excited for corn season (yes, I know that is actually a long ways off…)
I’m so excited for corn season too Erin!!! Can’t wait to grill up some Mexican corn this summer!
I used 6 skin-on, bone-in breasts, but halved them and browned them in a little olive oil. Drained the oil, added the sauce (doubled), and then removed chicken when it was almost cooked through. Reduced the sauce over high heat, which did take a good half hour or more, but once it starts to thicken, it thickens quickly. Added the chicken back in the pan and covered with sauce and cooked until chicken was done. Delish! my family loved it, and thought it smelled great while cooking. I used 3 cloves of minced garlic and about a tsp of red pepper flakes for the doubled sauce. Served with some broccoli and yellow rice. Will definitely make it again….really yummy!
I’m so glad you loved this dish Thomas! Sounds like it turned out amazing for you!
Now that I have 2 kids, a full-time job, a blog and everything else that goes along with being a woman/mom/wife in the world these days, I have fully embraced semi-prepared foods like these salad bags. The convenience and time saved are SO worth it to me. But obviously it has to be delicious, too, and these salad bags look like they fit the bill. I’ll look for them next time I’m at the store!
Totally understand Catherine! We have SO much going on. I love finding ways to eat delicious, healthy foods, in a convenient way!
This is one beautiful salad!! It looks delicious and so hearty! I love that chicken… it’s so crispy and flavourful!
Thanks Dini – I didn’t want to use plain old chicken. The chipotle definitely gives it a good tang!
This is definitely my kind of salad! I love anything with a Southwest flair! I’need to check out those salad mixes!
The mixes are all great Michelle – So many different salads you can create using them (or just eat them on their own)!
Erin, I could eat this salad any day or night of the week!
Thanks Kristen! I actually could too – It’s easy to make, healthy and pretty!
I prepared my 4 chicken breasts halves(boneless, skinless) in the crock pot with the glaze and then poured it off into a small pot and simmered on the stove until it thickened. While the glaze was thickening, I “shredded” the chicken in large pieces.