I’ve never been to Santa Fe, but I HAVE been to California Pizza Kitchen. Worked there for several years, in fact (not least of all so I could eat for free as a poor grad student)! This Santa Fe Chicken Salad Recipe reminds me a LOT of my go-to CPK shift meal, the BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad.
Only, it’s healthier.
What makes it healthier? The fixins, primarily! Though delicious, the CPK version is bursting with fatty, carby goodness in the form of Ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, and fried tortilla chips.
But as I hope this recipe will prove to you, salad doesn’t need these things to be delicious. The Ranch gives way to a tangy, sweet, herbaceous honey-lime vinaigrette. Dates and spices take the place of the BBQ sauce. And, you won’t even miss the tortilla strips! Just add a light sprinkle of sunflower seeds if you miss the crunch.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
Healthier Santa Fe Chicken Salad Recipe
Yields: 3 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
• 2x 5 oz. (280g) skinless, boneless chicken breast
• 4 cups (170g) mixed greens
• ½ cup (250g) canned corn
• ½ diced red onion, chopped
• ½ cup (75g) baby tomatoes, chopped
• ½ cup (90g) chopped dates, chopped
• 2 limes
• 1 avocado
Chicken Spice Rub:
• ¾ teaspoons paprika
• ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• ¼ teaspoon powdered garlic powder
• ¼ teaspoon onion powder
• ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
• ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
• ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
• 2 teaspoons honey or agave
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaf
• small pinch salt and pepper
Preheat the BBQ grill.
Mix the chicken rub spices together in a small bowl. Rub on both sides of the chicken breasts with a spoon or with your hands.
Place the chicken on the grill for 5-8 minutes on each side. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).
While the chicken is cooking put 2 cups of greens into two separate bowls. Chop the onion, dates, and baby tomatoes and divide equally into each bowl. Drain and rinse the corn from the can and measure out ¼ cup for each bowl.
Slice the avocado in half, remove the pit, peel off skin, and slice. Cut the lime in ½ and squeeze the juice onto the avocados to stop them from browning.
To make the dressing, finely chop the coriander and garlic. Juice the limes to measure out ⅛ of a cup. Mix the oil, lime juice, garlic, coriander and honey, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slice the cooked chicken and place on top of the salad. Pour the dressing over the two bowls. Serve immediately with an extra lime wedge and some fresh coriander.
Want a printable version of this recipe, complete with nutrition facts and a scannable MyFitnessPal code? Click here!
Ready to give it a try? Double the recipe–this one is great for meal prep!
Just be sure to keep both the chicken and the dressing separate from the veggies, and to hold off on slicing the avocado until you’re ready to eat.
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