This simple Chicken Taco Salad recipe is the perfect healthy lunch for packing and taking to work! Loaded with savory shredded chicken, black beans and veggies, this taco salad will be your new favorite meal prep salad idea!
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Chicken Taco Salad Recipe
Taco salad is one of those dished that I use to really love to order at a restaurant, but didn’t think to make at home. It’s not that I din’t have the ingredients – I almost always have tomatoes, peppers, black beans and lettuce on hand.
However, once I made my Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken, everything changed! This healthy chicken taco salad recipe is one of my new lunchtime favorites, and best of all it’s super easy to throw together.
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One of my big goals this past year was to have meals, specifically lunches, prepped for myself. Because I work from home, and am on my own schedule, lunchtime often comes and goes. If I don’t pull myself away from my computer, I will skip lunch completely. Much to everyone’s demise, I then become a tall, hangry monster that will eat anything in it’s path.
In addition to being hangry, I also become tired, unfocused and completely unproductive with my day. Having these chicken taco salads pre-made in mason jars is the perfect way for me to step away to a lunch that’s already made, and to a healthy choice has already been made!
Here’s how I meal prep these Chicken Taco Salad recipe in a jar:
Step 1: Prep your ingredients for your Chicken Taco Salad (for either a single or multiple salads)
For this chicken taco salad recipe, I’ll start with standard ingredients. Feel free to adapt these to what you might have in your fridge or pantry. Here’s what I like to include:
- Romaine lettuce
- Black beans
- Pico de Gallo (here’s a link for my Classic Pico de Gallo Salsa)
- Fresh, frozen or canned corn
- Sliced bell peppers (any color)
- Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken
How do I make the shredded chicken for this Chicken Taco Salad recipe?
FYI – This recipe for Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken might be one of the most versatile and well loved recipes that I make. I’ve used it for everything from baked tacos, enchiladas, soup, nachos and quesadillas. The best part about this shredded chicken, is that the prep takes only 5 minutes and the slow cooker does the rest! Seriously, go get this recipe!
If you love this Mexican Shredded Chicken, here are a couple other recipe ideas for using this chicken:
Are you more of a beef taco salad person? No problem! This healthy taco salad recipe is easily adaptable to substitute my Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef, taco ground beef or my Rotisserie Chicken Taco meat.
Step 2: Build your salad(s)
Building your Chicken Taco Salad in a mason jar, is simply just a matter of layering the ingredients on top of one another. Here’s how I do it:
- Start with the dressing on the bottom. Dressing should keep its distance from the lettuce to keep it from wilting. My healthy Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing is my absolute favorite with this taco salad! Just 44 calories per serving, and NO oils or refined sugar. My Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing would also be a fantastic option.
- Next, add the meat. It will be just fine next to the dressing.
- Next, add your acidic vegetables like tomatoes and onions (or if you’re using pico de gallo)
- Next, black beans. These are pretty neutral and hearty and will do well next to the acidic tomatoes.
- Next, the corn.
- Next, the avocado or guacamole. This can brown easily so keeping it near the top is ideal.
- Lastly, top off the jar with your salad greens and then add the lid.
(For exact amounts be sure to reference the full recipe below.)
What are some other ingredients I can use in my Chicken Taco Salad recipe:
- Cheese: I’m not a big fan of cheese in my salad, but for some it’s just not taco salad without a little shredded cheese. I hear ya. If you are adding cheese, you can add it anywhere in the order. Placing it on top of the meat may be a good spot.
- Tortilla chips: I definitely enjoy some crunchy tortilla chips in my taco salad. I would NOT recommend adding them to the jar. They will quickly become soggy from the moisture content. Keep these in a separate container, or resealable bag. I will often place them in an individual snack-sized zip bag when I’m building the salads, this way my portion is already done for me, and I won’t be digging into the chip bag, thus over doing it on the crunchy goodness.
Step 3: Refrigerate
Your salads are now ready to refrigerate for up to 5 days. I like to make these on the weekend (hello, Meal Prep Sunday!!) and eat during the week. It really helps me stay on track with healthy eating as the healthy choice has already been made. No more wondering, “What am I going to have for lunch?” This is when I inevitably get myself in trouble, as I will tend to not make healthy choices.
This is worth saying again: when you make a healthy choice IN ADVANCE it is much easier to set yourself up for success in the future!
I hope you enjoy this delicious Chicken Taco Salad recipe as much as I do! If you make this recipe, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @delightfulEMade Thanks, friends! ~Erin
If you loved this delicious Chicken Taco Salad recipe, then be sure to check out some of my other meal prep salad recipes and ideas:
- Southwest Chicken Salad – Chick-fil-A copycat recipe!
- Healthy Chicken Cobb Salad
- Grilled Salmon Salad – an amazing meal prep salad idea!
- Italian Chicken Salad
- Healthy Easy Taco Casserole
- Kale Apple Salad
- Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad
- Sweet Kale & Grilled Sirloin Salad
- Grapefruit & Spinach Salad with Glazed Mahi Mahi
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad
Ball Mason Regular Mouth Quart Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 3 (Amazon Link): These Ball Quart-sized mason jars are exactly what I use in building my salads for meal prep. Perfect for storing in the refrigerator, and can be washed in the dishwasher.
Cuisinart 6-Quart Multi-Cooker / Slow Cooker (Amazon Link): This slow cooker may just be the hardest working kitchen tool I own. Perfect for making my Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken.
Here’s the recipe for my delicious Chicken Taco Salad recipe:
- 2 Tbsp. salad dressing (of your choice)
- 1/2 c. (4 oz.) Mexican shredded chicken
- 1/4 c. pico de gallo salsa, or tomatoes
- 1/4 c. bell pepper slices
- 1/4 c. black beans
- 1/4 c. corn
- 1/4 c. avocado, chopped
- 1 1/2 c. romaine lettuce, torn or chopped
- 1 serving (about 14-16) tortilla chips
- Optional: 2 Tbsp. Mexican blend shredded cheese
- To a 1-quart mason jar, add the dressing at the bottom. Next, add the shredded chicken, then the pico de gallo salsa or tomatoes. Next add the bell pepper slices, the black beans and corn. Next, the avocados and then top the jar with the lettuce. Top with tight fitting lid.
- If you choose to add cheese, you can add it any where in the order of ingredients.
- To a small snack-sized zip bag or resealable container, pre-portion the tortilla chips.
- Refrigerate salad(s) for up to 5 days.
Be sure to click on the link above for my recipe for Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 salad
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 346Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 834mgCarbohydrates: 26gSugar: 7gProtein: 12g