This chicken fajita salad recipe turns classic chicken fajitas into a wholesome and delicious salad that's low-carb and easy to adapt by switching some of the main ingredients to those you'd love most in a chicken fajita salad bowl!
This healthy salad is packed with tender chicken in an easy marinade, crisp lettuce, red bell peppers, fajita seasoning, and a sweetened salad dressing. Add your favorite toppings to this chicken salad recipe and enjoy it as a dinner salad with tortilla chips and creamy avocado.
- Chicken - Boneless skinless chicken breasts are easy to cook for this salad, although you could use boneless chicken thighs, rotisserie chicken, or leftover shredded chicken. I found that 2 smaller chicken breasts were the ideal amount for this salad which equals to 2 dinner salad servings.
- Bell pepper - Using a tricolor choice of colorful bell peppers (red bell pepper, yellow pepper, and green bell pepper) or at least two colors will provide a lovely display of color in this chicken fajita salad. Cut the peppers into ½-inch thick strips.
- Onion - A large brown or yellow onion is the best for this fajita salad, although red onion could also be used. Make sure to cut your onion into ½-inch thick slices or wider and only saute them, so they are still crisp.
- Fajita Marinade and dressing - I’ve made my marinade using a mix of spices such as cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, red chili flakes, and cayenne pepper. Feel free to use a store-bought fajita mix and combine it with the other marinade ingredients listed. Use freshly squeezed lime juice and pressed garlic cloves for the best-tasting marinade. Honey or maple syrup is added to this mixture of ingredients when making the salad dressing.
- Salad ingredients - I’ve used sliced avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, crispy lettuce, and fresh cilantro for the salad. Lime wedges are a great addition to each serving of salad.
For the full list of ingredients, please scroll down where you'll find the recipe card.
Prepare the fresh vegetables on a large plate, so you have them ready once needed.
In a large bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients. Set aside.
Cut the chicken into thin strips (about ½-1 inches wide). Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with 1 heaping tablespoon of chicken fajita marinade until evenly coated. Cover and leave to marinate for 20-30 minutes in the fridge.
Toss the veggies with some more marinade, and reserve the leftover marinade for the salad dressing. You can add some honey or maple syrup for the dressing to balance off the flavors.
In a large skillet, add a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the veggies until softened but still crisp. Season with salt and pepper if needed in the end. Set aside.
Cook the chicken in the same pan. About 2-3 minutes per side (medium heat), until chicken is turning white and slightly golden brown. Remove from heat.
Return the veggies to the pan and stir until all is mixed well. Season with salt and black cracked pepper if needed, and drizzle with lime juice.
Serve with salad ingredients or in flour tortillas with more toppings.
- This dish isn’t very hot but mildly spicy. You can adjust the amount of cayenne pepper added and omit the crushed red pepper flakes if you like, although I love its smoky flavor.
- 2-3 tablespoons of premixed taco/fajita seasoning can be used instead of mixing all the spices listed in this recipe.
- Store-bought dressing such as ranch dressing and blue cheese dressing can be drizzled over the salad for an extra flavor boost.
- 30 minutes of marinating is enough to create great flavor. Don’t leave your chicken tenders marinating for longer than 12 hours, though, as this will cause the meat to break down and become stringy.
- Chicken breast meat tends to dry out quickly, so be careful that you don’t overcook the meat in the skillet.
- Cut the chicken pieces into uniform sizes so that they all cook evenly simultaneously. If the chicken is cut into very thin slices, you may need to adjust the cooking time.
Freezing and Storing Instructions
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
The marinade can be made a week in advance and stored the same way separately from anything.
Once cooked, the chicken fajita mix can be frozen but I don't recommend it. The chicken will not have the right texture and flavor once thawed from frozen. Raw chicken strips in the marinade on the other side, if handled properly and fresh can be frozen for many months in advance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fajita salad consists of meat protein (typically beef, chicken, or shrimp), crispy salad ingredients, sauteed bell peppers and onions, a slightly spicy marinade for the meat to rest before cooking, and a salad dressing that is generously drizzled over the assembled salad just before serving. You can get creative and add a creamy salsa dressing or a cumin lime dressing as a delicious way to vary this recipe.
If you are making wraps with this chicken fajita salad, consider sprinkling some grated cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese over the ingredients.
A typical fajita chicken taco salad can add up to 820 calories, but this will vary depending on the ingredients used and the serving size. While this may look like a lot of calories, many are from the fat content in creamy salad dressings and cooking oils which can easily be reduced or swapped with lighter versions to suit dietary needs.
Whether you’re looking to bulk up your salad with additional ingredients or add toppings when using this salad in tacos, consider freshly grated cheese, salsa, sour cream, sliced jalapenos, freshly chopped cilantro, and homemade guacamole.
Thank you so much for reading about this chicken fajita salad. Please feel free to comment with any questions you may have! I love reading your feedback.
One Pot Dinner Recipes
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Chicken Fajita Salad Recipe
- 2 smaller chicken breast
- 3 small bell pepper, tricolor or at least 2 different colors, cut into ½-inch thick strips
- 1 large brown onion, cut into ½-inch thick strips
Marinade and Dressing
- 1 ½ tablespoon lime juice and more for serving
- 2 ½ teaspoon cumin
- 3 teaspoons smoked paprika, or sweet regular
- 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 teaspoon ground cayenne for spicy, or 1 teaspoon for mild spicy
- ½ - 1 teaspoon chili powder, depending on how spicy you’d like it
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- +1 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup, for salad dressing
For the salad
- 1 large Avocado, sliced
- 8 Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 2-3 cups of Lettuce
- 3-4 stalks of fresh Cilantro
- Lime wedges for serving
- Prepare the fresh vegetables on a large plate, so you have them ready once needed.
- In a large bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients. Set aside.
- Cut the chicken into thin strips (about ½-1 inches wide). Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with 1 heaping tablespoon of chicken fajita marinade until evenly coated. Cover and leave to marinate for 20-30 minutes in the fridge.
- Toss the veggies with some more marinade, and reserve the leftover marinade for the salad dressing. You can add some honey or maple syrup for the dressing to balance off the flavors.
- In a large skillet, add a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the veggies until softened but still crisp. Season with salt and pepper if needed in the end. Set aside.
- Cook the chicken in the same pan. About 2-3 minutes per side (medium heat), until chicken is turning white and slightly golden brown. Remove from heat.
- Return the veggies to the pan and stir until all is mixed well. Season with salt and black cracked pepper if needed, and drizzle with lime juice. Serve hot in flour tortillas with toppings.