Sweet mangos, buttery avocados, refreshing cucumbers, and a spicy greek yogurt dressing balance out the smokey chipotle chicken in this salad. This salad is exploding with a variety of flavors and textures, making it SO satisfying (and secretly good for you!)
I love salads. There was a time where I actually used to hate them though. Growing up I would ask my mom the phrase us parents know too well, and this was the typical dialogue between us on a daily basis-
“MOOOOOOM, what is there to eat?!”
“Well, you can have a cheese crisp, a sandwich, leftovers in the fridge. Or how about I make you a salad?”
“I’m not a rabbit mom! I’m not going to eat a salad!!!”
I would have gladly took on the diet of a rabbit, if this was the kind of “salads” rabbits supposedly ate. If only I knew the potential of a salad then, like I do now…
Lets do a little breakdown of this– It all starts with a smokey, spicy, grilled chipotle spiced chicken breast. It’s then topped with creamy, buttery avocados, sweet ripe mango, crunchy refreshing cucumbers, a hint of red onions, a small handful of fresh cilantro, all piled on a bed of crisp lettuce, then drizzled with a creamy chipotle greek yogurt ranch that helps cool off your taste buds. I’m a total texture junkie, so this salad was right up my alley. Each bites contains a little something different and exciting.
For the chicken and for the ranch, I used this chipotle powder from Sonoran Spice Company. I have a new obsession with chipotle powder for the past few months. It not only adds some heat, but a ton of savory, smokey flavor! It’s my new go-to spice to put on grilled chicken, meat for tacos, and if I want to spice up my dressings.
For my chicken, I just used one huge double D breast and sliced it in halve lengthwise to create 2 “normal” sized chicken breasts. You can also find pre-sliced chicken breast cutlets at the store, or if you buy all natural organic chicken breasts (no hormones or steroids), they usually are already 6-8 ounces, so you can just use 2 whole ones.
For the ranch, I like mix it up at least 30 minutes ahead of time, preferably even a few hours to a day in advance to let all the spices infuse the yogurt. I can be a bit of a ranch snob sometimes, so I don’t buy pre-bottled ranch. I like either homemade or the ranch made from the powdered mix, but if you have a brand that you like, you can just use that and add a pinch of chipotle powder to it to spice it up!
Isn’t this salad so pretty though?! I didn’t even want to stop photographing it, with all the different colors and textures. Even if you don’t think you could eat “just a salad”, I guarantee you are going to be completely FULL and satisfied after eating one of these because they’re huge! And even though I had been chomping at it for 20 minutes, it still seemed to be growing in size…
Even my mom loved this salad, and she hates spicy food. The chicken does pack a bit of a kick, so If you can’t handle a lot of spice, just omit the chipotle powder in the dressing and use it just on the chicken.
You don’t have to worry about neatly organizing all the different ingredients into little sections like I did, you can just through everything into a large bowl and eat as is!
Chipotle Chicken Mango Salad
For the salad
- 1 Romaine Quartered and Chopped
- 1 Avocado Diced
- 1 Mango Diced
- 1/4 Red Onion Small Diced
- 1/4 English Cucumber quartered and diced
- Chipotle Chicken recipe below
- 1 Cilantro roughly chopped
For the chicken
- 2 6-8 ounce Skinless Chicken Breasts (or one large breast sliced in half lengthwise)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Chipotle powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Olive oil
Chipotle Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Ranch Powder mix
- 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle powder
For the ranch
- Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (if you like thicker ranch, use 1/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup yogurt)
For the chicken
- Preheat grill over medium-high heat. Mix together all of the spices and evenly coat both sides of the chicken. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature (optional).
- Drizzle chicken with olive oil and grill for 3-4 minutes per side, or until fully cooked (internal temperature should be 160 degrees). Set chicken onto a plate or cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Dice into bite-sized pieces.
For the salad
- Place lettuce into the bottom of 2 bowls. Place all ingredients into groups on top of the lettuce, or just combine everything into a large bowl, toss with dressing ,and divide into 2 portions.
- Recipe Notes
- To make your onion less strong, place the diced onions into a small bowl and cover them with cold water and about 1 teaspoon of sugar. Let them soak for about 10 minutes, drain, and pat dry.
- Please remember that all fruits and vegetables come in different sizes, so feel free to add as much or as little as you’d like and customize the amounts to your liking.