Recipe: Fiesta Chicken Salad -- Party in a Pan!

by Caitlyn Stace

Fiesta Chicken SaladWhen the kids were younger, I discovered this easy chicken recipe. It had been a long and trying day. You can imagine my delight at stumbling upon a dish that would encourage sleep.

I had a second cup of coffee and realized I should have read the title more accurately..."FIESTA chicken salad," not "siesta." Oops!

Nothing about this dish will lure a person to sleep. Create your party in a pan, gather up the ingredients and whip up your own fiesta chicken salad. It's vivid, vibrant and tingles your taste buds.

Fiesta Chicken Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes | Yield: 4 servings


• 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
• 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
• 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 6 cups torn mixed salad greens
• 1 large yellow or orange pepper, cut into thin, bite-sized slices
• 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
• 3 roma tomatoes, sliced
• one 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
• one 11-ounce can Mexican style corn, drained
• 1/4 cup ripe, pitted olives
• 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Place seasoning in a closable plastic bag. Add chicken, secure bag and shake. Broil or pan fry the chicken about 8 minutes until juices run clear, turning once. You can substitute 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey, sprinkled with the seasonings.

Toss the greens, onion, pepper and tomato. Place the lettuce mixture in the bottom of a clear, 2-quart salad bowl. Layer the black beans, corn, chicken, cheese and olives. Serve with tortilla chips, salsa and chili dressing.

Ole! Now your party can get started! Pass the chips and dip!

Cook's Note

Our family's preferences are divided into two camps: "food touching is okay," and "food should never touch another food." To accommodate those preferences, I keep the "extras" for the salad in easy to pass bowls on the table.

After peeling and cutting a large mango into chunks and a couple of avocados into slices, I place the goodies in their designated spots. You'll see the fruits decorating some salads and notice they are conspicuously absent from others.

How will you build your salad? Tell us your imaginative tweaks!