Mexican Chicken and Rice Salad – a fresh summer salad loaded with black beans, chicken, corn and rice. Totally addicting and makes the perfect dinner for a busy weeknight.
Hubs and I are salad people, not because we’re healthy eaters or anything, because I think we’re far from that, but because we just love salads, especially hubs. Not only does he love eating salads, but he’s a salad connoisseur. He makes the best salads, hands down. He’ll try all kinds of weird combinations and somehow they always work. We eat our salads though as side dishes, not as main dishes, so he’d normally make one of his famous salads along with a good steak or something.
But this salad, my friends, he cannot take credit for because I made it all by myself. I’ve been craving Mexican food for the past week, and I even made some taquitos when my sister was here visiting on Saturday, but I was still craving it.
I love Mexican food, I could eat it every single day for breakfast lunch and dinner. Must be the Latin blood in me. This salad though is so refreshing and so delicious, you’ll love it.
So I guess you could say I dreamt about this salad last night. I wanted to add rice because I wanted it to be more hearty, more like a meal than just a plain old boring salad. Then I threw in all ingredients that scream Mexican to me. Cooked my own chicken with some taco seasoning, you could use roasted chicken breast if you want to save on time, but I love the flavor from the taco seasoning so I cooked it myself. I also added loads of cilantro. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now you probably know I used to hate cilantro. That’s changed. I now love cilantro, and you can’t have Mexican food without cilantro. Seriously, you can’t.
But let’s talk about this cheese here, queso duro cheese. It’s the first time I used it. I actually bought it a while ago when I was actually looking for queso fresco and couldn’t find it but found this instead. Completely different than queso fresco though. Queso duro is a hard cheese, so you’ll have to use a grater to shred it. It’s quite salty and strong flavored and has a mild smoky taste. I love it! If you can’t find it or couldn’t be bothered with it, you could use cheddar cheese or even feta cheese would work great with this salad, or even queso fresco.
This salad is so great, if you want you can add some hot sauce to it for a bit of a kick. But it’s an easy salad to make, and it’s perfect for a busy weeknight. It’s even great to make ahead and bring to a picnic or a pot luck.
If you guys love this recipe, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let us know. Take a picture and tag it #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts cut into small pieces
- 3 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice, I used basmati
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup black beans
- 6 green onions chopped
- 1 cup queso duro shredded
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- juice from 1 lemon
- juice from 1 lime
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 avocado optional
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken with the taco seasoning, add more if you want it spicier, and add chicken to skillet. Cook chicken for about 10 minutes until cooked through and starts to slightly brown. Remove chicken from skillet.
To the same skillet add the corn and cook over high heat just until it starts to char a little bit, no more than 2 minutes.
Add all ingredients to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss. Refrigerate leftovers, good for up to 5 days.
If you don't have queso duro cheese, you can use cheddar cheese.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.