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.
Mexican Chicken And Rice Salad
I absolutely love a good salad. One that is packed full of greens and bursting with tons of flavor. My favorite thing about salad is how much fun you can have with it, and you can have quite a bit. You can add unconventional ingredients, prepare it warm or cold, grilled or chopped. Either way you’ll be right on your way to having a flavor bomb of a dish.
This Mexican chicken and rice salad is chock full of warm rice, tender chicken, fresh veggies, and topped with a zesty dressing. So let’s get into it!
How This Salad Came To Be
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 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.
Ingredients In Mexican Chicken And Rice Salad
- Chicken – I used boneless and skinless breast for this salad recipe but feel free to substitute these for chicken thighs. Just keep in mind that thighs need to cook longer.
- Taco seasoning – I like to make things easy, you guys know that, both for myself and for all my readers! So in this recipe taco seasoning from the packet will do just fine.
- Frozen corn – Again a quick little short cut, frozen corn will work in a pinch.
- Rice – Cooked rice that’s been allowed to come to room temperature if you’d prefer this salad cold. I used basmati but any rice will do.
- Veggies – Bell pepper and cherry tomatoes chopped up for our fresh component.
- Beans – Black beans are best for this salad.
- Herbs – Fresh cilantro and green onions, mmm!
- Juice – If you’re making Mexican food and you don’t have limes on hand, you’re missing a major ingredient! I used both lime and lemon juice fresh squeezed.
- Cheese – I used queso duro, a salty hard cheese that is common in Latin American dishes. It’s tasty even for nibbling on.
- Avocado – Totally optional.
- Salt & pepper – To taste.
How To Make Mexican Chicken Rice Salad
Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Cook the chicken: Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken with the taco seasoning and add chicken to skillet. Cook the chicken for about 10 minutes until cooked through and slightly brown. Remove chicken from skillet.
- Cook the corn: 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.
- Assemble the chicken and rice salad: Add all ingredients to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss. Serve either warm or cold garnished with the queso and any remaining herbs.
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.
Tips For Making The Best Mexican Chicken And Rice Salad
- Never heard of queso duro? It’s a great new cheese to try out that’s got a bit of smokiness to it. If you can’t find it at your grocery store opt instead for cheddar or feta cheese.
- I like my Mexican food nice and spicy so I’ll drizzle some hot sauce over this salad when I’m in the mood for an extra kick. Fresh jalapenos can be added as well for spice fiends!
- Prefer to make your own taco seasoning? Just combine the following spices: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, paprika, and salt and pepper..
Storing Leftover Chicken And Rice Salad
This recipe will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge.
Craving More Summer Salads? Try These Recipes:
- Black Bean Corn and Avocado Salad
- Easy Thai Steak Salad
- Asian Chopped Chicken Salad
- Summer Salad With Herbed Ricotta And Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Summer Fruit Salad With Lemon Dressing
- Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
Mexican Chicken and Rice Salad
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb chicken breasts skinless and boneless, cut into small pieces
- 3 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 1/2 cups rice cooked (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
- 2 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp lime juice freshly squeezed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 avocado optional
- 1/4 tsp salt or ot taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper or to taste
- Heat 1 tbsp 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 the 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.
- Serve either warm or cold.