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Southwest salad with grilled chicken on a serving platter.

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Salad

5 from 1 vote
Created by Mariam E.
Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad is bright, fresh and flavorful. This hearty fiesta lime chicken salad is topped with juicy grilled chicken and loaded with sauteed peppers, onions and corn, making it the perfect main dish salad.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Dish, Salad
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings 4 servings


For the marinade and dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 6 whole chicken thighs boneless & skinless

For the salad

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ medium red onion thinly sliced
  • ½ medium green bell pepper thinly sliced
  • ½ medium red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • ½ medium yellow bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 whole fresh yellow corn
  • 4 cups Romaine lettuce roughly chopped
  • 1 medium avocado sliced
  • Lime slices to garnish


  • In a small bowl, whisk the ingredients to marinate the chicken; olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, red chili powder, cumin powder, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Reserve half of the marinade for salad dressing and pour the remaining over the chicken thighs. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill; add the chicken thighs and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through with beautiful grill marks. Transfer the grilled chicken to a plate and set it aside.
  • Slightly wipe the grill pan and add oil. Add the onion and peppers on one side and the corn on the other side. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the salad ingredients and mix them in a large bowl. Add the cooked chicken, grilled peppers, and corn to the salad, drizzle the reserved dressing over the salad, and toss.
  • Garnish the salad with lime slices and serve immediately.


  • Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. 
  • Be sure to reserve half of the marinade to use as the dressing. 
  • Do not use marinade that has touched raw chicken as the dressing. 
  • Use a grill pan if you don’t have an outdoor grill. 
  • I love the juiciness and flavor of chicken thighs but use chicken breast if you prefer. 
  • Always cook chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F when tested with a meat thermometer. 
  • If you prefer, saute the veggies in advance and chill before adding them to the salad. 
  • Warm veggies may slightly wilt the lettuce. This is normal. 
  • Serve with corn tortillas, if desired. 
  • Sprinkle with fried tortilla strips for a bit of crunch.


Calories: 603kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 443mg | Potassium: 908mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5062IU | Vitamin C: 70mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3mg
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