Easy 7-Layer Chicken Taco Salad

Prep Time 25 min.
Cook Time 0 min.
Total Time 25 minutes
Yields About 16 cups


  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (from about 2 medium tomatoes)
  • 1 16-ounce jar thick and chunky salsa, divided (we use mild)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 cups diced, cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast (see note)
  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 cups of chopped Romaine lettuce, tough stems removed
  • 1 cup cubed, reduced-fat, sharp cheddar cheese (see note)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans (preferably organic or reduced-sodium), rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups corn (fresh or thawed, frozen kernels)
  • 1 cup lightly crushed whole grain tortilla chips
  • additional cilantro for garnish, if desired


  1. In a medium bowl, stir together tomatoes, 1¼ cups salsa, cilantro, and green onions.
  2. In a second medium bowl, combine chicken, Greek yogurt, remaining ½ cup salsa, onion powder, salt, and garlic powder.
  3. In a large bowl (preferably a straight-sided, clear glass salad bowl or trifle bowl), layer the salad in the following order:
    1) Lettuce
    2) Cheese
    3) Black beans
    4) Salsa mixture
    5) Corn,
    6) Chicken and dressing mixture
    7) Just before serving, sprinkle salad with crushed tortilla chips and additional cilantro (if desired).
  4. Serve immediately.
  5. Alternately, you can cover the taco salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to an hour (see note on make-ahead tips in the text of this post), adding topping of chips and optional cilantro after refrigeration, just before serving. Serve with a long-handled spoon to scoop up all the different layers.


Recipe Notes

Chicken: Nearly any boneless, skinless chicken breasts will work in this recipe, as long as they’re not overly flavorful from spices or marinades. As we recommend in the post, you can simply plan on cooking a couple of extra chicken breasts whenever you’re making chicken, so you have extra cooked chicken for this recipe without any extra work. Alternately, store-bought rotisserie chicken is another easy option if you're short on time.

Cheese: If you don't want to purchase a whole block of reduced-fat, sharp cheddar cheese for this recipe, check to see if your store carries individually wrapped cheese sticks (we use Sargento). It's really easy to quickly chop about 6 or 7 of those cheese sticks for this salad, and you'll have the rest of the cheese sticks for grab-n-go snacking.

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