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side view of a trifle dish filled with Shredded Chicken Taco Salad, with the ingredients arranged in layers

Shredded Chicken Taco Salad

Experience the ultimate flavor explosion with my mom’s Shredded Chicken Taco Salad. What sets it apart? The irresistible Creamy Avocado Dressing, featuring ripe avocados, tangy Greek yogurt, zesty lime juice, and a blend of Mexican spices. Combined with shredded lettuce, shredded chicken, juicy tomatoes, black olives and green onions, this salad is healthy, hearty and satisfying. Topped with creamy shredded cheese and a satisfying crunch of tortilla chips, each bite is a sensational delight. And, it can be served in a variety of ways – as a layered salad, cobb salad-style, or simply tossed and served.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Refrigeration Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free



Creamy Avocado Dressing

  • 2 large ripe avocados, pitted
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use nonfat)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash Tabasco sauce

Shredded Chicken Taco Salad

  • 4 cups shredded lettuce (a 4.5 ounce package)
  • 2 cups shredded (or chopped) cooked chicken – around 12 to 14 ounces uncooked
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, seeded if desired
  • 1 cup sliced ripe black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions – white, light green, and some of the dark green portion (3 to 5 onions, depending on size)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, all sharp Cheddar or a mixture of cheddar and Monterey jack (called Cheddar Jack)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons crushed tortilla chips


Creamy Avocado Dressing

  1. Scoop avocado flesh into a food processor and purée until smooth.
  2. Add yogurt, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, and Tabasco sauce; blend until well mixed and few to no lumps remain.
  3. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.
  4. Cover and chill until assembling salad.

Shredded Chicken Taco Salad

  1. In a deep 3 or 4-quart glass bowl or trifle dish, layer the first 5 salad ingredients in this order, very lightly sprinkling each layer with salt and pepper: lettuce, chicken, tomato, olives, and onions.
  2. Spoon avocado dressing over top of onions. Using a spatula, smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle cheese over top of dressing.
  3. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  4. Before serving, bring to room temperature and sprinkle crushed tortilla chips over the top.


Note on chicken: I recommend seasoning raw chicken with taco seasoning and sautéing in vegetable or olive oil for use in this recipe.

Serving Suggestions: Here are some other options for serving this Taco Chicken Salad:
1. Individual salads. Divide lettuce among 8 individual shallow bowls, arrange salad ingredients in rows on top (like a cobb salad), and pass dressing on the side.
2. On a large serving platter. Spread lettuce on a large oval platter and arrange other ingredients in rows, passing dressing on the side.
3. In mason jars. Layer salad in individual mason jars for a picnic or casual dinner.
4. Simply toss. Don’t layer ingredients, just toss and serve.

  • Author: From "A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®" by Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: Main dish salads
  • Method: No bake
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 660
  • Sugar: 3.5 g
  • Sodium: 702.6 mg
  • Fat: 22.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.8 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24.7 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 86.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 259.1 mg