It was the 80s – Girls Night Out meant dressing up in punk rock and mini skirts with big hair and blue eyeshadow. For us it also meant going to Ryan’s on Opelika Road for Cheesy Chili Chicken Salad. This was back when chicken fingers were a new thing, so you know it was a long time ago! The salad was huge. It came in a giant bowl ringed with tortilla chips and filled with chunks of chicken fingers, kidney beans, cheese, olives, lettuce and Ryan’s special creamy chili dressing. This recipe is my rendition of that awesome meal-in-a-salad that takes me back to those crazy nights with the girls.
Cheesy Chili Chicken Salad
1/3 cup full fat sour cream (I like Daisy)
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I usually buy Hain’s)
1 chipotle chile, canned (save the rest in a ziptop bag in the freezer for next time)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups shredded crisp lettuce such as romaine
3 cups chopped roasted chicken
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups cooked red beans
1 cup shredded cheddar or colby cheese
1/3 cup sliced ripe olives
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup frozen organic corn kernels, thawed
sliced avocado for garnish
non-GMO tortilla chips
Dice the chipotle chili very finely (wear gloves and don’t touch your eyes!) Combine the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. To prepare the salad, combine the lettuce and remaining ingredients except avocado and chips in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and toss gently to coat. Garnish with avocado slices and serve immediately with tortilla chips. Mini skirts and big hair optional.
- ⅓ cup full fat sour cream such as Daisy brand
- ⅓ cup safflower mayonnaise such as Hain's
- 1 canned chipotle chili in adobo, reserve other chiles for another recipe
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- juice of one lime
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cups shredded romaine
- 3 cups chopped roasted chicken
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups cooked red beans
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or colby cheese
- ⅓ cup sliced ripe olives
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup frozen organic corn kernels, thawed
- sliced avocado for garnish
- non-GMO tortilla chips for serving
- Finely mince the one chipotle pepper.
- Freeze the remaining peppers for another recipe.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
- To prepare the salad, combine the lettuce and remaining ingredients (except avocado and chips) in a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.
- Toss gently to coat.
- Garnish with avocado slices and serve immediately with tortilla chips.
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