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This easy Chicken Fajita Salad is like your favorite chicken fajita recipe, but in salad form! Made with seasoned chicken and bell peppers, then topped with a zesty cilantro lime vinaigrette, this salad is loaded with flavor and easy to customize to your liking.
No matter the time of year, you better believe there's a high chance I'm craving a salad for lunch, which is why it's so important to switch things up in the form of this chicken fajita salad.
This salad is incredibly flavorful thanks to both the fajita seasoning and the cilantro lime dressing. Plus, it can easily be made ahead of time, making is perfect for meal prep.
- Like your favorite chicken fajitas, but in salad form.
- Made with seasoned chicken, bell peppers and onion, and topped with a zesty cilantro lime vinaigrette.
- Can easily be customized based on what you have on hand!
Chicken - Any cut of chicken works for this salad. I opted for boneless chicken thighs, but chicken breasts are a great option as well.
Fajita seasoning - A mix of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and oregano creates the perfect flavor for the chicken and peppers.
Lettuce - Romaine lettuce is the way to go, as it has a bit of a crunch to it and the flavor isn't overpowering (the way other lettuces like arugula or kale can be).
Avocado - Optional, but helps to make this salad more filling and nutritious.
Fajita mixture - You'll need three total bell peppers -- any kind -- along with a red onion and garlic cloves.
Dressing - I used olive oil and lime juice as the base of the "dressing", along with honey, cilantro, garlic, and chili powder. It's a little sweet, and little spicy and SO good.
Step 1: Make the dressing. First, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup and set aside.
Step 2: Cook the chicken. Rub HALF of the dry rub over the chicken. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then cook the chicken for 5 minutes per side, or until it's cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon to a cutting board, wait for it to cool slightly, then slice into bite-size strips.
Step 3: Sauté the peppers. To that same skillet, add the bell peppers and onion, then sprinkle the remaining dry rub overtop and stir to combine. Sauté until they're soft, then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Step 4: Assemble the salad. Divide the romaine amongst 4 bowls, then top it with the cooked chicken and peppers, along with the avocado. Drizzle the dressing overtop and enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Make sure to cut the bell peppers and onions into thin strips around the same size so they cook evenly (and quickly!).
- You may want to add 1-2 tablespoons of water to the skillet when cooking the onions to scrape up any brown bits from the chicken and to help prevent the peppers from browning too much.
- Protein: switch up the protein by using shrimp or even fried tofu if you prefer.
- Dressing: switch it up by making my spicy avocado dressing instead, or simply use ranch!
Bulk this salad up by adding one or more of the following add-ins:
- Black beans
- Roasted chickpeas
- Halved grape tomatoes
- Shredded Mexican cheese
- Tortilla strips
- A dollop of Greek yogurt and/or salsa on top
Dry rub: Stir all of the dry rub ingredients together, then store them in a small jar with a lid in your spice cabinet so they're ready to go when you need them.
Salad: Chop the bell peppers and onion and store them in a small plastic bag in the fridge until you're ready to use them.
Dressing: Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together and keep them in a small jar with a lid in the fridge.
If eating right away: Add the lettuce to a large bowl, then top it with the cooked chicken fajita mixture, along with the avocado, then drizzle the dressing overtop and toss to combine.
If you're planning on having leftovers: Only place as much lettuce as you need into a single serve bowl, then top it with a portion of the chicken fajita mixture before adding 2 tablespoons of the dressing overtop. NOTE: you want to avoid using too much dressing on the lettuce so it doesn't get soggy.
Refrigerator: If you have leftovers, ideally you'll want to store the chicken fajita mixture separately from the lettuce so you can reheat it before adding it to the lettuce. Same with the avocado -- wait to cut it until you're ready to eat the salad; otherwise, it'll brown.
Freezer: You can freeze the cooked chicken in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the dressing in a small bag or ice cube trays if you'd like. However, I don't recommend freezing anything else because the texture won't be the same.
More easy salad recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Chicken Fajita Salad
for the dressing:
for the fajita seasoning:
for the dressing:
- Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup; set aside.
for the salad:
- Mix all of the fajita seasoning ingredients together, then rub HALF of the mixture over the chicken.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the seasoned chicken smooth side down. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes per side, then remove to a cutting board. Wait a few minutes for the chicken to cool slightly, then slice into strips.
- To that same skillet, add the bell peppers and onion, then sprinkle the remaining fajita seasoning overtop and stir to combine. Sauté until soft, then add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. NOTE: you may want to add 1-2 tablespoon water to the skillet to scrape up any brown bits.
- Add the lettuce to a large serving bowl, or divide amongst smaller bowls. Top with the chicken, bell pepper mixture and avocado, then drizzle everything with the homemade dressing. Enjoy!