Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner which means time to bring on the Mexican food! I don't have Mexican food often but every time I do, I enjoy every bite. There's just something so satisfying about having fresh seafood ceviche on a hot day or a carne asada burrito late at night. To celebrate the upcoming Cinco de Mayo, I made a delicious chicken fajita salad. This salad combines the best parts of a fajita into one fresh bowl. You just can't go wrong with spiced chicken on a bed of romaine lettuce with roasted peppers, avocado, and corn salsa.
Chicken Fajita Salad
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 ½ tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 teaspoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 lb chicken breast
Tomato corn salsa
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 corn husked and shucked
- 2 medium tomatoes chopped
- 1 tablespoon jalapeno chopped
- ¼ cup red onion chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- salt and pepper
- 2 medium red peppers
- 2 pasilla peppers
- 1 large head romaine lettuce washed and chopped
- 2 avocados sliced
- ¼ cup cotija cheese
- fresh lime
- Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Make the salsa. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the corn and cook until charred. Let cool. Toss the corn with tomatoes, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit for 20 minutes to let the flavors develop.
- Blister peppers on the stovetop over medium heat. Place pepper directly on the heat and cook until the skin has blackened, rotating to blacken the entire pepper. Remove and repeat with the remaining peppers. Place peppers in a medium bowl and cover with plastic. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove cover and carefully peel the blistered skin, removing the blackened skin. Slice into strips, discarding the seeds.
- Heat grill on medium-high. Add the chicken and cook until the juices run clear. Remove from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the chicken.
- Assemble salads. Place a bed of romaine onto the plates followed by the roasted peppers, avocado, chicken, and corn salsa. Sprinkle cotija on top and a squeeze of lime. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
The fajita marinade above is one that I have used at least 20 times by now. It may seem strange that there's soy sauce in the mix, but trust me, it's delicious. You can serve this fajita salad with beef, pork or shrimp and use the same marinade.
For the roasted peppers, feel free to roast them in the oven if the stovetop makes you nervous. When blistering the peppers, you want the skin to blacken. Immediately covering them allows the steam from the cooked peppers to circulate in the bowl and makes it easier for the skin to come out. Do not be tempted to wash off the burnt skin! Wear gloves and carefully rub off the skin with either your hands or paper towels. Rinsing the peppers in water will also rinse off the charred flavor.
No fajita salad would be complete without the corn salsa! Use fresh corn if possible for the best salsa. Toss charred corn together with tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, and jalapeno if you're feeling spicy. I could just eat the corn salsa by itself and I would be content. If you're not a fan of cilantro, try it with basil instead.
I find that there is so much flavor from the marinated chicken to the salsa to the peppers that I don't even need a salad dressing. Just squeeze a little lime juice on top and serve. Great Mexican flavors all in one bowl - and you don't have to feel guilty enjoying them!
For more salad inspiration check out these cinnamon chile spiced steak kale salad!