Build your own salad on taco night with these Chicken Taco Salad Bowls. These bowls are so easy to make and are fully customizable with all of your favorite taco toppings.
You will love this
Fully customizable - The whole family will love these fully customizable taco salad bowls. I love build-your-own meals because everyone can choose the ingredients they love.
Great for meal prep - Cook the chicken ahead of time and reheat just before serving. Prep some of the toppings ahead of time: shred the cheese, chop the lettuce, slice the onions, olives, and scallions. For avocado, to prevent browning, always wait until ready to serve to slice, dice, or mash the avocado. You can also cook extra chicken to use in sandwiches, wraps, rice bowls, or casseroles.
Chicken is a leaner alternative to beef - I love substituting chicken for beef in recipes like these taco bowls. The chicken is leaner and keeps the dishes feeling lighter.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Chicken - Season boneless chicken breasts with taco seasoning. I use store-bought seasoning for ease and convenience. One packet of seasoning will coat 1.5 pounds of chicken breast. Ground chicken can also be used. Cook and crumble the meat as it cooks, then season with one packet of taco seasoning according to the package directions.
Toppings - There are no rules with toppings. Use what you love. My favorite toppings include lettuce (romaine or iceberg), tomatoes, red onions, black olives, black beans, scallions, avocado, shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream, taco sauce, and lime wedges. You can also add corn, pinto beans, jalapenos, and salsa.
Tortilla chips - The crunch of tortilla chips is a must in taco salads. Crumble them into the salad or eat them alongside. Use traditional tortilla chips or go bold with my favorite cheesy Doritos.
How to make
These salad bowls are so easy to make, and the chicken can be made ahead of time.
- Coat both sides of the chicken breasts with taco seasoning. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan and drizzle with a little oil.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees with an instant-read thermometer.
- If serving immediately, slice or chop. To store for later use, cool the chicken breasts and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- While the chicken cooks, gather and prep the various toppings.
- Build your taco salad bowls and enjoy!
Of course! Skip the tortilla chips and grab some taco shells. Dice the chicken and add to the taco shells along with your favorite toppings.
Yes, simply omit the chicken. Feel free to add a variety of beans (black, pinto or garbanzo) for added protein.
Yes, these taco salad bowls are perfect for meal prep. Bake the chicken ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. The various toppings (except for the avocado) can also be prepped ahead of time. Store them separately in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just before serving, slice the avocado.
Chicken Taco Salad Bowls
- 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 head romaine lettuce sliced
- ½ medium red onion sliced
- 4 scallions sliced
- 2.25 ounces sliced black olives (1 small can)
- ½-¾ cup grape tomatoes halved
- ½ cup black beans
- 4-6 ounces shredded Monterey jack or cheddar cheese
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Doritos or tortilla chips
- sour cream
- taco sauce
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Coat both sides of the chicken with taco seasoning and place on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Drizzle with a little oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken reads 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Cool slightly and slice.
- While chicken bakes, gather and slice or chop the toppings as needed.
- Assemble the taco bowls. Layer Doritos with chicken and all of the fixings.
- Ground chicken can be substituted for the chicken breasts. Cook the ground chicken thoroughly, crumbling it as it cooks. Season with one packet of taco seasoning according to package directions.
- To prep the chicken ahead of time: Bake and cool the chicken. Then store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Author's note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated.