This Mexican chicken salad with orzo is fresh, healthy, and loaded with delicious Tex-Mex flavors! Quick and easy and ready in only 30 minutes.
This Mexican chicken salad recipe is great for meal prep. I took some to work the next day, and it made a really good healthy quick lunch.
I do suggest that if you're going the meal prep route, you leave out the avocado or add it in right before serving so it doesn't brown.
I have several Tex-Mex style recipes on my blog, and this one's a new favorite. I just love southwest flavors. If this recipe appeals to you, you may also like my taco zucchini boats, my easy salsa chicken, or my Crockpot Mexican chicken soup.
This Mexican chicken avocado salad recipe would be great for potlucks or picnics or that sorta thing if the weather ever warms up. It's still wintery here. Blah. March is my least favorite month. Can't wait until summer!!
In my opinion, the cheese and jalapeno pepper are optional ingredients in this Tex-Mex chicken salad. I'm not always the biggest cheese fan, and I don't like too much spice. I know, I'm no fun. Saving the calories from cutting the cheese = fine by me. If you're the same, feel free to leave 'em out!
Another quick tip: instead of using the spice blend that I used in this Mexican chicken pasta salad, feel free to use store-bought taco seasoning. It won't be exactly the same, but you can easily do that swap if it's easier for you.
I used orzo in here, but now that I think of it, you could actually use rice instead. Whatever you prefer or have on hand will work. This is definitely not a precise salad... throw in what you like or omit what you don't. It'll still taste good!
Other orzo recipes to try:
Hope you enjoy this Mexican chicken salad bowl!
Let me know in the comments below if you've made it or have any questions! 🙂
Mexican Chicken Salad with Orzo
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 2 large chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can black beans drained & rinsed
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can corn drained
- 2 tablespoons red onion chopped
- 1 cup little tomatoes (grape, cherry, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 avocado chopped
- 1/2 cup Mexican shredded cheese blend (optional)
- 1 small jalapeno pepper sliced (optional)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Cook orzo al dente according to package directions. Once it's done cooking, drain it and rinse it under cool water. Drain thoroughly and add it to a large bowl. I like to stir in a tiny bit of olive oil to stop it from sticking together. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, prep your chicken and add it to a skillet along with 1 tbsp of olive oil, the cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. Give it a stir to coat and cook it over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes (or until it's cooked), stirring often. You may need to add more olive oil if the pan gets too dry.
- Meanwhile, prep the other ingredients and add them to the bowl with the orzo.
- Once the chicken is done cooking, add it to the salad and then add the dressing ingredients. I suggest starting with 1 tbsp olive oil and adding more if needed. Play with the dressing until you like the taste. Toss. Add extra salt & pepper if needed.
- This recipe makes great leftovers or meal prep for work lunches, for example. It can be made ahead, but I suggest waiting to add the avocado until you're close to serving it so it doesn't brown.
- This can easily serve more than 4 (nutrition info is calculated for 4) depending on how much people eat.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
DeeDee E. says
This was quite flavorful. I made it with rotisserie chicken to save time and I made it a one-skillet meal. I added more lime juice and a bit more salt and topped it with sour cream (optional) and the chopped avocados on top. Really good! Thank you!
Jennifer Farley says
It looks so yummy! I am making this as soon as I can get out of this snow and over to the grocery store!
Enjoy! And stay warm!
Matt Robinson says
Love the spin you put on one of my all time favs!
Thanks so much, Matt!
Lindsay Cotter says
I'm all about those Tex-Mex flavors! This is great lunch meal prep! I like your idea of using rice in this too!
Thanks, Lindsay! I'm all about the easy options haha.
Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy says
Actually obsessed 🙂
Tieghan Gerard says
This does look like the perfect dish for a picnic! Loving the flavors in this!
Thank you! 🙂
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
Love this for meal prepping for the week Natasha! Great flavors!
Thanks so much!
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says
love love love this mexican chicken salad!!!! and I love the orzo! yum!!!
Thanks, Alice!! 🙂