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This Mexican chicken salad with orzo is fresh, healthy, and loaded with delicious Tex-Mex flavors including avocado and a delicious cilantro lime dressing! Quick and easy and ready in only 30 minutes - perfect for lunches, weeknight dinners, or potlucks.

Mexican Chicken Salad with Orzo

This Mexican chicken salad with orzo is fresh, healthy, and loaded with delicious Tex-Mex flavors! Quick and easy and ready in 30 minutes.
Course Salad
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Keyword Mexican chicken salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 673kcal


  • 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.


Calories: 673kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 386mg | Potassium: 1336mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 956IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 4mg