Lime and Cilantro Chicken Salad with Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette

Who would have known that the once elusive chipotle peppers in adobo sauce would end up being the key ingredient to not only one recipe, but three (of my favorites;) mom’s tortilla soup, grilled chicken with chipotle-peach marinade, and this flavor packed salad with a chipotle-lime vinaigrette. my mom made this salad for our“last supper”before the grand canyon hike, and out of a group of 15, no one was disappointed. It’s the type of salad that you serve family style, smothered in dressing with rolls and crusty bread on the side. the fresh corn and roasted red peppers give it a hint of sweetness, the chicken gives it substance, and the roasted pumpkin seeds add a bit of crunch. but just as the recipe book says,“the secret of this salad lies in its dressing,”fresh lime and fresh cilantro will keep you coming back for more.

Lime and Cilantro Chicken Salad with Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette

Photo by Pattywak

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • Chipotle-Lime Vinaigrette:

  • cup seasoned rice wine vinegar

  • ¼

    cup fresh lime juice

  • 1

    clove garlic, minced

  • 2

    teaspoons, pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

  • 2

    tablespoons honey

  • ½

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¾

    cup canola oil

  • 1

    cup chopped fresh cilantro, stems and leaves

  • 3

    ears corn, shucked and grilled or boiled

  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked and shredded

  • cups diced cherry tomatoes

  • 1

    pound mixed baby greens

  • 2

    cups (about 8 ounces) grated Jack cheese

  • ½

    cup chopped roasted red bell pepper (see here for instructions)

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • ¾

    cup toasted salted pumpkin seeds

  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

  • Lime wedges for serving


To make the Chipotle-Lime vinaigrette, in a blender or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the vinegar, lime juice, garlic, chipotle chile, honey and salt and process until combined and smooth. With the machine running, gradually add the canola oil in a thin, steady stream to form an emulsion. Add the cilantro and pulse or process to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside. To assemble the salad, cut off the corn kernels from the cobs. Discard the cobs and scoop the kernels into a large bowl. You should have about 2 cups. Add the chicken, tomatoes, greens, Jack cheese, and bell pepper to the corn. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and gently toss to coat all the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Scatter the pumpkin seeds evenly over the servings and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Pass the lime wedges at the table.


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