Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Fajita Salad with a dressing that doubles as a marinade! A genius way of keeping ALL of the incredible flavours in this salad!
This Chili Lime Chicken Fajita Salad has so much flavour happening, you don’t know where to start. Creamy avocado slices, grilled red and yellow pepper strips (capsicum), or the succulent chicken thighs. Fajita territory went down in this kitchen. Yeah, it did…
The challenge over here was to make something Tex-Mex or with Mexican inspired flavours. But I’m over Tacos, (I know, don’t get me started on the sin this sentence is committing right now), and I’m over winter food. Long story short, I wanted a salad. And if you’ve been following me for a while, you know by now that I don’t do rabbit salads, AKA starvation salads. I load them up with so much food there’s no chance of starving anything.
This marinade doubles as a dressing. Why? I didn’t want a dressing to come along and destroy the flavour the marinade had perfectly created in the chicken, so I made more of it, halved it, then saved half of the UNTOUCHED marinade to use later as a dressing!
Too many recipes call for one type of flavour combination to season the chicken, and another completely different flavoured dressing for drizzling. This way, we’re getting both done at the same time, while keeping the same beautiful flavour throughout this fajita salad! Red chili flakes + freshly squeezed lime juice + cilantro (sub it out if you don’t like it, but it is so good in this) + garlic + cumin = so many flavours that dance together and create a steamy love affair in your mouth!
Rest assured, the dressing DOES NOT touch the chicken at any time. How?
- Mix up your marinade/dressing ingredients in a 1 cup capacity jug (if you have one. A normal jug or mug is fine to use.)
- Pour out HALF into a shallow bowl or dish to marinate your chicken thighs.
- The other remaining UNTOUCHED half that is still in your jug is then refrigerated to use as a dressing once your salad is ready! I do feel the need to break this down as some people have been confused about this marinade/dressing description.
Marinate for however long you have. I’ve tried marinating for two hours, overnight, and when I didn’t have the time to soak anything, I mixed, dipped and grilled without marinating. It all works!
Which brings me to my next point. Chargrilled chicken. You can use breast for this recipe, but thighs are so juicy and tender and 100% suit this salad. I use either a stove top grill pan for this OR a barbecue, depending on the season!
What if you don’t have a grill or grill pan? A non stick pan or skillet is fine to use also (see the video above the recipe card).
Once your chicken is cooked through, allow it to rest for a good 5 minutes to lock in the juices before slicing into strips. Use this resting time to fry up your sliced onion and pepper strips. Then throw all of your ingredients together in a large bowl and drizzle with the reserved UNTOUCHED dressing.
We always use Romaine lettuce in this fajita salad, which is also known as Cos lettuce in Australia, but you can also use butter lettuce, ice berg lettuce or even Kale!
In less than 20 minutes, you have a loaded up salad, fresh and full of flavour. Just like this Honey Mustard Chicken, Avocado + Bacon Salad, or this popular Grilled Chimichurri Chicken Salad, this Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Fajita Salad is a meal in itself and packed with flavour!
Watch how we make this Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Fajita Salad right here!
*ORIGINALLY POSTED AUGUST 9, 2015*
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ORIGINAL RECIPE BY KARINA, CAFEDELITES ©
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 100 ml (just over 1/3 cup) freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, (or red pepper flakes -- adjust to your preference of spice)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 chicken thigh fillets, skin removed (no bone)
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 1/2 an onion, sliced
- 5 cups Romaine, (or cos) lettuce leaves, washed and dried
- 2 avocados, sliced
- Extra cilantro leaves to garnish
- Sour cream, (optional) to serve
- Whisk marinade ingredients together to combine. Pour half the marinade into a shallow dish to marinade the chicken fillets for two hours if time allows. Refrigerate the reserved untouched marinade to use as a dressing.
- Heat about one teaspoon of oil in a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat and grill chicken fillets on each side until golden, crispy and cooked through. (Grill in batches to prevent excess water being released.) Once chicken is cooked, set aside and allow to rest.
- Wipe pan over with paper towel; drizzle with another teaspoon of oil and fry pepper and onion strips until cooked to your liking.
- Slice chicken into strips and prepare salad with leaves, avocado slices, peppers, onion strips and chicken. Drizzle with remaining marinade/dressing and serve with (optional) extra cilantro leaves and sour cream.
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