Mexican Chicken Salad
Mexican chicken salad is a delicious south-of-the-border rendition of your traditional chicken salad. With this delicious chicken and mayonnaise-based dish, you are in for a bite packed full of amazing flavors.
Ensalada de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Salad)
Mexican chicken salad also known as Ensalada de Pollo in Spanish is a type of chicken and mayonnaise-based salad that can be enjoyed for various occasions.
This is a quick and easy recipe, which we are excited to show you how to make. If you are looking for a Mexican twist on the traditional chicken salad, this recipe is one you should try for yourself.
What is Ensalada de Pollo?
Ensalada de Pollo literally translated means chicken salad. This is a type of chicken salad made with a variety of vegetables, seasonings, and chicken. The salad is usually topped with a mayonnaise-based dressing.
If you want to mix things up with the south-of-the-border meal, this Mexican chicken salad is one recipe you should give a try. We are happy to share our version of Mexican chicken salad with you. Let’s look at the ingredients you will need to make this salad outlined below.
Ensalada de Pollo Recipe
Chicken. You can use any type of chicken you want. You can buy a pre-cooked chicken from the grocery store, use canned chicken, or cook your own chicken breast. Either way is fine, as long as it is completely cooked you’re ready to use it.
Potatoes. Golden potatoes or red potatoes are our favorite options for this potato salad. Be sure that they are washed very well before boiling.
Corn. You can use canned corn or frozen corn for this recipe. If you are able to find a bag of frozen vegetables containing corn, carrots, and peas go for it!
Carrots. You can use fresh, frozen, or canned carrots for this recipe. If you are using fresh you will want to be sure to cover them in water and microwave them for a few minutes until they are soft before adding them to your salad.
Peas. We strongly recommend that you use frozen peas for this recipe. Canned or fresh work as well, but we have the best results when we use frozen as they are not as mushy as canned.
Onions. Although you can use your favorite type of onion, our favorite to use is chopped green onions in this salad recipe.
Mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is the base of the salad dressing for this recipe. You can use full fat or third less fat if desired.
Sour cream. Sour cream is also combined with the mayonnaise to make the dressing for the salad. We recommend that you use full-fat sour cream if able.
Mustard. Adding a little bit of yellow mustard to the mayonnaise and sour cream mixture will give a hint of zing to the dressing. When you add a little bit of yellow mustard it makes it the ultimate salad dressing.
Lime juice. You can use canned lime juice, or freshly squeezed lime juice in this salad dressing.
Seasonings. Adding a little bit of salt to the salad will have to bring out its overall flavor. Sometimes we also like to include garlic salt, and a hint of pepper if desired.
Optional Additions and Alterations
Black beans. Black beans are one of our favorite optional ingredients to include in this Mexican chicken and salad recipe.
For us, it helps us think more south of the border when black beans are included.
You can use canned black beans, but be sure they are thoroughly rinsed and drained before adding them to your salad.
Avocado. Let’s be honest, you just can’t go wrong with adding avocado to any Mexican dish. Choose a ripe avocado, and add it to your salad if desired.
Rice. If you would rather replace the potatoes in this recipe with a bit of cooked white rice, or Spanish rice, we have found that this is a fun way to mix things up.
Cilantro. You can use fresh or dried cilantro as a garnish for the salad. It helps to make the colors pop, and adds a nice flavor to the salad as well.
Lettuce. You may also choose to include lettuce in order to serve the salad. If you want to include lettuce in the salad, make sure that the lettuce is chopped into small pieces before adding it. Or you can simply serve the salad on a leaf of lettuce.
Tomato. Adding cherry or diced tomatoes to your salad also provides delicious flavor and color.
Jalapeños. If you like jalapeños, you may choose to include some in your salad as well.
How To Make It
Cook the Chicken
To make a salad begin by making sure your chicken is fully cooked. Allow the chicken to cool, then either cut it or shred into bite-size pieces. Add the prepared chicken to a mixing bowl.
While your chicken is cooking, you can also prepare your potatoes. You may choose to bake the potatoes in the oven, or you can simply boil them on your stovetop.
Once they are cooked allow the potatoes to cool before cutting them into bite-sized cubes. Add the cubed potatoes to the mixing bowl along with your chicken.
Now, when your potatoes and chicken are cooked, prepare your vegetables. Depending upon what type of vegetables you are using in your salad be sure that they are all soft before mixing them together.
Fresh vegetables. Any fresh vegetables should be cut into small pieces, then vegetables such as carrots, place into a microwave-safe bowl, and covered with water.
Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Drain the water and add the vegetables to your mixing bowl.
Other fresh vegetables such as peas, avocados, peppers, or onions should be added directly to the mixing bowl.
Canned vegetables. Drain any liquid from the canned vegetables, then rinse with cold water and allow them to drain before adding the canned vegetables into your mixing bowl.
Frozen vegetables. Open your packages of frozen vegetables, cover them in warm or hot water, then allow the water to drain. This should thaw out the vegetables.
If they are not thawed, repeat the process once more. When the vegetables are drained and thawed, add them to the mixing bowl.
For the Dressing
In a separate mixing bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, salt, garlic salt, and pepper. Stir together until combined.
Assemble the Ensalada (Salad)
In the mixing bowl, you should currently have your chicken, potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, and green onions.
Pour the prepared dressing into the bowl with your chicken, and gently stir until coated.
Add avocados, beans, and any other ingredients you wish. Trim with cilantro, then either chill until you are ready to serve, or serve and enjoy.
Recipe Tips & Notes:
Mixing the Mexican Chicken Salad. When mixing, it is important that you do not mix the salad.
You want to be careful to mix only until the ingredients are combined with the dressing. If you mix too much, then you run the risk of some of your ingredients falling apart.
We recommend serving this Mexican chicken salad after it has had a chance to cool for half an hour to an hour. That way all your ingredients have cooled down, and your flavors have begun to melt together.
You can also make this salad ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
This Mexican chicken salad can be made in advance and stored in a covered container in the fridge. We recommend that you make it no more than a few hours to a day in advance. This chicken salad can last up to 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
How To Store It
Room temperature. This salad, because it contains perishable food, should not be left at room temperature any longer than two hours before it goes bad. Especially because the salad contains mayonnaise, and will likely turn bad very fast.
In the fridge. For longer storage, your Mexican chicken salad should be stored in an airtight container, or sealed in a plastic storage bag, then placed in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad?
Once your Mexican chicken salad is completely assembled including the dressing, we do not recommend that it is frozen.
If you would like to freeze the salad, then you want to be sure to leave the dressing out.
As long as the salad does not contain the mayonnaise and sour cream dressing, it may be frozen in an air-tight container for up to three months.
Variations and Substitutions
There are so many different ways you can make this Mexican chicken salad. You can put it on a bed of lettuce, or you can substitute the potatoes for rice. Below are two of our favorite variations for this recipe.
Lettuce Mexican Chicken Salad
Making a traditional salad with Mexican chicken flavors is surprisingly easy.
First, you’ll start with a bed of lettuce, add your cooked chicken, corn, peas, carrots, black beans, shredded cheese if you want, and any other favorite ingredients.
Top this salad with your favorite salad dressing then enjoy!
Mexican Chicken Salad with Rice
Another way you can enjoy this Mexican chicken salad is by substituting potatoes for rice. When you do this we recommend that you leave out the dressing, and instead simply replace the mayonnaise-based dressing, with sour cream, guacamole, and lime juice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Gluten Free?
Yes! As long as your mayonnaise does not include gluten, this salad recipe is gluten-free.
How Long Can Ensalada de Pollo Last without Refrigeration?
We recommend that you do not leave this Mexican chicken salad at room temperature any longer than two hours before it goes bad.
What kind of chicken do I need to use?
You can use your favorite type of chicken. No matter if it is already cooked, or needs to be cooked, canned chicken, dark meat, or light meat, you can use whatever is your favorite.
Do I have to use canned vegetables?
No, you do not have to use canned vegetables. We prefer to use canned corn, frozen peas, fresh potatoes, and fresh carrots that we microwave until they become soft.
What do you serve with ensalada de pollo?
Below are a few of our favorite ideas for foods that you can serve along with your delicious Mexican chicken salad. Also, some common things to serve alongside them include saltine crackers, corn tortillas, guacamole, churros, or really any of your favorites.
Mexican Chicken Salad
Mexican chicken salad is a fun way to mix things up for a delicious dinner. This mayonnaise-based salad features chicken, potatoes, or rice, as well as your favorite vegetables. The best thing about the salad is that you can adapt it with your favorite vegetables so that it is just the way you want it. We hope that you’ll give this recipe a try and let us know what you think!
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