Chicken & Quinoa Salad with BBQ-Spiced Vinaigrette

By JJ Begonia

This is one of my all-time favorite salad mixes, since it has so many great textures and flavors – creamy avocado, crunchy tortilla strips, juicy tomatoes, sweet corn, a slightly spicy dressing, and a healthy hit of protein to boot.

Serving Size: 2 | Prep Time: 15 mins | Total Time: 30 mins

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 - 2 heads romaine lettuce (I also added a few leaves of butter lettuce for texture), chopped
  • ½ cup shredded chicken (I prefer white meat, but you can use any combo/proportion of chicken you like)
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • ¼ cup - 1/2 cup cooked corn
  • ¼ cup - 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • tortilla strips (I slice corn tortillas and toast them at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until crisp - but you can also use any kind of chip or taco shell here, for crunch)
  • fresh cilantro (optional)
  1. For the salad: Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. With these measurements, you will have enough for 2 very big salads, or 4 small salads.
Ingredients for the dressing:
  • 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp granulated garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. For the dressing: Add all ingredients to a mason jar (or an old, clean, condiment jar) and shake! Use sparingly on the salad, as this dressing has a kick to it!

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