Zesty Chicken Burrito Salad with Homemade Chipotle Ranch

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burrito salad bowl

What’s Up, Hungry People

This week’s challenge was simply “salad” – a term in the cooking world that can encompass anything from leafy greens to pasta salads. For my entry, I opted to create a unique “burrito salad,” omitting the actual burrito wrap.

I began by grilling some chicken tenders seasoned with a basic taco seasoning. It’s ideal if the chicken is at least room temperature or even chilled before serving it atop the salad. Letting the chicken cool not only enhances the texture but also prevents any excess moisture from making the salad soggy.

easy corn salsa

I then prepared a vibrant corn salsa using canned ingredients from my pantry. I prefer corn salsa over pico de gallo on my salads because corn brings a delightful sweetness that I absolutely love. My corn salsa was a colorful mix of golden corn, diced tomatoes, black beans, shallots, and a jalapeño or two for a bit of heat.

salad with burrito ingredients

Here’s What You Need

  • Chicken breast tenders: Adds protein and serves as the main filling.
  • Taco seasoning: Provides a spicy and savory flavor to the chicken.
  • Heavy cream: Base for homemade sour cream; offers a creamy texture.
  • Lemon juice: Adds acidity to help thicken the cream into sour cream.
  • Lime juice: Complements lemon in curdling and flavoring the sour cream.
  • Corn: Sweetness contrasts with the spicy elements.
  • Diced tomatoes: Adds freshness and moisture to the salsa.
  • Black beans: Provide fiber and a hearty texture to the salsa.
  • Shallots: Mild and sweet, enhancing the overall flavor of the salsa.
  • Jalapeño: Brings heat to the corn salsa and dressing.
  • Mayonnaise: Helps create a creamy base for the chipotle ranch.
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce: Adds a smoky heat to the dressing.
  • Garlic powder: Offers a robust flavor to the chipotle ranch.
  • Onion powder: Complements garlic powder in seasoning the dressing.
  • Parsley: Provides a herbaceous note to the dressing.
  • White vinegar: Balances the dressing and salsa with its sharp tang.
  • Iceberg lettuce: Crunchy texture adds freshness to the salad.
  • Dark romaine lettuce: Adds a deep color and slightly bitter flavor.
  • Red onion: Offers a sharp bite that contrasts the creamy elements.
  • Tortilla strips: Adds a salty crunch to the final dish.
grilled chicken breasts

Let’s Cook

First things first, let’s get that chicken ready. Grab your chicken tenders and season them well with your favorite taco seasoning. Make sure every bit of the tenders gets some love. Then, heat up your grill pan over medium-high and cook the chicken for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. You want them nicely grilled and cooked through. Once done, let them cool off to room temperature or pop them in the fridge if you prefer them chilled. This makes sure they’re perfect and not making your salad all soggy.

homemade sour cream

Making Homemade Sour Cream

Now, onto the sour cream. Take your heavy cream and pour it into a small jar. Add the lemon and lime juice—this is what’s going to give it that tangy flavor. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it starts looking a bit chunky.

Then, shake it up—like, really shake it, or use a hand mixer if that’s more your style. Keep going until it reaches a creamy, sour cream consistency. You can decide how thick or runny you want it based on how you like your dressing.

homemade sour cream south west sauce

Crafting the Chipotle Ranch

Alright, time for that killer chipotle ranch. In a separate jar, mix half of your fresh homemade sour cream with mayonnaise, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and those classic ranch spices—garlic powder, onion powder, and a bit of parsley. Shake it all together or give it a good stir to make sure everything’s well combined. Chill it in the fridge to let the flavors meld together.

The result is a spicy, tangy dressing that surpasses any store-bought ranch in flavor.

southwest sour cream

Mixing the Corn Salsa

Next up, let’s throw together the corn salsa. Grab a bowl and toss in the corn, diced tomatoes, drained black beans, finely minced shallots, and diced jalapeños. Pour in a splash of white vinegar and sprinkle some cilantro or parsley on top—whichever herb you prefer.

Mix it all up and season it with a pinch of salt and pepper. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. This salsa adds a sweet and spicy kick that complements the salad beautifully.

Assembling the Salad

Finally, it’s time to put it all together. Take your iceberg and romaine lettuces and chop them into bite-size pieces. Toss them in a big salad bowl along with thinly sliced red onions. Now, layer on those grilled chicken strips, a few spoonfuls of the corn salsa, and a generous drizzle of both the homemade sour cream and chipotle ranch dressing.

Finish it off with a handful of crispy tortilla strips for that extra crunch. There you have it—a salad that’s as fun to make as it is to eat! Enjoy every bite.

chicken salad burrito recipe

Spicy Chicken Burrito Salad Tips

  • Pre-cooling chicken: Cooling the chicken after grilling and before adding it to the salad ensures that the lettuce stays crisp and not wilted from the heat.
  • Homemade sour cream consistency: For thicker sour cream, let the mixture sit longer before shaking or mixing. This allows the acid more time to act on the cream.
  • Dressing adjustment: If the chipotle ranch is too spicy, increase the amount of sour cream or mayonnaise to mitigate the heat while maintaining flavor.
  • Layering your salad: Place heavier ingredients like chicken and beans at the bottom and lighter, more fragile ingredients like lettuce and tortilla strips at the top to maintain texture and presentation until serving.
  • Serving suggestion: If not serving immediately, keep the dressing and sour cream separate and allow guests to add them as needed to prevent the salad from becoming soggy.
salad with chicken burrito and tortillas

Wrapping up, making this spicy chicken burrito salad was a blast and a fresh twist on the typical greens routine. Each bite is a mingling of zesty, tangy, and crisp textures that satisfy more than just your hunger—it’s a treat for the taste buds! Whether you’re whipping it up as a quick lunch or a hearty dinner, it holds up as a robust, flavorful option that’s far from ordinary. Best of all, the homemade touches like the chipotle ranch and sour cream ensure that every forkful is as delightful as it is unique. It’s definitely earned a spot in my rotation for when I want something satisfying yet refreshing!

burrito salad bowl

Spicy Chicken Burrito Salad

The Starving Chef
Enjoy a refreshing twist on salad with this spicy chicken burrito salad, featuring homemade sour cream and chipotle ranch.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Healthy, Salad
Servings 8




  • 3 chicken breast tenders
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice



  • ½ cup golden corn
  • ¼ cup diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup black beans drained & rinsed
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 jalapenos diced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro or parsley


  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 head dark romaine lettuce
  • ½ red onion sliced thin
  • ½ cup crispy tortilla strips for topping


  • Preheat and grease a grill pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken tenders with taco seasoning on all sides. Grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Cut the chicken into strips. Set aside to cool to room temperature or chill overnight.
  • In a small jar, combine the heavy cream, lemon juice, and lime juice. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until the cream is 'chunky' in appearance. Shake the jar vigorously for 5 minutes, until the heavy cream thickens up to a sour cream consistency. Chill until ready to serve.
  • In a separate jar, add half of the homemade sour cream along with the mayonnaise, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, and vinegar. Shake well to combine then chill until ready to serve.
  • Use a small bowl to stir together the corn, diced tomatoes, black beans, shallot, jalapeños, vinegar, cilantro/parsley, and salt and pepper to taste to make the corn salsa. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Prepare the lettuce by washing and then chopping it into bite-size pieces. Add the lettuce to a large serving bowl along with the slices of red onion. Top generously with the grilled chicken strips, homemade sour cream, chipotle ranch dressing, corn salsa, and tortilla strips.
Keyword chicken, chipotle, ranch, spicy
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