kale taco salad with roasted jalapeno lime vinaigrette

a healthy kale taco salad with honey chipotle chicken, roasted jalapeno lime vinaigrette, black beans, corn, pepper jack cheese, and a quick pico de gallo. this lightened-up take on a taco salad will be your new favorite! a healthy kale taco salad with chipotle lime chicken, roasted jalapeno vinaigrette, black beans, corn, pepper jack cheese, and a quick pico de gallo. this lightened-up take on a taco salad will be your new favorite! #playswellwithbutter #healthyrecipe #mealprep #healthyrecipe #kale #tacosalad #saladrecipe

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whoop whoop, GUYS, it’s time for another plays well with butter big ass salad!!! you guys totally killed last month’s challenge & i am SO excited to kick of the big ass salad for march!

say hello to your new favorite salad recipe: kale taco salad. 😍 a healthy kale taco salad with chipotle lime chicken, roasted jalapeno vinaigrette, black beans, corn, pepper jack cheese, and a quick pico de gallo. this lightened-up take on a taco salad will be your new favorite! #playswellwithbutter #healthyrecipe #mealprep #healthyrecipe #kale #tacosalad #saladrecipe

pin this kale taco salad recipe for later!!!

back when i decided to do a monthly salad series on pwwb, i knew that my take on a taco salad would be pretty high on the list of things to share with you.

after all, the first salad i ever ate & truly LOVED was a chicken fajitas taco salad from the mexican restaurant in my hometown. & i probably only loved it because it was it was light on the “salad” & heavy on the “taco” – a giant deep-fried taco shell filled with iceberg lettuce, pulled chicken + fajitas veggies, & topped with heaps of cheese & sour cream.

basically any 15-year-old girl’s dream, you know?

…& by 15-year-old girl, i also mean almost-30-year-old gal, know what i mean?

😏😏😏

anyway. i digress. 

this lightened-up kale salad is a liiiittle bit more my speed these days. it’s super light (hello kale), but still gives you the satisfying feeling of enjoying a taco salad thanks to all of its different flavors and textures: honey chipotle chicken (😍), homemade roasted jalapeno lime vinaigrette (😍😍), & all kinds of other goodies that get thrown into the mix – homemade pico, black beans, corn, pepper jack, radish, avocado…

i mean…😍😍😍

how to meal prep this kale taco salad: a healthy kale taco salad with chipotle lime chicken, roasted jalapeno vinaigrette, black beans, corn, pepper jack cheese, and a quick pico de gallo. this lightened-up take on a taco salad will be your new favorite! #playswellwithbutter #healthyrecipe #mealprep #healthyrecipe #kale #tacosalad #saladrecipe

a main tenant of my philosophy on salads is they definitely need to be just as meal prep friendly as they are healthy & good-for-you. this kale taco salad definitely fits that bill. i know it has a lot of components (like, don’t get scared away when you look at the ingredients list!), but honestly they’re really easy to prep for the week on a sunday afternoon/evening. just take things step by step. a healthy kale taco salad with chipotle lime chicken, roasted jalapeno vinaigrette, black beans, corn, pepper jack cheese, and a quick pico de gallo. this lightened-up take on a taco salad will be your new favorite! #playswellwithbutter #healthyrecipe #mealprep #healthyrecipe #kale #tacosalad #saladrecipe a healthy kale taco salad with chipotle lime chicken, roasted jalapeno vinaigrette, black beans, corn, pepper jack cheese, and a quick pico de gallo. this lightened-up take on a taco salad will be your new favorite! #playswellwithbutter #healthyrecipe #mealprep #healthyrecipe #kale #tacosalad #saladrecipe a healthy kale taco salad with chipotle lime chicken, roasted jalapeno vinaigrette, black beans, corn, pepper jack cheese, and a quick pico de gallo. this lightened-up take on a taco salad will be your new favorite! #playswellwithbutter #healthyrecipe #mealprep #healthyrecipe #kale #tacosalad #saladrecipe

pin this kale taco salad recipe for later!!!

  • prep the honey chipotle chicken. toss some chicken breasts into a ziplock bag or an airtight container (these are my fave!) & top them with some chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, lime juice, & honey. let that goodness marinate & cook that chicken up! i take a combined approach of roasting & broiling for perfectly juicy chicken with deliciously charred edges.
  • make the roasted jalapeno lime vinaigrette. which is so much easier than it sounds – i promise! throw some jalapenos & shallots under the broiler. i like to leave all of the seeds in since the broiling tames some of the heat but leaves the perfect amount of kick. then you toss everything into a blender or food processor along with some freshly squeezed lime juice, cilantro, and a little agave to balance everything out. this is the food processor i use & i honestly love it. it gets daily use in my kitchen & makes throwing together a homemade vinaigrette so simple. 
  • make a quick homemade pico. tomatoes. red onion. jalapeno. cilantro. lime. that’s it!
  • prep those veggies! shred a bunch of kale (refresher, i always do this by hand) drain off some black beans & corn. dice up a few radishes. store ‘em in separate airtight containers. at lunchtime all you have to do is mix up everything in a big ol’ bowl with a handful of pepper jack & some diced avocado!

oh, & remember that taco salad that was a little more “taco” than it was “salad”? & how that’s kiiind of the best part of a taco salad?? yeah. that’s why we crunch up a handful of tortilla chips over the top of this kale taco salad, okurrrrr? 😉 a healthy kale taco salad with chipotle lime chicken, roasted jalapeno vinaigrette, black beans, corn, pepper jack cheese, and a quick pico de gallo. this lightened-up take on a taco salad will be your new favorite! #playswellwithbutter #healthyrecipe #mealprep #healthyrecipe #kale #tacosalad #saladrecipe

pin this kale taco salad recipe for later!!!

so…give this kale taco salad a whirl this month & show me your creations by tagging them with #playswellwithbutter on social media! i can’t wait to see them!!! a healthy kale taco salad with chipotle lime chicken, roasted jalapeno vinaigrette, black beans, corn, pepper jack cheese, and a quick pico de gallo. this lightened-up take on a taco salad will be your new favorite! #playswellwithbutter #healthyrecipe #mealprep #healthyrecipe #kale #tacosalad #saladrecipe
if you love this kale taco salad recipe, here are a couple of other big ass salads you’ll love!
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a healthy kale taco salad with chipotle lime chicken, roasted jalapeno vinaigrette, black beans, corn, pepper jack cheese, and a quick pico de gallo. this lightened-up take on a taco salad will be your new favorite! #playswellwithbutter #healthyrecipe #mealprep #healthyrecipe #kale #tacosalad #saladrecipe

kale taco salad with honey chipotle chicken & roasted jalapeno lime vinaigrette


  • Author: jess larson | plays well with butter
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4

Description

a healthy kale taco salad with honey chipotle chicken, roasted jalapeno lime vinaigrette, black beans, corn, pepper jack cheese, and a quick pico de gallo. don’t forget to check out the blog post for some meal prep tips. this lightened-up take on a taco salad will be your new favorite!


Ingredients

for the kale taco salad:

  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed & finely shredded 
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup canned sweet corn, drained & rinsed
  • 4-6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • for serving: honey chipotle chicken (below), easy pico de gallo (below), roasted jalapeno lime vinaigrette (below)

for the honey chipotle chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • lime, juiced
  • chipotle pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

for the easy pico de gallo: 

  • 1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

for the roasted jalapeno vinaigrette:

  • jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave (or honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Prep the honey chipotle chicken:

  • Marinate the chicken: Add the chicken to a Ziplock bag or airtight container. Top with the lime juice, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, honey, dried oregano, kosher salt & ground black pepper. Mix to combine and coat the chicken in the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or ideally overnight.
  • Cook the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, with one oven rack positioned in the middle of the oven & the other positioned directly under the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the marinated chicken on top. Roast the chicken on the middle rack for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through. Turn on the broiler. Move the chicken under the broiler & broil until slightly charred, 2-3 minutes more. 
  • Rest the chicken for a few minutes before slicing. Set aside.

Make the roasted jalapeno lime vinaigrette:

  • Roast the jalapenos: With the broiler still running, line a second baking sheet with foil. Place the jalapeno and shallot on the baking sheet. Drizzle with a splash of olive oil, sprinkle on a pinch or two of salt, and toss to combine. Broil until lightly charred, 10-12 minutes.
  • Make the roasted jalapeno lime vinaigrette: Transfer the roasted jalapeno & shallot to a blender or food processor. Add in the cilantro, lime juice, red wine vinegar, agave, and salt, and process until combined, scraping the sides down as necessary. With the processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil until combined. Store the roasted jalapeno vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Prep the easy pico de gallo:

Combine all listed ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Assemble the kale taco salad: 

To make a salad, toss all ingredients in a bowl. Serve with crunched up tortilla chips, as desired. Enjoy!

don’t forget to pin this kale taco salad recipe for later!!! a healthy kale taco salad with chipotle lime chicken, roasted jalapeno vinaigrette, black beans, corn, pepper jack cheese, and a quick pico de gallo. this lightened-up take on a taco salad will be your new favorite! #playswellwithbutter #healthyrecipe #mealprep #healthyrecipe #kale #tacosalad #saladrecipe

About jess

i help modern gals turn everyday moments into celebrations with recipes that are just as easy as they are elegant.

5 Comments

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  4. Love this kind of salads. Roasted jalapeno lime vinaigrette must be a dot on the I, will try it soon.

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