Chipotle chicken carnitas kicks your taco salad recipe up a notch

Taco salad has never tasted so delicious. You’ll love this dish of perfectly cooked chicken carnitas mixed with crispy tortillas, cheese, sautéed peppers and corn.

The other great thing about this simple dish is that even though it’s a salad, it’s hearty enough to be dinner. Plus you’ll love the smoked paprika vinaigrette.

chipotle chicken taco salad

Chipotle chicken carnitas taco salad recipe

Made with chicken carnitas packed full of chipotle flavor, this taco salad is a makeover of a recipe of the past.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 6 hours 30 minutes | Total time: 6 hours 40 minutes


For the salad

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced red or green bell pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 6 cups chopped lettuce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 cup crispy tortilla chip strips

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


For the salad

  1. To the slow cooker, add the chicken, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, chipotle chile powder, cumin and kosher salt.
  2. Cook on low for 6 hours, until the chicken shreds easily.
  3. Shred the chicken in the slow cooker and, using tongs, remove and add it to a large, rimmed sheet pan.
  4. Turn on the broiler in your oven, and cook for about 5 minutes just to crisp the edges of the chicken. Remove from the oven, and set aside while you prepare the salad.
  5. To a large skillet set over medium heat, add the olive oil, and once it is hot, add in the peppers and corn. Sauté until soft and lightly browned.
  6. To a large bowl, add the lettuce, and top with the pepper-corn mixture, cheese, tortilla strips and most of the chicken carnitas. You will have leftover chicken.
  7. Top the salad with dressing.

For the vinaigrette

  1. To a bowl, add all the ingredients except for the olive oil. Whisk to combine, and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil until combined.

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