Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad – a Big Salad for Elaine

by Dorothy Reinhold on May 4, 2020

Print This Post Print This Post Mexican Chicken Salad: A satisfying, easy

Mexican Chicken Salad: A satisfying, easy “big salad” dinner entrée full of chopped vegetables, chicken, black beans and topped off with Mexican cheese blend.

Remember the classic “Big Salad” episode from Seinfeld, circa 1994?

Elaine asks George to buy a “big salad” for her, to go. George and Jerry volley back and forth about what’s in a big salad, anyway (“Big lettuce, big carrots, tomatoes like volleyballs,” Jerry says; hilarity and eyeball rolling ensues), and then there’s a whole usual misunderstanding between George and the world his girlfriend over who gets credit for providing Elaine said big salad. George obsesses, as usual, because he wants everyone to understand he is generous. He is! Really, he is!  

Sounds mundane when I write it out like that, but it was hilarious! And ever since then, a Big Salad has been part of the culinary lexicon. To me, Big Salad = entrée dinner salad.   

A Big Salad is often what’s for dinner at mi casa, and we like to throw it together out of whatever is hanging around the refrigerator.

Salad in white bowl on bright green napkinIngredients and shortcuts to make a Mexican Chicken Salad

Ingredients for Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad | Shockingly Delicious.com1. Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Or grilled chicken from your backyard grill. Whatever you have that’s already cooked. 

2. Shredded packaged cheese. I like a Mexican-style or Mexican-blend cheese, which often has a blend of several cheeses (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Asadero, Queso Quesadilla cheeses).

3. Canned black beans, frozen corn, bottled vinaigrette. Of course, you can make any of these elements from scratch, but you can’t beat the convenience of having them already on hand to make a healthy, fast dinner. I find that I am much more likely to eat a salad if the components are already ready and waiting for me.

Salad in white bowl next to bag of Mexican cheese | Shockingly Delicious.com4.  Romaine lettuce, avocado, tomato, fresh cilantro if you like it (yes please!).

My Big Salad was a hit at dinner, with kids and my husband.

Elaine would approve.

Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad – a Big Salad for Elaine

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad –  a Big Salad for Elaine

Mexican Chicken Salad: A satisfying, easy "big salad" dinner entrée full of chopped vegetables, chicken, black beans and topped off with Mexican cheese blend.


  • 1 1/2-2 cups cooked chicken (such as from a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 package (10-12 ounces) torn romaine lettuce (more if you like)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped (use 2 if you like a salad stuffed with tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup Zesty Lime Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Garnish: Offer chopped fresh cilantro at the table, and hot sauce or salsa for those who like a spicier salad


  1. Add chicken, lettuce, corn, black beans and onion to a large salad bowl. Toss gently to combine.
  2. Portion into 4 wide flat bowls, or onto large plates.
  3. Sprinkle each salad with avocado and tomato (these are more fragile and are damaged by tossing).
  4. Sprinkle with cheese. Drizzle each salad with about 1 tablespoon dressing (more if you like).
  5. Serves 4.


Recipe source: Lightly adapted from Grilled Chopped Chicken Salad on the KRAFT website.

pin this please!Pin the image below to your Pinterest board to save this recipe

Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad on a green napkin with bowl of cheese on the side | Shockingly

If you like a “big salad,” also try these:

Tuscan Panzanella Salad easy summer recipe on ShockinglyDelicious.com1. Tuscan Panzanella Salad

Chicken, Tomato and Cucumber Dinner Salad Recipe2. Easy Weeknight Chicken, Tomato and Cucumber Dinner Salad

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This post was originally published June 2, 2014 and has been refreshed and republished today.

This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees (at no cost to you) by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services that I approve and prefer.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Ghulam Mohyudin May 7, 2020 at 1:51 am

It was perfect the first time. I learn so much from you as well! Great post.


Sara Welch May 5, 2020 at 5:40 pm

Love all the flavors of Mexican food in a salad! Adding this to my dinner line up for the week, indeed!


Cathy May 5, 2020 at 3:02 pm

Big salads are my FAVORITE and this looks delicious!!


Catalina May 5, 2020 at 12:11 pm

I love all the ingredients in this salad! Deliciousness!


Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert May 5, 2020 at 4:04 am

I’m drooling this Chicken Salad is everything I love!


Vikki May 4, 2020 at 9:40 pm

I love how colorful and flavorful this salad is!


Deseree May 4, 2020 at 6:41 pm

This salad is loaded with all my favorite taco toppings! I can’t wait to make this for dinner soon.


Jacque Hastert May 4, 2020 at 6:17 pm

I have added this to my lunch menu for next week. I love all the fresh flavors in this simple, yet delicious salad.


Julie @ Texan New Yorker June 4, 2014 at 9:43 am

So funny, I just saw “The Soup Nazi” episode last week! This looks so up my alley, I love anything Mexican.


Dorothy Reinhold June 4, 2014 at 10:38 am

Oh yeah, and you can tweak this to your liking. Add fresh cilantro!


Christy @ Confessions of a Culinary Diva June 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm

This looks fabulous! It has everything Sous Chef loves in a salad. Thanks for the Seinfeld moment – it was a hilarious episode.


Dorothy Reinhold June 3, 2014 at 4:36 pm

I know, right? Of course, all Seinfeld moments are hilarious, eh?


Donalyn@TheCreeksideCook June 3, 2014 at 9:00 am

This looks just like our dinner at least a couple nights every week in the summertime – cool, crunchy, delicious! I love those pre-shredded cheeses, so convenient!


Dorothy Reinhold June 3, 2014 at 4:37 pm

The pre-shredded cheese have saved my butt many times!


Dorothy Reinhold June 4, 2014 at 8:20 pm

She (the actress) lives in the town next to me, so I see her out and about on occasion.


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