Need a new healthy lunch idea? Try this gluten-free Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad with black beans, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and pumpkin seeds.
Late one afternoon, The Grillmaster came into my office, took one look at the intense frustration on my face and immediately said “How about if I make dinner tonight?” Without hesitation, I pointed him to this recipe I’d been wanting to try and he did the rest. He even remembered to take photos! What a guy.
This Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad is featured on the cover of CookFresh 2011 by the folks at FineCooking magazine. This is the first recipe we’ve tried, but the concept mirrors how we like to eat and I’m very much looking forward to making more of the recipes in this magazine.
To butterfly a chicken breast (or, technically, a half breast), start slicing horizontally from one side, but don’t cut all the way through the other side. You want to be able to open the breast like, uh, the wings of a butterfly.
Don’t feel like you need to use all of the spice rub or all of the dressing. A light touch, especially with the dressing, is the way to go. Who likes soggy salad? If you don’t have any pepitas (pumpkin seeds), use pine nuts or sliced almonds. I bet pistachios would also be amazing. If you have time, make Spicy Pepitas.
This Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad is a good source of Protein, Vitamin A and Vitamin K.
- ½ tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (dark or light)
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- kosher salt
- 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, butterflied
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for the grill
- juice from 1 medium lime
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons honey
- freshly ground black pepper
- green Tabasco sauce (optional)
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 large scallion, thinly sliced
- 2 small heads Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium avocado
- ¼ cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or Spicy Pepitas
- In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, brown sugar, coriander, cumin and ½ teaspoon salt. Rub spice mixture over both sides of butterflied chicken breast. (You will have some of the spice mixture left over.)
- Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush lightly with oil and add the chicken. Grill until edges of the top side are white, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until just done, another 1 to 2 minutes. Let the chicken rest.
- In a glass jar with a screw-top lid, combine olive oil, lime juice, 1 tablespoon of cilantro, honey, a dash of salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a few drops of Tabasco (if using). Shake well to combine.
- Combine the black beans, tomatoes, scallion and remaining cilantro in a small bowl. Add about 2 tablespoons dressing and lightly toss.
- Place lettuce in a large bowl and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat. (Reserve some dressing to drizzle on chicken.) Arrange lettuce on serving plates. Thinly slice chicken and avocado and add to plates. Drizzle with some of the remaining dressing. Add salsa and garnish with pepitas.