I have posted many salad recipes before but this one is super special. Maybe because it is one of the first recipes I came up with or maybe because it reminds me of my favorite salad in Chili’s; Quesadilla Explosion Salad.

Salads are still the least reviewed recipes on my blog but I am not giving up. I noticed that you guys prefer main dishes more than side ones; maybe because you don’t have time to cook more than one dish. So I decided to share with you today a main dish in the form of a salad.

This salad has it all; veggies, proteins & carbs. I always have it as a main dish; it is so filling & delicious.

Amazing flavors, different textures & it comes together in less than 30 minutes!


  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


For the Chicken:

  • 8-10 chicken breast strips
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt & pepper

For the Salad:

  • 1/2 can black or red beans, drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomato cut in half
  • 1/2 can sweet corn kernels, drained
  • 1/2 white cabbage roughly chopped
  • 1 cup red cheddar cheese grated
  • 2 tortilla bread cut into thin strips

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp grainy mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • oil for frying the tortilla bread


  • Heat oil in a small pot. Deep fry the tortilla strips until golden. Place on tissue paper to absorb excess oil. Set aside.
  • Toss the chicken with all the marinade ingredients until well coated. Heat a pan or grill over medium high heat until hot. Cook the chicken on both sides until golden, nicely charred & cooked through. Set aside.
  • In a jar, put all the dressing ingredients, close the jar & shake until the they are mixed & the sauce is thickened.
  • Assemble the salad: put the cabbage, tomato, beans, cheese, tortilla & chicken in a large bowl. Either toss them together or arrange them like the above photo. Serve with the dressing on the side.
  • Leftover salad can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container until the next day as long as it was not mixed with the dressing. Store the fried tortilla strips separately in a plastic bag or box & keep them on the kitchen counter.
  • You can use chicken tenders or cut a whole chicken breast fillet into strips.
  • Black beans are sold at Gourmet but you can use red kidney beans instead.
  • If you don’t have grainy mustard, use Dijon mustard or regular mustard.
  • I am using white cabbage instead of lettuce for more crunch.
  • The recipe can be halved for a smaller portion.

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