This Whole30 layered cold taco is a delicious summer dish that’s simple assemble, customize and serve to a crowd. Packed with traditional taco ingredients and chopped chicken, it’s a healthier twist on an old classic that everyone will love.
My mom used to make this cold taco salad recipe every summer. It was packed with all sorts of stuff – ground beef taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes, Italian dressing, and wait for it…Doritos….crushed all over the top.
I’m not going to lie to you and say it tasted horrible or that I never ever crave it anymore. It was a staple growing up and I’ll never not love it. There, now that I got that out, let’s move on.
We ALL have summer eats that will never get old, never be too ‘junky’ to eat. It’s called balance and it’s needed. Even if I can’t stomach Doritos on their own, I’ll throw a bunch of those processed chips on my mom’s cold taco salad any day. Bring it.
But when I’m NOT at my parents house, and craving a ‘lil cold taco salad goodness, I opt for this Whole30 layered cold taco salad with chicken instead. And you know what? It’s a damn good alternative to a summer favorite I’ve had for years.
Plus it’s always a hit at parties – look at all those layers! People are attractive to pretty layered salads and it’s easy to see why.
This Whole30 layered cold taco salad with such a cinch to make – all you need to do is a little chopping and dicing for the initial prep to make this summer fiesta favorite. Make the chicken beforehand and store in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
But what’s a bunch of veggies and chicken without the sauce?
Easy solution – salsa verde.
No need to make a homemade sauce for this easy salad – and no soggy bottom layers! Just scoop a spoonful of salsa verde to this Whole30 layered cold taco salad after you plate it and GOOD TO GO. So easy it should be criminal.
Now Whole30’ers shield your eyes for the next sentence….If you want to take this salad to the next level, try crumbling tortilla chips over the top. When I’m REALLY craving the crunch like my mom’s version, the crumbled tortilla chips are everything. Or if you’re sticking to Whole30 on this one, try diced (and seeded) jalapeños for a nice kick.
Looking for more summer salad inspiration? Try this Tropical Kale Chicken Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette, this Gluten Free Southwest Pasta Salad, this Sweet Potato Quinoa Moroccan Salad, this Thai Shrimp Salad with Almond Dressing, or this Sweet Bacon and Broccoli Salad. So many options to choose from!
Whole30 Layered Cold Taco Salad
This easy Whole30 layered cold taco salad is a party favorite! Layered with traditional taco ingredients, blackened chicken, and customizable.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 servings
- 2 large chicken breasts (or three smaller breasts)
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (can sub for cayenne pepper)
- 1 diced bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 3 chopped romaine hearts
- 2 diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/3 cup sliced black olives
- 1 seeded and diced jalapeño
- 1-2 large avocados
- 1 jar salsa verde
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Combine the chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder, and chipotle powder
- Rub the spice mixture on each chicken breast, covering evenly. Then bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes, until internal temperature of the breasts is 165 degrees
- Let cool for 10 minutes, then chop the chicken into small cubes. Refrigerate until ready to assemble
- To assemble the salad, start with a base of half the chopped romaine and then layer the diced bell pepper, chopped chicken, diced tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, black olives, and additional romaine
- Add any extra ingredients to the top and sprinkle on the diced jalapeño and arrange the avocado slices
- Serve the salad with salsa verde as a dressing