Al Fresco Salad Recipe is packed full of juicy seasoned chicken, guacamole, queso fresco cheese, beans, corn and tomatoes!  This mouthwatering salad is complete with a simple homemade dressing!

salad with chicken in bowl

So, I basically went off the deep end on Instagram stories a few days ago over this salad!  If you’re following me you’ll know I’m pretty darn excited to share this recipe.  It is my homemade version of a salad from one of our local restaurants.  I find myself craving it for lunch and I had to recreate it at home!  The restaurant version is a little different but I’ve made this to suit my preferences, and it’s easily customizable if you do/don’t like something.

Al Fresco Salad Recipe:

I picked this name because the restaurant version is called “Al Fresca Salad” and mine is more customized.  I filled it up with super juicy baked chicken breasts that are really simple.  They are drizzled in olive oil and seasoned with taco seasoning then salt and pepper to taste.  They only take about 20-25 minutes to bake, but you could grill them instead as the weather starts to get warmer!  Probably the star of this salad is my homemade Guacamole Recipe….it’s truly the best!  If you don’t want to take the time to make guac, you could use store bought, or just some sliced avocado.  Queso fresco cheese is my fave for this salad and it’s easily available at any grocery store, it’s a very mild creamy cheese!  This salad is also great with any cheese, you could use a shredded Mexican blend, Monterrey Jack, or even just cheddar.  Otherwise, I love to use black beans, tomatoes, corn, black olives and red onion.  Feel free to mix and match ingredients to your own taste.

salad in a bowl with chicken and toppings

How To Make Al Fresco Chicken Salad:

  • First things first, preheat your oven.  Grab a small baking sheet, line it with foil and place the chicken breast on.  Then, drizzle olive oil over the chicken and season.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken has reached an internal temp of 165 degrees.
  • While the chicken is cooking, assemble the rest of the salad.
  • You can use pre-chopped lettuce to make things easier and faster if you’d like.
  • Place the lettuce in a large bowl and top with your black beans, corn, and guacamole.  Dice up a large tomato and about 1/4 of a red onion, and slice up your olives.
  • When the chicken comes out of the oven, allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • While the chicken is resting, add your ranch dressing, green chili’s and salsa to your blender and pulse until smooth.
  • Slice the chicken and add your remaining ingredients to the bowl.
  • Drizzle with dressing and toss and serve as desired!

NOTE:  This recipe makes enough salad for 3-4 servings, depending on how hungry you are.  Prep it ahead if you want and save the salad and dressing in airtight containers for lunch during the week.  If you prep ahead, don’t add the dressing until right before serving for best results.

al fresco salad in a bowl

Enjoy!  If you’re looking for another great summer salad try my BLT Chicken Chopped Salad too!

~Nichole

al fresco salad in a bowl
Print Recipe
4.67 from 3 votes

Al Fresco Salad Recipe

Al Fresco Salad Recipe is packed full of juicy seasoned chicken, guacamole, queso fresco cheese, beans, corn and tomatoes!  This mouthwatering salad is complete with a simple homemade dressing!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: salad recipe with chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 300kcal
Author: Nichole

Ingredients

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 2 Large Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Taco Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 1 16 Ounce Bag Chopped Lettuce
  • 1 Cup Black Beans Drained and Rinsed
  • 1 Cup Corn
  • 1 Tomato Diced
  • 1/3 Cup Guacamole
  • 1/4 Red Onion Diced
  • 1/3 Cup Sliced Black Olives
  • 1/3 Cup Queso Fresco

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 3/4 Cup Ranch Dressing
  • 2 Tablespoons Salsa
  • 1 4 Ounce Can Green Chili's

Instructions

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet and drizzle evenly on both sides with the oil, then sprinkle the taco seasoning and salt and pepper over the chicken.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Once the chicken is finished cooking, allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

FOR THE SALAD:

  • While the chicken is cooking, add the lettuce to a large bowl, or divide evenly between 4 containers if prepping for later.
  • Top with the corn, drained and rinsed beans, tomato, guacamole, red onion, black olives, and crumble over the cheese.

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • Combine the ranch dressing, salsa, and green chili's in a blender and pulse until smooth.
  • Add the sliced chicken and dressing to the salad as desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

NOTE: Please feel free to customize this to suit your taste.  If you don't have time to make guacamole, you can use store bought, or just top the salad with a sliced avocado.  If you don't have queso fresco cheese,  you can use any shredded cheese that you like!
NOTE:  This salad can be prepped ahead.  The salad and dressing will last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  If making ahead, don't add the dressing to the salad until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25Salad | Calories: 300kcal
Nutrition Disclaimer