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The Ultimate Grilled Chicken Salad

Juicy grilled chicken and a dreamy chipotle mayo dressing in a salad packed with delicious goodies - this truly is the best grilled chicken salad you'll ever make!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Universal
Servings: 5
Calories: 563kcal
Cost: £3 / $4


  • Small Mixing Bowl & Spatula
  • Medium Sized Bowl & Cling Film
  • Griddle Pan & Tongs
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Salad Bowl & Salad Tossers


Grilled Chicken

  • 4x 5oz/150g boneless skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1.5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1.5 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt
  • 1/4 tsp EACH: Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper

Chipotle Mayo (makes big batch!)

  • 3/4 cup / 180g Mayo
  • 1-2 tbsp Chipotle Paste (see notes)
  • 1/2 Lime, juice only (or to taste)
  • 1 small clove of Garlic, minced & smoothed with the blade of your knife
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml Milk, or as needed to thin out dressing


  • 2 large heads of Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  • 8 strips of Bacon, cooked & chopped
  • 7oz / 200g Baby Plum or Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large Avocado, sliced or diced
  • 1/2 cup Crispy Fried Onions, or to preference


  • Marinate Chicken: In medium sized mixing bowl whisk together smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lime juice and olive oil. Add in chicken thighs and combine until they're all completely covered with the marinade. Marinate for as long as you have time for (up to overnight). If you're in a rush just rest at room temp as you prep the other ingredients.
  • Chipotle Mayo: In a small mixing bowl combine mayonnaise with chipotle paste, lime juice and garlic. Gradually add in milk 1 tbsp at a time to thin it out to your desired consistency.
  • Grill Chicken: Bring chicken close to room temp if you marinated it in the fridge, then add to a griddle pan over medium high heat. Fry until the chicken begins to char (4-5mins), then flip and continue frying until charred on the second side and piping hot right through the centre. Place to one side to rest then slice just before needed.
  • Salad: Add lettuce to a large salad bowl. Add chicken, avocado, bacon, tomatoes and half of the crispy onions. Drizzle over a few dollops of the dressing (don't go overboard!) then toss to combine. Serve individual portions with more dressing and crispy onions as needed.



a) Chipotle Paste - You'll find this in most UK stores. It's great because it's got a deep, condensed flavour with other flavourings alongside the chilli. If you can't find it you can sub Chipotle Chilis in Abodo Sauce which are more common in the US. Either blend up 1-2 of the actual chillis, or you can spoon in some of the sauce. Start with a small amount and work your way up. You could also use chipotle powder. However in my experience this has less flavour than sauce or paste and varies a fair bit in spice level.
b) Dressing Quantity - The recipe makes a big batch. Because hey, chipotle mayo! So definitely don't feel like you have to use it all. You can store leftovers tightly covered in the fridge for around a week. If you want a smaller batch use the quantities slider at the top of the recipe card to adjust as needed.
c) Chicken - Chicken thighs tend to be juicier and more flavoursome, but you can use chicken breast. Just make sure they're boneless/skinless and around the same weight (5oz/150g per breast). Same method apart from that besides the fact they will cook slightly quicker.
d) Marinating - Realistically the longer the better, but even just 15mins will be great. In all cases though just make sure you bring the chicken close to room temp before frying. If you fry cold chicken it'll seize up and go chewy.
e) Calories - based on using half the dressing:


Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.33g | Protein: 34.03g | Fat: 38.15g | Saturated Fat: 7.39g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13.27g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14.985g | Trans Fat: 0.067g | Cholesterol: 137mg | Sodium: 801mg | Potassium: 1489mg | Fiber: 9.7g | Sugar: 9.11g | Vitamin A: 22607IU | Vitamin C: 30.3mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 4.33mg