This Poblano Corn Salad with Chicken is an easy, flavor-packed meal. Chicken and veggies are roasted in a sheet pan and served over mixed greens with a creamy avocado dressing and queso fresco. It’s a delicious weeknight dinner that is ready in 30 minutes.
Why You’ll Love This Salad
- This Poblano Corn Salad is SO satisfying. When I think of a satisfying salad, it has to have a lot of interest to it, just like this sad. It’s got different textures (juicy chicken, crisp peppers, chewy corn, creamy dressing) and contrasting temperatures (cold salad greens with warm chicken and vegetable toppings). Plus all the interesting tastes! Cool, creamy, sweet, savory, smoky, a tiny bit of heat, salty cheese…it’s so good!
- It’s easy! Sheet pan salads are a new favorite of mine, and basically you just throw a protein and a bunch of toppings on a sheet pan, roast, then put them on some salad greens!
- You can easily customize this salad to fit your needs. Dairy free? Skip the queso fresco and add some pepitas or crushed cashews. Vegetarian? Ditch the chicken and swap in some crispy tofu or chickpeas. Not feeling a salad? Eat the sheet pan component as is or serve with rice.
- It makes for some delicious meal prep!
- Poblano Peppers: Poblano peppers aren’t very spicy at all. They’re more similar to bell peppers, with a very, very subtle bit of heat. If you want, you can substitute green bell peppers.
- Corn: Corn adds a delicious high fiber, whole grain chew to this salad. Feel free to cut off corn from the cob or use frozen corn kernels.
- Chicken: Use quick-cooking chicken tenderloins, or slice chicken breasts or thighs into strips to keep the cooking time the same. You also could swap tempeh, tofu, or chickpeas to create a plant-based alternative.
- Zucchini: This vegetable roasts well with the others, and makes a delicious addition.
- Salad Greens: You can use any kind of salad greens, I prefer mixed greens, romaine lettuce, or both.
- Avocado: Avocado makes the creamy base of the salad dressing.
- Cilantro: A big flavorful component to the dressing, and a fresh, flavor-packed garnish on top of the salad.
- Spices: These spices add so much flavor to the roasted chicken and vegetables – chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and oregano.
- Lime: Helps thin the dressing and adds a bright, citrusy taste. Plus the vitamin C in it helps prevent the avocado-based dressing from browning!
- Honey: A little goes a long way – just a touch of honey adds a subtle sweetness to the dressing to round out the flavors.
- Queso Fresco: Cheese makes everything better, right? A bit of queso fresco sprinkled on top finishes the salad. Feel free to substitute cotija cheese, feta cheese, or a plant-based alternative (or used pumpkin seeds or crushed cashews for a non-dairy option).
How to Make Poblano Corn Salad with Chicken
- Roast: First you’ll start by roasting the sheet pan chicken and vegetables.
- Make the Dressing: While the sheet pan component is in the oven, you’ll prep the salad dressing. You can use whatever you have – a food processor, food chopper, immersion blender, or regular blender. Just add all the dressing ingredients and pulse or blend until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
- Create Your Salad: When everything is done, serve the sheet pan vegetables and chicken over mixed greens, drizzle with the salad dressing and a sprinkle of queso fresco, and add a few extra cilantro leaves if you’d like.
- Eat and Enjoy! 🙂
Can I meal prep this salad?
Absolutely! You can meal prep the components and store them separately, or you can build mason jar salads (see the leftovers storage section below).
How can I make this salad vegetarian or vegan?
This Poblano Corn Salad can easily be made vegetarian or vegan. Swap the chicken for a plant-based option, like tofu, tempeh, or garbanzo beans. Then, if desired, swap the queso fresco for a plant-based fat like pumpkin seeds or chopped cashews or almonds.
How long do leftovers last and how do you store them?
This salad lasts 3-5 days, whether that’s with leftovers or you make it as meal prep.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
The salad will taste fresher if you store the roasted sheet pan chicken and veggies separately from the greens. Alternatively, you can build it in a mason jar and place the dressing in the bottom, followed by roasted sheet pan veggies and chicken, then the salad greens.
How can I prevent the avocado dressing from browning?
The salad dressing will also last 3-5 days. While the vitamin C in the lime juice can help prevent some browning, it may not be enough the longer you keep it.
Try storing the dressing in a jar and pressing a bit of plastic wrap onto the surface of the dressing. That way there are no exposed surface areas that can oxidize and brown.
More Corn Recipes
More Delicious Salad Recipes
- Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad
- Greek Lentil Salad
- Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
- Cranberry Apple Harvest Salad
- Kale Caprese Salad
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Poblano Corn Salad with Chicken
- 2 poblano peppers diced
- 1 ear corn, kernels removed (about 1 cup kernels)
- 1 zucchini diced
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 2 ounces queso fresco
- additional cilantro for garnish if desired
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, then add chicken, corn kernels, and chopped poblano peppers, zucchini, and onion. Drizzle with olive oil and add all seasonings. Toss to combine and spread out in an even layer.
- Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°.
- Prepare the salad dressing by using a food processor (or a blender or an immersion blender) to puree the avocado, cilantro, lime juice, honey, cumin, salt and pepper, and water. Set aside.
- When the sheet pan chicken and vegetables are done, remove from oven.
- Top a bed of mixed greens with the roasted chicken and vegetables, drizzle on the avocado dressing, sprinkle queso fresco on top, and add a few leaves of cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!