Jalapeno Chicken Thigh Salad

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Crispy Jalapeno Chicken Thigh Salad is an exquisite blend of flavors and textures, featuring a vibrant mix of greens and purple cabbage, topped with succulently grilled chicken thighs, crunchy bean sprouts, and sharp feta cheese. The salad is brought to life with the spicy kick of jalapeno chips, minced jalapeno, and a creamy jalapeno dressing, creating a dish that’s not only visually appealing but also a delight to the palate.

bowl with lettuce, bean sprouts, tomatoes, purple cabbage, chicken, feta, and jalapeno chips in it
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bowl with lettuce, bean sprouts, tomatoes, purple cabbage, chicken, feta, and jalapeno chips in it

Spicy Chicken Thigh Salad

Crispy Jalapeno Chicken Thighs is a delectable dish that combines the zesty flavor of jalapenos with the satisfying crunch of grilled chicken. The foundation of the dish is a vibrant bed of mixed greens, including lush purple cabbage, which provides a colorful and nutritious base. Atop this verdant mixture, succulent grilled chicken thighs are laid. These chicken thighs are the star of the dish, cooked to perfection with a golden, crispy exterior that yields to tender, juicy meat. The chicken is seasoned generously to infuse it with rich flavors, ensuring each bite is as satisfying as the last.

Enhancing this culinary creation are a variety of textures and flavors that make the dish truly unique. Bean sprouts add a fresh, crisp element, contrasting beautifully with the creamy texture of feta cheese. The feta’s salty tang complements the chicken’s savory notes. But the real highlight is the jalapeno element – a combination of minced jalapenos and crispy jalapeno chips. These components bring a delightful heat and crunch to the dish, elevating it with a spicy kick. The meal is brought together with a drizzle of creamy jalapeno dressing, which harmoniously binds all the ingredients with its smooth, fiery flavor, creating a dish that’s not only visually stunning but also a feast for the taste buds.

bowl with lettuce, bean sprouts, tomatoes, purple cabbage, chicken, feta, and jalapeno chips in it

How to Make Crispy Jalapeno Chicken Thigh Salad

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Mixed greens (6 cups) – mixed greens add a fresh, peppery base.
  • Purple cabbage (1 cup) – purple cabbage contributes a crunchy texture and vibrant color.
  • Grilled chicken thigh (2 cups) – grilled chicken thighs provide savory depth and protein.
  • Bean sprouts (1 cup) – bean sprouts offer a crisp, nutty contrast.
  • Feta cheese (1 cup) – feta cheese infuses a tangy, creamy saltiness.
  • Jalapeno chips (1 cup) – jalapeno chips bring a spicy crunch.
  • Jalapeno (1) – diced fresh jalapeno delivers a bright, fiery kick.

Dressing:

  • Jalapeno (1) – fresh jalapeno provides a vibrant heat.
  • Plain Greek yogurt (1/2 cup) – plain Greek yogurt adds creamy tanginess.
  • Olive oil (2 tbsp) – olive oil gives a smooth, rich base.
  • Parsley leaves or cilantro leaves (1 cup) – parsley or cilantro infuses fresh herbaceous notes.
  • Sea salt (1 tsp) – sea salt enhances overall flavors.
  • Honey (2 tbsp) – honey introduces a subtle sweetness.
  • Fresh limes juiced + zest (2) – lime juice and zest contribute a citrusy zing and freshness.
  • Fresh garlic clove (4) – fresh garlic adds a pungent, aromatic depth.

Use this Method:

Make Dressing. In a blender or food processor combine all the jalapeno dressing ingredients and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides when necessary.

Combine. In a large bowl, or four bowls combine all the other salad ingredients and drizzle the dressing over it. Toss and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Spicy Chicken Salad

Fresh Ingredients: Start with fresh, crisp greens and purple cabbage. Rinse them under cold water and dry thoroughly, preferably using a salad spinner, to ensure they remain crisp and not soggy.

Properly Cook the Chicken: For the chicken thighs, ensure they are well-seasoned and grilled until they have a crispy exterior. Letting the chicken rest a few minutes before slicing can help retain its juices.

Chill the Ingredients: Refrigerate the greens, cabbage, bean sprouts, and feta cheese before assembling the salad. This helps in maintaining their crispness and freshness.

Toast the Jalapeno Chips: If you’re using homemade jalapeno chips, bake or fry them until they are just crispy. Store-bought chips should be added right before serving to maintain their crunch.

Minimize Dressing Contact: Dress the salad lightly and just before serving. Over-dressing can make the greens wilt and lose their crispness. Alternatively, serve the dressing on the side.

Layer Your Salad: Start with a base of mixed greens and cabbage, then add the heavier ingredients like chicken and bean sprouts. Sprinkle feta cheese and jalapeno chips on top to prevent them from getting soggy.

Quick Assembly: Assemble the salad close to serving time. The longer the ingredients sit together, especially with the dressing, the more they will lose their crispness.

Room Temperature Chicken: Allow the grilled chicken to come to room temperature before adding it to the cold salad. This prevents the greens from wilting from the heat.

Balance the Flavors: The spiciness of jalapenos should be balanced with the creamy dressing and the saltiness of the feta cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Garnish Last: Add the minced jalapeno and any other fresh herbs or garnishes right before serving to maintain their vibrant color and texture.

bowl with lettuce, bean sprouts, tomatoes, purple cabbage, chicken, feta, and jalapeno chips in it

FAQs

How do I keep the greens crisp in the salad?

Ensure the greens are thoroughly dried after washing. Using a salad spinner is ideal. Refrigerate the greens before assembling the salad to keep them crisp.

What’s the best way to grill the chicken thighs to ensure they’re crispy?

Pat the chicken dry before seasoning, and use a high heat to grill. Let the chicken develop a good sear before flipping. Resting the chicken after grilling helps retain juices.

Can I prepare this salad in advance?

You can prep the components in advance but assemble them just before serving. Store the greens, grilled chicken, and other ingredients separately in the fridge.

What are some alternatives to feta cheese?

Goat cheese, blue cheese, or shaved Parmesan can be great alternatives, offering different flavors but still adding a nice saltiness to the salad.

What is a good substitute for creamy jalapeno dressing?

A ranch or Caesar dressing with a bit of minced jalapeno mixed in can be a good substitute if you want a milder dressing.

Is this salad suitable for meal prep?

Yes, but store the components separately and assemble just before eating to maintain freshness and crispiness.

Can I make this salad vegetarian?

Absolutely! Substitute grilled tofu, tempeh, or a vegetarian chicken alternative for the chicken thighs.

What to Enjoy with this Spicy Salad


Enjoying Crispy Jalapeno Chicken Thigh Salad can be a delightful culinary experience, especially when paired with complementary sides and beverages. Here’s a list of items that can enhance the enjoyment of this spicy and savory salad:

Garlic Bread or Baguette: The crispiness of garlic bread or a fresh baguette pairs well with the salad, offering a nice textural contrast and a way to mop up any delicious dressing.

Sweet Potato Fries: Their natural sweetness can balance the heat of the jalapenos, offering a delightful interplay of flavors.

Coleslaw: A tangy and creamy coleslaw can complement the spiciness of the salad and add an additional crunchy element.

Corn on the Cob: Grilled or boiled corn on the cob, possibly with a touch of butter or lime, can be a great side, adding a sweet and smoky flavor.

Iced Tea or Lemonade: A refreshing beverage like iced tea or lemonade can help soothe the palate from the salad’s spiciness.

Cold Beer or Sparkling Water: For those who enjoy alcoholic beverages, a cold beer can be a great pairing, while sparkling water can offer a refreshing and palate-cleansing effect.

Fruit Salad: A light and sweet fruit salad can provide a refreshing contrast to the rich and spicy flavors of the chicken salad.

Rice Pilaf or Quinoa: A side of rice pilaf or quinoa can add substance to the meal and complement the flavors without overpowering them.

Grilled Vegetables: Vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or asparagus, grilled for a smoky flavor, can be a healthy and flavorful addition.

Mango Salsa: A sweet and tangy mango salsa can add a fruity dimension to the dish and balance the heat with its sweetness.

try these other salads:

Crispy jalapeno chicken thigh salad recipe

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bowl with lettuce, bean sprouts, tomatoes, purple cabbage, chicken, feta, and jalapeno chips in it

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A jalapeno chicken thigh salad with feta cheese.

Jalapeno Chicken Thigh Salad

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Assembly Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Delicious salad topped with crispy chicken and spicy jalapeno dressing, this salad also boasts a jalapeno chip crumb on top - yum!

Ingredients

  • 6 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cups grilled chicken thighs, chopped (can use boiled chicken alternatively)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup jalapeno chips, crumbled
  • 1 jalapeno, minced

Jalapeno Dressing

  • 1 jalapeno, halved and seeded
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 fresh limes juice and zest
  • 4 fresh garlic cloves

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor combine all the jalapeno dressing ingredients and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides when necessary.
  2. In a large bowl, or four bowls combine all the other salad ingredients and drizzle the dressing over it.
  3. Toss and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 403Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 120mgSodium 850mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 3gSugar 15gProtein 26g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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