the life and times of J T Frey

Fajita Salad

The week following Thanksgiving we're always looking to have some lighter dinners. Salads often fit the bill quite nicely, but they need to be elevated to meal status. This salad uses many of the flavors we'd enjoy on a typical "Taco Tuesday." Feel free to omit components when plating for each individual — some in this household can't stand raw tomato or avocado but happily eat this salad so long as they're omitted. There are enough components left to still make it interesting for them.


  • ½ cup cilantro, rough chop
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 lime
    • zest
    • juice (divided into two equal portions)
  • 2 tbsp mayonaise
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 chicken thighs, roasted and meat pulled
  • taco seasoning or chili powder
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup frozen bicolor corn, thawed
  • 10 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in quarters
  • 1 avocado
  • pumpkin seeds (pepitas), roasted and salted
  • shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • cotija cheese, crumbled
  • corn tortilla chips
  1. Combine the cilantro, yogurt, lime zest, one portion of lime juice, mayonaise, olive oil, honey, garlic and onion powder, and kosher salt in a bowl and blend very well with an immersion blender. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  2. Sprinkle the pulled chicken with salt and taco seasoning or chili powder to taste. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. When shimmering, add the chicken and cook until crisped at the edges, stirring often. Remove from the heat and cool completely (refrigerate until service if you can).
  3. Prepare the corn by seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste.
  4. Prepeare the black beans by seasoning with salt to taste.
  5. Prepare the avocado by dicing and tossing with the other portion of lime juice and salt to taste.
  6. When ready to serve, add the lettuce to a large salad bowl. Spoon dressing over and toss to combine.
  7. Split the dressed lettuce between four dinner plates. Top with, in sequence:
    1. Corn
    2. Black beans
    3. Red onion
    4. Pumpkin seeds
    5. Tomato
    6. Avocado
    7. Chicken
    8. Shredded cheese
    9. Cotija
    10. Two (2) finely crushed corn tortilla chips

As an alternative, my one daughter opted to omit the crushed chips and instead heap the salad atop chips nacho-style.

Written by Jeff Frey on Monday November 27, 2023
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