Chipotle Cheddar Chopped Salad

  • Share

This chipotle cheddar chopped salad recipe is full of the most delicious mix of crunchy greens, sharp cheddar, tender chicken, fresh herbs and veggies, and a creamy chipotle honey-lime dressing.

Chipotle Cheddar Chopped Salad Recipe

Today’s recipe is a nostalgic shoutout to one of the American foods that I miss most living as an expat abroad — chopped salads.

Specifically, those magical, ultra-convenient, store-bought bags of chipotle chopped salads. ♡

Oh my goodness, I practically lived on those chopped salads back in Kansas City before we moved to Spain. I would toss a bag or two in my cart every time I went grocery shopping, and then pull them out for quick weekday lunches, or sprinkle them on everything from tacos to burgers, baked potatoes, nachos and more. And ever since we moved away, I have been missing them something fierce!

So over time, I have figured out how to make some of my favorites from scratch here in our Barcelona kitchen. And while there’s no matching the convenience of those bags of pre-chopped greens (something I will never take for granted in the States again, lol), I will go out on a limb here to say that I think my homemade version of this chipotle cheddar chopped salad is even more delicious than the original!

For starters, I always used to dice up an avocado to add to those bagged salad mixes back in the States, which is a non-negotiable in this homemade version. I also occasionally like to add in some leftover diced chicken to add some protein, which you are welcome to take or leave. But I’ve added in a few important flavor boosters here that kick this salad up a delicious notch, such as fresh cilantro, extra-sharp aged cheddar, crunchy red onion and crispy tortilla chips. And best of all, I’ve tossed the salad with a simple, creamy, honey chipotle lime dressing that is absolutely dreamy. (Like seriously, go ahead and plan to make a double batch because you’re going to want to drizzle this dressing on everything!)

It’s an insanely delicious salad that we go to the extra trouble (well not really, just 15 extra minutes of chopping) to make from scratch here in Spain because we love and miss it so much. So if you also love a good chipotle chopped salad, I highly recommend giving this homemade version a try!

Bowl of Ingredients for Chipotle Chopped Salad -- Chicken, Tortilla Chips, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onion, Romaine Lettuce, Cilantro, Baked Chicken, Cheddar Cheese and Pepitas

Chipotle Salad Ingredients:

The ingredients in this chopped salad are quite flexible. So feel free to make substitutions as needed!

  • Greens: I used a mix of chopped romaine lettuce and red cabbage. But any sort of cabbage (or coleslaw mix) or crunchy greens would work!
  • Tortilla chips: I typically just crush up a few handfuls of corn tortilla chips to add to this salad, but you could also use tortilla strips. Just be sure to add them in at the very last second (or sprinkle them on top) so that they chips don’t get soggy too quickly.
  • Chicken: Any cooked chicken — either shredded or diced into bite-sized pieces — will work for this recipe. I used leftover baked chicken breasts for my salad.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: For maximum flavor, I really recommend using good-quality aged sharp cheddar cheese for this recipe. And feel free to sprinkle extra on top of your salad too!
  • Fresh cilantro: I like adding a lot of cilantro to this salad, but if you have an aversion to cilantro, you are welcome to leave it out.
  • Shredded carrots: To give the salad some extra color, sweetness and crunch.
  • Pepitas: Or whatever nuts/seeds you prefer.
  • Red onions: I like the crunch and flavor of red onions in this salad (or you could use pickled red onions!), but green onions would also work too.
  • Avocado: Of course!
  • Chipotle lime dressing: Made with plain Greek yogurt, chipotle in adobo sauce, lime juice, honey, cumin and salt.

Chipotle Chicken Chopped Salad in Mixing Bowl

How To Make This Chopped Salad:

I mean, you probably expected this from the name, but get ready for lots of chopping! ♡ To make this chipotle cheddar chopped salad, simply…

  1. Make the dressing: Blitz the ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Or if you would like, you can finely-chop the chipotle pepper in adobo and stir it together with all of the other ingredients.
  2. Toss the salad. Toss the salad ingredients and dressing together until combined.
  3. Serve. Serve immediately, garnished with extra shredded cheese and chopped tortilla chips if desired.

Chipotle Salad in Serving Bowls

Possible Variations:

As I mentioned above, this recipe is incredibly flexible. So please feel free to add or swap in any favorite ingredients that you have on hand. For example, you are welcome to…

  • Use a different protein: Shrimp, steak, or crispy tofu would also work well in this salad in place of chicken.
  • Make it vegetarian: This salad is delicious on its own without the chicken. But if you would like to add in some extra protein, feel free to add in a can of black beans (rinsed and drained).
  • Make it spicy: Add a sliced jalapeño or serrano pepper to the tossed salad, and/or add a pinch of cayenne to the dressing.
  • Add beans: Black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas or lentils would also be a delicious addition to this salad.
  • Add quinoa or farro: If you would like to make this salad even more substantial, feel free to add in a cup of cooked quinoa or farro.

Chopped Salad with Chipotle Dressing Mixed In

More Favorite Salad Recipes:

Looking for more green salad recipes? Here are a few of my faves:

  • Everyday Salad
  • Everyday Mexican Salad
  • Fattoush Salad
  • Sesame Slaw
  • Strawberry Burrata Salad
  • Tahini Ranch Avocado Chicken Salad
  • Pear Salad with Gorgonzola and Candied Walnuts


clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Chipotle Cheddar Chopped Salad

5 from 15 reviews

  • Author:

  • Prep Time:
    25 mins

  • Cook Time:
    0 mins

  • Total Time:
    25 mins

  • Yield:
    4 to 6 servings 1x

Print Recipe

Pin Recipe


This chipotle cheddar chopped salad recipe is full of the most delicious mix of crunchy greens, sharp cheddar, tender chicken, fresh herbs and veggies, and a creamy chipotle honey-lime dressing.  See notes above for possible ingredient substitutions!



Salad Ingredients:

  • 5 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped red cabbage
  • 2 cups crushed tortilla chips
  • 2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 2/3 cup roasted pepitas (or your choice of nuts/seeds)
  • 1/2 cup finely-diced red onions
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

Chipotle Lime Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 large chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Make the dressing: Toss all of the ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. (Or alternately, you can finely chop the chipotle by hand, then just stir all of the ingredients together until combined.)
  2. Toss the salad. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Drizzle with the dressing, then toss until evenly combined.
  3. Serve. Serve immediately, garnished with extra shredded cheese and chopped tortilla chips if desired.


Source: Recipe is inspired by Dole’s famous chipotle cheddar chopped salad.

  • Share