You may have noticed that my roommate and I like Mexican food, because we eat it quite a bit. I love tacos and burritos, but sometimes I’m in the mood for something lighter. I often order chicken taco salads if we go out for Mexican food, and I love the deep fried crispy shell that they are served in. I was looking for a way to create something similar at home, but without having to deep fry the shell. I browsed a few online sources and discovered that I could bake tortillas over a ramekin “mold” to form a crispy taco bowl. Score! And so these chicken taco salad bowls were born. They were really fun to put together, the taco bowls were crunchy and delicious, and I didn’t miss the deep fried shell at all.
Chicken Taco Salad Bowls
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
2 large soft flour tortillas
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (sautéed in a little olive oil and garlic if desired)
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
6 leaves romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped
1 tomato, washed, and cubed
Salt and pepper
Sour cream (optional)
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
For the dressing:
1/2 cup ranch dressing
Juice of half of a lime
1/4 to 1/2 of one Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely minced (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.
Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Place oven-proof ramekins or small bowls upside down on a baking sheet, and spray them with nonstick cooking spray. Place tortillas over them. Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes, until crispy.
Meanwhile, make the dressing by finely mincing a small amount of Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce and combining it with the ranch dressing and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings as you wish. I would recommend starting with a small amount of Chipotle pepper and adding more later if it’s not spicy enough. If it’s too spicy, try adding a little sour cream to cool it down.
Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and shred it into bite-sized pieces. Divide the lettuce between the two tortilla bowls. Top with shredded chicken, black beans, corn, and any other toppings you like (tomato, cheese, sour cream, etc.). Dress the salads and enjoy.