Chicken Black Bean Salad with Creamy Cumin Lime Dressing makes use of leftover chicken to make a weeknight meal worth bragging about. Much of the salad depends on pantry staples making it a quick, healthy, economical meal.
Looking in the refrigerator – realizing I really needed to go to the market yesterday rather than tomorrow – there was little by way of choices at my house when it was time for dinner last week. You’ve been there before, I know you have. Necessity really is the mother of invention. So when you are the mother and everyone is hungry, it is time to get to some inventing. Chicken Black Bean Salad with Creamy Cumin Lime Dressing came from leftovers and pantry items – which is pretty awesome.
The dressing for this salad is so delicious. When I first used it, it was not for salad at all but rather as a drizzly, yummy sauce to go with these Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. My teenage daughter is notorious for her weird lunches at school. She pilfers leftovers from the night(s) before every morning when she packs her lunch for school. She isn’t crazy about cafeteria food and she was also over having a sandwich every day in about the 2nd grade. If you are picky about what goes in your lunch around here, you learn to pack your own. Over the years, she has come up with some pretty odd combinations in her lunchbox. But a few winners too. It was my daughter that first used the leftovers as a salad dressing and the thought stayed in my mind (and hers!)
Good news is that I often have grilled or baked chicken breast in the fridge. It comes in handy on busy nights when I need to save time making dinner or someone needs lunch packed. My super fancy recipe for baking chicken breast is just to sprinkle it with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until done. If I am feeling really crazy, I brush it with melted butter before baking. Once cooled, I just put it in a container and store it in the refrigerator. Including this Chicken Black Bean Salad with Creamy Cumin Lime Dressing, I have exactly a million recipes that use cooked chicken. It also gets used for quick snacks and makeshift salads when we need to use up leftover veg.
I also keep several varieties of organic, canned beans in the pantry. They are an easy staple to work into meals that you need to stretch a little further. With a can of beans and a few other staples, I can always make a meal, even in a pinch.
- 2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced based on who you are feeding!
- 8 cups mixed salad greens
- 1 15 oz can of Organic Black Beans
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 pint small variety tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt, Plain
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 lime, for juicing
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup based on your desired level of sweetness
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Divide all salad ingredients between 4 bowls.
Place all salad dressing ingredients, including the juice from 1/2 lime, in a canning jar. Pop the lid on and shake it until it all combines evenly. Adjust maple syrup and salt to taste. (You can also do this the old fashioned way with a bowl and a whisk!)
Top the salad with the dressing and enjoy!