Smoky Chorizo Chicken Salad

Smoky Chorizo Chicken Salad

Yes, it’s a salad.  But it’s really more like the Un-Salad.  No lettuce.  No kale.  With plenty of diced chicken and smoky, spicy chorizo.  I think of this Smoky Chorizo Chicken Salad  as a man-salad, because the guys love it and they always come back for more…

Browning chorizo.

Chorizo is the lure.  Savory chunks scattered throughout the mix and also in the dressing!  It’s  meat²!

Diced Rotisserie Chicken.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s start with the chicken.  I used chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken (they’re so ridiculously convenient, you know?)  Remove the skin and dice it into bite sized chunks.

Adding chopped vegetables to chicken.

Now for the “salad” portion of our dish — diced bell pepper, celery, ripe tomatoes and a can of rinsed and drained white kidney beans.  The beans (also called cannelini) are creamy, dense and play beautifully with the other flavors.

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Adding beans, onions and sun-dried tomatoes to salad.

Red onion adds heat and sun-dried tomatoes are sweet and chewy.

Making vinaigrette.

The chorizo dressing gives the whole salad a smoky, tangy flavor.  You only need 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil from the cooked chorizo in the vinaigrette to flavor the whole dish without overpowering it.

Whisking chorizo vinaigrette.

Whisk the vinaigrette until emulsified and drizzle it over the salad fixins!

Tossing Smoky Chorizo Chicken Salad with dressing.

Toss to coat and serve.  This savory salad can be served at room temperature or chilled.  It’s perfect for al fresco dining and holds up in the fridge for several days, making Smoky Chorizo Chicken Salad ideal for brown-bagging during the week!

Serving Smoky Chorizo Chicken Salad

This salad has heft.  It’s meaty, filling and not what you’re expecting when someone mentions “salad.”

Closeup of Smoky Chorizo Chicken Salad

More chicken salads you’ll love:

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Smoky Chorizo Chicken Salad
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5 from 5 votes

Smoky Chorizo Chicken Salad

This is the salad that eats like a meal!  Use diced rotisserie chicken breast to simplify prep, this meal is ready in 20 minutes and keeps well for a dynamite brown bag option!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword beans, chorizo
Dietary Restrictions Dairy-Free, Egg Free, Gluten-Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


For The Salad

  • 3 cups chicken breast diced (I used a leftover rotisserie chicken)
  • 4 ounces chorizo 1/4″ dice
  • 1 stalk celery 1/4″ dice
  • ¼ cup red onion minced
  • ½ green bell pepper 1/4″ dice
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans (white kidney beans) rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used yellow and red)

For The Chorizo Dressing:

  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chorizo oil from the rendered chorizo
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped


For The Salad:

  • Place a nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add diced chorizo.  Cook until chorizo renders its fat and is fragrant and crispy.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer chorizo to a dish lined with paper towels.  Reserve 1 tablespoon of rendered oil in the pan for the dressing.
  • In a large bowl, combine the diced chicken, celery, onion, bell pepper, cannellini beans, sun-dried tomatoes, cooked chorizo and parsley.  Set aside.

For The Dressing:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, dijon, chorizo oil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper until emulsified.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well combined.
  • Salad can be served at room temperature or chilled.


Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 761mg | Potassium: 950mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 580IU | Vitamin C: 26.9mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2.4mg


Don’t Forget To “Pin It” For Later! 

There are so many uses for rotisserie chicken, including this recipe for Smoky Chorizo Chicken Salad. It's quick and easy to make, holds up well in the fridge and is great for brown-bag lunches!

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  1. 5 stars
    I can definitely see this as a man salad! Even my husband would be on board. Such beautiful photos and I love that you incorporated beans too. Totally hearty and a beautiful dish!

  2. 5 stars
    I think I’ve found my true love! The colors! The flavors! The sauce! The chicken! This would be a perfect meal for me … I’d eat it daily.

  3. 5 stars
    I must be a man, I love the spicy chorizo, great idea to put same of this spicy oil in the vinaigrette.

    1. I think I have a little of the “guy” gene too!

  4. 5 stars
    I absolutely love chorizo but it’s so hard to find in Italy. This salad is just packed full of delicious flavours and I can tell it would just taste fantastic!

    1. Chorizo has such a smoky, spicy flavor — I can’t get enough.