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
overhead photo of a big salad bowl of Santa Fe chicken salad on a dark blue backdrop

Santa Fe Chicken Salad (Earls Restaurant Inspired)

  • Author: Allison
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This Santa Fe Chicken Salad is inspired by Earls Restaurant, and features chicken baked in a flavourful southwestern-spiced marinade, greens, avocado, feta, roasted corn and sweet potatoes, dates, and cilantro pumpkin seed dressing.



Chili Lime Chicken

  • 600 grams organic free range boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

Roasted Corn and Sweet Potato

  • 1 large sweet potato, unpeeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Cilantro Lime Pepita Dressing

  • 1/4 cup toasted pepitas
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Everything Else

  • 4 lightly packed cups chopped kale
  • 4 lightly packed cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 14-oz can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cubed feta cheese
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges, for serving
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  1. Prepare the chicken: Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, oregano, and garlic. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Marinate for at least 15 minutes, or cover and place in the fridge to marinate for several hours or overnight. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425 F and spread out the marinated chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through and no longer pink inside.
  2. Roast the sweet potato and corn: Place the sliced sweet potato on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush both sides with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Toss the corn with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and add it to the baking sheet for the final 15 minutes of roasting.
  3. Make the dressing: In a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade, blend the pepitas and garlic into a coarse meal. Add the cumin, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, cilantro, and oil. Process until smooth and emulsified.
  4. Assemble the salad: Place the chopped kale and lettuce in a large bowl. Add about half of the dressing and massage it in to the greens with your hands. Arrange the dates, black beans, feta, avocado, roasted corn and sweet potato, and chicken on top. Serve individual portions with additional dressing, tortilla chips, and lime wedges. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course

Keywords: Santa Fe Chicken Salad inspired by Earls Restaurant