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Fresh Food Recipe Makeover: Roast Chicken Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

April 17, 2012

When I found today’s makeover recipe I was almost paralyzed with fear.  Where does one begin tackling a recipe with taco seasoning, cream of chicken soup, Ro-tel AND a bag of Doritos?  But I powered through and came up with what I feel is a reasonable solution.  My goal was not to mimic the dish (did you read the part about Doritos??), but to create a new recipe that had some of the same flavor components and all fresh ingredients.  I chose to create a salad because I thought it would allow the fresh ingredients to really shine, while still incorporating the creamy texture of the casserole with the spicy buttermilk dressing.

Additional steps created for this recipe:

1. Make your own spiced tortilla chips

2. Chop vegetables for the salad and dressing

Recipe Results

Cons: The end product is very different from the original recipe and while I think that is a good thing, not everyone may agree.

Pros:  The dish can be prepared in about 20-25 minutes less time than the original.  But the most exciting part?  This recipe has 59% fewer calories, 76% less total fat and 80% less saturated fat, 39% less cholesterol and 74% less sodium!  I realize its not really that surprising given that the original recipe calls for an entire bag of Doritos, but a girl still feels proud when she see those numbers.

Roast Chicken Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing
Yields: 4 Servings

2 Skinless, boneless chicken breast
3 Corn tortillas (cut into 8 wedges each)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Chili powder
1/4 cup Buttermilk
1/3 cup Plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 small Garlic clove
1/2 tablespoon Jalapeño pepper (finely chopped)
1/2 Lime (juiced)
1 tablespoon Honey
1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
1/4 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
6 cups Mixed greens
1/2 cup Tomato
1/2 cup Avocado
1/4 cup Cheddar cheese (shredded)
2 tablespoons Green onion

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place chicken breast in shallow dish coated with cooking spray. Roast for 25 minutes or until the cooked through. (See note in Kate’s Thoughts for suggested spice rub for the chicken.)
2. Place tortilla wedges on single layer on non-stick baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and season with desired salt and chili powder. Add baking sheet to oven with chicken and cook for the last 7-8, or until crisp.
2. Meanwhile, combine dressing ingredients (buttermilk through black pepper) with a whisk in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. While chicken rests, layer plate with tortilla wedges, mixed greens, tomatoes, avocados, cheese, green onion and any desired toppings. Slice or chop chicken into bite size pieces. Add roasted chicken to salad mixture and top with buttermilk dressing. Serve.

Kate’s Thoughts

This recipe will be even better in summer.  I would love to add fresh corn and other summer veggies!

The salad dressing is pretty darn tasty and the good news is that it will keep in the refrigerator for a few days if you have leftovers.  Also, if you do not have ancho chile powder, you can try chipotle powder or increase the amount of regular chile powder.

The recipe calls for roast chicken and I elected to create a spice rub for mine.  I felt it added to the overall balance of the salad, but it’s not necessary.  Here is the recipe in case you want to try it (this is to cover 2 chicken breasts):

Suggested Spice Blend for the Chicken:
1/2 teaspoon Ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Chili powder


Mexican Dorito Casserole
Yields: 4 Servings

2 cups Shredded cooked chicken
1 cup Cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 can Cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Sour cream
1 can Ro-tel (canned tomatoes with jalepenos-mild)
1/2 packet Taco seasoning (or more-to taste)
1 bag Doritos

1. Preheat oven to 350-f degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except Doritos.
3. In a greased 2 qt baking dish, put a layer of crushed Doritos (about 2 cups), then a layer of the chicken mixture. Repeat once more, ending with a layer of chicken mixture. Top with more shredded cheese, cover, and bake for 30-35 minutes, till bubbling hot.

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