Earls Santa Fe Chicken Salad | Copycat Recipe - Food duch*ess (2024)

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posted by Amieon Jan 9, 2019 (updated Oct 29, 2019) 3 comments »

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5 stars (14 reviews)

This Earls copycat recipe for the Santa Fe Chicken Salad is an exact dupe to the Earls salad. Full of flavor and protein, this makes for an excellent dinner. Santa Fe Chicken Salad is healthy, full of exciting flavors, and also very filling. The simple homemade peanut lime vinaigrette is unique and perfectly compliments the different components of this Earls copycat salad. Black beans and Cajun chicken breast add great sources of protein, and the tortilla strips add a salty crunch.

Earls Santa Fe Chicken Salad | Copycat Recipe - Food duch*ess (1)

An Earls Copycat Recipe

The inspiration for this Santa Fe Chicken Salad came from Earls. Earl’s, which is an upscale chain restaurant in Western Canada, has this unique and absolutely delicious salad on their menu. The salad consists of romaine lettuce, blackened Cajun chicken breast, feta, avocado, black beans, medjool dates, corn, and a peanut-lime vinaigrette that is out of this world! The dressing is truly like no other salad dressing I have ever tasted, I mean who would ever think that peanuts and limes could go so well together!

Earls Santa Fe Chicken Salad | Copycat Recipe - Food duch*ess (2)

Why I Recreated The Santa Fe Chicken Salad

Now, the reason for trying to always recreate this dressingwas two-fold – one, I wanted to be able to eat it at home and not pay $17 for asalad, and two, the calories for this salad at earls was absolutely bananas!1040 calories for a salad is absolutely not okay in my book! So, I set outtrying to make a lower calorie dressing that still tasted like the original. Idid so by testing out several different combinations of the ingredients present.And particularly by lowering the amount of oil and utilizing light peanutbutter. After several trials and errors, I have found a combination that isboth perfect in taste and perfect in consistency. Furthermore, to reduce thecalories further, I sometimes will also leave out the tortilla strips, as wellas the avocado.

Earls Santa Fe Chicken Salad | Copycat Recipe - Food duch*ess (3)

Fresh Limes are a Must

In making the dressing, the most important note is to ensure that you use fresh limes and freshly squeezed lime juice. Bottled lime juice tends to have a very metallic taste to it, which simply put, ruins the dressing completely. Now, while the limes should be fresh, it doesn’t mean everything else has to be.

Bagged Lettuce and Frozen Corn Make for an Easy Salad

I typically use a box or bag of lettuce, making sure that I rinse it well, and I use frozen corn. To quickly de-thaw the corn, I put it into a strainer and rinse it with VERY hot tap water. This quickly de-thaws it without leaving it too warm for the salad. Then I dry the kernels off with a paper towel and throw them into the salad! Easy-peasy! Of course, you could use actual corn cobs and roast the corn in the oven, giving the corn and the salad an extra dimension of flavor, but for times sake I never do this, and I definitely don’t miss it!

Earls Santa Fe Chicken Salad | Copycat Recipe - Food duch*ess (4)

Earls Santa Fe Chicken Salad | Copycat Recipe - Food duch*ess (5)

Get the Recipe:Santa Fe Chicken Salad

5 stars (14 reviews)

This Earls copycat recipe for the Santa Fe Chicken Salad is sure to leave to satisfied. Full of protein from chicken and black beans, this salad also features a subtle sweetness from the corn and medjool dates, and is topped off with salty feta and some crunchy tortilla strips.

Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 15 minutes mins

Total Time: 25 minutes mins

Servings: 3



Peanut Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • Zest of 2 Limes (approx. 2 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp Peanut Butter,
  • 2 tbsp Peanut Oil
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Soy Sauce

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

  • 6-7 cups Chopped Romaine Lettuce,, well rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Corn, ††
  • 1/2 cup Canned Black Beans,, well rinsed
  • 6 tbsp Crumbled Feta
  • 4 Medjool Dates,, deseeded and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 Avocado,, sliced or diced
  • Entire Peanut Lime Vinaigrette Dressing, (Recipe Above)
  • Handful of Crispy Tortilla Strips,, to garnish †††
  • 3 Small Cooked Cajun Chicken Breasts,, sliced or diced ††††


Peanut Lime Vinaigrette

  • Add all ingredients into a food processor, and process until smooth and well emulsified. Vinaigrette may be stored in the fridge for 2 days.

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

  • Add all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and toss with dressing. Serve onto 3 large plates or 3 large bowls, top each with tortilla strips.


† light peanut butter can be used. If using natural peanut butter, you may have to increase sugar for desired taste
†† I use frozen corn that I defrost in a strainer over hot tap water. However roasted corn would be even more delicious, albeit time consuming.
††† I use store bought “salad topper” tortilla strips. However, you could buy tortillas and cut them into small strips and fry them. Or you could also easily use crushed corn tortilla chips as well.
†††† For the Cajun chicken I simply take a chicken breast, cover it with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning, and bake in the oven at 400F for 20 minutes, or until no longer pink.

Cuisine: American

Course: Main Course, Salad

Author: Amie

Tried this recipe?Rate the recipe and leave a comment!

Source: Inspired by Earls

All Season Chicken Healthy Main Course Quick Weeknight Meals Salad

originally published on Jan 9, 2019 (last updated Oct 29, 2019)

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3 comments on “Santa Fe Chicken Salad”

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  1. Pingback: Earls Kitchen + Bar Copycat Recipe Round-Up | Lazy Spoon Farms

  2. Earls Santa Fe Chicken Salad | Copycat Recipe - Food duch*ess (6)

    Harold Burton Reply

    I think the size of chicken breasts has changed dramatically since Julia Child’s day, which could account for some of her shorter cook time.

    Harold Burton

  3. Earls Santa Fe Chicken Salad | Copycat Recipe - Food duch*ess (7)

    Val Reply

    Omg !!! This is my boyfriends and I’s favourite takeout salad but it can get to be quite pricey eating our whenever we’re craving this amazing salad (which is all the time) THIS IS SPOT ONN !! We’re obsessed ! Thank you 💗💗😍😍😍

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Earls Santa Fe Chicken Salad | Copycat Recipe - Food duch*ess (2024)


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