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If you’re not quite ready for grilling season to be over yet, get your grill fix with this delicious and healthy Grilled Chicken Fajita Salad with Honey Lime Dressing! Super healthy, easy to make and full of amazing Mexican flavour, this Grilled Chicken Fajita Salad is Paleo and low FODMAP with an easy Whole30 option.
Grilled Chicken Fajita Salad: Another ‘Feel Lighter Recipe’
Sometimes, things don’t go as planned, and you end up posting a summer recipe at the beginning of October, one week before Canadian Thanksgiving. I had originally planned on posting this recipe the last week of August, but due to taking on too much while grieving the loss of my dad, I started suffering from burnout and had to take a few weeks off to recover.
Now that things have slowed down regarding settling my dad’s estate, I can slowly start to return to working and blogging. What I had considered a very well planned blogging calendar at the beginning of summer is now a hot mess, but life happens. What can you do? You stand back up, dust yourself off, and do the best with what you have to work with. For me, that also means making recipes that make me feel lighter, like this Grilled Chicken Fajita Salad with Honey Lime Dressing.
Why Grilled Chicken Fajita Salad?
Fajitas are commonly made on a stove top, but I’m telling you: the flavour the grill brings to fajitas is unparalleled. The char flavour you get from the grill combined with the spices and lime from the marinade give you this perfect, tangy, flavour-filled bite. Add the Honey Lime Dressing (or some Dairy-Free Homemade Ranch Dressing if you’re doing a Whole30) and each bite of this Grilled Chicken Fajita Salad is just divine.
A Paleo & Low FODMAP Salad with Whole30 Option
The Grilled Chicken Fajita Salad on its own without the Honey Lime Dressing is Paleo, Whole30 and low FODMAP. Add the Honey Lime Dressing, and it’s no longer Whole30 compliant due to the honey; however, you can substitute my Dairy-Free Homemade Ranch Dressing and have an equally delicious salad that is also Whole30 compliant.
This recipe calls for one yellow and one red bell pepper. Yellow peppers have not yet been tested by Monash University. While I am able to tolerate them, everyone is different. If you don’t know how you might react to yellow peppers and wish to err on the side of caution, use two red peppers instead of one red and one yellow.
That said, according to Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet App, bell peppers also contain capsaicin, which can trigger heartburn and stomach pain in some people with IBS. Be mindful of how your body reacts to spicy food and consult your doctor or dietician before making this recipe if you have concerns on how your body might react.
The equipment I use to make this Grilled Chicken Fajita Salad includes:
Extra virgin olive oil – adds more moisture to the chicken while not making them too garlicy
3 tbsp taco seasoning mix – I use my homemade taco seasoning mixture that is low FODMAP and naturally Paleo and Whole30. So much easier than adding individual spices!
1/3 cup lime juice, freshly-squeezed (about 2 large limes) – to make this taste like fajitas and not tacos, I add a fair amount of lime juice to the marinade.
Using a small whisk or fork, I whisk the marinade ingredients together. Then, I pour all but 3 tablespoons of the marinade to the small Ziplock bag containing the chicken thighs and seal the bag, saving the remaining marinade for later. I put the bag in the refrigerator and allow to marinade for at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile, while the chicken is marinating, I prep two bell peppers – one red and one yellow – for grilling (see my note above for FODMAP information). First, I chop them into quarters (more or less) and remove the ribs and seeds. Then, I place them on my veggie grilling pan and, using a basting brush, lightly coat them in the reserved marinade. I put the veggie grilling pan on top of a rectangular plate to catch the drips and set them aside. If you don’t have a veggie grilling pan, you can place the peppers directly on the grill. Set the peppers aside until you’re ready to grill.
Then, I chop the green leaf lettuce and scallions, aka green onions, green tops only, and mix them together in a large bowl. I also prepare cilantro leaves for garnishing purposes.
Once the chicken has marinated for at least two hours and your bell peppers and everything else is ready to go, preheat your grill or grill pan to medium heat and allow the temperature to rise to 400°F (about 204°C). I typically use 3 burners on my large gas grill, but it may be different for you depending on your grill.
While the grill is preheating, I remove the chicken from the Ziplock bag, shaking the excess marinade from each thigh into the bag. This is important to prevent the marinade from causing flare ups.
I first add the bell peppers to the grill and then the chicken thighs, cooking each for the following amount of time:
Bell peppers – 5 minutes per side until soft and lightly charred
Chicken thighs – 5-6 minutes per side until their internal temperature reaches 165°F (about 74°C) per an instant read thermometer
Once grilled, remove the peppers and chicken thighs from heat. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes prior to slicing. Once the bell peppers are cool enough, thinly slice into 1/4 inch slices, and do the same to the chicken after they’ve had a chance to rest.
Serve the chicken and peppers on top of the lettuce mixture, topped with the Honey Lime or Ranch Dressing and garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.
Get your grill fix with this delicious and healthy Grilled Chicken Fajita Salad with Honey Lime Dressing! Super healthy and easy to make, this Grilled Chicken Fajita Salad is Paleo and low FODMAP with an easy Whole30 option.
A minimum of 2 hours prior to cooking, put the chicken thighs in a small Ziplock bag and set aside. In a small bowl or measuring cup, add the marinade ingredients and whisk until well combined. Pour all but 3 tbsp of the marinade into the Ziplock bag with the chicken thighs and close; set aside remaining marinade. Shift the bag around with your hands until the chicken thighs are evenly coated. Place bag in the refrigerator and marinate for a minimum of 2 hours.
Meanwhile, quarter the bell peppers and remove the ribs and seeds. Place on a plate or veggie grilling pan, and using a basting brush, coat in remaining marinade. Set aside until you are ready to grill.
Chop the lettuce and scallions and place in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Once the chicken thighs are done marinating, preheat your grill or grill pan on medium heat and allow the temperature to rise to 400°F. Place chicken thighs onto a plate, shaking off the excess marinade into the plastic bag. Using tongs, put chicken thighs on the grill and grill for 5-6 minutes per side until a temperature of 165°F is reached per an instant read thermometer. Place peppers on the grill, either directly or using a veggie grilling pan, and grill for 5 minutes per side or until soft and slightly charred on the edges.
Remove peppers and chicken from the grill. Allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, using a fork and chopping knife, once the peppers are cool enough, slice the peppers into ¼ inch slices and place on a platter. Slice the chicken pieces into ¼ inch slices, and place on a platter. Serve chicken and peppers on top of the lettuce mixture with the Honey Lime or Ranch dressing and garnish with cilantro leaves.
*Yellow peppers have not yet been tested by Monash University for FODMAPs. I can tolerate them, but if you don’t know how you’ll react and wish to err on the side of caution, use two red bell peppers instead of one red and one yellow pepper. According to Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet App, red bell peppers are FODMAP free but also contain capsaicin, which can also trigger heartburn and pain in people with IBS. Be mindful of how your body reacts to spicy food and consult your doctor or dietitian before making this recipe if you have concerns about how your body might react.