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Layered Southwestern Rice Salad

You guys. I suck at buying stuff at the grocery store sometimes. 

I usually buy raw chicken from the meat department, but for some random reason, I decided the frozen stuff was cheaper. I glanced in the freezer section, grabbed a bag, tossed it in the cart, wrestled with the manchild, chase the manchild down the baker aisle, get to the check stand, survive the crazy parking lot, come home, beg the manchild to come up three flights of stairs while my circulation slowly stops around my arms and wrists where I'm holding all the groceries in one stubborn 1-trip up the stairs, get inside the apartment, throw everything in the fridge, and call it good. Dinnertime rolls around a couple days later and I want to grill up some chicken for this delicious salad I'd been dreaming about. 

I open the freezer. 


I had bought the wrong kind of chicken. 

How the heck is that even possible? It's just chicken, right?? Nope. 

I had bought some kind of random breaded chicken breast stuff. As in - pre-breaded. Not saying there's anything wrong with it, but my inner chicken-breading-queen cringed so hard. There's no way I'd ever buy it pre-breaded. It's just not my thing. Dinner was due only an hour away, and I wasn't about to go to the store and buy some more raw chicken to work with. I stared that breaded chicken down cold, and got down to business. I baked it up, sliced it up, and tossed it right in. Whatever, freezer section. Whatever, man. (eye roll). I still blame you. (says the blondie).

The rest of the layered salad was really awesome. I used up some produce we needed to eat right away, and seasoned up some rice with a little taco seasoning before tossing it into the rice cooker. It was a simple dish, and had so much beautiful color! The textures of the different veggies, beans, cilantro, and everything else were so fun to pine through at dinnertime. We loved it, and will definitely be making this again this summer. (with grilled chicken....) haah.

Layered Southwestern Rice Salad 
makes 6-8 servings

2 C white or brown rice 
taco seasonings (you can use your own mix here if you'd like)
2 chicken breasts, cooked/grilled/breaded (whatever you have available - we used leftovers), diced
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can corn, drained
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 plum tomatoes, diced and seasoned with salt & pepper
avocado, diced and tossed in 1 t lime juice
chopped cilantro

1. Place 2 cups rice, 4 cups of water, and 1-2 T taco seasoning in a rice cooker and cook according to directions from manufacturer. Let cool slightly. 
2. In a large bowl/trifle, layer seasoned rice, chicken, black beans, corn, red pepper, tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. Serve immediately. 

*We actually loved this without dressing, but if you did, you could easily add some kind of buttermilk-based dressing. 

baking with blondie original


  1. Love fresh, colorful salads like this! Definitely need to add it to our menu!


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