Ensalada de Pollo (Mexican chicken potato salad)

This ensalada de pollo (creamy chicken potato salad) is made with simple ingredients to enjoy in your summer picnics and outdoor trips or as a side dish for grilled veggies.

This is the classic Mexican ensalada de pollo with the nice touch of pickled jalapenos!

Ensalada de pollo close-up.

What is ensalada de pollo?

Ensalada de pollo is a simple, budget-friendly potato and chicken salad very popular in Mexico and other Latin American countries. It features shredded chicken tossed with various vegetables and coated with Mexican crema and mayonnaise.

Mexican chicken potato salad on blue plates.

When I was a kid, my mother used to prepare this salad for the birthday of every-family-member. Always. It was like the ultimate dish to any birthday party or gathering.

For example, a traditional birthday plate will have a portion of the main dish (most likely, pozole), a portion of this chicken potato salad, mosaic jello, and of course, a slice of birthday cake. All in the same plate.

Tostadas with chicken potato salad.

Also, this mexican chicken potato salad will make it to almost all picnic and outdoor trips we did. It was always served in a plastic plate with salty crackers or tostadas. Then the next day the leftovers will become a sandwich that I had to bring to school for lunch. Every-single-time.

So no wonder why this salad brings so many memories to me and why I am here sharing this simple yet delicious dish.

Ensalada de pollo: chicken potato salad served on two blue plates and seen from above

The ingredients

MEAT – Chicken and ham is what traditionally is used in this salad, but sometimes you’ll see that also crispy bacon or hot dog sausages are thrown into the mix.

POTATOES – Make sure they’re not overcooked. Rinse them with cold water as soon as you see they’re ready.

VEGGIES – Carrots, peas, corn and iceberg lettuce for a crunchy touch. Sometimes also green beans are thrown to the mix or even apples!

FOR COATING – Only mayonnaise and sour cream for the authentic mexican version. But of course, if you want it more rich in flavour, add also 1 tablespoon of mustard.

CHILLIES – What kind of mexican salad this would be without a little bit of hot chillies?. Pickled jalapenos are a must-have here.

The ingredients labeled and displayed on a countertop.

How to make ‘Ensalada de pollo’

Cook chicken breast in boiling water with salt, garlic and bay leaves until tender. Let it cool slightly then shred it using two forks. Place chicken in a large bowl and set aside. 

Peel and cut potatoes in cubes then peel and do same with carrots. Place a medium sauce pan with water over high heat and bring to boil. When the water starts boiling add potatoes and set the heat to medium.

Simmer until potatoes are tender then remove them and give them a quick rinse with cold water. Drain well and place them on to the bowl with chicken, then proceed to do same with carrots. Add corn, peas and shredded lettuce to the bowl.

The ingredients on a bowl.

Mix in mayonnaise, sour cream and pickled jalapeno. Mix to coat evenly, season with salt to taste and cover the bowl.

Mixing the salad.

Chill the salad for at least one hour before serving, in order to let flavours blend all together. I also like to add a little bit of vinegar from the pickled jalapeños but that’s totally optional.

How to serve

  • On top of tostadas – Deliciously crunchy. You can even make your own tortillas if you want and then fry them or bake them in the oven until crunchy.
  • Make a sandwich – to bring anywhere, use any kind of white bread for sandwiches or a whole grain bread for a healthy choice. I like to use Japanese bread rolls!
  • With salty crackers – for a quick snack in the afternoon. Maybe while sipping a cool agua fresca de chia.
  • As a side dish – For roasted or grilled veggies.
A serving platter with chicken potato salad.

More summer salads you might enjoy

How to store

If you ended with some leftovers, place them into a air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Actually, this ensalada de pollo can be ahead of time and enjoy the next day aswell!

Mexican ensalada de pollo.

Ensalada de pollo

This ensalada de pollo (chicken potato salad) is the perfect cold dish to serve in summer. Make it ahead of time and let all flavour blend together.
PREP 25 minutes
COOK 30 minutes
TOTAL 55 minutes
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

For the chicken

  • 2 small chicken breasts (about 3 cups once cooked and shredded)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 bay leaves

For the salad

  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1 can peas (4 oz)
  • 1 can sweet corn (7 oz)
  • 2 cups lettuce (shredded)
  • ½ cup mayonaisse
  • 1 cup Mexican crema (or sour cream)
  • 2 Tbsp pickled jalapeño (diced)
  • salt

Instructions

  • Cook chicken breast in boiling water with salt, garlic and bay leaves until tender. Let it cool sightly then shred it using two forks. Place chicken in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Peel and cut potatoes and carrots into small cubes.
  • Place a medium sauce with water and 1 tablespoon of salt over high heat and bring to boil. When the water starts boiling add potatoes and lower the heat to medium.
  • Simmer until tender (about 8 minutes) then take them off with a colander and give them a quick rinse with cold water.
  • Drain well and place them on to the bowl with chicken, then proceed to do same with carrots (about 4 minutes cooking time).
  • Add corn, peas and shredded lettuce to the bowl.
  • Mix in mayonnaise, sour cream and jalapeno. Coat evenly, season with salt to taste and cover the bowl.
  • Chill the salad for at least one hour before serving, in order to let flavours blend all together.

notes

Add 2-3 tablespoon of vinegar from the pickled jalapeños. It taste delicious!
Nutrition
Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 392mg | Potassium: 1096mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3700IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 2mg
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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So interesting! We used to have a similar salad only in december, but without chillies. It had a really soft flavor and was a great salad to combine with the rest of the traditional food. I tried your recipe with the Chillies I think they are a great ingredient, thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I am a regular visitor of your website . I can enrich my cooking skill by seeing your blog.This Chicken potato salad is an awesome dish to serve in summer. you can try this also

  3. I omitted peas and corn (didn’t have any) but added some of my homemade jalapeno and carrot relish. I also added green onion and some cilantro. The meat was leftover duck breast and chicken wings. Very tasty. Will be serving it this weekend as I am grilling for the first time since COVID. Masks, social distancing, and having worked as a food manager, everything will be treated like the food at a restaurant doing take-out during COVID. Small group 7-8 people, most are vaccinated and we live next to each other. Feel pretty secure but not taking chances. So grilled, brined chix thighs and Polish sausages are the main with potato salad, cole slaw, individual bags of chips. All condiments will be in plastic condiment cups so no one has to handle the containers/jars. Plastic ware is wrapped with napkins in plastic. Time consuming but necessary, it will be a nice change and the weather will be pleasant in the mid-70s. So thanks for sharing this and, if you get the chance, make some jalapeno relish!

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