Salpicón de pollo is a traditional Mexican salad made with cooked and shredded chicken, typically mixed with a variety of vegetables and herbs. “Salpicón” refers to a mixture or medley of ingredients.
The preparation of salpicón de pollo can vary slightly depending on the region and personal preferences, but the main ingredients usually include boiled chicken breasts that are shredded or diced into small pieces.
The chicken is then combined with a colorful assortment of vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and sometimes carrots.
The salad is often seasoned with lime or lemon juice, which adds a tangy and citrusy flavor. Additionally, herbs like cilantro or parsley are commonly used to provide freshness and aroma.
Other versions of this salad include beef, as in our Salpicón de Res recipe.
- Chicken: I like to use chicken breast and cook it myself just with a pinch of salt and garlic. Feel free to use cooked chicken leftovers or cook your chicken with the method you prefer.
- Fresh produce: Tomatoes, white onions, red onions, red bell peppers and yellow bell peppers, lettuce, carrots, and jalapeño chili peppers.
- Olives: I used stuffed olives, but any type of pitted olives works fine. You can add them sliced or whole, or just as I did, a combination of both.
- For the dressing: I used extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, cilantro, orégano, salt, and pepper.
How To Make Salpicón de Pollo
Place olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, orégano, and chopped cilantro in a jar. Add a pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper, then close the lid and shake the jar until all ingredients are emulsified.
In a large mixing bowl place the cooked and shredded chicken. Make sure you use a large bowl so it will be easier to mix all ingredients together.
Now add the vegetables and olives.
I like to cut my vegetables into small strips and add the olives half sliced and half whole.
Next, add chopped lettuce and pour over the dressing you made before.
Last, toss gently all ingredients for 2-3 minutes until all vegetables and chicken are nicely coated.
Adjust salt to taste if needed too.
You can now serve the dish or chill it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes so the flavors blend together.
Tips & Notes
- Cook the chicken properly: Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cook them until they are fully cooked but still tender and juicy. You can even use leftover chicken.
- Use fresh and colorful vegetables: I like to opt for fresh and vibrant vegetables like bell peppers in different colors, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and lettuce. These ingredients not only add flavor but also contribute to the colorful presentation of the dish.
- Balance the flavors: Season salpicón de pollo with a good amount of freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice to add a tangy taste. Adjust the amount according to your preference.
- Allow the flavors to meld: Make sure to add the dressing about 15 to 20 minutes before serving and let the salad rest in the refrigerator. This resting time allows the flavors to meld together and develop a more harmonious taste.
- Customize to your liking: Feel free to customize this dish based on your preferences. You can add other ingredients like avocados, olives, or even a touch of spice with pickled jalapeños or chili flakes.
How To Serve
Chicken salpicon is typically served chilled and can be enjoyed on its own as a light meal or as a filling for tacos, tostadas, or tortillas.
It is a versatile dish that is popular during hot weather due to its refreshing nature and the combination of flavors and textures it offers. Here is what I like to serve salpicón de pollo with:
- Tostadas: Crispy homemade tostada shells are the best option when it comes to serving this dish. Pile the salad on a crunchy tostada and dig in!
- Tortilla chips: I love serving it with totopos tortilla chips. It brings in a crunch and is a perfect snack for game day along with a refreshing drink like agua de sandia.
- Plate: Serve in a plate along with a side of frijoles refritos and arroz rojo. Accompanied by tortillas it becomes a whole meal that everyone will enjoy!
How To Store
Salpicón de pollo can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. However, its quality may gradually decline over time, so it’s best to consume it within the first couple of days for optimal taste and texture.
You can also store the ingredients in separate containers and then toss them with the dressing about 15 minutes before serving.
This is also optimal if you want to serve the dish at a cookout or gathering as you can prepare the salad ahead of time.
Where is salpicon from?
Salpicon is a traditional Latin American dish, particularly popular in countries like Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina.
It is healthy?
Salpicón de pollo can be a healthy dish, especially if you focus on using nutritious ingredients and control the amount of added fats or dressings. You also have the flexibility to customize your chicken salpicón by adding other nutritious ingredients such as avocado, leafy greens, or beans for additional fiber, healthy fats, and protein.
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Salpicón de Pollo
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 3 cups shredded chicken breast
- 2 medium tomatoes (sliced)
- 1 medium red bell pepper (cut into strips)
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper (cut into strips)
- 1 small white onion (sliced)
- 1 small red onion (sliced)
- 2 jalapeño peppers (chopped)
- 1 large carrot (cut into ribbons)
- 4 cups lettuce (chopped)
- ½ cup olives (pitted and sliced)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 lime (juice)
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- Place olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, orégano, and chopped cilantro in a jar.
- Add a pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper, close the lid, and shake the jar until all ingredients are emulsified.
- Place shredded chicken in a large mixing bowl along with all vegetables and olives.
- Pour over the dressing and mix gently for 2-3 minutes or until all veggies and chicken and nicely coated with the dressing.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste then serve immediately or chill it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes so the flavors blend together.
- You can use rotisserie chicken leftovers to make this recipe.
- Opt for various types of fresh seasonal vegetables, they not only add flavor but also contribute to the colorful presentation of the dish.
- Adjust the amount of lime juice and vinegar according to your preference.
- Add the dressing about 15 to 20 minutes before serving and let the salad rest in the refrigerator. This resting time allows the flavors to meld together and develop a more harmonious taste.