Chili’s Caribbean Salad Copycat Recipe & Honey-Lime Dressing
2013 – Gluten Free Living
I LOVE Chili’s Caribbean Salad Copycat Recipe & Honey-Lime Dressing. I had it twice last week when we were on vacation in the hills of North Carolina and Virginia! It has a bed of greens topped with craisins, diced green or red onions, mandarin oranges, pineapple, grilled chicken with a touch of pico de gallo and tortilla strips, then dressed in a tasty honey-lime dressing.
Initially I chose this salad because it was on their gluten free list. After eating it twice I decided I wanted to try making it myself so I went online and found Todd Wilbur’s copycat version on Food Network and many other places. Since I had Wilbur’s book, Top Secret Recipes, I decided to give this recipe a whirl.
First of all, let me say this: This is a great salad. We really liked this salad but I did make quite a few changes, mainly in the dressing. The Honey-Lime dressing at Chili’s is sweet with just a hint of lime and very smooth tasting. In order to make this copycat Honey-Lime Salad Dressing more similar to the original, I added vanilla Greek yogurt which helped smooth out the effects of the mustard and I increased the honey.
The flavors were much better that way, in my opinion. While I didn’t think about it until later I will include some lime zest to bump up the flavor of this dressing in the future. Additionally, I would recommend diluting the teriyaki sauce with water and not using quite as much as the original recipe because it was a little strong and tended to overtake the taste of the chicken (which doesn’t happen with Chili’s version).
We loved the salad with the changes I made. My husband will rarely eat a salad as a main dish unless it has LOTS of meat–which this one has. I recommend you make up the recipe and add or take-away as you desire for your tastebuds. And I would certainly experiment more with the salad dressing.
This dressing is much darker than Chili’s restaurants so my guess is they use about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard instead of one-quarter cup which was Wilbur’s starting point. While I may experiment more with the salad dressing, we love the salad and will make it often in the future–especially for salad lover’s like me who can never get enough salad to eat.
So here’s my adapted version of Chili’s Caribbean Salad Copycat Recipe & Honey-Lime Dressing. Give it a try sometime when you are wanting a healthy, low calorie, gluten free main dish meal (especially after all the holiday food coming up)! My pictures reflect the first version of the dressing which is much darker, and the second version of the dressing with the yogurt which is much lighter. I have a plate of this salad waiting for me in the refrigerator. I think I’m going to go get it! Yes, I’m sure I hear it calling my name. 🙂
Chili’s Caribbean Salad Copycat Recipe & Honey-Lime Dressing is really tasty with lovely Caribbean flavors from the pico de gallo, pineapple and mandarin oranges and the improved Honey-Lime Dressing!
Here are all the ingredients before assembly. I chose to add the pineapple and mandarin oranges to the top of the greens, but you can leave them out separately if you desire.
This picture shows slices of chicken and the first version of salad dressing without my addition of Greek yogurt.
You can add the tortilla strips after the dressing so they don’t get soft if you prefer.
Here’s what I did.
Marinate the chicken. Mix 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce with 1/4 cup water and pour over chicken. Place in plastic bowl or plastic bag and refrigerate for an hour or two.
Make the pico de gallo: Chop tomatoes. Chili’s tomatoes are put through a food processor and are much smaller dice than this.
Add diced red onion. They also used chopped green onions instead of the red. Finely mince jalapeno pepper. Be sure to remove the seeds. Chop fresh cilantro. Add a “pinch” of salt. Stir to combine or if you want to make it more like Chili’s pulse a moment or two in your food processor. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Toss spring mix and butter bliss in a salad bowl and mix together. Add chopped red cabbage and craisins.
Add pineapple. If you add here the pineapple will absorb the red from the cabbage. If you don’t mind that leave the pineapple in this way! Add drained mandarin orange segments. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make Honey-Lime Dressing: Measure mustard in blender. Add honey, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice and a little zest from a lime if you have it, plain or vanilla Greek yogurt.
Blend in blender until combined.
Spray hot grill with cooking spray. Remove chicken from plastic bowl or bag and drain off excess teriyaki sauce. Place chicken on grill.
Grill about 5-10 minutes per side depending on the heat of your grill or until chicken is done when you check it with a knife.
My chicken actually took over 30 minutes to cook because I didn’t have it on the highest setting. Slice chicken down in strips or cubes.
To serve: Spread salad on plate. Add chicken, pico de gallo, honey-lime dressing and garnish with tortilla strips. Then enjoy!
Here’s a look at the salad buffet before we’ve made up our plates.
Here’s a close up of the salad. Get ready for a culinary delight!
Doesn’t Chili’s Caribbean Salad Copycat Recipe & Honey-Lime Dressing look wonderful??!!! 🙂 Each mouthful is filled with wonderful tastes and textures. Yum.
Here’s the recipe.
CHILI’S CARIBBEAN SALAD COPYCAT RECIPE & HONEY-LIME DRESSING
(Recipe adapted from Todd Wilbur’s, A Treasury of Top Secret Recipes)
- [b]PICO DE GALLO:[/b]
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced very small
- ½ cup finely minced red onion
- 2 tsp. finely minced fresh cilantro
- 2 tsp. finely diced, seeded jalapeno peppers
- 5-oz. half-and-half spring mix with baby spinach
- 6.5-oz. butter bliss lettuce (or use romaine or iceberg lettuce)
- ½ cup chopped red cabbage
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, chunked
- ¾ cup craisins
- 14-oz. can mandarin orange segments, drained
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ¼ cup teriyaki sauce
- ¼ cup water
- tortilla strips
- [b]HONEY-LIME SALAD DRESSING:[/b]
- ¼ cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- * ½ to 1 tsp. grated lime zest
- Combine all ingredients for Pico de Gallo in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Combine ingredients for salad dressing in blender until well blended.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Mix teriyaki sauce and water.
- Place chicken in plastic bowl or plastic bag.
- Add teriyaki mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour or two.
- Layer spring mix and lettuce in large serving bowl.
- Add cabbage and craisins and toss.
- Refrigerate until all ingredients are ready.
- After chicken has marinated prepare a hot grill by spraying with cooking spray.
- Remove chicken from marinade and shake off excess. If you don’t like a strong teriyaki flavor then pat the chicken breasts dry.
- Add to grill and cook 5-10 minutes per side until chicken is cooked through.
- Slice chicken down in thin strips or cubes. Set aside on serving plate to serve.
- Remove salad to four individual large serving plates.
- Place about ¼ cup mandarin orange segments and pineapple on each salad.
- Sprinkle each plate with chicken.
- Top with a spoonful or two of pico de gallo to taste.
- Drizzle with salad dressing and stir until well mixed.
- Garnish with tortilla strips.
Chili’s Caribbean Salad Copycat Recipe & Honey-Lime Dressing is a salad you will want your family to enjoy. This Caribbean Salad is healthy, gluten-free, low calorie, and filled with wonderful tasty ingredients.
Here are our plates ready to eat! My husband loves pineapple so this salad is a winner for him!
Each mouthful of Chili’s Carribbean Salad Copycat Recipe & Honey-Lime Dressing is filled with succulent chicken, luscious pineapple and mandarin oranges, spicy pico de gallo. The zippy Honey-Lime Dressing pulls it all together. Aren’t you ready to make this for your family soon?