Santa Fe Chicken Bowl

Here is an absolutely delicious dish to add to your dinner rotation, Santa Fe Chicken Bowl! 

Santa Fe Chicken Bowl

Inspired by the Chili’s Bar and Grill Santa Fe Chicken Salad, this chicken bowl is packed with flavor and delightful ingredients. At Chili’s, their salad is filled with spicy grilled chicken, pico, avocado, cilantro, tortilla strips, house-made ranch & a drizzle of spicy Santa Fe sauce. Here, I have changed some things around and created my own rendition but it’s more of a “bowl” than a “salad.” I found that making 2 separate sauces for the salad was a little too much labor in the kitchen and it was not necessary. The Santa Fe sauce is delightful, creamy, and all you really need to make this lovely dinner!

The bowls are bellowing with spiced grilled chicken, steamed brown rice, black beans, tortilla chips, lettuce, tomato, onion, and of course– topped off with the oh-so-wonderful Santa Fe sauce. 

Santa Fe Chicken Bowl

Santa Fe Chicken Bowl

Serves: 4 People
5 from 3 votes


For the Chicken:

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic minced

For the Santa Fe Sauce:

  • ¼ cup homemade mayo
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup drained and roughly chopped roasted red bell pepper (from a jar)
  • ¼ cup sliced jalapeño from a jar (drained) *like the sliced jalapeños that you would put on top of nachos
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper *for less spicy, use 1/4 tsp
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

For the Bowl:

  • 2 cups chopped romaine
  • 1 15- oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes quartered
  • ¼ red onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 cup crumbled tortilla chips
  • 2 cups steamed rice
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving


Marinate the Chicken:

  • In a baking dish or large bowl, add the chicken, avocado oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, cumin and garlic. Carefully toss until the chicken is well coated and set aside to marinate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes or you can marinate in the fridge overnight.

Make the Santa Fe Sauce:

  • Using an immersion blender or high-powered blender, add the mayo, sour cream, roasted red pepper, jalapeño, garlic, cayenne, chili powder, onion powder and lime juice then blend to combine. Set aside.

Cook the Chicken:

  • After the chicken has marinated, heat a grill, grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, place chicken on the grill, cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until nice grill marks form. Flip, cover and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through and a nice, golden brown grill marks have formed. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Prepare the Bowl:

  • In a large bowl, add the romaine, black beans, tomato, onion and monterey jack cheese and toss to combine. Add the tortilla chips and the avocado and give it one last gentle toss to combine.
  • Divide the brown rice and romaine mixture amongst 4 serving bowls. Top with the chicken and a drizzle of the Santa Fe Sauce. Serve with additional side of the sauce.


**There will be extra Santa Fe Sauce but it is great to keep in your fridge to easily use throughout the week. It will last 5-7 days in your fridge.


  • Reply
    October 4, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    This was incredible! I personally don’t love Mayo so I swapped it with Greek yogurt. Worked perfectly!

  • Reply
    Madeleine S
    August 25, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    5 stars
    My husband and I made this last night for dinner and it was delicious! We like that you can marinate the chicken and prepare the dressing ahead of time, making throwing this together on a weeknight super fast and simple! The dressing has a little bit of a kick which makes this dish extra flavorful. It’s a great meal for something filling, light, fresh and healthy! We have added this recipe to our repeats and look forward to making it again sometime soon.

    • Reply
      September 27, 2021 at 2:04 pm

      Have a small (2oz) jar of diced pimentos OR a larger jar of sundried tomatoes…. Which is best sub for roasted red peppers?

      Thanks! KL

  • Reply
    Amy King
    August 19, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Made this recipe last night and the entire family (hubby plus four kids) RAVED about how delicious it was. THANK YOU again for another amazing recipe. FYI… for my “Favorite Things Party” that I host each year around Christmas I am giving everyone one of your cookbooks this year. Its my favorite thing this year!! Because I think all your recipes are fantastic and are easy to work with even with dietary restrictions. Keep up the great work! I am very grateful to have found your website a few years ago. 🙂

    • Reply
      August 19, 2021 at 10:01 pm

      Thank you so much, Amy!!! That brings me so much joy! xoxo

  • Reply
    Abby C
    August 19, 2021 at 1:39 am

    5 stars
    I swapped red peppers with harissa, and skipped the Mayo and added the juice from the jalapeños and it was perfect! Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      August 19, 2021 at 10:02 pm

      Love that swap!

  • Reply
    Abby C
    August 19, 2021 at 1:39 am

    5 stars
    I swapped red peppers with harissa, and skipped the Mayo and added the juice from the jalapeños and it was perfect! Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2021 at 5:44 am

    I am wanting to try this recipe but am allergic to dairy. I can just keep the cheese off the salad/bowl, but I was wondering what you would recommend subbing for the sour cream in the Santa Fe Sauce? Thanks in advance for your help!!

  • Leave a Reply & Rating

    Recipe Rating

    You Might Also Like

    SDC Instagram