This Southwest Chicken Salad is 1000X better than any restaurant version and will earn an encore for lunch, dinner, entertaining and potlucks! The Chili Lime Chicken is exploding with vibrant, earthy, tanginess after just a 30-minute wet rub and the creamy, smoky, zesty Chipotle Ranch Dressing can be blended in minutes. Toss the southwest salad altogether or follow the meal prep instructions to enjoy throughout the week.
Watch How to Make Southwest Chicken Salad
FOR THE Southwest Salad:
For the Southwest Salad Dressing:
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Southwest Salad Recipe (Chicken Version)
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- 1 recipe Chili Lime Chicken <click for recipe
- 2 heads Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 ½ cups black beans, drained and rinsed
- corn from 2 ears sweet corn (raw or roasted)
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 1/2 cup Mexican cheese blend
- 2 avocados, sliced or chopped
- 1/2 cup roasted, salted pepitas or sunflower seeds
- tortilla chips, slightly crushed or tortilla strips to taste (the more the better!)
- 1 recipe Chipotle Ranch Dressing <click for recipe
- Chicken: Prepare according to directions (Click HERE for recipe.) Slice or chop cooked chicken. While the chicken marinates, make the dressing and prep the veggies:
- Dressing: Prepare according to directions (Click HERE for recipe.) Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Salad: Meanwhile, prep all of the salad ingredients, except the avocados.
- If not expecting leftovers: Add all of the salad ingredients to a large salad bowl. Toss everything together with the dressing or serve it on the side and let everyone dress their own salads.
- If expecting leftovers: Toss all of the salad ingredients together in a large salad bowl except avocados and tortilla chips; serve them on the side along with the dressing. This will prevent the salad from getting as soggy when storing.
- Salad Bar: If you have picky eaters or want a fun entertaining idea, consider a salad bar where everyone can pile on as much or as little of their favorite toppings.
StorageFor the freshest leftovers, don’t toss the Southwest Salad with the avocados, tortilla chips or the dressing. Instead, store in separate airtight containers. As prescribed, the salad will stay fresh for about 2 to 3 days and the dressing for up to one week. To enjoy the salad longer, follow the Meal Prep Instructions below.
Meal PrepThe chicken, dressing and vegetables can be prepped ahead of time and refrigerated in separate containers, or layered in one large bowl or smaller sealable containers in this order from bottom (wettest) to top (driest):
1. cherry tomatoes
2. black beans
3. chili lime chicken
5. red onion
8. pepitas/sunflower seeds
9. Store tortilla chips, avocados and dressing separately and toss right before serving.
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