This Southwest Salad is a quick healthy meal made with chicken breasts, mixed greens, corn, black beans and homemade chipotle ranch dressing. Serve it with crunchy tortilla strips or guacamole if you wish!
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What is a Southwest Salad
Southwest cuisine is food that includes fusion cooking and recipes from Spanish settlers, Native Americans, and/or Mexicans. Meals usually include tostadas, burritos, cactus fries, salsa, rice, beans, and more.
I have had a few versions of this salad in my life, the most recent was during a trip to the Southwest to Phoenix. I ordered a Southwest Wedge that was loaded with avocado, tomatoes, bacon, corn, and black beans. The dressing was also to die for!
There’s also the McDonald’s Southwest Salad which is made of baby kale, baby spinach, romaine, red leaf lettuce, poblano peppers, tomatoes, corn, black beans, cilantro, lime, tortilla chips, and Jack and cheddar cheese.
- Mixed Greens
- Cooked Chicken
- Black Beans
What Type of Chicken to Use
I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cooked rotisserie chicken, or store-bought pre-cooked chicken strips.
I like to cook 10-12 ounces of chicken breasts using 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. You can air fry, pan sear, or bake the chicken. Check out my Air Fryer Chicken Breast recipe for instructions.
You can grab the Creamy Southwest Salad Dressing recipe here.
How to Substitute Chipotles in Adobo Sauce in the Dressing
You can use your favorite hot sauce. You can also use fresh tomatoes and smoked paprika (season to your taste).
How to Make Southwest Salad
- Combine mixed greens, corn, cooked chicken, black beans, tomatoes, and avocado on a plate or bowl.
- Drizzle with dressing.
How to Make it Spicy
You can add cayenne pepper to your dressing and even your chicken for an extra kick.
Are Southwest Salads Healthy?
This recipe is made with leafy green vegetables and real food ingredients. The dressings on salads are usually where it can be easy to load up on calories and sugar. Most store-bought brands have a large amount of added sugar. You can avoid that by making your own ranch or using a brand like Primal Kitchen, which has no added sugar.
Additional Toppings and Substitution Ideas
- Tortilla Strips
- Refried Beans
- Bell Peppers
- Goat Cheese
- Dried Fruit
- Sunflower Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
- Broccoli Sprouts
More Chicken Recipes to Pair
More Salad Recipes
Healthy Breakfast Salad
Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese
Green Goddess Cobb Salad
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Southern Potato Salad
Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
Easy Spaghetti Salad
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Southern Macaroni Salad
Southwest Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing
- 2-3 cups fresh mixed greens
- 1/4 cup sliced avocado
- 1/4 cup cooked black beans
- 1/4 cup cooked whole kernel corn
- 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
- 4-5 oz cooked chicken breast Sliced into strips. See notes.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl or on a plate.
- Drizzle with dressing.