Our favorite Southwest Salad recipe filled with chicken, peppers, beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado and topped with a homemade cilantro ranch dressing.
Cold, Crisp + DELISH
I have always been a fan of salad recipes. Even when we go out to eat, I often find myself ordering a salad because I usually find them hearty and delicious.
I’m not always trying to eat healthy, but salads are just the food I crave most often. I think it may because we live in hot Arizona, and cold, crisp lettuce with veggies and fruit always sounds pretty good. One salad I love, but have never shared on the blog, is a Southwest Salad – which is usually classified as being Southwest if it has beans and or rice and a “Southwest” dressing
I figured it was about time I put one together for y’all since it’s one of my favorites. I knew that our Cilantro Ranch dressing would be perfect, and I was right. It added so much flavor and brought all the ingredients of lettuce, chicken, beans, tomatoes, peppers, corn and avocado all together to become a new homemade favorite!!
Southwest Salad Dressing
As mentioned, our cilantro ranch dressing is our favorite for this particular salad, but having said that, so many other would work well. It depends on what you love most, but here are some of our other favorite dressings or toppings we think would go well with this recipe:
You can also omit the dressing and keep it more light. We recommend using our pico de gallo to add on tip. It’s also delicious and pairs well with this salad’s ingredients.
If making a homemade dressing, we recommend making this up to 2 days in advance in storing in an air-tight container until ready to serve.
Tips and storing
How should I cook the chicken breast? Honestly, however you wish! You can use the grill, oven or stove top. If you prefer to use rotisserie chicken, or even canned, those will work just fine, too.
Can I make this ahead of time? You can prepare the salad ingredients 1-2 days ahead of time, except for the avocados. They cannot be cut until right before serving.
Store the ingredients in separate airtight containers in the fridge. The tortillas strips can be kept at room temperature. When you’re ready to serve cut the avocados and toss the salad ingredients together up to 30 minutes before serving.
How to store leftovers: Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Keep in mind the avocados will not last as long as the other ingredients.
Also, the length that the salad stays fresh will depend on if it has been tossed in the dressing or not. If you think you may have leftover salad I would recommend serving the dressing on the side. This way leftovers last longer.
The Cilantro ranch dressing on top makes this salad irresistible!
Delicious and Gorgeous
What I love most about this recipe is not only the fact that it’s delicious, but it’s gorgeous!! There are so many colors and flavors, that it’s sure to impress any dinner guests. Not that you feel pressure to impress, but it’s always nice serving a yummy, beautiful recipe when company is over. Am I right?!
As always, you can change up the ingredients to what you like, but as is, it has so many flavors and yummy (pretty looking) ingredients. 😉 All you have to do is chop and assemble the ingredients, and add the dressing on top. It doesn’t take too long at all!
For more favorite salad recipes, check out:
Southwest Salad Recipe
- 1 head Romaine Lettuce
- 15 oz black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 large orange bell pepper
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
- 2 cups corn
- chicken breast sliced and cooked
- avocado sliced or cubed
- green onions optional
- cilantro optional
- 3 tbsp ranch dip mix
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1-3 tsp jalapeno diced
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup milk
Chop romaine and bell peppers. Place all salad ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
Make dressing by blending all ingredients in the blender/food processor. Add milk until it's the consistency you want (I did about ⅓ cup).
Add dressing to salad right before serving. ENJOY!