Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad is full of colorful veggies and tender chicken breast. Topped with taco-ranch dressing, this salad is a lite lunch favorite!
This salad recipe comes from my loving obsession with tacos. If I could eat at least one taco every day for lunch, I would be one satisfied lady. On the days when I crave a crispy, crunchy hard shell chicken taco for lunch but want to keep things on the lighter side, I pull this recipe out to save the day. My Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad gives you the full flavor profile, and then some of your favorite southwest treats all in one bowl.
WHAT MAKES THIS CHOPPED SALAD SO GOOD?
Texture is so important to me especially when I am making a salad. I want each ingredient to either match or compliment the main component, Romaine. Romaine is such a great base for salads because it stays crisp. No one likes soggy lettuce. This green mixed together with crushed tortilla chips is the perfect match. Pair these two with a myriad of fresh veggies like corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, and onion with a taco ranch dressing and your palate will be dancing all around.
HOW DO I PREPARE THE CHICKEN FOR THE SALAD?
There are a few different ways to add chicken to this recipe. If you have the time, I recommend grilling your chicken. This will add another layer of smoky flavor to this southwest salad. It’s important to let the chicken cool before you chop it and add it to the salad. This way the lettuce won’t wilt. You can also use chicken breast that you prepared the night before. Maybe you made chicken tacos the night before! Perfect, save your left-over meat and use it here.
HOW DO I MAKE THE TACO-RANCH DRESSING?
This simple dressing recipe is so easy to make, you’ll be putting it on all your salads! In a separate bowl mix mayonnaise, sour cream, fresh lime juice, and milk with ranch and taco seasoning. People ask me all the time what my secret is for this salad, and it’s this dressing right here! Store bought will work in a pinch, but there is nothing like a quick homemade dressing.
ENJOY THIS RECIPE? HERE ARE A FEW MORE SENSATIONAL SALADS FOR YOUR NEXT LUNCH!
Italian Sub Salad – A zesty sandwich inspired salad with salami, cheese, tomatoes, and banana peppers.
BBQ Chicken Salad – Tender chicken breast coated in a savory BBQ sauce on a bed of fresh veggies and crisp romaine.
Tex-Mex Chicken Chopped Salad – Smoky little bits of chicken served with black beans, corn, and tomatoes in a savory ranch dressing.
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad – Grilled chicken and rotini pasta served with fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese in a creamy Caesar dressing.
Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad
- 3 cups cooked diced chicken
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 small can sweet yellow corn drained
- 2 Roma tomatoes diced
- 4 green onions sliced
- 1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro
- 2 large Romaine hearts washed and chopped
- 2 cups crushed tortilla chips
For the Taco-Ranch dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 Tablespoons Ranch seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons Taco seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon fresh Lime juice
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons milk
- Start by making the Taco-Ranch dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients to thoroughly combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to chill.
- To make the salad: In a large bowl, add the diced bell pepper, black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onion and cilantro. Stir to combine. Then add the cooked chicken pieces and the chopped romaine lettuce. Pour the prepared salad dressing all over the top. (You may not need all of the dressing. It depends on how much dressing you like.) Gently stir to combine the salad, making sure to coat entirely with the dressing. Mix in the crushed tortilla chips last.
- Serve the salad in individual bowls, topping with more cilantro and limes to garnish, if desired.