This flavorful Southwest Chicken Salad recipe is made with fresh vegetables, juicy chicken strips, and taco seasoning. It’s a healthy dinner salad, filled with flavors and toppings that your family will love!
Savor the flavors of the Southwest with this salad featuring crispy fried chicken strips and a mix of hearty veggies. As a nutritious dinner option, it’s a personal favorite of mine, perfectly capturing the essence of Southwestern flavors. Ideal for those hectic nights when you have just 15 minutes to prepare a meal, this easy-to-make salad is a lifesaver for hangry moments. The crunchy texture, the creamy avocado, and the fresh ingredients are a salad lovers paradise. Also, it’s a perfect recipe to use up with your grilled corn and grilled chicken leftovers.
This salad uses simple ingredients and flavorful seasonings to tie it all together. Here’s what you’ll need to make this healthy Southwestern dish:
- Olive Oil
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: Slice your chicken breasts into 1 x 3 inch strips.
- Taco Seasoning: Try my easy Homemade Taco Seasoning for the freshest flavor!
- Romaine Lettuce
- Baby Spinach
- Corn Kernels
- Black Beans: Rinse and drain your corn and beans.
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Red Onions
- Optional: Garnish your salad with fresh cilantro and serve it with lime wedges, if desired.
How to Make Southwest Chicken Salad
- Heat Oil: Heat olive oil in a frying pan set over medium-high heat.
- Season Chicken: Season the chicken strips with salt, pepper, and taco seasoning.
- Fry Chicken: Add chicken strips to the hot oil and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove from Heat: Remove your skillet from the burner and set aside.
- Assemble Salad: Arrange chopped lettuce and baby spinach in a salad bowl. Top with corn – if you have fresh corn off the cob, even better! – add black beans, cherry tomatoes, red onions and cooked chicken strips.
- Add Dressing: Add Avocado Lime Dressing and toss gently to coat.
- Garnish & Serve: If desired, garnish your salad with cilantro and serve it with fresh lime wedges.
Recipe Tips And Variations
- Serve with Avocado Lime Dressing: My Light and Creamy Avocado-Lime Dressing is perfect for this salad. It’s super easy to make in just 10 minutes!
- Chop Chicken into Bite-Sized Pieces: If you don’t want to cut the chicken strips as you eat your salad, slice them into cubes after cooking them.
- Make a Salad Bar: You can turn this salad into a make-your-own meal by separating the ingredients and serving the dressing on the side. This way, everyone can enjoy a healthy salad by mixing-and-matching!
- Serve with Lime Wedges: To add a zesty element to your salad, serve it with fresh lime.
- To Make Ahead: Simply store your salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy it cold within a couple days. Add the salad dressing only when ready to serve.
What to Serve with Salad
If a salad is just not enough, fit in a cup of jasmine rice, hard boiled eggs, or a handful of cooked pasta. A slice of focaccia or lavash would also satisfy! Don’t forget the Strawberry Pom Mojito or a glass of White Sangria.
How to Store Leftovers
Keep salad leftovers crisp by storing them separately from the dressing to avoid sogginess. Also, store the chicken separately and reheat it in the oven when serving. Add the dressing only when you’re ready to serve the salad.
More Chicken Salad Recipes
- Mango Chicken Salad
- Apples and Cheddar Chicken Salad
- Tex Mex Margarita Chicken Salad
- Classic Chicken Salad
Southwest Chicken Salad
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1-inch by 3-inch long strips
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 6 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 15 ounces canned corn kernels, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounces canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ⅓ cup finely diced red onions
- chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- lime wedges, for serving
- Avocado Lime Dressing
- Heat olive oil in a frying pan set over medium-high heat.
- Season chicken strips with salt, pepper, and taco seasoning.
- Add chicken strips to the hot oil and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove skillet from heat and set aside.
- Arrange chopped lettuce and baby spinach in a salad bowl.
- Top lettuce with corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and cooked chicken strips.
- Add avocado lime dressing and toss gently to coat.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges, if desired.
- Nutritional Information does not include the dressing.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.