This southwest chicken salad is like a little party for your taste buds! It has loads of veggies, cubes of chicken, some blue corn tortilla chips (for crunch) and a delicious smoky chipotle lime dressing. It’s a big salad, hearty enough for a satisfying and delicious dinner.
Popping in with this quick salad recipe for ya right before the weekend! I love big salads (and this mixed green salad with fruit is one of my faves, especially in the summer months).
I remember years ago having a dinner-sized salad (somewhat similar to this one) at a restaurant, only it had breaded chicken, bacon and cheese. Super tasty, but not the healthiest salad in the world.
I wanted to lighten things up a bit with this southwest chicken salad. It has all the flavour with less of the nasty stuff. Sounds good to me!
Why We Love this Southwest Chicken Salad
- Uses leftover chicken (great for reducing food waste)
- Made in about 10 minutes
- It’s healthy-ish with lots of vegetables, fibre from beans and protein from both chicken and the yogurt based chipotle lime dressing
- Healthy fat from avocado
- Of course, it tastes delicious!
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Chipotle Lime Dressing
You’re going to want to put this chipotle lime dressing on everything!
What makes it so good? Chipotle Peppers!
Chipotle peppers are actually jalapenos that have been smoked and dried. Typically, you can find them in the supermarket where you would find tortillas and salsa. You can purchase them dried in a bag or in a can with adobo sauce (how I like to get them).
What’s adobo sauce? Like the chipotle peppers themselves, the adobo sauce has a smoky heat. It’s typically made with ancho chilies, spices like salt, pepper and oregano. It has a rich reddish/brownish hue and adds so much flavour to recipes. We regularly stock our pantry with cans of chipotle peppers and use them in sauces like this homemade dresssing, in soup and in chili.
I would recommend tasting one (like, a small nibble) before adding to a dish. Not all chili peppers are created equal. And, even amongst the same variety of chili peppers, the heat level can vary.
I remember one time hubby and I bought fresh jalapeno peppers and there was literally no heat to them. Like, hubby bit into it as he would an apple. Nothing (though, hubby can eat some spicy stuff, let me tell ya).
Chipotle peppers are something I regularly use in sauces, especially for salads and tacos. I hardly ever buy store bought dressings. Once you make your own, there’s no going back. Plus, you can make enough for what you need at any given time without a bunch of extra bottles floating around your fridge.
To make this dressing, you simply whip everything together in a mini food processor and blend until smooth. Then, it’s ready to use!
This salad is super easy to put together, especially since it uses leftover rotisserie chicken. Don’t have any? You can cook a couple small chicken breasts if you like. Roast off in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven on a sheet pan for about 22 to 25 minutes or until it is cooked through and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it rest and cool slightly before adding to your salad. You don’t want those greens to wilt.
I used red/green leaf lettuce, but you can easily swap out for arugula, spinach or whatever green floats your boat.
The quantities of each ingredient, especially the toppings are a suggestion. Like more corn, add it! Not fussy on avocado, omit. Feel me?
Fresh or frozen (thawed) corn works here. Frozen won’t have that same ‘pop’ of freshness, but will do in a pinch.
Use store-bought tortilla chips or make your own, like these homemade tortilla chips (from Simply Recipes).
More Easy Salad Recipes You May Enjoy
- Apple and Gouda Mixed Green Salad – Crunchy, sweet apple, gouda cheese and homemade croutons. Easy and delicious!
- Winter Green Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette – Clementine segments, Asian peer, pomegranate and almonds…what’s not to love?
Hope you love this dinner-sized southwest chicken salad as much as we do!
Until next time take care and chit chat again soon,
Make this southwest chicken salad recipe? That’s awesome! Love it if you left a comment below. Many thanks!
Southwest Chicken Salad with Chipotle Lime Dressing
Southwest Chicken Salad
- 8 cups lettuce (I used a red/green leaf lettuce, loosely packed and cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 cup cooked chicken (boneless/skinless) , cubed
- 1/3 cup bell pepper , diced
- 1/3 cup black beans
- 1/4 cup grape tomatoes , halved
- 1/4 cup corn kernels
- 1/2 avocado , peeled, pitted and sliced
- 6 tortilla chips (to taste. I used blue corn)
Chipotle Lime Dressing
- 1 to 2 chipotle peppers (depending on how spicy you like things)
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about half a lime)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon mayo
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper
- chopped cilantro (to taste)
- Distribute lettuce among two bowls. Top with remaining ingredients, distributing equally among bowls. Drizzle chipotle lime dressing over top. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!
Chipotle Lime Dressing
- Place all ingredients in a mini food processor and blitz until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, finely chopped chipotle peppers and whisk with remaining ingredients until smooth.