Southwest Chicken Salad is a great way to liven up your salads. If you’re in a salad funk, it’s time to branch out. This salad is loaded with chicken, seasoning, and delicious vegetables. If you want a salad high in protein, this is it.

Table of Contents
  1. Easy Southwest Chicken Salad Recipe
  2. Ingredients Needed to make Southwestern Chicken Salad
  3. How to make this Southwest Chicken Salad recipe
  4. Tips
  5. Southwest Salad FAQ
  6. Some more fun salads for you to enjoy!!
  7. Southwest Chicken Salad Recipe Recipe

Easy Southwest Chicken Salad Recipe

Don’t forget that the great thing about making salads is that the toppings change it up every time. Treat your tastebuds to a simple salad recipe that everyone will love.

During the summer and fall months, I always tend to crave salads a little bit more. But in saying that, I don’t just want a giant bowl of lettuce leaves without much flavor or taste.

This is why I knew after just one bite that this simple chicken salad recipe was going to be a hit. The texture of the chicken, paired with the flavor of the seasoning, will put salads back on your meal planning radar in no time at all.

Ingredients Needed to make Southwestern Chicken Salad

If you have leftover chicken, you don’t even have to cook at all for this salad. Talk about a simple dinner recipe!

Just gather up the simple ingredients listed below to get started.

  • Chicken breasts – I like using boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Southwest Seasoning: I use a combination of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper, dried cilantro and dried oregano.
  • Mayo – for the dressing
  • Greek yogurt – for the dressing
  • Head of romaine – be sure to wash it and let it drain
  • Corn – drain it if using canned, thaw if using frozen
  • Black beans – drain and rinse
  • Red bell pepper – diced
  • Toppings – Shredded cheese, fresh cilantro, Sliced avocado, Tortilla salad strips

How to make this Southwest Chicken Salad recipe

  1. In a small bowl, combine the diced chicken with half the Southwest seasoning. Toss until chicken is coated. Heat about a tbsp of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until its internal temp reads 165 degrees F. Remove from heat and set aside. **You can cook ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In a small bowl, prepare your dressing by mixing the mayo and greek yogurt together with the remaining Southwest seasoning. You can also make this ahead of time the day before and refrigerate it until ready to use. **Dressing will be on the thicker side. If you’d like to thin it out, add 1 – 2 Tbsp of half and half or heavy whipping cream.
  3. Divide the lettuce between your salad bowls. Then top with corn, black beans, and red bell pepper, finishing with your chicken.
  4. Next, drizzle with the dressing and any additional toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Tips

  • To cut down on prep time, use already chopped and washed ingredients. It may cost you a little bit more at the store, but as they say – time is money!
  • You can also change out the seasoning and alter it to whatever flavor you want. This salad recipe is really versatile and easy to change.

Southwest Salad FAQ

What other vegetables can I add to this salad recipe?

You can use chopped celery, chopped cucumber, and all the onions that you can imagine. Adding some freshly chopped cilantro and mixing it with the rest of the ingredients is quite delicious, too. 

Can I prepare this salad ahead of time?

If you want to save some time and make this salad early, you can. I would wait to add any type of wet or liquid ingredients, however, until right before you’re ready to eat.

Can I leave out the chicken?

The chicken is excellent for added protein, but it doesn’t make or break the salad. If you want to omit the chicken, leave it out. You can also use other meats like turkey as well.

How do I store salad, so it doesn’t get soggy?

Leftover salad needs to be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge. It’s really hard not to have salad get soggy, so for this reason, plan on eating the salad leftovers as soon as possible.

Can I use iceberg lettuce instead of romaine?

You can. Just keep in mind that romaine lettuce tends to have better health benefits than iceberg, and I think more flavor as well!

Can I use sour cream instead of Greek yogurt or mayo?

Absolutely. If you want to swap out the Greek yogurt and use sour cream instead, you can absolutely do that. You won’t even notice a taste difference between the two.

Some more fun salads for you to enjoy!!

picture of a southwestern chicken salad in a white bowl with a wooden fork

Southwest Chicken Salad Recipe

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This is a simple side dish loaded with your favorite southwestern flavors!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients
 

Southwest Seasoning: (Divide in half halfand reserve for dressing).

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • pinch of chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • ½ tsp oregano

Salad and Dressing

  • 2 chicken breasts diced into about 1” pieces.
  • ½ C Mayo
  • ½ C greek yogurt
  • 1 head of romaine chopped.
  • 1 can of corn drained I like the white shoepeg kind! or fresh corn if it’s in season.
  • 1 can of black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper diced.

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the diced chicken with half the Southwest seasoning. Toss until chicken is coated.Heat about a tbsp of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until its internal temp reads 165 degrees F. Remove from heat and set aside. **You can cook ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • In a small bowl, prepare your dressing by mixing the mayo and greek yogurt together with the remaining Southwest seasoning. You can also make this ahead of time the day before and refrigerate until ready to use. **Dressing will be on the thicker side, if you’d like to thin it out add 1 – 2 Tbsp of half and half or heavy whipping cream.
  • Divide the lettuce between your salad bowls. Then top with corn, black beans and red bell pepper, finishing with your chicken.
  • Next drizzle with the dressing and any additional toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Makes about 4 large salads.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 906mg | Potassium: 600mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1860IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword dinner salad, Southwest salad

This Southwest Chicken Salad makes a great side dish or main course. It’s ready in a snap and full of flavor!

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