This Southwestern Salad is topped with seasoned grilled chicken, crisp veggies, avocado, crunchy blue corn tortilla chips, grilled corn, black beans, and a creamy cilantro lime dressing. This post is sponsored by Foster Farms Free Range Chicken but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
What’s better than colorful, nutrient-dense summer salads?
It’s the perfect way to reap the benefits of fresh summer produce and create easy, veggie-rich meals.
I’m particularly obsessed with this Southwestern Salad at the moment. Here’s why.
First, this salad is the perfect combination of textures — crisp veggies and lettuce, creamy avocado and dressing, and crunchy blue corn tortilla chips.
Second, it’s the perfect summer salad because it utilizes the grill and is topped with succulent grilled chicken and grilled fresh corn. Even better, it’s an excellent way to use leftovers (extra grilled corn? half opened bag of tortilla chips? let’s use it here!).
How to Make a Southwestern Salad
So, what’s a Southwestern salad, anyway? A Southwest-style salad combines all of the typical flavors of Southwestern cuisine, which is heavily influenced by Mexican and Native American cultures. Think: Chiles, lime, cilantro, corn, beans, tortillas, spices, fresh vegetables, avocado.
This Grilled Chicken Southwestern Salad is made with the following additions:
Seasoned Grilled Chicken. We start with Foster Farms Free Range chicken, which is 100% vegetarian fed with no added hormones or antibiotics. The chicken gets seasoned with chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and paprika before getting grilled.
Grilled Corn and Black Beans. A staple in Southwestern cuisine, this salad gets loads of flavor (and protein and fiber) from grilled sweet corn and black beans.
Crisp Veggies. The base of this salad is crisp romaine, with plenty of fresh veggies such as sweet mini peppers and ripe tomatoes.
Creamy Avocado. Can’t forget the avocado.
Blue Corn Tortilla Chips. Crushed tortilla chips add amazing texture to this salad.
Cotija Cheese. This salad gets elevated with a delicious, salty bite from fresh cotija cheese.
Creamy Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing
No Southwestern chicken salad would be complete without a delicious salad dressing.
This cilantro lime salad dressing is a breeze to make, and whips up quickly with just a few simple ingredients including:
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Fresh cilantro
- Freshly squeezed lime juice
- Avocado oil
The Greek yogurt base makes this salad dressing a bit lighter, but still loaded with flavor. I like to use avocado oil, but you could definitely use olive oil instead here. A bit of sweet agave helps balance out all of the flavors, but honey would also be fine.
I hope that you make and enjoy this healthy Southwestern grilled chicken salad! What are your favorite summer salads to make? Check out Foster Farms Free Range chicken for a coupon and more recipes!Print
Grilled Chicken Southwestern Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
This Southwestern Salad is topped with seasoned grilled chicken, crisp veggies, avocado, crunchy blue corn tortilla chips, grilled corn, black beans, and a creamy cilantro lime dressing.
For the Chicken:
- 3 chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Dressing:
- ½ cup full fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon agave
- ⅓ cup avocado oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
- 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 3 ears fresh corn, grilled
- 8 mini sweet peppers, sliced
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 avocados, sliced
- ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
- Blue corn tortilla chips, crushed
Make the Dressing:
- Wash and dry the cilantro very well, as you do not want excess water in your dressing. Trim the ends of the stems, keeping most of the stem intact, and roughly chop the cilantro.
- In a high-speed blender, combine the Greek yogurt, cilantro, minced garlic, lime juice, and agave. Blend until completely incorporated and scrape down the sides.
- With the blender running on low, slowly pour in the avocado oil until the dressing is smooth and fully combined.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the dressing to thicken and let flavors marry, about 30 minutes.
Grill the Corn and Chicken:
- Using a grill pan over medium-high heat or an outdoor grill, grill the corn until charred evenly on all sides and tender, about 10 minutes. Slice off the corn and season with salt and pepper.
- Combine the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Evenly coat the chicken on all sides with the spice mixture. Grill the chicken, only turning once, for about 7-8 minutes per side (depending on size) until cooked through. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Assemble the Salad:
- Layer the lettuce with the corn, peppers, tomatoes, black beans, and avocado. Dress with the creamy cilantro dressing and top with sliced chicken, cotija cheese, and crumbled blue corn tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Honey can be used in place of agave.
Olive oil can be used in place of avocado oil.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 592
- Sugar: 9.7g
- Sodium: 406mg
- Fat: 35g
- Saturated Fat: 9g
- Carbohydrates: 41g
- Fiber: 11.5g
- Protein: 36g
- Cholesterol: 77mg
I love how vibrant this looks and the dressing sounds so yummy. Such a perfect meal for summer months.
Thank you for the very delicious and yummy recipe! Keep it up!
Dan "Jay" Reyes says
Grilled chicken is one of my fave foods to eat. Thank you for sharing this post which makes me hungry. BTW, your chicken recipe reminds me of Chili’s and Applebee’s, two of my favorite restaurants 🙂
Marta Skeledžija says
That plate looks so fun and colorful. Bet it tastes amazing.
ESHR PRKR says
I can’t get passed how amazing this salad looks. I’d start with the avocado first lol
Nothing tops a grilled salad in the summer. This looks so delicious, refreshing, and flavorful! I could eat this at every meal!
That salad looks so crispy, refreshing, and nourishing – and the dressing sounds and looks like an absolute winner.
oh myyyy!!! This looks so so good and very healthy! I would love to make this soon, can’t wait.
Jay Aguirre says
Oh wow this looks so amazing. It looks so fresh and delicious, I will definitely have to add this recipe to my list of things to try soon!