Southwest Chicken Salad Recipe | Easy & Healthy Chicken Salad


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!

chicken strips, corn, tomatoes, and black beans set over salad greens in a salad bowl and drizzled with avocado salad dressing

Chicken Salad with Southwest Flavor!

Fried chicken strips and hearty veggies make this salad an amazing, healthy dinner idea. I love Southwestern food and flavors, and this easy salad is one of my favorite Southwestern recipes. It saves my hangry life on those nights where I only have 15 minutes to make dinner.

If you want to whip up something that’s healthy and seriously delicious, this salad is the way to go.

You will want to shovel as much salad as possible into your mouth once you get a taste of it. I promise. The crunchy texture, the creamy avocado, and the fresh ingredients are a salad lovers paradise. Also, it is a perfect recipe to use up with your corn-on-the-cob and grilled chicken leftovers. 

close up top view shot of tomatoes and chicken strips drizzled with avocado dressing

Recipe Ingredients

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.

jar of salad dressing and two wooden spoons set next to a salad bowl filled with chicken strips, corn, tomatoes, onions, and black beans

How to Make Southwest Chicken Salad

  1. Heat Oil: Heat olive oil in a frying pan set over medium-high heat.
  2. Season Chicken: Season your chicken strips with salt, pepper and taco seasoning.
  3. Fry Chicken: Add chicken strips to the hot oil and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Remove from Heat: Remove your skillet from the burner and set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. Add Dressing: Add Avocado Lime Dressing and toss gently to coat.
  7. Garnish & Serve: If desired, garnish your salad with cilantro and serve it with fresh lime wedges.

pouring avocado dressing from a jar over a chicken salad

Tips for the Best Southwest Chicken Salad

  • 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.

Can This Salad be Made Ahead?

  • You can definitely make this dish ahead of time if you’d like. It might even taste better the next day! 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

a jar of salad dressing and two wooden spoons set next to a salad bowl filled with chicken strips, corn, tomatoes, and black beans

What to Serve with Southwest Salad

How to Store Leftovers

  • If you want your chicken to stay warm, store it separately from the salad and heat it up in the oven before serving. You can either store it in a separate airtight container or a resealable bag.

More Chicken Salad Recipes

ENJOY!

Tools Used in this Recipe

chicken strips, corn, tomatoes, and black beans set over salad greens in a salad bowl and drizzled with avocado salad dressing

Southwest Chicken Salad

This flavorful Southwest Chicken Salad recipe is made with fresh vegetables, juicy chicken strips and taco seasoning. It’s a healthy dinner salad that your family will love!

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American/Southwest

Servings: 6

Calories: 229 kcal

Author: Katerina | Diethood

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 (about 12 ounces, total)  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1-inch by 3-inch long strips
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning <– click for the recipe
  • 6 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 15 ounces (1 can) corn kernels, rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounces (1 can) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onions
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • lime wedges, for serving
  • Avocado Lime Dressing <– click for the recipe

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan set over medium-high heat.

  2. Season chicken strips with salt, pepper and taco seasoning.

  3. Add chicken strips to the hot oil and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

  4. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

  5. Arrange chopped lettuce and baby spinach in a salad bowl.

  6. Top lettuce with corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and cooked chicken strips.

  7. Add avocado lime dressing and toss gently to coat.

  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional Information does not include the dressing. See Avocado Lime Dressing recipe for nutritional info.

Nutrition Facts

Southwest Chicken Salad

Amount Per Serving

Calories 229 Calories from Fat 45

% Daily Value*

Fat 5g8%

Saturated Fat 1g5%

Cholesterol 36mg12%

Sodium 521mg22%

Potassium 819mg23%

Carbohydrates 29g10%

Fiber 8g32%

Sugar 4g4%

Protein 19g38%

Vitamin A 5362IU107%

Vitamin C 21mg25%

Calcium 63mg6%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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