Chopped Southwestern Salad

Healthy, flavorful and packed with fresh veggies, this chopped southwestern salad is the perfect easy dinner! Filled with shredded chicken, black beans and a dreamy cilantro vinaigrette! 

Two white plates filled with Chopped Southwestern Salad and bread to the side.

This chopped southwestern salad was originally published in June 2013. The post has been updated as of July 30, 2019 with new photos, text and a revamped recipe!

Don’t want to spend a lot of time on dinner? Well then I have just the dish for you! 

One that tastes amazing, is packed with vibrant fresh veggies and that will fill you up in the most delightfully satisfying way.

There’s some bell pepper, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, green onion, shredded chicken, black beans and crunchy crispy sliced cabbage + romaine lettuce. 

All packed together in this healthy and delicious bowl.

But my favorite part? 

The southwest salad dressing – we’re talking a lemon dijon vinaigrette jazzed up with some fresh cilantro and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

It’s slightly sweet, plenty savory and just a touch smoky.

And when poured all over those dreamboat veggies and mix-ins??? 

It’s salad perrrrfection.

Small bowls filled with the components of Mexican Chopped Salad and corn in a skillet.

How To Make Chopped Southwestern Salad

So, this healthy southwest salad comes together in 30 minutes flat. Here’s how it goes down:

Sauté the corn. In a medium skillet, we’ll quickly cook some corn kernels until tender and starting to brown. And then set them aside to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Chop the veggies. Meanwhile, we’ll chop up all the components for the salad. Some bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, avocado, green onion, cabbage and romaine lettuce.

Prep other add-ins. Next, we’ll shred some cooked chicken and rinse a can of black beans.

Mix up the dressing. In a small bowl, we’ll whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing until smooth and combined. 

Finally, it all gets tossed together and then we’ll dig in! 

Small bowls filled with chopped veggies for Southwest Salad.

Tips & Tricks For This Chopped Mexican Salad

  1. As with all salad recipes, feel free to adjust the quantities of ANYTHING to your own taste!
  2. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, just omit the shredded chicken and substitute with another cooked protein of choice – I think tofu, tempeh, a different kind of bean or even hard boiled eggs would be delicious here.
  3. Looking to take the crunch factor up a notch? Sprinkle the top of your salad with some crushed / broken up tortilla chips.
  4. And finally, if you want to keep this salad nice and pretty like in the photos, don’t toss everything together in a large bowl. Instead, layer some of your lettuce / cabbage on a plate and then top with all the other components. Serve with the dressing on the side. 

A white plate filled with Chopped Southwest Salad with a fork in the dish.

How To Store

Keep all the components for the salad base in separate containers in the fridge. They’ll hold like this for about 4 days.

I like to keep the corn / chicken / black beans in one container and then all the chopped fresh veggies in another (minus the avocado – dice that up right before serving). 

The dressing can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Now, if you want to make the salad fully in advance (i.e. mix it all together), it works well but ONLY if you use pretty much all sliced cabbage and little to no romaine lettuce. 

If you go that route, it will keep for about 2 to 3 days. Again, minus the avocado – add that in right before enjoying.

A white plate filled with Chopped Mexican Salad and a slice of bread.

Additional Hearty Salad Recipes You Might Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

Chopped Southwestern Salad

Chopped Southwestern Salad

Yield: about 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Healthy, flavorful and packed with fresh veggies, this chopped southwestern salad is the perfect easy dinner! Filled with shredded chicken, black beans and a dreamy cilantro vinaigrette! 

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken*
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1 medium bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage**
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped 
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, to taste***

Instructions

For the salad:

  1. Add the olive oil to a medium skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add in the corn kernels and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, until tender and starting to brown. Add to a large bowl and let cool for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. To the bowl, add the cooked chicken, black beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, avocado, green onion, cabbage and romaine. Toss gently to combine.

For the dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing until well combined. Taste and adjust the salt / pepper as desired (I usually add more salt).
  2. Pour into the large bowl and toss again to combine. Serve immediately!

Notes

*You can use any chicken you want here - breasts, thighs, whatever. To make it really easy, use a rotisserie chicken or leftovers from another meal.

**If you’re not a fan of cabbage, use additional romaine lettuce instead.

***If you are gluten free - please be sure to check the ingredients on your chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Some brands contain wheat!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 351 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 42mg Sodium: 204mg Carbohydrates: 28g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 9g Protein: 17g
Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.