Southwest Chicken Salad

Southwest Chicken Salad

I love southwest flavors in just about anything, and they go together perfectly in this Southwest Chicken Salad recipe.

A gorgeous salad packed full of colors, flavors, textures…AND a healthy dressing.

It’s like a dream come true for those of us trying super hard to eat healthy and sick of boring salads and meals.

I planned to make enough to have some leftover to prep a few ready to go meals for lunches, and one for a night later this week that I know is extra busy.

Time Saving Trick- If you are making this dinner on a busy weeknight, make the dressing and cook the chicken ahead of time and store in fridge.

So all you have to do is assemble the salads which takes no time at all!

How to Make Southwest Chicken Salad

I made a simple, healthy southwest dressing by combining a 5 oz container of nonfat plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup salsa, 4 oz buttermilk, squeeze of lime, and 3/4 of a packet of dry ranch seasoning (I used the rest of the packet to season the chicken).

I put everything in a mason jar, shake it up, and it’s done. It’s better after it sits for at least an hour.

If you don’t feel like making your own dressing use any southwest ranch, or even combine regular ranch dressing with salsa.

Very similar to my Healthy Ranch Dressing, but with a southwest kick.

For the chicken I drizzled with some olive oil and seasoned with the remaining dry ranch seasoning and lime juice (from the dressing), chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, kosher salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

seasoned before cooking

Honestly, it would have been much better grilled, but it was a yucky, rainy, cold day so I baked mine in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Southwest Chicken Salad

As the chicken bakes, prepare the other ingredients.

Once the chicken is baked (and cooled slightly) diced it up and assemble your salads.

Get creative like I did or just throw it all into a bowl.

I have my creative days, but I also have my I-just-want-to-EAT-NOW days 🙂

Southwest Chicken Salad

When ready to serve Southwest Chicken Salad, top with the salad dressing, cilantro, and tortilla strips.

Southwest Chicken Salad


Southwest Chicken Salad


Southwest Chicken Salad

You can meal prep Southwest Chicken Salads!

Pack up the leftovers into containers and you have ready to go prepped meals.

Tortilla strips and dressing in little cups on the side 🙂

Minus the avocado because it will brown.

Southwest Chicken Salad

If you like this dish, you may want to try Southwest Sweet Potato Skins.

Southwest Sweet Potato Skins

And Southwest Chicken Wraps

Southwest Chicken Salad Wraps

Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad with Avocado Ranch

Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad with Avocado Ranch

Steak Fried Rice Salad

Steak Fried Rice Salad


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Southwest Chicken Salad

Southwest toppings and flavors make this salad extra delicious

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword best, Black Bean, Chicken, Corn, Easy, Healthy, Recipe, Salad, Salad Dressing, Summer Recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 414 kcal
Author Cheri Renee


Southwest Ranch Dressing

  • 5 oz cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 4 oz buttermilk
  • 3/4 packet dry ranch seasoning
  • 1-2 lime wedges

Southwest Chicken Salad

  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1/4 packet dry ranch seasoning (left from the dressing)
  • 1-2 lime wedges
  • olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, kosher salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper
  • 1 head iceburg lettuce chopped
  • 1 can corn drained
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup tomatoes diced
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 avocado diced
  • Optional toppings: tortilla strips, cilantro


  1. For the dressing combine all ingredients and store in fridge. (Or use your favorite southwest ranch)

  2. Squeeze lime juice over chicken breasts, drizzle with olive oil and season the chicken on both sides with chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, kosher salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. (Or use your own blend of seasoning)

  3. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or grill. Dice the chicken when cool.

  4. Assemble the salads with remaining ingredients and serve with the Southwest Ranch Dressing.

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