Sunday Salads: Southwest Chicken Salad
When my husband was in graduate school we lived in a small college town full of local “diners, drive-ins, and dives.” Since we knew we would be living there a couple of years we decided to spend date nights exploring the area, and made a goal to go through the phonebook starting with “A” and try each local eatery–all the way to “Z.” It was super fun to try different foods and discover local gems, although I’ll be honest, we abandoned the goal after a while because we found a few favorites places we kept going back to.
One of the restaurants we loved had an amazing southwest taco-style salad. It was a sad day when we moved from that town, just because of that salad. So when I was thinking of salads the other day and what I was going to share for Sunday Salads, I remembered that favorite college days southwest salad and decided it was time to recreate something similar.
My version ended up quite a bit different from that beloved restaurant bite, but we loved the homemade version so much it just may be a contender. It features many veggies that are currently in their prime season (I even picked some of them from my garden! Proud mama here!), including fresh corn on the cob.
Pam @ onceamonthmeals.com
- 1 bag of lettuce salad
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup diced bell pepper (I like color, so I used a third cup each of orange, yellow, and green)
- 0.5 cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup corn*
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 pkg. taco seasoning
- 2 TBSP oil
Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 1 cup ranch dressing
- 0.5 fresh lime
- 1 large handful cilantro
- 0.5 jalapeno, seeded (optional)
Place chicken, taco seasoning, and oil in a Ziploc bag or container, and coat well. Cook on a hot grill about 10 minutes, or until done. Meanwhile, assemble salad by mixing lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, corn, and beans in a large bowl. Prepare cilantro lime dressing by placing cilantro, ranch, juice of the lime, and jalapeno in a blender or food processor. Pulse until cilantro and pepper are very finely chopped and all are mixed well. Slice chicken. Serve salad with grilled chicken and cilantro lime dressing.
*Since I was already grilling the chicken I put a couple ears of fresh corn on the cob on the grill as well. Then when it was done, I let it cool a bit and cut the kernels off to add to the salad. You can easily substitute frozen corn if you don’t have fresh on hand.
**Don’t forget that NEW menus come out tomorrow, August 1st and there is a great Shutterfly giveaway going on through Tuesday, August 2nd.